Cancun Safety, security and travel

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Things To Do in Cancun
  3. Safety and Travelling in Cancun
  4. Weather in Cancun

Safety and Security in Cancun

Cancun is generally a relatively safe city. The crime rates here are lower compared to the many other places in Mexico.

As much as possible, the Mexican government tries to make Cancun safe for tourists since tourism is the region's main source of revenue. But this does not mean you should not take any precautions when going on a holiday in Cancun.

There are certain things you should be aware of to ensure a safe visit to Cancun.

Warnings and Dangers in Cancun

Scammers, price inflation, and petty crimes are more widespread in Cancun. Moreover, the party vibe and rise in tourism have attracted more drug trafficking in the area, leading to an increase in cartel activities. Still, the crime rate in Cancun is significantly lower compared to many other parts of the country. 

Since tourism is the main source of revenue in Cancun, the local government makes every effort to keep the city as safe as possible for visitors. Because of this, several police forces are patrolling various tourist areas in Cancun to drive criminals away. Overall, the risk of crime in Cancun is pretty low.

Transport and Taxis

Taking public transportation in Cancun is relatively safe. In addition, many resorts and hotels offer free shuttle services to and from the airport.

When taking public transport, such as a taxi, it is best to do so within the hotel zone. Try to book ahead if you can, since you may have to discuss with the driver where to meet and some other details about the trip.

Ask your hotel to book the taxi on your behalf and negotiate the price in advance. Otherwise, drivers could demand outrageous sums when you get to your destination, resulting in a rather unpleasant experience.

Pickpockets Risk

The risk of pickpocketing is common in many tourist places, which is the case in Cancun. Thieves would often take advantage of a large number of vulnerable foreign visitors. Thus, pickpockets are common throughout the city, especially downtown.

The key is to avoid presenting yourself as a wealthy tourist. When going out and about, avoid carrying valuables, such as expensive watches and jewellery. Better leave them at your hotel. Also, avoid displaying your expensive gadgets while in public.

Thieves have quick fingers and will easily distract you and remove your valuables from your possessions without you realizing it. Keep all your valuable items in a secure location, such as the safety deposit boxes in your hotel. As long as you apply proper common sense and be mindful of your surroundings, the risk of getting pickpocketed in Cancun is low.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can be a concern in many parts of the world, including Cancun. Flooding and mudslides are a possibility during the rainy season and could disrupt public transportation. The hurricane season in Cancun runs from June to November, with more significant chances of storms between August and October.

Thankfully, hurricanes are not common in Cancun. So far, only two hurricanes have occurred in the last 30 years. Therefore, the risk of being affected by a natural disaster while holidaying in Cancun is quite low.

Violent Organized Crimes

Tourists are rarely a target of violent organized crimes. However, you could be affected if you are in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Terrorist threats are unlikely but cannot be guaranteed. Also, violent crimes due to cartel drug trafficking disputes could occur, although they do not often involve tourists. You must always exercise increased caution and be mindful of your surroundings when exploring public places.

Health and Medical

In general, Mexico's healthcare system is decent enough, and hospitals have highly qualified medical workers who speak good English. Despite this, not all hospital personnel in Cancun can speak English.

Mexico has achieved universal healthcare coverage, and the country's public healthcare system is reliable. There are also private hospitals to provide care for foreign patients, but this comes with an added fee. Some private hospitals in Cancun specialize in specific ailments, such as heart conditions, diabetes, etc.

Healthcare System in Mexico

Healthcare in Mexico is generally excellent, and the quality of medical care in tourist areas like Cancun is exceptionally high. The majority of Mexican doctors and dentists have undergone training in the US, Canada, or Europe.

The World Health Organization ranks Mexico as "61st" when it comes to the best healthcare system. All things considered, healthcare and hospitals in Mexico are pretty decent.

Private Health Insurance in Mexico

Numerous insurance companies in Mexico can provide private health coverage for a monthly premium. If you get ill or suffer an accident in Cancun, the insurance will cover your medical expenses.

How much the insurance can cover depends on the healthcare plan you choose. The more coverage you need and the older you get, the more expensive the premiums will become. Other factors, such as existing illness, can also influence the cost of your insurance premiums.

Private health insurance policies are more suited to foreigners who reside in Mexico. If you are employed at a local company, your company may be able to provide health insurance that can cover you and your family. Foreign visitors going to Cancun for a short holiday can get travel insurance that can cover the cost of medical expenses if they get ill or meet an accident. 

Can Foreigners Get Healthcare in Mexico

Foreign visitors can use the healthcare system of Mexico. However, as a foreigner, you may not be able to use the insurance from your home country to get free healthcare.

For instance, US visitors cannot use Medicare since it is not recognized in Mexico. It is for this reason that it's important for foreign visitors to have travel insurance when travelling to Cancun. The insurance will cover any medical expenses incurred if you become ill or get involved in an accident and requires urgent treatment.

