Officials in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean are warning travelers to avoid booking Airbnbs and other vacation rentals in certain locations due to concerns over growing crime rates.
While the sun-soaked state of Quintana Roo continues to be among the safest for international travelers in Mexico, high rates of violent crime plague certain communities and neighborhoods, especially outside of popular resort districts.
And with online rentals soaring in popularity this year, travelers are being warned to carefully consider the location of their accommodation in the Mexican Caribbean before booking.
As the busy winter season quickly approaches hotspots like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, here’s the latest on Airbnb safety in the Mexican Caribbean and what travelers can do to stay safe.
Authorities Sound The Alarm Over Unsafe Airbnbs Ahead Of Record Winter Season
Online vacation rental websites like Airbnb are booming in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. As of 2023, travelers can find over 40,000 rooms and condos in an ever-growing digital market.
Offering cheaper rates and more flexibility, many travelers are tempted to book online rentals, especially those interested in experiencing local lifestyle and culture. And while online rentals undeniably have unique advantages, their safety has come under the spotlight in recent months.
@sentientmads Such an airbnb hidden gem outside of Canucun this glass treehouse stay was pure magic #airbnbfind #airbnbcheck #airbnbexperience #mexicotravel #glasshouse#treehouseairbnb #treehouse #cancunairbnb ♬ Moonlight Serenade – Glenn Miller
A new report now sheds light on some of the most dangerous locations for Airbnbs in the Mexican Caribbean, sending a strong message to travelers that crime remains a huge risk in parts of the touristy region.
According to the latest safety overview, 28 regions in the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo are currently considered ‘high-risk zones’ due to their above-average crime rates.
@ayekimm Beautiful home in Cancun 🏝 #cancunmexico #vacation #airbnb ♬ Trap Mafia – Lastra
Some of the most crime-prone neighborhoods that travelers should avoid booking at all costs include Villas Otoch and Villas del Mar in Cancun, as well as the Doctores, Colosio and Villas del Sol areas in Playa del Carmen.
The report, which Travel Gud-Mex published, shows that organized crime, as well as drug trafficking and even cases of kidnapping, are reported on a nearly daily basis in many of the region’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
@santekagrigley This Airbnb was 🔥🔥🔥! #playadelcarmen #mexicoairbnb #playadelcarmenmexico #blacktraveltiktok #bestairbnb #thingstodoinplayadelcarmen #thingstodoinmexico #cancun #airbnbpool #blackmexico ♬ Beyonce – AMARNI
To make matters worse, Airbnb and other similar websites currently lack comprehensive safety features, including warnings about high-risk neighborhoods. Moreover, the Mexican Caribbean is currently facing a high level of online scams, including fake Airbnb ads that attempt to lure unsuspecting travelers to book properties in crime-prone areas.
As officials continue to take measures to tackle crime in the Mexican Caribbean, travelers are being told to think twice before booking an Airbnb outside of popular resort areas.
@atravelchick The cutest air bnb in tulum #tulum #airbnb #airbnbfinds #mexico #affordableairbnb #cancun #tulumvibes #airbnbforpools #tulumhotel ♬ original sound – kooze
In addition to opting for properties with excellent reviews, travelers should check where the online rental is located. Authorities are currently mulling a number of new measures aimed at limiting the availability of online rentals in dangerous neighborhoods, although implementing new laws in that regard is expected to take at least several months.
In the meantime, travelers can continue to book Airbnbs in places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, so long as they opt for secure locations with a sufficient level of law enforcement.
@betitings This Airbnb was too pretty to not post😍 #tulum #blackgirltravel#CapCut #mexico ♬ City Boys – Burna Boy
In certain resort hotspots like Playa del Carmen, Airbnbs and other vacation rentals outnumber traditional hotels, at least in the city’s bustling downtown area. The implementation of a new legal framework to regulate online rentals is expected to further boost their popularity over the coming months, as millions of travelers flock to the Mexican Caribbean during the winter holidays.
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