Is Cancun safe for travel in 2019?

The gateway to the Maya Riviera – a stretch of beach resorts mingled with ancient Maya ruins and relics – Cancun is a top destination that was born in the 1970s as a resort town. Today, people flock to its stunning beaches from all over the world.

Spring Break makes Cancun a popular party destination. Partying usually comes with lower safety. There is petty theft to worry about, scammers, street hawkers and even an alarmingly increasing murder rate in Cancun.

Combine all that with a general reputation of Mexico as a place that’s overrun with violence and drug trafficking gangs and Cancun could be seen as a potentially scary place to go. So quite understandably you’ll be wondering, “Is Cancun safe?”

For this reason, we have decided to create this absolutely epic insider’s guide to staying safe in Cancun. We will cover things from catching ferries to eating your way safely around the city. Whether you’re a solo female traveller about to embark on a trip to Cancun, or you feel like driving, we’ve got tips for you. Let’s do this!


safety cancun

Welcome to our EPIC Cancun Safety Guide!

How Safe is Cancun? (Our take)

You may not be coming to Cancun for the history – but that’s totally fine. The beaches here are stunning and the nightlife is poppin’. In fact, we don’t blame you for coming to this place for a total beach getaway.

However, Cancun is far from what we’d consider a completely “safe” city.

There’s been a rise in violence on the Yucatan Peninsula. In fact, crime in Mexico as a whole has been hitting the headlines recently.

Scammers and petty theft are par for the course along those beautiful white sand beaches.

In general, though, Cancun is generally considered to be one of the safer parts of the Yucatan Peninsula. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what’s going on in the city.


Is Cancun Safe to Visit? (The facts.)


cancun safe to visit

Cancun is the place to be!

Fact is, Cancun is super popular. Ever heard of Spring Break? It happens here.

In January 2018 alone, Cancun International Airport welcomed 1.51 million passengers. That’s just in one month! Crazy.

There has however been a slight decline of visitors to Cancun between 2018 and 2019 – 2% to be exact. The reason for that? There’s been a rise in crime.

Before 2017, Cancun was a pretty chilled out place and boasted lower crime stats than much of the rest of Mexico. But in the first 8 months of 2018, there were 342 homicides – in Cancun alone. That’s 1.4 murders per day. This has more than doubled to more than the average rate for the country.

The Mexican government, however, is on it. They’ve been making the effort to protect tourist destinations – particularly Cancun – and there’s an increased police presence in the Zona Hotelera.

To put you ease, these murders are usually gang-related – tourists are rarely the targets.


Is it Safe to Visit Cancun Right Now?

Well, as we said, the crime rate seems to have risen in Cancun. So right now, things may be getting more sketchy, they may be getting less so.

There have been some incidents related to violence that has put a lot of people off going to Cancun.

However, there’s been no travel advice issued for the UK, amongst other, governments warning tourists of visiting this part of Mexico.

The incidents don’t occur where you’d picture them to happen, like on the beach or something terrible. These happen in downtown Cancun, where you probably won’t be going anyway. You’ll probably be with everyone else along the 14 miles of beach.

The director-general of the tourism board even said tourists don’t usually “venture” into the parts of town where violence typically takes place.

The increased police presence, especially in the Zona Hotelera, is there for your safety.

In general, Cancun doesn’t see the levels of drug-related violence as other parts of Mexico.

Other things to be aware of that aren’t humans but hurricane season that run from June to November. These, as well as tropical storms, can bring flooding, landslides, and disruption to services – even if you’re not close to the centre of the storm. They can be devastating.

Keeping an eye on the news and the weather will inform your trip – before and during.


Cancun Travel Insurance

Get insurance! Even if you are only going on a short trip, you should always travel with insurance. Have fun while visiting Cancun but take it from someone who has racked up thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before, you need it.

Make sure to get your backpacker insurance sorted before you head off on an adventure! We highly recommend World Nomads.


To find out why we recommend World Nomads, check out our World Nomads Insurance review.

If you want to shop around a little, then read up on competing companies and what they can offer. There are lots of insurances out there, so don’t feel limited.


21 Top Safety Tips for Traveling to Cancun

safety tips for traveling in cancun

Beyond the beaches, there’s plenty to do in Cancun.

