Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean are among the world’s most visited destinations, with some 25 million people visiting the region through Cancun airport alone. Despite its reputation for organized crime and drug trafficking, the Mexican Caribbean is a safe destination for visitors, although travelers should keep a few things in mind throughout their trip. We’ve rounded up the 10 top safety tips for your next Cancun vacation.
Stick To Well-Known Tourist Areas
Travelers should book their accommodation in well-known tourist areas, such as Cancun’s hotel zone as or Isla Mujeres, where law enforcement personnel and tourist police look after visitors’ safety. Organized crime is much more likely to affect off-the-beaten-path destinations away from resort and hotel districts.
Plan And Book Your Activities Ahead
From guided tours to museum visits, there are endless activities to choose from regardless of the season. To avoid scammers, travelers should plan their excursions and tours carefully and ahead of time online or through a reputable travel agency. Try to avoid street vendors selling tours, which are usually overpriced or outright a scam.
Avoid Walking Alone At Night
Nightlife is a big selling point for many Mexican Caribbean destinations. Although a night out in Cancun and Playa del Carmen bars can be fun, visitors should avoid walking unaccompanied at night, as they face a greater risk of pickpocketing. If you are traveling alone, stick to crowded places near the center.
Never Leave Your Belongings Unattended
Soaking up the sun at some of the top beaches in Mexico is a favorite pastime of many visitors. It can be easy to become carried away by Cancun’s white-sand beaches and crystal-clear tropical water, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings. The same goes for hotels, restaurants, and other areas where tourists may leave their items unattended.
Leave Valuables At Home
Pickpockets are always on the lookout for unsuspecting tourists carrying valuable jewelry and other goods with them. When going on your next Cancun trip, only pack items that are essential for your vacation, such as comfortable clothing and swimwear. As for cash, it’s a good idea to carry just enough to cover daily expenses such as food and entertainment.
Don’t Exchange Money At The Airport
Many tourists make the mistake of exchanging their dollars for Mexican pesos at Cancun airport. Though convenient, their rates are among the worst in the area. Instead, exchange just enough to get to your hotel, and exchange the rest in your resort or a local exchange bureau, which offer better rates.
Use Uber-Style Taxi Apps To Avoid Overcharging
With the growing number of taxi drivers caught overcharging tourists, many visitors opt for using more reliable means of transport, such as Uber-style apps. These alternatives allow visitors to book a ride beforehand, lock in the price, and receive a digital receipt. A note that ridesharing vehicles are not permitted at the Cancun International airport so book transportation with a reputable company before hand.
Purchase Travel Insurance Before Your Trip
One of the best things you can do before visiting Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean is to get good travel insurance. A lot of things can go wrong during your trip, or even before it begins, such as unpredictable weather. From lost baggage to medical emergencies, a comprehensive travel insurance policy will cover both material damages as well as medical issues.
It goes without saying that visitors should never use illegal substances while in Mexico. Although the Mexican Caribbean may seem like a laid-back party destination, violations of national drug laws carry harsh punishment, from fines to jail time.
Use Reputable Travel Agencies
Online travel agency scams have been on the rise in recent months across the Mexican Caribbean. Fraudsters target unsuspecting tourists with real-looking ads promising top-notch tours including luxurious resorts, lavish amenities, and action-packed tours for unbelievably low prices. If booking with a Mexican travel agency, make sure the business is registered on the Mexican Travel Agency Association’s registry.
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