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Suzanne Barbezat

Is Cancun safe?

By February 27, 2009

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Screaming headlines about the drug war in Mexico, the US State Department's updated Mexico travel alert, and the high-profile murder of a Mexican military general and his aides, have brought up the question of whether or not Cancun is safe for tourists. Many schools in the United States are going so far as to warn their students to avoid Mexico for spring break, but is this really necessary?

There has been increased violence in Mexico due to the drug war, but most of the violence has taken place in specific areas, mainly along Mexico's border with the United States. The great majority of cases of violence, like the murder of the general who was involved in the war against drugs, have been between Mexican authorities and the drug cartels. So while you should take the travel alert seriously, and always practice general safety precautions, there's really no reason to avoid travel to Mexico completely. Mexico is a big country and there are plenty of great destinations where you can have a relaxing and fun vacation, and that includes Cancun.

Expat bloggers living in Cancun weigh in on the subject:

Are you planning to visit Mexico for spring break? Follow these spring break safety tips and have fun!
Comments
February 27, 2009 at 8:04 pm
(1) Andy74 says:

Hi i just came back from Cancun and everything was cool, you should just do as this article says common sense things.

Andy

February 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm
(2) RaysAdventures says:

At any popular tourist area you always have to keep alert because thieves are looking for unattentive targets. And if you are not associated with any drug cartel then you are not going to have any problems with that issue. Cancun is a lot of fun, enjoy.

March 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm
(3) Daniel says:

Dear…Cancún is so safe, because is not associated, whit any drug cartel…
I’ts the same problem with New York…Manhattan is safe, but the bronx not….

March 3, 2009 at 10:02 pm
(4) Goose says:

Just returned from Cancun in December from a family vacation, we were 7 people and all had a great time. Stay with in the hotel zone and enjoy the sun and beaches.

March 4, 2009 at 1:05 pm
(5) Sukhmandir Kaur says:

Thanks for your reassurance. I’ve had some misgivings as my son is planing a trip South of the Border soon.

March 5, 2009 at 2:51 am
(6) Dallas says:

A member of my church and her husband went to Cancun on their honeymoon few months ago. Booked a nice mainline “resort hotel”. Having drinks in the bar before dinner, they woke up; wife beaten and raped, husband beaten and robbed. Mexican police were more concerned with denying the assult than investigating.
Good luck going to Mexico.

March 5, 2009 at 9:35 am
(7) Suzanne says:

Hi Dallas,

Rapes and assaults occur in Cancun, as they do in other big cities around the world. If something like that should happen to you while you are on vacation, get in touch with the nearest US Consulate. Part of their mandate is to help US citizens in emergency situations.

I think it’s also important to take note that being in a resort is not like being in your own home. Just because you’re in a resort does not mean that nothing can happen to you. Avoid getting so drunk that you can’t keep your wits about you.

March 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm
(8) Frequent Tourist says:

I have been many, many times to Cancun and in general it is safe. The problem for kids is that drink cards are available at very low cost, all you can drink at several nite spots for a very low price for the week. Often IDs are barely looked at. So they become high risk for crime and date rape, as much from other tourists as from the locals. Although most drug dealers and pimps don’t approach groups or family types, they do approach single men esp., all the time. So if you have kids going down there, at least sit them down so they’re safe not sorry.

March 7, 2009 at 9:56 am
(9) Rays says:

My boyfriend and I are staying at the Riu Cancun hotel and resort in April 2009. Is it safe to still go there? Also, is it safe to go off the resort during the day or night? Please advise!

March 8, 2009 at 9:28 pm
(10) lb21 says:

Myself and a girlfriend are going to cancun the first week in may and staying in a resort? is it safe?

March 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm
(11) Jon says:

I am staying at a resort with two of my buddies in May; are there any precautionary steps I should take before going, regarding shots, certain travel items, etc.??? My parents are not to hot about the idea but I am a college graduate and the decision is solely up to me.

March 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm
(12) Venus says:

I am thinking about booking a trip for me an my girlfriend and I was wondering how safe for 2 women at ME Cancun resort? Plus, she likes to venture out in the evening and visit the nightlife at the clubs. Please advice..we were thinking of taking the trip in June.

March 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm
(13) gomexico says:

Frequent Tourist – you’re right that alcohol can be an important factor for people on vacation getting into trouble. That’s why it’s really important to party smart!

Rays, lb21, John and Venus – There has been no increase of violence in or near the resorts of Cancun. Cancun is not even mentioned in the updated travel alert put out by the State Department. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t go and have a great time. Just be cautious (as you should always be when traveling) and don’t drink so much that you’re not aware of what’s going on around you.

Please continue this discussion on our Mexico Travel Forum: Mexico Travel Safety Issues

March 13, 2009 at 3:21 pm
(14) Mike Mckenzie says:

You people have nothing to worry about. I have been to Cancun over twenty times and have never had anything less than a blast. I would suggest sticking to the hotel zone at night and don’t venture into the “drug” alleys. You will have a great time. Don’t let the bible thumpers tell you differently. Party on amigos.

March 14, 2009 at 12:11 am
(15) John says:

I have been to Mexico numerous times. I have in the past stayed in downtown Cancun. The local culture and traditional food there is better than the “hotel zone”. I have walked around there at night and not had any problems. I do not carry a lot of cash and take precautions.

