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Cancun Remains Safe For Tourists Despite Surprising Increase In Crime

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Cancun is unfortunately wrestling with rising incidents of crime, with several neighborhoods in the super-popular vacation hotspot earning less-than-welcoming reputations.

However, the situation is more complicated than just “Cancun is getting dangerous”, with the tourism hotspots staying clear of almost all of the issues rising elsewhere.

This is why Cancun is still safe, despite the surprising increase in criminal incidents.

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Why Crime Is Rising

Before getting into the reasons why all isn’t as bad as it seems, it’s important to understand the suspected reasons for these increases.

It’s no secret that vacation destinations with a reputation for parties and nightlife attract narcotics, and while the majority of travelers don’t get involved in that world, it only takes a small number of willing participants to draw in organized crime with the aim of providing prohibited substances.

With an estimated 20+ million people visiting the destination in 2023 alone, the potential market, even with only a small percentage of travelers involved, is huge.

Cancun Clubs in the Nightlife Area with Tourists All Around

Localized Problems

The most notable increases in criminal incidents in Cancun are outside of any tourism hotspots and instead are spiking in areas a sizeable distance away.

While Cancun is far from being a sprawling metropolis, the neighborhoods seeing these worrying spikes aren’t within areas that would affect travelers.

cancun skyline

A Line In The Sand

It’s only natural that travelers would be concerned with this development, but an aspect of a Cancun vacation that plays a hugely important role in the safety of travelers is the geographical protection of the Hotel Zone.

Without a doubt, the most popular and high-populated place for travelers to stay during their trip, the Hotel Zone is also a highly protected area, with only two roads in and out of the whole area.

Furthermore, these entries and exits to the area are well-guarded and protected 24/7 by both local police and the military personnel assigned to tourism protection.

Security cameras facing multiple directions with a palm tree backdrop

On top of this physical presence, the tourism hotspots of Cancun are protected by a highly sophisticated surveillance and command center known as the C5.

This command center is a hub that keeps a close eye through security cameras on tourism and ensures that any incidents that do arise are responded to almost instantly, without the need for a member of the public to report it via 911 in many cases.

Additionally, the C5 command center allows local law enforcement to organize the numerous security elements across the city in as fast and well-planned a way as possible.

Police headquarters in Cancun with a police officer working

Should Travelers Be Worried?

For travelers staying in the Hotel Zone or in other highly developed tourism hotspots near Cancun, such as the Costa Mujeres, the level of security in these areas remains consistent and reliable.

No extra steps are needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation thanks to the already impressive security apparatus in place, which includes well-trained resort security staff and extensive barriers and checkpoints to ensure only travelers and staff may enter.

Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun, Mexico

Travelers may need to increase awareness when staying in downtown Cancun. An area much more popular with young solo travelers and party travelers, the level of security here is less strict due to the many streets and avenues that criminals can arrive and flee from.

However, that doesn’t mean travelers need to call off their vacation if staying in downtown Cancun, but rather ensure they don’t stray into non-touristic neighborhoods and employ the same common sense that they would use in their home city.

Downtown cancun plaza

Election Year Jitters

It isn’t just the U.S. that is entering an election year, with Mexico also going to the polls in 2024 to choose its President.

Unfortunately, election years in Mexico often go hand-in-hand with a spike in crime. There are many theories around why this is, and while some carry more merit than others, there is no widely accepted theory on why this is.

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