It’s a place for good times and fun by the bucketload, so letting your hair down and getting your party on in Cancun is probably something you’re going to be doing here. Even so, it pays to know that this ain’t a theme park – it’s Mexico, which is 140th on the Global Peace Index (just below Iran). That said, a lot of backpackers still visit Mexico, so it can’t be too bad. So we’ve rounded up some of our top safety tips for travelling to Cancun to help you travel smart in the city…

  1. Be aware of street crime – number one rule: don’t think it’s not going to happen.
  2. Stay aware of your surroundings – being mindful of what’s going on around you is always a good thing.
  3. Keep your belongings close – having dangly bags and valuables actively on show will definitely make you more of a target. Wear a money belt.
  4. Careful when you’re taking money out at ATMs – do it inside shops, banks or malls, and always be aware of who’s behind you.
  5. Learn some Spanish – helps you get around, chat to people, order food. It’s just nice to make the effort, right?
  6. Don’t trust scammers – people may come up to you asking for “help”, but what they mean is “financial help”.
  7. Watch out for police officers trying to fine you – for something that doesn’t seem like a crime. Take note of their ID number if you’re not sure and head to the tourist police.
  8. Carry a copy of your passport (including Mexican visa) at all times – police can ask for this.
  9. Dress down and avoid looking flashy – just screams ‘I’m a tourist and I’m not paying attention to anything around me!’
  10. Zona Hotelera is safer than downtown Cancun – where pickpockets work the markets. Probably not the best place to stay.
  11. Make sure you know where you’re going – it’s not really the place to wander; you may inadvertently wander into a sketchy area.
  12. Hand it over – if someone tries to rob you, give ’em what you’ve got. Not worth it.
  13. Maybe have a ‘dummy wallet’ – a crappy wallet full of a lil’ bit of money that you can give to robbers. Not essential, but still.
  14. Stay away from drugs – it’s up to 25 years in prison for “drug offences”. Plus, funding the drug barons of Mexico, do you really want to do that?
  15. Street hawkers can be annoying – but don’t be rude. They’re just trying to make some money. A polite ‘no thanks’ will do.
  16. Don’t get crazy drunk – we get it, it’s fun. But getting too drunk can seriously affect your safety, mainly in judging situations.
  17. Choose a reputable company for adventure sports – paragliding, scuba diving, jet-skiing.  Read reviews, go with the best company, make sure they’ve got adequate safety in place.
  18. Don’t swim under the influence – Cancun is parties, Cancun is beaches. Swimming drunk or whatever seems like a good idea but it isn’t – trust us.
  19. If you see a warning sign for crocodiles, don’t go near the water – croc attacks on tourists have happened in the past.
  20. Watch the weather during hurricane season – we said earlier, but that’s June to November.
  21. Cover up against mosquitoes – dengue fever is a potential risk, so make sure you know how to keep mosquitoes away.

Those are pretty much all of the things you should be watching out for when you’re in Cancun. Basically, as long as you travel smart and keep aware of the dangers then you should be fine. Knowing that it isn’t always 100% paradise goes a long way in places that tourists tend to go to with the idea of nothing going wrong. Keep our handy travel tips in mind and you’ll have an awesome – and safe – time in Cancun!


Keeping your money safe in Cancun

Anywhere in the world, wherever you happen to be, one of the most – if not the most – the annoying thing that can happen to you is losing money. Whether it’s your own fault, or someone steals it off you, it ain’t fun.

In Cancun, let’s be honest: it could happen. You might let your guard down for a second and – boom, your wallet’s gone. The best way to stop this from happening is to have nothing to steal. How? Wearing a money belt.

The best way to keep your money safe is with an awesome security belt!

You’re going to be able to find a whole load of different money belts out there if you have a quick search. Seriously though, there are a lot. So we’re going to make life easier for you and recommend our top choice: the Active Roots Security Belt.

This is one awesome money belt. For three reasons: it’s budget-friendly, it’s durable and it looks like a belt. Check our in-depth review here.

Wearing the Active Roots Security Belt you won’t have to be fiddling with a load of different compartments like some sort of backpacking commando. It’s just a belt with a hidden zip pocket that you slot your dollar into. You may let your guard down, you might be in the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter what, you’ll always have a bit of cash to fall back on. It’s all about the money belt.

If you need a little more room for your passport and other travel valuables, have a look at a full-size money belt that tucks under your clothes instead.