I have been to Mexican border towns from California to Texas and know there is also a ugly side that is dangerous. That ugly side can spread if there are large amounts of money and drugs intermixed with poverty and official corruption. It is then hard to tell who are the good guys and the bad guys.

If drug wars are going on in the local area you plan to visit you are not “safe”.

March 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm
(16) Venus says:

Hi! Thanks for all of your comments and help!

March 17, 2009 at 8:36 am
(17) Colorado says:

I was awoken this morning by my brother on the phone in tears. He and a group of his friends are on spring break this week in Cancun. Last night they ventured out to one of the popular clubs downtown like all the spring breakers do. One of the girls in the group didnt feel good and needed to be taken back to the hotel safely. My brother offered. On their way to catch the bus my brother was knocked out and beaten as they took the girl. a search went on for hours looking for her. they even filed a report but the police down there did nothing. they returned back to the hotal and there she was. NO CANCUN IS NOT SAFE. NOT EVEN IN A GROUP!!! NOT EVEN WITH GUYS IN UR GROUP. WOULD U PUT UR NEED TO HAVE FUN BEFORE UR SAFETY???

March 18, 2009 at 11:14 am
(18) gomexico says:

Colorado, I’m sorry about what happened to your brother. Cancun is a big city and there is crime there. But please keep in mind that bad things can happen to you anywhere. You need to practice caution wherever you go. This is true of travel in Mexico and in big cities in the United States and around the world. I hope your brother was not too badly hurt and I’m glad the girl turned up at the hotel.

March 22, 2009 at 9:42 pm
(19) Commack says:

I am planning a trip with my grown children and grandchildren in August to Cancun. We are staying at the Crown Paradise Club, Cancun Q. Roo Mexico. Is this a safe area.
Can we leave the resort to shop at the mall?

March 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm
(20) devdevmarie says:

To the person staying at the Riu Cancun, you will have THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE! My husband (then fiance) and I stayed there April 2008 and it was the best time I’ve ever had anywhere. I’d go back to Cancun in a heartbeat and I wouldn’t stay anywhere but the Riu!!

As far as safety…we did leave the hotel to do some shopping during the day and we went to Senior Froggy’s for dinner one night. We were with a large group so we made sure to keep tabs on each other. I never once felt scared or in danger. It wasn’t any different than being in a large U.S. city at night time. You just have to watch your back. Just keep tabs on each other and watch your drinks and you’ll be fine. You’re going to have a blast!!!!

April 2, 2009 at 6:47 pm
(21) court house says:

I have been to cancun 4 years in a row and stay at the moon palace, there is no worries about your safety here. I cant speak for other resorts but this one makes you feel relaxed and lets you enjoy your vacation.

April 13, 2009 at 9:53 am
(22) gomexico says:

For more information and updates about travel safety in Mexico, please visit our forum: Mexico Travel Safety.

April 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm
(23) FormerGuadResident1. says:

From the US Dept of State:
Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel: Cancun is a fairly large city, approaching 500,000 inhabitants, with increasing reports of crime. Crimes against the person, such as rape, commonly but not exclusively occur at night or in the early morning hours, and often involve alcohol and the nightclub environment. Therefore, it is important to travel in pairs or groups, be aware of surroundings, and take general precautions. To protect against property crimes, valuables should be left in a safe place or not brought at all. If you are a victim of a crime, immediately notify the U.S. Consular Agency in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Cozumel or the U.S. Consulate in Merida at the telephone numbers provided below.

If you rent a moped or other vehicle in Cancun, it is advisable to purchase third-party insurance, as the insurance offered on some credit cards will not cover you in Mexico. Should you have an accident or cause damage to the vehicle, you may be required to pay the full amount of any repairs, in cash, as determined by the rental agency, or face arrest.

In Cancun, there is often a very strong undertow along the beach from the Hyatt Regency all the way south to Club Med. Already this season, several U.S. citizens have drowned when overwhelmed by ocean conditions. In Cozumel, several drownings and near-drownings have been reported on the east coast, particularly in the Playa San Martin-Chen Rio area.

April 16, 2009 at 10:08 am
(24) Patrice says:

I was just there in Cancun a month ago. I go every other month to Cancun and I have NEVER had a problem. I ride the buses and walk the stip of the hotel zone to the malls and no one ever bothers me actually everyone is always every nice and helpful. STOP SREADING RUMOURS WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!! THE MEXICAN PEOPLE NEED THE TOURIST TO DEPEND ON INCOME. MOST OF THE MEXICANS ARE HARD WORKING NICE HONEST PEOPLE JUST TRYING TO SURVIVE. I HAVE BEEN GOING THERE FOR 6 YEARS EVERY MONTH OR EVERY OTHER MONTH SO I KNOW BETTER THAN ANY ONE.IT IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO GO, AND LIKE ANY PLACE YOU GO YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.

April 16, 2009 at 5:20 pm
(25) Teresa says:

I am going to Cancun April 25th – May 2nd. Has anyone recently returned? Did it seem less crowded than in past years. I will do my best to be aware of my surroundings, but we DO plan on checking out the clubs. There will be 4 couples going and we do plan on staying together as much as possible, but you know how that goes with a lot of people.

