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Officials Cracking Down On Beach Vendors In Cancun To Improve Tourist Experience 

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Street and beach vending is a timeless tradition in Mexico and one that many travelers visiting Mexican vacation destinations want to experience.   

Whether buying souvenirs, unique handcrafts, or Mexican street food, you’ll likely see hundreds of tourists hitting up vendors for cheap goods during your Cancun vacation.   

While most vendors are honest locals just trying to make a living, many operate illegally, too.   

This is why officials are cracking down on beach vendors in Cancun to improve the tourist experience, according to the director of Commerce and Services at public roads, Jesús Alberto Ayuso Magaña.

Vendor Selling Colorful Blankets on a Beach

What It Means For Beach Vendors To Operate Illegally 

An illegally operating beach vendor is one who does not have a permit to sell goods on the beaches of Cancun.   

Permits are given to vendors by authorities as a way to control how many vendors are operating in a particular destination.   

It’s a way to address the overcrowding of vendors, which takes away from the overall tourist experience.   

vendor on beach

The Safety Factors to Consider 

While it may not seem like an illegal beach vendor is the tourist’s problem to deal with, there is a safety factor to consider.   

Beach vendors that don’t carry the proper permits have likely not been vetted in any way by local officials.   

The lack of a permit also means that there is no accountability or way to track a “vendor” if you have a bad experience to complain about.   

Hat Vendor on a Playa del Carmen Beach

Safety Tips For Buying From Beach Vendors 

Because you can’t really tell a legal vendor from someone with ulterior motives posing as a beach vendor, there are some safety precautions to take when buying from one.   

In the past, although very rare, fake “vendors” have robbed tourists, executed bill-switching scams, offered drugs, and committed other petty crimes.   

For this reason, it’s important to keep some spending money separate from your wallet to be able to pay for items.   

Additionally, you should refrain from giving anyone too much information about where you’re staying or what you’re doing.   

vendor sells hat on street

What Officials Are Doing About Illegal Beach Vendors  

Every day, officials are touring Cancun’s beaches, looking for illegal beach vendors.   

They patrol the beaches throughout the day between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm.   

Due to the busy spring season that is now underway, during which the beaches will be packed every day in Cancun, officials are increasing surveillance on several beaches.   

Beach Vendor and Municipal Police on a Beach in Isla Mujeres

Most Common Items Sold By Beach Vendors 

Beach vendors in Cancun sell a wide range of items, ranging from food and beverage items to souvenirs and beach necessities.   

Water, cups of fruit, coconuts, chicharron, and candy are popular food items found on the beach, and you may even see oysters being shucked out of a vendor’s cooler, although you might want to be careful of that one on a hot summer day.   

Other items commonly found are jewelry, hats, sunglasses, sarongs, bandanas, towels, and local craft items.   

Vendors on a Beach in the Mexican Caribbean

Cancun’s Busiest Beaches Where You’ll Find Beach Vendors 

Cancun has a lot of beaches, some of which are much busier than others.   

The most popular beaches in the Hotel Zone are where you’ll find the bulk of the beach vendors.   

Playa Langosta, Playa Tortugas, and Playa Delfines are three of the Hotel Zone’s most popular beaches. 

vendor selling on beach

Other Places To Find Souvenirs And Street Food 

If you don’t want to chance to buy souvenirs and street food from beach vendors, you can still get that experience by visiting one of the local markets.   

Mercado 28 and Mercado 23 are both great places to immerse yourself in the local culture and shop for some great food and other items.   

If you do want to buy from actual beach vendors, though, officials are working to make it an even better experience. 

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Sunday 17th of March 2024

I don't have any problems with the vendors, especially when the OFFICIL PERMITS are so expensive and the poor vendors end up with no profit for their beach business. Focus elsewhere my friends.