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Tourists Should Avoid Doing These Things When Visiting Cancun To Stay Out Of Trouble 

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Cancun is known for being a party vacation destination, and some tourists get pretty wild while visiting, maybe even a little too wild.   

In some cases, tourists, particularly American and European tourists, even get detained for not following certain laws, rules, and regulations.   

Police Officer Patrolling a Beach in Cancun, Mexico with Tourists in the Background

Just during the Easter holiday alone, more than 200 tourists were arrested for minor infractions.   

Here are what tourists should avoid doing when visiting Cancun to stay out of trouble:

Tourism In Cancun 

Cancun receives millions of visitors every year, and a fair majority of them are American travelers.   

The vacation destination is also very popular among Canadians and Europeans, but more Americans visit than any other nationality.   

Whether it’s for spring break, a vacation during the summer months when kids are out of school, or a trip to escape the cold during the winter, hundreds of thousands of Americans flock to Cancun every year.  

Travelers enjoying a stroll on Cancun's white sand beach

Breaking Laws While Visiting Cancun  

American travelers breaking laws while visiting Cancun isn’t a new thing.   

Sometimes this is due to a lack of knowledge regarding what is and isn’t legal, while other times, law-breaking is a result of drinking a little too much and ignoring rules.   

Ignoring some of these rules, and breaking certain laws, may not only lead to fines but arrest and possibly even imprisonment if the offense is serious enough. 

@shannoncaseygreen Police were CRAZY while on vacation! #cancunmexico ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

Administrative Offenses 

While some Americans have been arrested and fined in Cancun for more serious offenses, it is more common to see them commit administrative offenses.   

The more common ones are having open containers, being intoxicated in public, and urinating in the streets.   

All of these offenses are severely frowned upon and could lead to a fine, arrest by the Tourist Police, or worse. 

@mowglisince03 They don’t fuck around in México🏝 #cancun #mexicanpolice #mexico #fyp ♬ original sound – Luca Vukovich207

Tourist Police In Cancun 

It is not uncommon to see members of the various military branches walking around tourist areas in Cancun, but there are also Tourist Police.   

These are the officers you will likely see the most of in the Cancun Hotel Zone, patrolling the area to deter petty criminals from committing crimes.   

But it is also their job to keep tourists in line as well, and they will arrest you for administrative offenses.   

@mama.dunbar Protecting the tourists and making us feel safe! #hotelzonecancun #cancunhotelzone #cancunmexico #cancun2023 #cancuntourist #cancunpolice #federales #PoliciaFederal ♬ original sound – Mama.dunbar

Other Laws Not To Break In Cancun 

Being intoxicated in public, carrying an open alcoholic beverage, and urinating in the streets are not the only laws you need to avoid breaking when visiting Cancun.   

Driving while under the influence is a huge no-no, just like in the U.S., and possessing illegal substances can also get you in a lot of trouble, and although some tourists might think the laws on this are lax, that includes marijuana.   

Carrying a firearm in Cancun, and in Mexico in general, is also prohibited, and a number of Americans have been arrested for this.   


We were just tryna make a t!ktok 😭

♬ Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) – Kate Bush

What To Do If You’re Arrested In Cancun 

Being arrested in a foreign country is not something you want to experience.   

Communicating with family back home while being detained can be difficult, and the rules on punishment for certain crimes can be a bit obscure and random in Cancun.   

The best thing to do if you are arrested is to immediately have the U.S. Embassy or Consulate contacted to guide you on what to do and to contact your family for you.   

@tarshiejay Be safe in Cancun! Mexico Jail is a tourist scam!! Locked us up day one after searching and not finding anything 🫣 #cancun #mexico #foryou #fypシ #touristscams #fy ♬ Umm boy we had a time last night – Tyrenza Taylor

Laws In Cancun 

It’s difficult to know all of the laws in a foreign country, but typically they are not much different than at home in popular tourist destinations like Cancun.   

Simply be on your best behavior, just as you would in your own country, and you should be able to avoid breaking any laws while visiting Cancun.   

Because the last thing you want to do is have that be the memorable part of your Cancun vacation.

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