April 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(26) luis says:

hello, thinking about going to cancun to see the ruins alone.. just concerned about the drug-cartel war..any advice?

April 22, 2009 at 9:03 am
(27) emma says:

Myself and my best mate are also going to cancun april 25-2nd may, staying at the viva oasis hotel. has anyone ever stayed there?
we are both in our mid 20′s and plan on checking out the clubs. is it safe to go? can anyone offer any advice please?

May 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm
(28) ghit says:

I went to cancun recently and it was safe. just don’t drink the water. i did see police on streets and stuff, tho. Overall, i woudn’t not go because you think it’s dangerous.

May 30, 2009 at 11:57 pm
(29) Eric Higgins says:

I am pleased to hear that so many of you had a great time.My son,unfortunately is not able to agree with you.He drowned at the Plya del Carmen about four weeks ago.He was 43 and had a family with a 6 year old doughter.My doughter in law was told that two weeks prior to my sons drowning there were 6 others.The beaches are dangerous and this fact is hushed up in the travel literature.I personally have been to Mexico for at least 20 times and could write a book about the good,the bad and the ugly of Mexico.
All I know I have lost my only son who was straight as an arrow and had two Masters degrees.
If you consider getting drunk on cheap Tequila and have some one night relations keep going.The odds will catch up with you.

June 4, 2009 at 8:39 pm
(30) TIffani says:

I am getting married March 2010 at the Moon Palace resort in Cancun, people are starting to back out of the trip due to some news reports on drug cartel murders and even safety issues resulting in deaths at many resorts. I have been researching and found lots of stories about kids being sucked into pool drains (that were not properly covered) or people falling down empty elevator shafts, and not given proper medical attention and left to die. Do they have the same safety standards, do the life guards know CPR? I know that murders and deaths happen everyday, everywhere, I am just trying to ease my guests concerns. I also have a 4-yr old that will be travelling with us, and have told everyone attending that we all need to constantly watch her like hawks, but if she starts running (as kids do) by the pool and slips and hits her head, do the staff know the proper medical procedures…or am I taking a chance?

July 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(31) janvy14 says:

my fiancee and i booked a trip to a resort called the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda. Its in the Riviera maya and 35 mins south of the Cancun airport. is it safe? has anyone ever been there? our trip is for the 1st week of august. thanks

July 3, 2009 at 8:58 pm
(32) Eddie says:

Our Family just returned from the Princess Resort in Plya del Carmen. We all had a great time. Even our two teenage kids had a great time. I had worried about swine flu, drug wars, drinking the water, before we left. I worried for nothing. If your concerned about MEXICO then stay at a good resort and don’t leave. They have gates and check all vehicles and passengers that go in and out. The serve bottled water and purify ice cubes. We had 9 persons in our group and no one got sick from the food or the water. The beach at the resort was great, no problems. But swim at your own risk, life guard was on duty, but with all the people in the water, not sure if one person on duty could see someone in trouble. In the evening no life guard on our beach. We had so many swimming pools at our resort, we only went to the beach two times. We took a cab to the Plya del Carmen market. Did a little shopping for souvenirs and gifts. Also had a great time. Shop owners are a little bothersome to try to get you to enter their shops and buy something. But you get used to it after 10 minutes. They all spoke English and all you have to do is say no thank you. I was having a great time joking with most of them. Police were on every corner (very safe) I never had a concern. You can buy drinks at bars or gift shops and walk into all stores with your beverage. The street was closed to all traffic. We also went on a dinner cruse in the evening in Cancun (45 minutes from our resort). No problems (except for the $120 per person was WAY OVER PRICED for what we got) but it is a resort town and you kind of expect to get gouged. We would not do it again because of the price. Our Safety was never a issue. Large Federal Police presence on the highway there and back. All in all we had a GREAT time. Would go back for sure. DON”T WORRY – HAVE FUN!

July 11, 2009 at 1:05 am
(33) Dave says:

Be aware that folks are often robbed by the local police — for example, there’s a 3 mph speed limit as you are ready to turn into the Cancun airport to return your rental car. Since it’s almost impossible to go that slowly, police stop a lot of people to pay the “Cancun airport tax” — essentially what amounts to the salary of the arresting officers. You can usually negotiate the fine on the spot, after they threaten to take you downtown and fine you $150+USD. After all, you’ve got a plane to catch and they know it. We agreed on $60, but some assertive folks have gotten it down to $20, I’ve heard. We were planning to make Cancun and destinations south of there a regular destination until this happened, but we crossed it off our list. We are trying Cozumel one more time, to see if it has also gone this way. We’ll let you know.

July 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm
(34) Alex Corral says:

I had read many of your comments about safety, war with drug cartels and so. But let me tell you something, Cancun and all mexican resorts are safe just as any othe resort in the world, yes, sometimes things happens as everywhere else. Just don’t buy all what news says. Cancun and all the state receives almost 9 million tourist a year from all over the world, is the mexican jelew. Would you beleive mexican authorities allowes bad people to do their mess here?? of course not. Mexicans are worried about cartels war, but finally is happening, now they all are going to jail and Mexico is becoming a safer country. So chill out! come to Mexico, the only things you have to worry about is to book your flight and hotel, the rest is only sun, sand and fun!!! Yes I’m mexican. SALUDOS!!!

