The issue of security in Mexico It is one of the factors that most worries the traveler who arrives in Riviera Maya. Many visitors ask about the safety of the area, is it a safe destination, can I travel by free, what should I worry about?

Cancun and Riviera Maya is a very small area of ​​all of Mexico, but it is very important because it receives a large number of visitors throughout the year. One of the great doubts of the foreigner to visit Mexico is to know about security.


The news in the media about violence in Mexico they are not the most encouraging for the traveler, and it is usual for many tourists who arrive at Riviera Maya The security issue worries them.

From the outset to say that Mexico is a huge country with a very wide range of situations, being the area of ​​the Yucatan Peninsula, where is Riviera Maya, an estimated destination as safe, something that interests those involved in tourism businesses and is agreed.

Size Mexico with respect to Europe. Source

It's this entry it's just about trying to see the reality that can affect you as a tourist in the Riviera Maya area, in Quintana Roo. The states of Yucatan and Campeche are much safer than neighboring Quintana Roo. These three states form the Yucatan peninsula.

The destination of Riviera Maya and its characteristics:

Riviera Maya is prepared to receive and treat with care the tourism, is destiny of big hotel complexes, where the interests turn in favor of powerful tourist companies. Much of the Mexican Caribbean is organized to package tourism with plane + hotel, the famous all inclusive. The striking offer of archeological sites, cenotes, parks and activities makes most of them want to leave the hotel to get to know the area, it is estimated that they will make a family outing. The trips they are an important niche money for the tourism industry.

Once the visitor arrives at international aeropureto of Cancún, they pick you up at the exit, they transfer you to the hotel and the next day you have a presentation by your tour operator where they will talk about the excursions you can do. Well, in the transfer from the airport to the hotel several have told me that the driver or companion emphasize that much better for your safety that you do the excursions with them from the hotel, they say that renting a car is very dangerous, they recommend not to take taxis from the street (they are demons that are going to steal you).

In short, they make the newly arrived visitor afraid to do nothing outside their circle of economic interests. That is a good and comfortable formula for many, but not very ethical on their part.


Personally I do not like this policy of fear that inculcate in tourists just get off the plane, the one that I encourage you to move on your own or give you other alternatives is not to the liking of some, but I am a tiny insect within the great tourist infrastructure.

Security in Riviera Maya, Mexico:

In addition to these unfounded fears generated by the tourism industry itself, What is true about the security issue? I do not consider the area a dangerous place for tourists, the possibility of moving and travel by free It is easy, safe and simple.

UPDATED NOTE: In the year 2017 there have been internal conflicts between drug cartels and Government in Quintana Roo that have affected security in this area. It would be very imprudent of me to ignore them. As a tourist you probably won't even find out, but here they are in a territorial war.

That said, keep in mind that you're in a Touristic area, and as in all the jungles of humans there are dangers. There are dangers like shoplifting, scammers, the taxi driver ready, inflate prices with the accounts. So in addition to take basic precautions, here put a little more attention because the tourist is always a walking dollar, and between the sun, the constant smiles and the daisies one goes too relaxed.

Practical tips: Take a photocopy of your passport in a sealed bag, and store it in a different place than the originals. What's in the waterproof bag is very backpacking, but it has saved me from dipping the photocopies of my documents on occasion. Losing the documents is a roll, and the photocopy can accelerate the resolution of the problem. In the hotels there are usually security boxes.

Health hazards in Riviera Maya:

Sun and insects, Yes, you read it right. We come to Caribbean lands with the desire of the sun, and some manage to become like locusts and skins falling into strips. Protect yourself with a good hat and drink water to hydrate constantly, in addition to putting sunscreen on the whole body, biodegradable type much better.

And above all, traveler, do not forget protect yourself from bites of insects like the mosquito, that transmit diseases like dengue, chikungunya and zika. Surely this does not tell you much, but there are cases in the Yucatan Peninsula of these diseases, so protect yourself with repellent. The mosquito hour Fierce is at sunset and at dawn, at that hour better try to be in a closed place.

The aim is to propagate a conscience education in the population to prevent it, which is the best way to get vaccinated. In the hotels and in the towns they go to fumigate (personally I do not know which is worse the pesticide or the mosquito).


Warning if you rent a car in Riviera Maya:

Some friends who have rented car they have explained to me the tricks that are spent police to get money. The painful reality is that they see an easy prey for fine to foreigners in rental car. What should you never do? One is to skip the Speed ​​limits, on the federal highway 307, which runs through the Riviera Maya, there are several controls. Do not drive talking on the phone, and be careful to skip the semaphore in red, from amber to red changes very fast. Here are some tips for driving through the Yucatan Peninsula and as a dessert the anecdote that Cesar explained to me, a traveler with whom I became friends thanks to the blog:

«Before reaching the zona hotelera there was a control of police and they asked us what's always in the controls, where you come from, where you're going, when you go to Spain ... That was our last day because we we were going al day next and we told him that we we were going tomorrow to Spain and we told him the hotel where we were going. Well, just at the entrance to the hotel I stopped a car from the police and he told me he was going to 80 when the road It was from 60 and 70. The truth is that I it seemed Weird because he was going slowly watching the colored letters of Cancun in dolphins beach, looking for the hotel and other. He police me he asked the driving license and he went to his car and told me to go there.
I wonder when I was going and other and when I told him that tomorrow, he told me that I had to take my driver's license and that I had to pay a fine of 2100 pesos. That he had to pay the fine at the Cancun police station and collect the card there al day following. To which I said but if tomorrow I leave in the morning !!!! and I already it started to say then how to fix this ... because if you leave tomorrow ... I told him that the would see what I had to do and the he insistedI already knew about the bites and I caught him from the first moment but he made me the longuis and the he insisted. Well, I will you have to give something ... at the end of the fifth or sixth time he said it, I said, what do you want money ?, I do not have pesos because I'm leaving tomorrow, I only have 30 dollars left, and he told me you give me whatever you want because I do not I ask for nothing. I gave 30 dollars that I picked up his partner who was oblivious at all times to the conversation and told the other only this? The other answered what if he told me that I could go, they left ago and they got stoned ... flipante. »

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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