If neither of those options appeals to your refined fashion sense, don’t compromise! Opt for an infinity scarf with a hidden zipper pocket.


Is Cancun safe to travel alone?


cancun safe to travel alone

You’re going to be spoiled with epic sunsets in Cancun! | image source:

Travelling alone anywhere in the world, let’s be honest: it’s cool. You get to do what you want to do, and when you want to do it, but more than anything you only have yourself to rely on. Solo travel is a challenge sometimes, but we’ll tell you what – it’s totally worth the effort!

Cancun is no exception. Mexico itself might have a reputation for drug gangs and corruption, but much of that doesn’t really find its way to the touristed beaches of Cancun. This is a popular place – with loads of opportunity to meet other people. But we’ve still got some tips for you!

  • Cancun is something of a party central, but we would advise against going out getting completely wasted. Losing your mind to alcohol, or whatever, has the potential to lead to dangerous, dodgy and honestly just pretty stupid situations. We all like a drink, but keep it a sane level!
  • Do your homework about what to do in the area. There’s no point being by yourself but being too afraid to go out and do anything. There are tons of things you could be doing and seeing in the vicinity – things other than lying on the beach and partying.
  • But if you don’t fancy going it alone, that’s fine. Head on a tour and you’ll get to go to places you might not have considered visiting by yourself. You’ll get to learn more about the area, meet some friendly people and see cool stuff.
  • Read up about the accommodation you’re going to stay in. Being stuck somewhere you don’t like can change the whole trip, so make sure you book yourself a nice hostel. Read reviews, make sure you’re in a decent location, that it’s sociable enough for you, reasonably clean. If people talk about things like decent free breakfasts, fun bar crawls, free walking tours, and amazing staff in their reviews, then we’d say it’s a safe bet.
  • Get clued up on social events happening in the area. These might be happening at other hostels, bars, and social spaces around town. If you feel like going to meet some other people – and more than likely have a couple of drinks – these are good places to do so.
  • Know your limits. Not just when it comes to drinking, but we’re talking about everything. If you’ve had enough drinking for the week, stop. If you want to chill on the beach for days on end, do that. Don’t feel like you have to keep on doing stuff and seeing stuff and ticking boxes just for Instagram. Travel ain’t ’bout that. It’ll just wear you out.
  • Don’t run out of money. This is one of those places where one night of partying that leads to another night of partying and before you know it, you’re low on funds. Don’t let that happen. Make sure you have enough spare cash, and an emergency credit card – just in case.
  • Wandering around by yourself in sketchy areas just isn’t clever. Even less so when it’s night. This is common sense stuff, but wandering around outside of areas that you’re “supposed” to go in Cancun can be a bit sketchy – especially if you have no idea where you’re going. Off the beaten track here can mean trouble so make sure what are the best areas in Cancun.

The main thing when you’re travelling by yourself is, surprise surprise, look after yourself. No one else is going to. You’ve got to watch your own back if you’re travelling solo to Cancun. You’ve got to be the one to say, ‘ok maybe that’s enough tequila for one night’ or ‘that road looks dodgy, let’s not go down it’. This is travelling smart. And doing this is definitely going to help you to level up as a traveller.


Is Cancun safe for solo female travellers?


cancun safe solo female traveler

This could be you – enjoying a cocktail on the Mexican beach. | image source:

Cancun for a solo female traveller is as safe as you make it, honestly. There are probably going to be unsavoury characters. There will probably be situations you don’t want to be in. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. There’s so much on offer in this beachside haven.

It’s pretty safe in general. There are tons of people to meet, group activities to get involved in, and a lot of simply laying out on the beach soaking up the sun to get through. To keep you extra secure we’ve got a few travel tips for solo female travellers in Cancun, though…