July 29, 2009 at 10:52 pm
(35) Jenny says:

Has anyone visitied Crown Paradise Club in Cancun? What did you think???

July 30, 2009 at 10:58 am
(36) Joe says:

Jenny,
I have been with my family to CPC in Cancun. Great place for kids…mini water park, kids never wanted to leave. It was very secure. Main pool entertainment a little annoying, no mini bar in room, up on a hill, so you walk down steps to a very small beach area. Food was pretty good. We are going again next week.

August 14, 2009 at 8:31 pm
(37) D says:

Has anyone else started to notice…

every good trip story here starts with
“we stayed at a resort in the hotel district…”

every rape/assault/theft story starts with
“we went out to a nightclub and had some drinks…”

September 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm
(38) Angie says:

Just got back from Cancun October 2009. We stayed at the Royal Sands. Beautiful Resort….beautiful Beaches…ON THE RESORT! Young folks….Spring Breaker’s BE CAREFUL! The discotech’s as they all them have wrist bands you purchase for about 45 USD and this intitles you to “open bar”…AKA cheap, mystery alcholol….Im 43, my husband is 48…We watch these young kids come in, drinking whatever was given to them. Dancing with ANYONE…no, not all…but booze will make decision making poor. On the resorts there are always nice clubs…stay there and party. Even with an adult, or responsible party along, those places get SOOOO crazy. There is no way, even sobor you can keep trac of everyone. Tip..Dont rent a car. Dont say yes to the ones who offer Pot, or all the other illigel stuff (they could be working for a police officer),,,Stay on the resort…or, take excursions that are including transportation! Be SMart…it only takes one horrible bad decision. If it feels uncomfortable, dont do it!

October 7, 2009 at 7:24 pm
(39) Jessie says:

Hi,my name is Jessie. I am going to Cancun March 27th for spring break. Me and my group of 16 friends booked our trip through Student City. I personaly got TOTALLY freaked out by almost all of these posts. I want to know if anyone has heard of Studentcity being a safe place to go through vs privatly going or if it even makes a difference. I am totally freaked out and rethinking my trip.

October 27, 2009 at 11:17 am
(40) Steve says:

Anyone been to the Oasis Palm, we are going next month for a week, been to Cancun but it’s been years,plan to stay on the resort and just chill out, just recovering from some cancer surgery,want to relax,don’t think many party goers will be there in Nov?

October 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm
(41) KMcMillan says:

Will visit Mayan Palace Riviera Maya in spring 2010.
Anyone familar? What should we expect as a couple vacationing with a teen? Best places to go, see, do? How safe to take a resort sponsored tour to the Mayan Ruins near by? Thanks for any info or suggestions. KMcMillan

November 25, 2009 at 11:26 am
(42) single mom says:

Hi there, I am a single mother of 15 and 5 year old girls, we are travelling this winter to cancun alone the 3of us and staying at a resort, I have been hearing horrible stories about Mexico and am starting to panic whether or not I should travel alone with my two daughters. I don’t plan on leaving the resort or doing any drinking of alcohol or any activities without my kids, as I work so much and it’s our time to be a family alone but I beginning to wonder if I shoud cancell this trip and start looking for somewhere safer like Orlando.. This trip is bought and paid for already and I would hate to have to cancel it. Any advice??????

December 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm
(43) Larry Gantt says:

i have lived in mahahual mexico for the last two years. and I have never had a problem. I own a bar named loco rickys. So I have to go to playa del carmen and cancun often, just like at home there are laws and if you play by the rules mexico is fun in the sun come see us you will love it

December 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(44) Michelle says:

There are a lot of dangerous things going on in Mexico right now but even in areas with high advisory people will still venture out. College students will still go on Spring Break Cancun. They just have to be more cautious now-a-days. They have to follow all safety precautions such as researching the area they are going to, going with a group of people that they trust, never going anywhere alone, not carrying all of their money on them, etc. If US college kids are mature enough to go to another country, they have to have the sense to be smart. Cancun is a very fun place, I went when i was a freshman in college.

January 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm
(45) Mother of 18 year old son says:

My son was just drugged at a club on Sunday night. He was with a friend and these are both boys that are 6’3″ baseball players in college. His friend went to the restroom and when he came out my son was gone. My son woke up in a house and had been beaten and robbed. He got his bearings and ran out the door as fast as he could. Thank the Lord that he woke up and ran. He found a taxi and made it back to his hotel with hardly any memory. The police DO NOT CARE what happens to people. The hotel staff tells you that right up front and they are correct. They gave him a piece of paper and said to write down his story. That is it.

If you go to Cancun stay at a nice resort and do not leave it after dark. We were VERY lucky.

February 8, 2010 at 12:30 am
(46) single mom says:

I left a comment on Nov.25 asking if it was safe to travel with my two daughters alone. Well we have gone and returned and I can tell you that I never once felt in danger. I used my common sense. I was very worried before I left and swore I would not leave the resort. I ended up not being on my resort very much, as we did so many activities like swimming with the dolphins, jungle tour, captain hook cruise, going to the mall.. etc. we were always back at our resort for dinner and tired from our days of excitement we were in bed by 11. so in answer to is Cancun safe… absolutely…. just don’t put yourself in a situation that it may not be.. it was an awesome family vacation that we will always remember but if you are looking to go get drunk in an unfamiliar place… well then yes… you are taking the chance of puting yourself in danger.

