Is it Safe to Travel to Cancun? Tip You Need to Know [GUIDE]

Ah, Cancun! One of the most beloved spring break and warm-weather getaway destinations close to home. Is it safe to travel to Cancun though? Although Cancun might have a bad rap recently, that shouldn’t deter you from visiting in the future.

Here’s a comprehensive catalog of current travel safety tips for a trip to Cancun, whenever that may be. Check out our other travel safety guides for other popular tourist destinations.

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blue outline of arrow pointing right Is it safe to travel to Cancun, Mexico?

Like many other locations around the world, Cancun has had its moments of negative press. Increased levels of gang violence and violent crime led to the State Department raising travel advisories, especially in 2019. Criminal activity is still high, but Cancun has less risk of kidnapping than other areas.

But… yes, Cancun is now open and safe to visit. Tourism is a major revenue source for Mexico, particularly in Quintana Roo state, prompting the government to enforce robust security measures for traveler safety and to sustain tourism. In addition, Cancun boasts lower crime rates than the top-populated cities in the United States. This should comfort those who opt for solo travel or even families with young children. 

The best way to ensure you’re out of harm’s way is to enjoy areas within the hotel zone (aka zona hotelera) and popular tourist areas, Cancun beaches, and Isla Mujeres –all guarded by heavy security. If you plan to venture outside this area, use caution to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Cancun Travel Advisory Information

Stay informed about any current advisories for increased caution that might affect your travel plans using the up-to-date links below.

If you plan on traveling to Cancun in the coming months, purchasing travel insurance can give you much-needed peace of mind. Look for coverages like Cancel for Any Reason in case the travel warnings are still in place or you aren’t able to travel. This specific benefit would allow you to cancel your trip for any reason at all (literally any reason at all!) and receive 75% of your expenses back, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

Cancun, Mexico area

Having other benefits such as emergency medical expense and change fee coverage can be advantageous when traveling. Many don’t realize that your major medical insurance provider won’t offer benefits in other countries, not even Mexico.

If you were to contract COVID-19 (or any other illness or injury for that matter) while on your trip, your travel insurance plan could reimburse you for the hospital stay and medical care you receive. Likewise, if you need to change your flights for a more safe time to visit, a comprehensive policy could cover the change fees to do so.

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blue outline of arrow pointing right Can I travel to Cancun right now?

Cancun is open for travel for all tourists. Review the links below for current resources detailing essential information for your trip to Cancun.

blue outline of arrow pointing right When are things reopening in Cancun?

Good news! Things like hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions are already open. The state of Quintana Roo has opted to implement the Mexican Caribbean Clean & Safe Check Certification program for all tourist-affiliated businesses to ensure well-being and safety guidelines are being met.

Currently, beaches are open to tourists. If you have an upcoming Cancun trip, check with resort or hotel staff to see if you’ll be able to enjoy the beach safely while away.

Playa del Carmen near Cancun, Mexico

blue outline of arrow pointing right Can you travel to Cancun without a passport?

Prior to 2010, this was possible. However, since then, it has been required that all those entering Mexico from the U.S. must present a valid passport, not just a passport card. This is important, otherwise, you might not be able to officially enter the country. For less hassle, also double-check prior to departure that you have one blank page per stamp when traveling to Cancun, Mexico.

blue outline of arrow pointing right Travel guide for Cancun

Below you’ll see specific tips on how to get to Cancun, Mexico safely. We’ve also included some entertaining activities to try for inspiration!

Air Travel

Check out the full Cancun airline directory for reference to available itineraries.

Car Travel

Note that if driving at least 12 miles beyond the border of Mexico, a temporary import permit is mandatory if your car is registered in the U.S. Save some time going through border control by having the necessary requirements such as your passport or passport card, an entry permit, and valid proof of vehicle registration.

When considering renting a car in Mexico, be cautious about the requirements and determine the necessary rental coverage. Similar to the U.S., a renter must be at least 25 years old, have a valid credit card, and have had your license for at least two years.

In regards to coverage though, it can help to at least purchase civil liability Mexican car protection so you aren’t stuck in Mexico needing to pay the cost of accident damage. If your comprehensive travel insurance policy had rental collision damage coverage, then you could additionally file a claim for any of the expenses you incurred due to the accident.

If you’re not the most experienced driver or your anxiety is easily spiked when on the road, you may opt out of driving in Mexico altogether. Drivers from here can tend to be laid-back in their approach on the road, which could seem more intense than U.S. drivers. Before starting off your adventure, be sure to brush up on some important differences you might see when driving in Mexico to avoid any mishaps.


Rest assured that each hotel must obtain “Health First” certification before reopening to alleviate concerns about safety and sanitation efforts. We’ve found the accommodations and resorts that have been certified and are currently open for tourists.

If staying at a hotel or resort still doesn’t clear your apprehension, try booking a vacation villa in the Quintana Roo area. Some of the perks include added privacy and a higher ability to maintain cleanliness. Plus, you can insure your vacation rental under your travel insurance policy in case of cancellations, stolen items, and medical emergencies.

Majestic Elegance in Playa Mujeres

Cancun Outdoor Recreation & Excursions Ideas

Want all-around fun for everyone on your trip? Spending your days at Xcaret by Mexico is sure to create lasting memories due to its parks of all kinds (water, theme, amusement, eco-archaeological, and more!). If you fall in love with Xcaret and don’t want to leave, just book a room at Hotel Xcaret. If you book the All Fun Inclusive option, you’ll get access to various parks plus transportation!

Another option for those adventure and water sports lovers is Garragon Natural Reef Park. Looking for an adventure? Try snorkeling, zip-lining, sport fishing and even sailing here. Don’t feel left out if you like to soak in the sun. They have hammocks, lush greenery, and stunning ocean-facing views for you to relish in as you relax.

If you already have your hotel plans sorted out, but want to see the sights, booking a private tour from Cancun Elite could be the answer. This company is a gold mine for travelers who love to learn the history of a destination or prefer a bit more adventure. For example, they have day tours to the Riviera Maya region, including Tulum and other dolphin experiences. However, if you plan on doing more tours outside of Cancun, it might be worth it to find a vacation rental in one of the Riviera Maya cities for more flexibility to explore and be a tourist.

blue outline of arrow pointing right Cancun Travel Tips

Is Cancun a family-friendly destination?

Cancun is a destination that offers a wide variety of kid-friendly activities and tours. If you have some safety concerns though, just plan to stick to the area referred to as the hotel zone and opt for hiring a guide if you venture out anywhere else. The hotel zone includes the areas along the arch of white sand beaches, away from downtown Cancun.

What traveler would appreciate traveling to Cancun the most?

Based on the attractions and amenities available, Cancun is a great area for families to visit. Those who are searching for new sights, experiences, and even adventures will find a treasure trove of opportunities to make memories here.

Cozumel, Mexico

blue outline of arrow pointing right What’s Next?

Yonder hopes this guide helps you make a more informed decision about planning your next adventure. We realize there are various risks to taking a trip domestically let alone an international one. That’s why we included information about travel insurance. It can save you thousands if you nix your trip or if something else unexpected comes up.

Once you make your first trip payment or if you’re even curious about how much a policy costs, you can run an instant quote on our website to get a feel for insurance and the prices.

As a seasoned professional with over five years of experience in the travel insurance industry, Meagan has honed her expertise in marketing and operations working for Yonder Travel Insurance. Throughout her career, she's shown dedication assisting customers at every stage of their travel insurance journey, from the initial quote process to navigating the claims process. Her expert understanding of travel insurance equips her to provide unbiased and valuable insights, which help travelers find the best coverage and maximize its benefits.

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