Cancun’s bustling nightlife attracts millions of visitors to the seaside town each year, but its boisterous bars and nightclubs are proving to be a hassle for an increasing number of people. Authorities in the city are now considering measures to decrease nighttime noise levels in Cancun’s main party areas.
Excessive noise pollution is an issue that, far from affecting Cancun alone, also extends to other resort destinations across the Mexican Caribbean, including Playa del Carmen. With dozens of neon-lit nightlife establishments dotted around each city, officials are having to deal with a growing number of complaints over noise.
Although Cancun’s bustling nightlife scene is thriving, visitors and residents are increasingly annoyed about noise levels that appear to be getting out of hand. It can decrease sleep quality, worsen mood, and cause frustration among people who flock to the area to soak in the local culture and tropical beaches.
The Riviera Maya Hotel Association, a group that represents a large number of hotels in the Mexican Caribbean, is concerned about the development. With millions of visitors expected in the region this year, potentially setting a new record, the association wants tourists to have a complaint-free trip. The body is calling for more measures to be taken to address the issue and has put forth a number of suggestions.
According to the association, one such recommendation is closing nightlife establishments such as bars and nightclubs earlier. This would allow clients to let off some steam without causing too much noise in the late hours of the night.
Another possible improvement comes in the form of installing sound-absorbing barriers in loud nightclubs, which would significantly reduce noise levels. Andrea Lotito, the association’s vice president, says that the group is working closely with local authorities and businesses to devise potential solutions. However, definitive decisions aren’t expected any time soon, and disaccord among businesses may significantly delay the process.
Cancun and Playa del Carmen are also considering adopting a similar approach as Tulum, which has recently decided to limit bars and nightclubs’ opening hours until midnight. The measure is helping to improve the quality of life in the area, improving the destination’s reputation. Meanwhile, the Riviera Maya Hotel Association wants to ensure that the region continues to be the leading destination in the country.
Cancun’s hotel zone is home to most of the town’s largest nightclubs, including the famed Coco Bongo. However, tourists venturing into downtown Cancun can find authentic local bars that cater to a domestic audience. Meanwhile, partygoers in Playa del Carmen will find most clubs on Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), including Mandala. Tourists who want to avoid potentially disruptive nighttime noise can choose accommodation further from the popular nightclub and disco areas.
In addition to tackling excessive acoustic levels caused by Cancun and Playa del Carmen’s bustling nightlife scene, authorities are contending with another issue: organized crime. Although largely safe, recent incidents, such as the shooting of a U.S tourist in a Playa del Carmen nightclub, have raised the issue to the top of the agenda. Criminals continue to target bars and nightclubs as a venue for the selling and trafficking of illegal substances and, in some cases, weapons.
Both Cancun and Playa del Carmen have seen police raids in several popular nightclubs, where law enforcement uncovered concealed weapons, presumably owned by organized crime groups. Tourists headed out for a night of fun in the downtown area should follow some basic tips, such as acting responsibly and avoiding any suspicious activities. It’s also recommended to stick to resort areas, which have more on-duty police officers, including specialized tourist police.
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