February 24, 2010 at 8:04 am
(47) John says:

Just spent a week in Cancun at the Gran Melia Resort earlier this month and had a wonderful vacation! People are extremely nice and definitely make you feel very welcome. Always felt safe along the main strip in the hotel zone (Avenida Kukulcan) and even when I ventured out into town. The only warning… only drink bottled water… other than that, have a great time in Cancun!!
I would definitely return to Mexico.
If you’re into drugs and getting wasted then you’re definitely looking for trouble no matter where you go… whether it’s New York, Miami, or Paris.
Keep in mind everytime you light up your joint, snort a line, use a needle, inhale or smoke any type of illegal drug, you’re supporting the criminal mafia organizations terrorizing many Latin American countries… some people might say it’s their problem…but no, it’s not…it’s also our problem.. because my fellow americans and their insatiable appettite for illegal drugs are fueling this war and it’s getting closer and closer to our doorstep!!

February 25, 2010 at 10:52 am
(48) gomexico says:

Thanks for your comments! I’ve re-visited this issue (and quoted a couple of comments) here: Safety in Cancun.

March 14, 2010 at 9:50 am
(49) angelz629 says:

What about Cabo San Lucas? Is this place safe as well?

April 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm
(50) Terrified says:

do not stay at the riu hotel!!!!!! friend just was assulted there. Couple went out to a bar and they said that the cc they used was denied. brought them into the room made her sign a cc statement, boyfriend went missing for seven hours woke up in the hotel they were staying at in a unmarked room with his face kicked in. friend was waiting in the lobby for hours, they went in her room and ransacked it.he came down to the lobby realizing that he was drugged. Had to leave for the plane. This was a inside job!!!! It was timed perfectly. be careful

April 8, 2010 at 11:09 am
(51) Claire says:

Cancun is not safe!!!! We just stayed at the RIU CANCUN. My boyfriend got drugged, beat up, and was missing for 6 hours before he woke up in a room at our hotel with nothing in it! The hotel staff says the room has not had a guest stay in that room in months! This was an inside job at our hotel!!! THE RIU CANCUN!!

April 16, 2010 at 8:26 pm
(52) Observer says:

Anyone think someone might have a personal vendetta against the Riu Hotel??? Seems too coincidental that all of these people got drugged, mugged and or raped at this same hotel, and all posted on this same page!

April 17, 2010 at 12:44 am
(53) Suzanne says:

Observer, I assumed comments 50 and 51 were referring to the same incident. Commenter #20 loved the Riu, though.

June 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm
(54) Holly says:

Husband and I are flying to Cancun for extended weekend this month… Hearing mayor was shot… Drug problems.. human trafficking… Etc…We are staying at Sun Palace Resort— any comments or feedback are appreciated..

June 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm
(55) Jackie says:

I stayed at the Sun palace before the horrible hurricane when it was a family resort..it was wonderful….as far as now I am not sure but it is very nice inside…it is couples only and my mom and I could not stay there.
Moon Palace is very safe, next week I am going to the cancun palace to stay back on the strip because the bus is much cheaper than the taxi….DONT take the taxi bc they can say ok it is now 50 and not 20 or whatever…bus is like 75 cents US money for as far as you want to go. Staying at palaces you can eat at the other palace restaraunts free of charge!

June 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm
(56) Ed says:

I lived in Cancun for the last 20 years I have 2 Kids. I drink beer, I never did drugs, and I never will. So for 20 years nothing happened. My wife and I decide to travel to Miami for shopping, big mistake the 2 days we where there in the holiday inn 2 guys get in to my room beat me and my wife they take all our credit card and money and tell us our name and where we are from they say they was watching us and we don’t have to say anything to the police because some body else was going to kill us and our children, no thank you I prefer my country and I’ll never go back to Miami.

June 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm
(57) SD says:

I stayed at the Riu Cancun in January 2010, and it was honestly the best vacation I’ve ever been on. The staff were friendly and attentive, the people were so nice, and the atmosphere was absolutely beautiful. We even went to some of the nightclubs outside of the resort (just down the street) and they were great. I recommend visiting the Riu Cancun. Never once did I feel like I was in danger, and I plan on going back soon! I absolutely loved it.

June 18, 2010 at 11:36 pm
(58) Amanda says:

I went for spring break in march and stayed at the royal solaris. I’m only 18 and I went with my best friend and two guy friends. I had the time of my life!!!! The resort was very safe. I went to a night club every night till about 5 am and didnt feel like i was in any danger. Crime happens EVERYWHERE!! I felt safer in cancun than i did in philadelphia or trenton. Dont listen to all that bs. Go and have a great time

July 20, 2010 at 2:07 am
(59) Abigail says:

Am travelling to cancun in sept has it been affected by the oil spill?

July 21, 2010 at 10:22 am
(60) Ollie says:

Just returned from Cancun and a great vacation with the family. We were very relieved as we felt very safe! Use common sense, stay in main areas around lots of people, and maily be out when it is light and you shouldn’t have any issues whatsoever. And no, there is no oil on the beaches.

