Is Cancun Safe for Travelers in 2022?

Cancun is undoubtedly a popular travel destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. With its stunning white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, it’s no wonder people from all over the world flock to this Mexican city. But is it safe to travel to Cancun? In this guide, we’ll explore the safety of Cancun for travelers, providing facts and personal experiences, along with tips on how to stay safe.

Why is Cancun Considered Dangerous?

Reading articles and news reports about Cancun can create a negative perception of the city’s safety. It’s true that there have been instances of violence, particularly related to conflicts between rival gangs and cartels. However, it’s important to put these incidents into perspective. The media tends to focus on sensational stories, highlighting the worst aspects of a destination. For example, Cancun may be labeled as the sixth most dangerous city in Mexico based on homicide rates, but there are cities in the United States with similar rates.

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How Safe is Cancun for Tourists?

The reality is that Cancun is safe for tourists. While there may be violence between cartels and gangs, the vast majority of tourists who visit Cancun have a wonderful experience. Tourism is a crucial part of Cancun’s economy, accounting for nearly half of its annual GDP. To ensure the safety of visitors, there are approximately 40,000 police officers stationed throughout the state of Quintana Roo, including Cancun.

Personal Experience

As a solo female traveler, I spent time in Cancun and never felt unsafe or had a negative experience. While Cancun’s touristy nature wasn’t entirely my vibe, I stayed both in Downtown Cancun and the Hotel Zone and experienced no issues. Having discussed safety in Mexico with locals, I firmly believe that the country deserves better than its unsafe reputation.

Violence Towards Tourists

As a tourist in Mexico, you are generally safe from violent crimes. Most of the violence that occurs in Mexico is drug-related and primarily between cartels. The cartels, who own many tourist businesses, have no financial incentive to harm tourists. While there have been occasional incidents where tourists have been caught in cartel conflicts, it is usually unintentional.

Is Cancun Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Cancun is a popular hub for backpackers and offers a vibrant nightlife and popular hostels. It’s relatively easy to make friends in Cancun, and you’re unlikely to stay solo for long. While it’s generally safe to walk around the popular tourist areas at night, it’s always best to go out with friends, especially if you’re a solo female traveler. Joining a work exchange can also be a great way to meet people and immerse yourself in local life.

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Safest Places to Stay in Cancun

There are two main areas for tourists to stay in Cancun: downtown and the Hotel Zone. The Hotel Zone is a tourist bubble and home to the best beaches, all-inclusive resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, and beach clubs. The Mexican government makes strong efforts to keep this area safe. Downtown Cancun, on the other hand, offers a more local experience with markets, local restaurants, and businesses. While walking around downtown at night may be riskier than the Hotel Zone, taxis are relatively cheap in Cancun, providing a safer alternative.

Are Taxis and Public Transport Safe in Cancun?

Taxis in Cancun are generally safe, but it’s important to be cautious. Official taxis have a white exterior with a dark green line and a ‘taxi’ sign on top. To avoid being overcharged, ask the taxi driver to use the meter or negotiate the price before getting in. Uber is available in Cancun, but it may not be widely used due to local taxi union opposition. Public transport, specifically buses, is a safe and relatively inexpensive option for getting around Cancun.

Tips on How to Stay Safe in Cancun

While Cancun is generally safe for travelers, it’s always wise to take precautions. Here are some tips to enhance your safety:

  1. Stay away from drugs: Drug-related incidents contribute to Cancun’s unsafe reputation. Avoid involving yourself in these activities.
  2. Ask for recommendations: Consult with your accommodation staff for safety tips and areas to avoid.
  3. Carry minimal cash: Don’t carry more cash than you need, leaving the rest at your accommodation.
  4. Secure your belongings: Keep valuables out of sight to deter potential thieves. Consider using a bum bag or money belt for extra security.
  5. Learn some Spanish: Speaking even a little Spanish can help you blend in and appear less like a tourist.
  6. Consider volunteering: Volunteering can provide a sense of community and additional peace of mind. Worldpackers offers work exchanges with insurance coverage.
  7. Trust your instincts: Use common sense and listen to your gut. If something feels off, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
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Please note that the following questions and answers are for guidance only and should not replace thorough research or personal judgment.

Q: How safe is travel to Cancun in 2022?
A: Cancun is a safe place for tourists to travel to. However, it’s always a good idea to gather information from recent visitors through social media platforms or travel blogs.

Q: How can I learn more about planning my trip to Cancun?
A: Subscribe to the WP pack plan to gain unlimited access to over 120 courses at Worldpackers Academy, a travel school created by experienced travelers.


Cancun is a beautiful and safe destination for travelers. While it’s important to be aware of potential risks, by following the tips mentioned and using common sense, you can enjoy a fantastic experience in Cancun. Don’t let safety concerns hold you back from exploring this incredible city. Make Cancun your next travel destination and create unforgettable memories.

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