  • Excursions and trips are not cop-outs. In fact, these are the perfect ways to both meet people and see what Cancun has to offer outside of where your feet can take you. Snorkelling trips, jaunts to Mayan ruins, hiking… Get involved on a tour like this (making sure to read reviews) and you’ll get to have an even more amazing time.
  • Research your hotel. You’re probably going to want to read reviews written by fellow female travellers. This means you’ll get a good insight into just how female-friendly any potential hostel or guesthouse actually is. A female-only dorm is going to be a nice option since there’ll be other women there to chat to and make friends with. You may find yourself some drinking buddies.
  • Once you’ve checked into your hotel, you don’t have to head out straight away. If it’s got a pool, you know it’s time to chill for a moment and hang around on a sunlounger. This is the perfect opportunity to get chatting to somebody. See what their plans are. If they seem like your kinda person and you hit it off, ask if you can tag along.
  • Do not go wandering around by yourself at night. It’s not really a clever thing to be doing anywhere in the world and definitely not in Mexico. It may be Cancun, but it’s still not 100% safe to be alone at night as a woman.
  • Get connected with people and meet up. Check out Facebook groups, blogs of people who live in the area, Twitter, and Instagram – you might find you have something in common. You might even make friends.
  • If you’re invited out to a party or an event, let someone know where you’re going. Whether that’s the staff at the hostel, your parents or friends back home, it’s a good idea to tell someone what you’re up to.
  • Push yourself to do things outside your comfort zone. But know that if something is actually making you feel uncomfortable, and it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it, don’t go along with it. Remove yourself from the situation. It’s your trip.
  • Don’t feel obliged to tell the truth. If someone’s a little too interested in you – and you’re totally not interested in them – then don’t feel like you have to tell the truth about who you are or what you’re doing. No stranger needs to know where you’re staying, where you’re going, where you’re from, whether you’re married, have a boyfriend, whatever. If you don’t want to say, don’t. Tell white lies or shut ’em down.
  • If someone is really making you uncomfortable, make a fuss, make a scene. Tell staff.
  • Keep your food and drink in sight at all times. Drink, and food, spiking is something that can happen, so don’t make yourself an easier target by not watching your beverages, lunches and dinners. Also, we’d say only buy your own drinks.


Don’t lose your money to a pickpocket! There are tons of ways to store valuables and goods while travelling but a travel scarf has to be the least obtrusive and the most classy.

The Active Roots Zipper Scarf is your run-of-the-mill infinity scarf but with a hidden pocket that’s big and sturdy enough for a night’s cash, your phone, a passport and (hell with it) some snacks too!

Cancun is a pretty awesome place. There are going to be a lot of people to meet up with, so you’ll probably never feel like you’re alone. Make friends when you’re out, make friends at your hostel, or make a new buddy on a tour, there are loads of ways to do it.

Obviously, you are going to have to use your common sense. There are things about being a female traveller that just don’t apply to your male counterparts – male attention being one of them. It won’t be locals here so much as other travellers you’ll need to be wary of.

Like we said though, it’s about travelling smart. If someone’s weirding you out, remove yourself from their company. If a situation feels like it’s getting sketchy, leave it. Cancun is a super fun place for you to travel, but keep our tips in mind, trust your gut, and you’ll stay safe.


Is Cancun safe to travel for families?


cancun safe for family

This is heaven on earth for kids. | Image source:

Being basically a beach resort, you’ll find that Cancun is a safe place to travel for families, especially if you’ve got young children.

A vacation here is a top opportunity to introduce your kids to a whole new country and culture. More than that though, it’ll be an amazing beach holiday that they’ll probably never forget. Days spent running around on the sand, splashing in the turquoise sea… What else could they ask for?

You can also take a boat trip on a pirate ship to your very own deserted island to play in the sand and surf all day. Older children could try out snorkelling for the first time and see the rainbow world beneath the waves – literally so cool.

And away from the beaches, you could even explore Mayan ruins just outside Cancun itself – a proper adventure.

When it comes to places to stay in Cancun, there’s a whole selection of places on offer. Try not to get overwhelmed and opt for somewhere that’s best for you and your family. All-inclusive resorts will often come with kids’ clubs and babysitting services. Some, however, are adults-only.

Make sure you read up on this first and that you read reviews from other families before booking a place to stay. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not a place is actually family-friendly or not!

All in all, Cancun is safe to travel for families.


How to keep kids safe in Cancun?

Getting around Cancun can be a bit of a headache when the traffic is bad. Tell your children about the dangers of the roads here and try not to travel in rush-hour. Crossing the road carefully kind of goes without saying.

Make sure you cover your children up to keep mosquitoes away.

