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This City Near Cancun Is One Of The Safest Destinations In The World

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When it comes to safe destinations for vacation there are many places that come to mind, from the super-safe streets of Munich in the shadow of the Alps to Seattle, Washington — but this city near Cancun is one of the safest in the world.

Merida sign in front of a church in mexico

There is no shortage of beautiful spots to explore across the world while also being super safe and worry-free.

But a quick look through the many safe destinations across the world can paint a depressing picture if you love warm weather and habanero hot sauce.

And that’s where Merida in the Yucatan comes in, a city that manages to put the safety situation of not just Mexico but also the United States and Europe to shame.

Just How Safe Is Merida?

Not only is Merida the safest city in Latin America, but only one city in all of North America manages to beat Merida on safety, and that is the chilly Quebec City.

That’s a stat that should be allowed a minute to sink in. Travelers should think of the safest place they have ever visited in North America, and then remember, Merida is still safer than there! (Unless you’re Québécois of course).

A look at Merida’s crime statistics can be surprising at first to those not in the know, as it manages to rank from ‘Low’ to ‘Very Low’ on every single crime metric recorded.

Cathedral in Merida from the air

Most telling is the statistics where narcotics are concerned. While millions of people visit Mexico each year to enjoy its fantastically friendly tourism offerings, the negative side of the country, violence spurred on by the consumption and sale of narcotics, is always placing itself front and center.

Well, that’s not the case in Merida. Here, the metric that measures the consumption and sale of narcotics is lower than pretty much every U.S. and European city!

Merida is a sober reminder of exactly what type of country, culture, and people Mexico belongs to when the negative influence of narcotics is removed.

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A church in Merida at night from the air

Is It Good For Travelers?

The answer to this totally depends on what type of traveler is visiting; like any destination, it isn’t right for everyone.

If all a traveler has on their mind is strawberry daiquiris and white Caribbean sands, then Merida is the wrong choice.

A man and woman in traditional Yucatan dress

But if the authentic experience of true Maya culture, not just in the form of ancient ruins, but in the experience of the modern Mexican Maya people and their evolved culture and cuisine is what appeals to a traveler, then this is the true north for that exact experience!

Tulum is beautiful, Cancun is a super-resort-filled destination, and Playa del Carmen is the more chilled-out little brother of Cancun, but they all share one thing, they have evolved to serve tourism.

Merida is another story. Merida hasn’t evolved to serve tourism, it has simply opened its doors and welcomed those who want to see the best Mexico and the indigenous Maya culture has to offer.

A Mayan monument in Merida

The Perfect Base

For the adventurous, Merida is a perfect base to explore the south of Mexico.

The famous Chichen Itza ruins are just 1 hour and 45 minutes away by road, with regular bus services running all day at a fraction of the cost found in Cancun.

Progreso beach with small fishing boats

A similar drive southeast will bring travelers to the fantastic city of Campeche, and if travelers do want a day or two relaxing at the beach, the Yucatan coastline and its beautiful beaches are less than 40 minutes away by road.

In fact, the beach at Progreso is one of the most beautiful in the country and notoriously clean.

This is a favorite stop for cruise ships, so the tourism economy is well-developed here, with restaurants and bars lining the beachfront while also retaining its Yucatan charm.

The progreso beachfront with sun loungers and palm sun shades

The Perfect Place For Families

Experiencing other cultures can have a super positive influence on young people, opening their eyes to a world beyond their own, but as parents, it can be difficult to balance those new experiences while also protecting their safety.

Merida takes away all the worries about safety and leaves nothing but good memories for those who are lucky enough to visit this beautiful city!

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Sunday 23rd of April 2023

Who writes this crap? Merida is NOT "near" Cancun: it is 4 hours away. And Progreso, while a decent beach, is NOT "one of the most beautiful beaches". Shame on you for your hyperbole and misleading nonsense. Either you are genuinely ignorant of the facts of these places, or knowingly propagating fluff nonsense.


Wednesday 26th of April 2023



Wednesday 26th of April 2023


In a country the size of Mexico, 4 hours is a nearby city.

And Progreso has been improved a hell of a lot in the last several years, we visit often when we go to Merida (Which we take a bus to from Cancun airport each year as it is indeed close by)

Try not to take life so seriously, you'll have an aneurism.

Ben Morris

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

@Jim, there's one word for people like you.

Robert Rodriguez

Sunday 16th of April 2023

I live in Cozumel and we own a resort I developed in 2000. But Merida has always been our go to city to experience the richness of the Mayan culture blended with the architecture of old Colonial Mexico, and the sophistication of Mexico City's night life.

This is a destination for the true explorer!


Thursday 20th of April 2023

@Robert Rodriguez, What resort do you own?