August 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm
(61) Joel says:

going to cancun for my honeymoon, been wanting to go since watching “The Heartbreak Kid” after reading some of the comments, i will most definitely limit my alcohol drinking. I wanted to ask if anybody has stayed at the GR Solaris in Cancun and if so how was the stay there?

September 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm
(62) Brian Hutchins says:

When I was in Mexico on a trip I loved it, the only thing that put me out was the auto insurance I had to pay for the car rental.

September 17, 2010 at 11:41 am
(63) Tobler Law says:

Thanks for the post! I agree, just use common sense, anywhere can be dangerous you just have to know how to be safe.

September 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm
(64) Carrie Mosher says:

Re– The RIU Hotels.

Clearly everyone has had their own personal experience there.

I was next door to the Riu Cancun, at the Riu Los Americas Palace recently. Much of my stay was uneventful and pleasant.

However, I had the unfortunate experience of falling asleep at the poolside, only to be woken up by a “towel boy” fondling my breast and kissing me. When I reported same to the management, was told that they all denied it (the towel boys) and that he (the assisant manager) understood that I had been social in the pool that day and had made some friends. Not sure why this was even mentioned, as it had no relevance whatsoever.

I felt as though they were too busy denying the incident and protecting themselves. I emailed a complaint to the customer service email upon my return home and never heard back and never will. I was worried about Mexico, but was told by most that if I stayed at a 5 star hotel–I would be safe.

Due to the hotel’s inability to be responsible and accountable for this incident, I am fearful of ever returning to Mexico. I can feel the undercurrent of corruption now, that I was blind to on a previous visit. If your visits are pleasant, you are unable to fathom how quickly things can turn against you, and the cover-ups that ensue.

September 26, 2010 at 5:27 am
(65) Quesito says:

Anybody stay at the Ritz Carlton? How is the Partying during the week in this area?

September 27, 2010 at 10:08 pm
(66) Jun says:

People just need to be more cautious it seems. Every city has it’s issues in certain areas, but that doesn’t deem the whole thing uninhabitable. So long as tourists keep a keen eye on their things and they stay alert to any dangers I don’t see a problem. I’m taking a trip there next summer and I am still excited!

October 4, 2010 at 11:00 pm
(67) Dubya says:

Any area is safe until your luck runs out. It just will run out sooner in bad areas than good. With so many alternatives to Mexico why even risk it? Sure, you can go and have a great time, although Cancun is really not that great a place, but why? There are so many better alternatives to Mexico where your luck won’t run out as quickly. Why do you think there are so many illegals in the U.S. If Mexico is so great, they wouldn’t be trying so hard to leave.

October 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm
(68) Nervous Travler says:

I was just wondering, what recent Cancun travlers have to say about wearing very sparkling wedding bands? My husband and I dont drink, dont do drugs, and are usually very alert travlers. We are traveling with a company group to Cancun very soon. However, for some reason I am worried about wearing my very expensive jewlery (wedding band). Does anyone have any feedback?

October 15, 2010 at 6:18 am
(69) Brian G says:

A group of us are going to Cancun in March 0f 2011. We are staying at the Great Parnassus resort. Any feedback on this hotel and the area would be appreciated. Thanks

November 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm
(70) Steve says:

I will be attending a wedding at a resort in Puerto Aventuras in April 2011. I have been reading the feedback and was wondering if anyone had a recent experience there; good or bad. I know the media has been all over the violence and it is concentrated in the bordertowns so some other guests are concerned. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

November 18, 2010 at 11:35 am
(71) Felipe Menendez says:

I have lived in Cancun for 14 years and I have not had any problem. Criminals do not target tourist and they are respectful of tourist areas. I would say that Cancun has the same crime levels than any other city of its size in the world.

November 19, 2010 at 12:04 am
(72) John says:

Actually Felipe, criminals most certainly do target areas with possibly rich people who can be ransomed away, or who don’t know customs.

Also, just to reiterate myself from the other page:
“One thing on sites like this that always bug me… these people saying they never “felt” they were in danger… are you all Spider-man’s kin? You don’t sense any danger.. if you did then NO crime would happen. You only sense threats when someone is hitting you on the back of the head.

Common sense doesn’t protect you from criminals, crime happens everywhere, and in some places much worse than others. Mexico happens to be pretty dangerous, and I bet if you ask the people who are mugged, shot, drugged, raped, and robbed if they felt any danger before hand, or if their common sense warded off the bullets and you would get the common sense answer of, “No stupid, we felt safe or else we wouldn’t have been hurt if you knew it was coming!”

So stop saying you felt you weren’t in danger, single person testimonials mean anything without real statistics. So sorry if I sound angry, but it is sensible to be concerned overall when traveling to a country with a proven corrupt government and law enforcement agency, and a drug war that is tearing two nations apart. So yes, travelers need to be concerned and if they are concerned than they need to know what real dangers exist so they can avoid them. They don’t need to be told that someone posted online, who could be dead now due to a car accident or other random thing.. hit in the head with a meteor… is saying they never sensed danger.”

December 16, 2010 at 1:43 am
(73) Cancun Excursions says:

I have been to Cancun 8 times and counting. I absolutely love Cancun.