Then there’s the sun – it gets super hot here. Getting burnt, dehydrated, sunstroke – none of these will be nice for you or your children. Make sure you all cover-up, slather on plenty of sunscreens, wear sunhats, limit your time in the sun, keep out of direct sunlight at midday. It might be a good idea to head to the beach in the morning.

Cancun has a ton of restaurants, so you probably shouldn’t have any problems with picky eaters. There’s a load of different cuisines on offer here and a lot of places will be able to do you a children’s portion if they don’t have an actual children’s menu.

Make sure your children don’t drink unfiltered water. Ice can be dodgy, too and so can salads. This can give your children some pretty bad upset stomach and don’t forget: they’re more susceptible to bugs like that than adults.

At the end of the day, Cancun is a safe place to travel with children. There won’t be many of the other issues that concern other travellers since you’ll most likely be staying in a resort-type situation anyway. Most things will be sorted out for you. It’s a beach resort, after all.


Is it safe to drive in Cancun?


cancun safe to drive road

Traffic congestion may be a thing in Mexico… | Image source:

Whilst we wouldn’t recommend driving in Cancun itself, it is safe enough to drive in this coastal city.

Scooters are popular but can be pretty dangerous. Given the amount of traffic in the city, it’s not recommended – especially if you’re not a confident driver.

When it comes to car hire, make sure you use a reputable company and always check the car first – so you don’t end up getting stung for damage you didn’t do once you return it. Also, make sure you arm yourself with solid rental car insurance.

Road signs are in Spanish. You should be able to work them out if you’ve got a bit of Spanish under your belt, though. A good idea would be to use Google Maps, or, to help you drive around Cancun.

In the city, bus drivers pretty much rule the roost. They’ll cut you up, slam on their breaks, weave in and out of traffic, let other buses go…

Another thing to note are the taxi drivers. There are thousands of them and for the most part, they’re not good or considerate drivers. They’ll cut you up as well, park wherever they want, generally drive a bit erratically.

To drive somewhere like Cancun, you’ll have to be confident and use your hazards a lot. It can get super busy and congested. You’ll have to be careful where you park your car (so things don’t get stolen from it).

So whilst you may be able to take yourself further inland and along the coast, if you’ve got a car, it’s a real hassle – and the fact that you can easily hop on a tour or whatever to get out of the city – we’d say leave it.


Is Uber safe in Cancun?

People were super excited when Uber arrived in Cancun.

It would help change the way taxis worked, everyone thought – for the better. Keep people safe.

Sadly, it’s no longer in service.

So you’ll have to rely on those taxis…


Are taxis safe in Cancun?


cancun safe taxi

You won’t have a problem finding a taxi! | Image source:

Taxis in Cancun are everywhere.

However, you will have to be a little bit careful when you’re using them.

There are no meters in taxis in Cancun – always fun. You’ll need to figure out the fare before you get in. The average fare, within the Zona Hotelera, is 60 to 90 pesos per ride.

Speak to and agree with your driver before you get in, and definitely before you start moving, to avoid mishap and confrontation at your destination.

If you have pesos, use them. Drivers may not always “have change” for a big American dollar and it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get the correct change. As a rule of thumb for taxis around the world, having small denominations on you is always a good idea.

When it comes to getting a taxi at the airport, get one from the taxi desk inside the airport itself. It’s so much easier than having to deal directly with drivers once you’re through the gate.

Taxis in Cancun will have the drivers’ permit displayed in some prominent place; the same permit number will be on the licence plate as well.

Colour-wise, they’re often green with a white stripe.

When getting a taxi from your hotel, there will usually be a rates card posted in some visible location outside the hotel – a list of set fares for set “zones”. Taxis are required to have one in the car as well. Be aware that residents will pay around half of what tourists pay and there’s nothing you can do about it.

That’s it. Taxis are safe in Cancun.


Is public transportation in Cancun safe?


cancun safe public transportation

Make sure you get on the right bus… | Image source:

Other than taxis, there’s the public transportation in Cancun.

Mainly, this is buses. That’s pretty much the best (only) way to get around – cheaper than taxis, for example.

The buses that traverse the most popular routes are pretty frequent. These routes, R1 and R2 specifically, take you between the downtown areas of Cancun to the Zona Hotelera.

There are also other buses that run to other tourist spots. In addition, there are buses that run further afield; these buses are run by a company called ADO and go to places like Playa del Carmen and Chichenitza, which is pretty handy if you fancy a day trip or two.

