When choosing a travel destination, safety should be a top priority. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, you should know if staying in a resort is safe. Before traveling, you will need to know what areas are safe and what kind of commonsense precautions to take before and during your travel.
Table of Contents
Are Mexican resorts and hotels safe?
- Choose a Safe Area
- Before You Go
- Excercise Commonsense Caution
Are Mexican resorts and hotels safe?
Mexico resorts are safe to travel to as long as:
- You stay in a reputable resort within a safe area
- You exercise commonsense caution
- You check with travel experts about current information
- You do a check state travel advisories
While some travelers are seasoned or just willing to take the risk, others want to plan for fewer curveballs. The vast majority of resorts are perfectly safe in Mexico. However, there are some areas in Mexico where the resorts themselves are perfectly safe, while the surrounding areas are not.
Generally speaking, Mexico wants to maintain its reputation for having safe resorts. Safety is a top priority for these resorts because, after all, they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them, so to speak.
Mexico was the second most touristed country in recent years, with more than 51 million tourist arrivals.
Of all the options for accommodations, resorts are one of your safest lodging options. They maintain a high level of around-the-clock security and most amenities cannot be accessed without a registered key card. The restaurants generally use high-quality ingredients and are held to high health and safety standards.
There are extra precautions that you can take to ensure that your trip is as safe as possible, which we have outlined below.
Choose a Safe Area
First and foremost, your resort should be located in a safe location. Due to many variables; disparity in socioeconomic levels, lack of infrastructure, and historical drug trade, Mexico has some areas that are considered safer than others.
Particularly safe areas with many resort options are Cabo San Lucas, Playa Del Carmen, and Cancun. The latter two reside in the state of Yucatan, which the Mexico Peace Index rated as having the lowest crime rate in all of Mexico. In fact, the homicide rate in Yucatan is currently two homicides per 100,000 residents. This is comparable to the same rate in Evansville, Indiana, or Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
If you feel safe in these areas, then Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum should also make you feel safe.
Before You Go
Do You Own Research
Check the resort’s website before booking. Look at the facilities in the pictures and make sure it looks properly enclosed and secure.
Also, check reviews on booking sites. Fellow travelers have the most honest insights. Someone noting concern or leaving an anecdote about a safety issue should be a red flag.
Check-In With Travel Experts
In recent years, various concerns have been raised about staying in resorts in Mexico, from food safety, spiked drinks, and in rare cases, violent crimes. Most of the incidences are few and far between.
As with any new destination, you should carefully check in with respected resources to determine the safety of the area. There are a few great travel experts that keep up-to-date information on different areas of Mexico.
Another great resource, Travel Safe Abroad, breaks down their warning into even more specific categories by the state and city level in Mexico. It has a high, medium, and low warning system for these categories:
- Overall Risk
- Transport and Taxi Risk
- Pickpockets Risk
- Natural Disasters Risk
- Mugging Risk
- Terrorism Risk
- Scam Risk
- Women Travelers Risk
- Tap Water Risk
Check Current Travel Advisory Status
Another excellent resource when evaluating the safety of a specific area in Mexico is to check the United States Travel Advisory status. They break down their warning system into these levels:
- Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions
- Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution
- Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
- Level 4 – Do Not Travel
In general, no matter how safe a resort is, it is worth rethinking your travel to a particular area of Mexico if it finds itself at a Level 4 designation. This label is given due to both the local conditions and the State Department’s limited ability to provide consular services.
Typical reasons for being listed on any level of the advisory system are due to high incidences of violent crime, kidnapping, gang activity, drug trade activity, and extortion.
Mexican states currently listed at Level 4, “do not travel” status:
Mexican states currently listed at Level 3, “reconsider travel to” status:
Mexican states currently listed at Level 2, “excercise increased caution” status:
- Baja California Sur
- Mexico City
- Nuevo Leon
- Quintana Roo
- San Luis Potosi
Check-In With Knowledgable People
Ask someone who knows about the area you are staying in, even if it is just for advice about the safest ways to get around. Check-in with a fellow traveler, concierge, or trusted tour guide operator.
Arrange Your Travel Routes Beforehand
Be sure to know your route and method of transportation to your resort beforehand. Have the pesos in hand, know the going rates for transportation, or contact your resort for airport pickup. Many resorts offer this convenient resource, and it reduces the opportunity for occasional scams to happen.
Excercise Commonsense Caution
While many headlines about crime in Mexico can leave the typical traveler alarmed, incidents involving tourists are few and far between. Moreover, the headlines can feel unevenly weighted when you consider Mexico is made up of thirty-one states, and most of the crime is concentrated in certain areas.
Here are some commonsense tips for traveling to resorts in Mexico.
Stick To The Resorts Beach Area
Most resorts, but not all, have private beach areas closed to the public. Try to choose one that is only open to fellow resort goers, as they tend to have the most vigilant security.
Leave Jewelry At Home
Leave the bling behind if you don’t want to attract unwanted attention for the rest of the week. However, if you do decide to bring along jewelry, the resort’s safes are there for a reason.
Don’t Walk Alone At Night
While this is commonsense anywhere, it is worth reminding fellow travelers to stay in well-lit areas and avoid doing so alone.
Keep An Eye On Your Drink
Watch what you are drinking. This is a good habit in any bar, club, or restaurant. Be sure your bartender is using brand-name alcohol that is the right color. Stop drinking immediately if anything tastes off or you feel off. Even safer, opt for a bottled drink that is opened in front of you, like beer or wine.
While not common, there have been incidences of spiked or tainted alcohol, resulting in unfortunate incidences in recent years.
Don’t Leave Personal Things Unattended
It should be a good habit to leave valuable electronics, money, or jewelry back in your resort room safe. Better safe than sorry, and your room is just steps away if you need anything.
Refrain from telling anyone but trusted friends and family where you are staying, including your room number. Also do not disclose how long you will be staying or your plans unless it is a trusted person. This includes tour operators or people you meet on the beach. In this case, less is more.