Mexico is the number one beach destination for Americans going abroad, irrespective of the season.
Famous for its turquoise waters, booming resort scene, and tropical atmosphere, the country is just the perfect getaway for sunseekers year-round.
Safety, however, remains one of the main concerns for U.S. citizens vacationing out of the country, especially this year, when certain states South of the border have made headlines yet again for rising crime rates and gang activity.
Luckily for Americans, their favorite destination is still one of the safest amid Mexico’s well-documented battle against crime, and security there is set to be even tighter in the coming months:
Cancun Is Perfectly Safe To Visit
If you have a vacation to Cancun booked for the coming months and you’ve been worried about reports of violence coming from Mexico, you’ll be relieved to learn that the local government’s great stride toward reducing crime has paid off.
Last July, the city witnessed a considerable increase in safety initiatives, from the launch of new security operations to the introduction of a ‘tourism batallion’, with the sole aim of keeping tourists safe from gangs operating in the area, as well as pickpockets.
The results have been impressive: while Mexican states like Sinaloa and Colima have been issued a stark ‘Do Not Travel’ warning by U.S. tourists, Quintana Roo, of which Cancun is a part of, remains at only Level 2.
This means travelers are not discouraged from visiting.
Instead, they must simply observe a higher level of situational awareness, mostly due to scamming practices noted in the area and pickpocketing.
In terms of urban safety, in the eyes of the U.S. Department of State, Cancun is at the same level of traditionally safe cities like Paris and London.
The Hotel Zone Is One Of The Safest Places To Be
This is due to the city officials’ continuous work to improve safety around the busy Hotel Zone, where a majority of American visitors are based, and in tourist hotspots both in and near Cancun, such as the beach towns of Playa Del Carmen and Puerto Morelos, and the massively-popular Tulum.
Cancun authorities upkeeping the city’s security is paramount to its success – Cancun is currently one of the most sought-after beach destinations worldwide – and they have spared no effort in ensuring it stays on the right track, especially after ‘signs of cracks‘ appeared in their protective shield.
Crime had been rising in Cancun up until this summer, and as the Cancun Sun reported, not only ‘of a petty nature’.
The strengthening of organized crime has been a pressing concern, and though shootings and turf wars are mostly restricted to the suburbs, last year, they reached the Hotel Zone.
Shootings were reported within the resort strip between 2021 and 2022, and though only individuals with links to organized crime were targeted, the incidents understandably scared away some tourists and put hoteliers on high alert.
Ever since, the Government of Quintana Roo has taken no chances when it comes to the safety of visitors.
How Are Local Authorities Responding To Crime?
One of their most popular measures included an increase in patrols and K9 units in Downtown Cancun and the Hotel Zone, trained to specifically identify potential threats to tourists and help keep crime out of the touristy center.
Police have also increased surveillance in the Bohemian district, with random checks carried out at bars, nightclubs, and even restaurants, in hopes that their ‘visible presence’ will keep criminals away.
This seems to have worked so far, as no shootings have been recorded in the Hotel Zone this year so far.
Additionally, the ‘Safer Beaches Initiative’ has proven a major success.
It has enabled visitors to fully relax and enjoy their much-needed break basking under the Caribbean sun with the certainty the sands are being policed day and night.
Security units are comprised of local police, the aforementioned ‘tourism battalion’, the National Guard, and even agents of the Secretary of Citizen Security.
They have even cracked down on the infamous local aggressive taxis, who have been displaying violence when confronted with competition from Uber drivers, threatening them with 18 years in prison for altercations.
Whether it’s walking the bar-lined streets in the early evenings or strolling the beach at sunset, Americans have never felt safer than they do now in Cancun, as it is no longer an attractive place for criminals with such a strong police presence.
Cancun Is One Of The Safest Destinations In Latin America
Yes, crime has risen, as is expected of any global destination of Cancun’s ranking, but it still remains one of the safest destinations in both Mexico and the wider Latin America, a continent often plagued with political turmoil and civil unrest.
No destination in the subgroup has invested so heavily in and taken security as seriously as Mexico has, and Cancun’s enduring post-crisis success is a testament to that commitment.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com