I have NEVER EVER had any problems with safety in Cancun. However, when you are in another country, you need to be sensible. Many people go there and are rude and disrespectful to the Mexican people. This will not make you any friends.

If you go looking for trouble-it will find you-just like ANYWHERE in the world-even your home town.

Be aware of where you are and what you are doing. Don’t seem naive and uneducated about the area-do your homework-learn about the area.

Don’t go flaunting wads of cash, jewellery & expensive devices (cameras etc.) , that is just ‘stupid’. You shouldn’t do that anywhere!

Stay in groups of 2 or more at night.
Don’t drink more than you can handle-keep your wits about you.

Alcohol is plentiful in Cancun and it is easy to over indulge and become easy prey of someone who may have bad intentions.

And to all the young people out there, be respectful, don’t shoot your mouth off and go looking for trouble.

Always be aware of what is going on around you and where you are.

The resorts are beautiful and all usually have security at the entrances and patrolling the back properties at night.

Like I said, I have never had any issues in Cancun. It is an amazing place with beautiful beaches and water as well as amazing resorts and friendly, hardworking people.

Many times, it is the ‘tourists’ that are rude, demanding and obnoxious.

If you are like that anywhere, it will eventually catch up to you.

Get more great tips & secrets..

December 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm
(74) Cancun 4 You Travel Guide says:

Yes, Mexico is living an unusual wave of violence, but it is happening at the North of this vast country (Cancun is at the South) and it comes from drugs cartels disputes and government efforts to fight drugs.

So, it is not a general condition that menace to all the people, but only to those whom are involved in drugs or in war against them.

People from the Peninsula of Yucatan (Cancun included) are distinguished by their warm and friendly service to visitors, as well as by their kindness and promptness to help.

Tourists traveling to Cancun can feel themselves absolutely safe.

January 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm
(75) C says:

Have been to PVR and Cancun several times, no problems. I felt more uncomfortable and nervous on my first/last trip to Vegas

January 22, 2011 at 1:03 am
(76) KeepitReal says:

I visited Cancun last May and felt that it was very safe and friendly. I stayed in the infamous RIU cancun that has been mentioned on this site and I had a blast. The workers were super nice, friendly, and well mannered. The downtown area had a strong police presence. I was offered pot by one mexican downtown but it was a minor incident that did not taint my vacation, and something that occurs even in the nicest suburbs of America.
I did notice however that alot of tourists,in particular young Americans, were drinking a bit too much.I was unfortunate enough to see a young female blackout in the resort pool from drinking too much. She could have possibly drowned had it not been for the staff. I do not want to accuse any person who has been victimized, but it seems to me that individuals who do not control their consumption make themselves easy targets for local criminals and thieves (or even corrupt cops). If you are aware of your surroundings and respect the people and the area, chances are you will be okay. The more liquor you consume and the more disrespectful you get, means you could possibly be targeted. I have traveled to many places and I have honestly felt more uncomfortable in Paris than in Cancun. It is true that Mexico is going through a tough and dangerous time. Despite that, I believe that Cancun still remains a safe haven from any drug cartel turf wars, many of which are fought along the border, closer to the U.S. I know everyone likes to think their young son and daughter are super responsible. Realistically speaking, from my observations, young people go down there to party and drink. With that said we should probably reconsider before making biased accusations about a city which relies so heavily on tourism to feed its people.

January 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm
(77) anabelle Pinziati says:

It is not! I mean theres unsafe places and violence everywhere.. even in the states.. but it is getting a little out of control down there. My brother has been living there for 15 years.. so we used to visit for a month or two every year.. not anymore tho.. he is really just waiting to sell his house so he can come back to Europe.. extorsion.. kidnapping.. killing.. robbery.. is everyday news.. even though they hide most of this stuff from the media so that people wont get scared.. I was really surprised on our last visit.. i got 2 or 3 local papers a day.. to get an idea of the situation and i was like OMG.. and im sure that wasnt even half of the stuff that happens everyday.. I was also shocked at how easy is for drug dealers to sell drugs at the hotel zone.. is like they are selling candy! and the police are right there! so how can feel safe knowing they are being paid off by the cartels.. like they seriously run the city.. ask any local!.. there has also been even tourist robbed and assesinated at their hotel rooms!

January 26, 2011 at 3:15 am
(78) FLO' RIDA says:

The club cant even handle me right now!

February 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm
(79) Norma says:

Going to Dreams Puerto Aventuras in March 2011. Safe, we are not young. Thanks

March 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(80) KCBill says:

Rivergirl, haven’t seen any updates on safety around Cancun on your blog for awhile. Is everything the same as 2009?

June 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm
(81) powpow says:

My family and i plan a trip to cancun mexico for august 2011 but everyone i tell about going advise us not to, i am very nervous about this trip and is thinking what to do. Is it safe in mexico does anyone know?? i have butterflies in my stomach thinking about what to do. i dont want to put my family in any kind of danger and we certainly will not be reimburse for the hotel..

June 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm
(82) gomexico says:

powpow, I was in Cancun in April and it was great! I really don’t think you need to worry. Please read this: The Reality of Travel to Mexico.