Medical Insurance for Cancun

Foreign visitors to Cancun will not be required by law to carry medical insurance. However, it's highly advisable for all foreigners going to Cancun to carry travel medical insurance. Anything can happen during our trip, and you can't avoid the possibility of getting sick or injured while travelling. Having medical insurance in Cancun can avoid the financial burden that comes with getting ill while on vacation outside the country.

Getting Around

You already know that Cancun is one of the world's most popular tourist attractions, home to long stretches of sandy beach and many great attractions. But the question is - how do you get to these spots?

Cancun consists of two distinct areas – Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone) and El Centro (downtown area). The Zona Hotelera is the main tourist strip by the beachfront, lined with luxury resorts, bars, restaurants, shops, etc. Meanwhile, El Centro is just a few miles from the Hotel Zone area and where you can experience a more authentic Mexican life.

Luckily, there are various ways you can get around Cancun and explore at your own pace, depending on your plans for the day. Here are some tips to help you get around Cancun and visit different beaches and attractions.

Taxi and Ride Sharing Apps

The most popular and convenient way to get around Cancun is to hail a cab or a ride-sharing app. Local cabs in Cancun can take you anywhere you wish to go in the city and some areas outside Cancun. Ride-sharing apps like Uber are available in Cancun, so you can also use that to book a taxi or private car.

But the downside of taking local taxis in Cancun is that it can be expensive, and negotiating with the driver can sometimes be challenging due to the language barrier. And like any tourist destination in the world, some taxis in Cancun tend to overcharge foreign tourists. If you need to take a cab, ask your hotel to book and negotiate the price on your behalf.

Always go for licensed cabs. The drivers will display their permits in highly visible areas, so it's easy to spot which taxis are licensed. Double-check if the plate number matches what's on their permit. Ask the front desk in your hotel to schedule pickups. Take your driver's information and make arrangements for your return trip.

Fares coming from the airport to the Hotel Zone area should cost you around $40 to $50, while rides between the Hotel Zone and downtown area costs around $10 to $15 each way. Taxis in the downtown area cost around 1.50 per ride. Always pay in Mexican pesos because they won’t give you a chance if you pay in U.S. dollars.

Taking the Bus and Going for a Drive

  • Buses

Taking the public bus is the cheapest way to get around Cancun. The buses are comfortable enough to ride, especially since most public buses have recently renewed their fleet.

Most of the shuttles and public buses around the Hotel Zone and Downtown area follow two main routes passing through the city's many hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, plazas, beaches, and some popular tourist attractions. Many of these buses are air-conditioned, and others even have a Wi-Fi connection. The ride should cost around $1 and is considered safe.

Taking the bus is a great way to move around Cancun, especially from the Hotel Zone to another area in the city. The bus stops are directly in front of the Le Blanc Spa, Sun Palace, and Beach Palace.

·      Car Rental

If you want to move around conveniently and at your own pace, rent a car to drive around Cancun. Having a rental car will also allow you to visit places outside the city, such as Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, and Cozumel, although you still need to take the ferry to some of these islands.

Most of the roads and highways in Cancun are well maintained, and parking is not an issue in most places. Just make sure to apply some common sense to ensure your safety and always follow the local laws on driving, and you will be okay.

Bikes, Scooters, and Other Options

·      Bikes

Visitors who love to bike might want to consider renting a bike to get around Cancun. But be warned - not many places have bike lanes, so you have to exercise utmost precaution, especially on main roads and highways. You will find many bike rental services all over Cancun, and some offer delivery and pick-up service at your hotel or resort for your convenience. It should cost you around $10 to $15 per day, and they will provide you with a helmet if you do not have one.

Biking around the busy Hotel Zone area can be tricky. It is often chaotic and a challenge for most bike users. However, the streets are laid out in a simple grid that should not cause any real problems if you are at least familiar with using GPS. The best time to go biking in Cancun is on a day trip to Cozumel since the roads in this area are well-suited for biking. In fact, Cozumel is host to the Ironman triathlon race.

·      Scooters

A much better option for a bike is a scooter, and you will find many reputable scooter rental services all over Cancun. Before you rent one, map out the areas you plan on visiting and research the driving conditions of these areas. Find out the heavy traffic hours, public works, and other things that could affect your driving schedule. Driving a scooter around Cancun is generally safe, especially in the Hotel Zone area. But it may not be the case elsewhere. So, do your research, especially if you plan on driving long distances.

·      Other Options

Aside from those mentioned above, there are many other alternatives for getting around Cancun, including passenger vans, private car services, shuttle from your resort, and even golf cart rentals. In Isla Mujeres, for instance, you will find numerous golf carts on the streets, which tourists use to travel to and from their hotels.

It does not matter if you are the type of traveller who likes to be driven around or prefers to explore the local way- getting around Cancun should be easy. It's a popular tourist destination with well-built tourism infrastructures, so navigating around should not be that much of a challenge.

Go To
  1. Introduction
  2. Things To Do in Cancun
  3. Safety and Travelling in Cancun
  4. Weather in Cancun

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