The normal fare is 10.50 pesos. When you want to get off, either tell the driver – or you could ask the driver beforehand to tell you when you get to a certain stop.

Buses in Cancun are safe in general. They’re traversed mainly by tourists, anyway. That said, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings. Just make sure you keep your belongings close to you.

If you want to go to islands like Isla des Mujeres you can take Cancun’s ferry service.

You can catch the ferry from a total of three different docks spread around town. There’s Playa Caracol, El Embarcadero, and Playa Tortugas. Service hours are from 9 AM to 9 PM and in terms of frequency, you can hop on a ferry every 30 minutes.

If you’re going to be in Cancun for a sizeable chunk of time, and you are going to be using the public transport quite a bit, then we’d recommend getting yourself a Go Cancun Card. It’ll help with things like round-trips and even entry to attractions.

Keep everything on you in transit. When moving from place to place, you shouldn’t store travel documents in a bag, even if it’s under your seat or overhead.

A full-sized money belt that stays tucked under your clothes keeps your documents and cash organized during your travels and assures nothing critical gets left behind or stolen.


Is the food in Cancun safe? 


cancun safety food

YUM Churros with chocolate sauce! | Image source:

Cancun is in Mexico. That means Mexican food. Who doesn’t like Mexican food? Cancun has a load of restaurants spread throughout the city for locals and more cultured connoisseurs of cuisine away from the tourist eateries.

There’s also sweet snacks like  (long doughnuts) as well as fish and seafood to chow down on. Not all restaurants are created equal, however, and some might make you ill. So here are some times tips to help you keep your stomach safe in Cancun…

  • There seems to be a real thing about getting ill in Mexico from the food. But don’t worry: local food can be eaten. It is safe to eat Mexican food in Cancun. There are ways to find the best places, however.
  • Read reviews. With the internet, you can find reviews of any restaurant ever in an instant. There’s literally no excuse to be eating bad food, or even getting ill, when you’re able to hop online and see just how good or bad any eatery is. That goes for Cancun as well.
  • Go where the locals go. If anybody’s going to know where the tastiest food is to be found, it’s the people who actually live and work in Cancun. If you see a restaurant that’s heaving with locals, it’s probably a good idea to pull up a chair and dig in.
  • If you’re really worried about food poisoning, stay away from fresh fruit and salad. This may have either not been washed properly or washed with untreated water, so if anything’s going to make you ill, it’s stuff like that. Just don’t eat it.
  • Don’t worry about street vendors or food stalls. All you’ll have to do is make sure it looks clean (as possible) and fresh. A good tip would be to go at mealtimes – go when it’s quiet, and you may be eating leftovers that have been sat around in the heat for a while.
  • Another tip: watch the process of making the food. If the practices are up to scratch, great. If the vendors are doing things like handling money with the same hands they’re making food with, maybe avoid.
  • Watch out for that hotel buffet. These are convenient and amazing. We love buffets. But they’re not always where you’re going to find the best food. In fact, with a lot of things left sitting around for buffet dinners and lunches, there are all sorts of chances for nasty germs to get into it. Might not, but it’s good to be on the safe side and not go crazy at buffets. Or, you know, just go out to eat.
  • Seafood, whilst it can be tasty, can be awful. That’s mainly when it’s past its best. If you’re eating, or about to eat, seafood and it tastes, or smells, weird then stop eating. Food poisoning from eating some sea critter that’s been sitting in the sun all day and is no longer what you’d call “fresh” is really, really not fun at all. It can actually be pretty dangerous, too.
  • Wash your hands. Save yourself the trouble of making yourself ill and just give them a scrub before you eat.

There is a ton of tasty food to eat in Cancun. From chorizo tacos to sopa de lima (zingy lime soup), there are delicious and authentic Mexican treats galore to keep the fussiest foodies happy. For everyone else, there are a load of international restaurants to choose from.

Pizzas, vegetarian options, all that sort of stuff will be available and catered for at the most touristed restaurants – and at your hotel as well. But don’t forget: local food shouldn’t scare you that much. We say go for it – just be smart with where you decide to eat, that’s all!


Can you drink the water in Cancun?

You cannot drink the water in Cancun.

Just don’t do it. Be careful of ice, salads, anything washed in water.

