Skip to Content

Tourists Urged To Be Cautious On This Island Near Cancun Due To Lifeguard Shortage

Share The Article

Last Updated

A shortage of lifeguards on the popular island of Isla Mujeres near Cancun is causing concern among officials and travelers alike.

As a result, visitors are being told to follow important safety guidelines when visiting the sunny destination.

a white sand beach in isla mujeres

Despite its skyrocketing popularity, a considerable number of businesses in Isla Mujeres fail to comply with local regulations, which call for lifeguards and other safety protocols to protect travelers in the vicinity of beachfront establishments. 

This winter, Isla Mujeres is once again one of the most popular resort destinations in the Mexican Caribbean and boasts some of the best white-sand beaches in the region.

@liana__f Little trip to beautiful #islamujeres 🌴 #travel #beachvibes #beautifulplaces #natureaesthetic #ocean #traveltiktoks #beachaesthetic #beautifulday #aestheticvibes #mexico #video #love #travel ♬ PRETTY BOY FLOW – STURDYYOUNGIN

With that in mind, here’s the latest on beach safety in Isla Mujeres this winter and what travelers can do to stay safe.

Concern Grows Over Lack Of Lifeguards On Isla Mujeres Beaches

Isla Mujeres is the most popular island destination in the Mexican Caribbean, welcoming hundreds and thousands of travelers per month during the busy high season.

Although hotels and resorts across the island tend to see occupancy rates of over 80% during peak travel times, this year, many properties in the idyllic destination are struggling to find enough lifeguards.

@islamujerestips Siempre que voy a mayan beach club me siento en casa 🫶 . El staff es muy amoroso , la comida deliciosa , las mejores puestas de sol 😍 . Las cenas al atardecer son un MUST DO en isla mujeres . Un beach club familiar y hermoso para conocer ! #islamujeres #islamujerestips #islamujeresmexico #islamujerescancún #islamujerestiktok #islamujeres🌴 #caribemexicano #islamujeresmexico♥️🌊 ♬ Rockin – Chris Alan Lee

One of the most important measures in place to protect travelers is the Law on Aquatic Safety, which sets out a number of standards in terms of beach and swimming safety.

The law, which is in effect across the island, stipulates that all businesses that are located next to a body of water must have safety guidelines in place to prevent drownings and other risks.

According to experts from the local civil protection agency, only a handful of tourism establishments in Isla Mujeres meet the legally mandated lifeguard regulations. 

@smashleyfouts Mark is always the main character 😜 beach credit @Janae & John 🏝#islamujeres #islamujeresmexico #islandvacation #vacationmode #vacationspots #beachessentials #beaches #shein #sheinhaul #ltkswim ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

A new report from the same agency shows that even businesses situated in the popular Playa Norte and Playa Centro lack enough on-duty lifeguards, potentially putting travelers at risk during the busy high season. 

And with travel to Isla Mujeres projected to skyrocket over the coming months thanks to growing passenger traffic at Cancun International Airport, travelers are being told to swim at their own risk. 

@serena_villani Isla Mujeres Voted Best Island Destination In Mexico🏝️Do you agree? #mexico #islamujeres #traveltiktok #bestbeachesintheworld ♬ Renaissance (Main Title Theme) [from "The White Lotus: Season 2"] – Cristobal Tapia De Veer

While not all smaller businesses like bars, restaurants, and tour companies may offer sufficient first aid equipment, the situation is better for hotels and resorts on Isla Mujeres.

Home to dozens of stunning all-inclusives, most properties increase the number of lifeguards present on private beaches during the busy high season. 

Meanwhile, officials have stepped up efforts to protect travelers during the Christmas holidays and New Year, with more law enforcement personnel watching over travelers across places like Cancun and Isla Mujeres. 

@girlxdeparture Isla Mujeres is just a 15-min ferry ride from Cancun. Making this island the perfect day trip or quick getaway from Cancun. 🏝 #islamujeres #cancunguide #mexicotravel #mexicotravelguide #cancun2023 #playanorte #islamujeresmexico #islamujerestour #beachvacation #vacationmood #cancuntravel ♬ оригінальний звук –

Follow These Tips On Your Next Isla Mujeres Getaway 

While Isla Mujeres remains one of the safest beach destinations in the Mexican Caribbean for travelers, it’s still important to be mindful of essential safety tips, especially when it comes to swimming.

Travelers are advised to check the weather forecast prior to heading out to the beach. Wind, rain, and ocean currents can all affect beach safety, and travelers should have a plan B in case bad weather strikes. 

@leoniechristien Isla Mujeres in one day.🐚 #islamujeres #mexico #mexicoislamujeres #islamujeresmexico #daytrip #mexicodaytrip #mexicoplaya ♬ Del Mar – Solo Version – Ozuna

Just like in Cancun and other beach destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, travelers should pay close attention to color-coded flags on Isla Mujeres beaches, which indicate the safety of swimming conditions. 

While a green flag means it’s perfectly safe to swim, a yellow flag suggests slightly riskier conditions due to stronger winds or waves. Avoid swimming during a red or black flag, as those indicate dangerous conditions.

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties

↓ Join the community ↓

The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean


Subscribe to our Latest Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.