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Tourists Warned Of Scams On This Popular Island Near Cancun 

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Cozumel, a beautiful island located off of the coast of Playa del Carmen, is a popular vacation destination for travelers looking for a tropical paradise to get away to.   

Known for its stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters, Cozumel is a haven for tourists who want to spend some time enjoying the Caribbean lifestyle.   

One of the things that tourists enjoy doing when visiting is touring and learning about the island, but due to pirate tour offers, tourists are being warned of scams on this popular island near Cancun. 

Tourist Area By the Water in Cozumel, Mexico

The Details On Pirate Tour Operators 

According to tourism officials, there are individuals on the island who impersonate real tour operators in an attempt to deceive unsuspecting tourists.   

Not only do these pirate tour operators not have the knowledge or training to operate tours, but fake tour guides also scam tourists in one of two ways.   

Those two ways are: 

  1. They sell tourists tours that don’t exist. 
  1. They harass tourists into buying their goods.   
@sincerelysammy make sure you do your research when travelling to a foreign country and stand your ground😩 #cozumel #dayinthelife #minivlog #travelvlog ♬ original sound – sam 🌱

Legal Tour Providers In Cozumel 

For those looking to take a tour of the island or one of the sites on the island, there are plenty of legal tour operators in Cozumel.   

More than 20 tour operators were recently trained and certified and will start providing tours along with the existing legal tour operators on the island.   

These tour providers have credentials validating their positions as tour providers and have been given safety training as well.   

@kenjahb Since we only had 4 hours to spend in Cozumel Mexico 🇲🇽, we had to utilize our time wisely! The trolly ride allowed us to explore the city and gain a little history at the same time! We booked this excursion directly through the Royal Caribbean app. #VoyagerOfTheSeas #FamilyTravel #MexicoCruise #TravelingWithToddler #CruiseFun #FamilyAdventures #ExploreMexico #CruiseTips #CozumelExploration #ToddlerFriendly #TravelInspiration #CruiseWithRoyalCaribbean #affordablecruise #affordablevacation #cruisereview #royalcaribbean #5daycruise #traveltips #cozumelmexico ♬ Good Times – Vin Music

How Pirate Tours Affect Tourists 

The effect of pirate tours on tourists is two-fold.   

This is because not only does a fake tour scam tourists out of their money but out of their vacation time too.   

Wasting time and money is not what anybody wants to do on vacation. oh do i have a story time for yall …. #fyp #viral #funny #rippedoff #ripoff #mexico #cancun #cozumel #vacation #vacay #foryou #xyzbca ♬ sonido original – Pelon Mendoza

What Tourism Officials Say 

Tour guide representative Meises Mendez Balam commented on the effect pirate tours have on tourists.   

Balam commented, “It’s very unfortunate, we know that some tourism workers have information, speak fluent English and do a good job, but there are others who do not tell or do not have correct information and invent stories of the island that do not correspond to reality.”   

Balam further stated that tourists are “intercepted on the main avenues of the first painting of the city and begin to talk to them about important data about the island, until they convince him to pay for a tour of some nearby monuments or sites.” 

Tourists Walking Around the Cruise Port in Cozumel, Mexico

What Authorities Are Doing About Fake Tours 

In the past, authorities have conducted tours of different areas to try to pinpoint the pirate tour operators.   

Tourism officials are requesting that these operations begin again.   

Additionally, the certification of tour operators helps tourists distinguish between fake and real tour operators.   

Municipal Police in Cozumel,Mexico at Christmas Time

Different Types Of Tours To Watch Out For 

The fake tours that are commonly sold by pirate tour operators are tours of the island and beyond and tours of certain sites and landmarks on the island.   

In the case of tours of the island the pirate tour providers might really provide a tour, but not only are they not certified to do so but don’t have the knowledge to teach tourists anything about the island either.   

In the case of landmark tours, pirate tour providers might sell a tour that doesn’t even exist or fake tickets to an attraction.  

@hotel_coz ADVENTURE AND NATURAL BEAUTY AWAIT YOU IN EVERY CORNER OF COZUMEL 😍✨ The jewel of the Mexican Caribbean awaits you with open arms to fall in love with its unique beauty. From white sand beaches lapped by crystal clear waters to vibrant marine life, this island will take your breath away. #VisitCozumel #Summer #CaribeMexicano #paradise ♬ Café Con Miel – Sebastián Romero

Where To Find Legitimate Cozumel Tours 

There’s one surefire way to avoid pirate tours, and that’s by finding a legitimate place to book a tour, rather than taking a tour offered by someone on the street.   

Sites like Viator, which sells all kinds of tours, and tour company websites are the best places to purchase tours.   

Many companies also have booths or offices set up on the island as well, where you can go and purchase your Cozumel tours in person. 

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This is Cozumel

Tuesday 5th of December 2023

Thanks for an important article highlighting the risks of buying tours from strangers, advice that applies for buying tours and services anywhere, not just Cozumel. Booking in advance online is a wise idea and allows you to check out the seller's reputation first, you can still buy local and help the island economy too, rather than booking with multinational sites that don't have local knowledge. With our Cozumel tour agency you will have a Local Expert available to help you make the right choice and can check our ratings and reviews on Trip Advisor, Facebook and Google before paying. You are guaranteed a great island experience and can feel good that more of your tourist dollars are staying in Cozumel too.