Bring a refillable bottle and stick to filtered water that they’ll probably have at your hotel or hostel. We have compared different travel water bottles in this article to help you decide which one is the best for you.

If you want to explore the backcountry, we’d suggest boiling and filtering your water or using SteriPen.

Want to save the world and stay hydrated? Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to the oceans and planet – Be a part of the solution and invest in a filter water bottle.

The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. We use it on our own adventures to purify often nasty looking water and it does a beautiful job – we have yet to get sick! This is what the whole Broke Backpacker team uses- in mountains, cities, jungles – we love it – it’s a total game changer


Is Cancun safe to live?


cancun safe to live

Good views, good weather, and laid back lifestyle. What’s not to like?

Cancun is a modern seaside city that definitely attracts people to live there – especially after having visited as a tourist.

There’s obviously going to be crime in certain areas, but you’ll be surprised at how safe Cancun is to live in. Here, you’ll probably feel safer than in some European cities, for example.

Residential places, like Isla Dorada, are beachside locations that are a mix of modern and Mexican culture; a good spot within walking distance of shops and schools.

Exactly what you want to get up to in Cancun will greatly affect your choice of accommodation in the city.

Given its prime, coastal location, Cancun is more expensive than other places in Mexico. That said, it’s also safer than other destinations in the Central American country.

People from all over the world live and work in Cancun, especially from the US and Canada, and it offers up a good standard of living. People even retire here, it’s that nice.

It’s got an international airport, so you can travel outside the country pretty easily; you can get to the US in just 2 hours.

A lot of people speak English, which is pretty handy. You won’t feel too isolated not knowing any Spanish and you should be able to make friends relatively easily, too.

However, it’s a big city with a population of over 1 million. Being a big city, you get big-city problems as well as big-city benefits: there are traffic and crime, but there are shops and restaurants, too. It’s all a balance.

Basically, Cancun is a safe place to live. The local and national government are invested in keeping that way, too.


How is healthcare in Cancun?

When it comes to healthcare, Cancun has some pretty high standards.

You shouldn’t worry too much whilst living in or visiting this city. There are many top doctors, top dentists and top healthcare practitioners situated here.

Cancun is even a popular destination for medical tourism. To be fair, we can think of worse places to go for medical procedures.

If you do need to see a doctor whilst you’re in Cancun, never fear. There is a selection of walk-in clinics spread around the city, where you can see a doctor without having to make an appointment.

There are also some good hospitals in the area. Doctors at these have often trained in America are will most likely be bilingual, too.

One which is particularly good is the Hospital Playa Med – a modern facility that boasts 24-hour care. There’s also Hospital Cancun and Amerimed Cancun, both of which are used by expats. It’ll cost you, but make sure you that you have travel insurance that covers it.

If you’re not sure about where your nearest hospital or medical facility might be, ask your hotel. Some hotels may even have their own onsite doctor.

When it comes to pharmacies, there are many of those to choose from as well. In the Zona Hotelera particularly you will be able to find a selection of 24-hour pharmacies; a lot of medicine is widely available and you’ll be able to ask for over the counter advice for any small or minor complaint as well. And that’s always handy.

So as you can see, healthcare in Cancun is actually pretty good.


Final thoughts on the safety of Cancun


cancun final thoughts

Cancun is a little slice of paradise. Get ready for it!

With a lot of people travelling to Cancun every year, it’s safe to assume that Cancun is a safe destination. Whether they’re college students on a mad one for Spring Break, or rich Europeans trundling in luxury at one of the 5-star hotels here, everyone loves Cancun.

Is it safe? Yes. Is it always safe? No. Is every single area in the city limits of what constitutes Cancun safe? No. Will you be safe on a trip to Cancun if you behave like a normal person? Yes. There’s basically no reason to worry about going to Cancun. There may be an increase in homicides, but this isn’t something that’s going to affect the everyday, run-of-the-mill tourist, traveller or backpacker – it’s a gang thing.

There are obviously ways to make yourself unsafe in Cancun such as drinking way too much or wandering down streets at night, but that’s true for many places in the world. However, if you use your common sense, Cancun will be a slice of paradise and you’ll have the best time here.

Since anything can happen at any time, however, travel insurance is always a must!



Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means we earn a small commission if you purchase your insurance through this page. This costs you nothing extra and helps us keep the site going.

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