July 25, 2011 at 10:22 pm
(83) Gigi says:

I just got back 2 days ago. Had no problems at all. Even went downtown to our favorite restaurant -Pericos! Wonderful place… Everyone should experience this restaurant! We went to several restaurants at the hotel zone with absolutely no problems. Didn’t see any unusual activity. Just use common sense. I didn’t think about doing any tours that involved going away from the hotel zone or the Mayan riveria. why would we go to the jungle??? What was sad to see is that this whole drug cartel thing had hotels down to 10% occupancy. Which means a lot of people aren’t earning incomes down there right now. The island was pretty empty. But the natives were gracious as ever and still went out of their way to make sure we had a wonderful stay again. I’ve going down to Cancun since about 1986. Wouldn’t change a thing. This is my destination of choice …always.

August 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm
(84) Bob says:

Hello everybody, I have been living in Cancun for the past 29 years I arrived as a 10 year old child and been witness of the spectacular growth of the city, in 1982 we were 40,000 people, now 960,000 people, concerning the question in this forum I can tell you this, over 10 million people came on 2010 and there were only 9 tourist related murders, this year over 5 million have come until now, 7 tourist related murders so far, do the math, I live here this is not made up like some of the posts I’ve read so far, so come to Cancun we are ready for you!

August 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm
(85) Bob says:

Specially for Anabel Pinziati,

Please don’t lie, that really affects us as a tourist destination, there are no tourist killed in their hotel rooms unless you are staying in a downtown red zone hotel which also never happpens, extortions rapes and kidnappings happens everywhere, Mexico is considered a dangerous country alldoe Mexico is the 13 largest country in the world, we are actually 1200 miles away from Mexico city which is where this violence starts and almost 2000 miles away from the most dangerous states, please stop lying and listen to the people that live here, not the ones that come on vacation and “hear” stories, I’ll give you 1000 dollars if you find something on the net that confirms people murdered in their hotel rooms in the last 2 years, common!

November 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm
(86) Millie says:

I just got back from a trip to Cancun for a wedding and I can tell you there is nothing to fear. I am very upset I did not get to book any site seeing tours due to the fear I had before arriving (you have to reserve a tour a couple of days in advance). I am a New Yorker who is fully aware of my surrounding and will not fall into a false sense of security. There were also guests at the wedding that frequent Mexico and are very well aware of the dangers in some areas of Mexico. They said Cancun is just fine (and that was my experience). You just need to exercise common sense, but that applies anywhere you go. I also want to mention that a few of us went to downtown Cancun for lunch and shopping, and as you can see, I am here writing about it. If you have a trip planned to Cancun, do yourself a favor and don’t cancel or have any reservations over it…just go and have a great time!

January 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm
(87) trotusbeard says:

Just got back from Cancun. I was drugged and woke up in a bloody bathtub to discover that both my kidneys had been surgically removed. Other that that I had no problems. GET REAL. If you feel unsafe in Cancun you shouldn’t be traveling.

January 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm
(88) Lola5 says:

The police are corrupt and when they are corrupt, you dont stand a chance in hell. Stay away from mainland Mexico and go to Cozumel. Its a totally different world over there.

January 21, 2012 at 10:32 am
(89) daisy says:

I am going to the Riu Caribe in May 2012, ive been researching on everything from what i need for the trip to staying safe while there. any tips from those who have been to cancun about things they did or maybe should have done to make it a safe enjoyable trip? thanks in advance for any responses:)

January 25, 2012 at 12:57 am
(90) Mother says:

I have been reading the remarks on this board and I would advise extreme caution when in cancun. My family stayed at the Great Parnassus resort in cancun recently. My daughter was attacked and sexually assaulted in our hotel room by a hotel employee. Could this happen anywhere? Absolutely. However, the Mexican authorities are a nightmare. The process of pressing charges was a horrific experience, and th consulate was minimally helpful. The laws are entirely different and the police station is a cesspool. If something happens, do not expect help or support from the authorities. Crimes against women are epidemic there, and not even the nicest resorts are safe.

February 18, 2012 at 9:54 am
(91) Paul in Buffalo says:

To Mother,

We are going to Cancun tomorrow and are very concerned, although trying to remain cautiously optimistic. If I provide my email address and/or cell phone number would you be willing to elaborate and/or provide travel tips?

Thank you.

Paul

March 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm
(92) thequeenmommy says:

my hubby and daughters will be going for our first trip to cancun. staying at the JW Marriott resort…am I worried? no, not anymore than any other vacation spot. the only thing that would cause any alarm would be the actual police force, in that they’re supposed to be there to help the populace. but one must remember that you must use your scuples! dont get drunk and obnoxious and think you’re going to be treated fairly! don’t have the “Im an American!” entitled attitude with the locals! remember, you’re in THEIR country! be respectful and mindful of your behavior and you’ll be fine! Ive seen first hand, young adults (and I use that term quite loosely!) acting a fool with a couple of shots of cheap liquor in them and being loud and aggressive and what do you expect? the welcome wagon? hello! you just called attention to some of the federales in the vicinity and are staring at their next “money bag”! be smart, dont wander in strange quiet areas, stay with the tourists, don’t stay out at night without people and please, keep a low key about yourself, dont be loud and out of control!…ok, that was all as a mom…just want to make it clear that you CAN have fun anywhere you go, including Mexico…just act appropriately and respectful of the people and you’ll find that vacationing there will be just as fun as anywhere else! oh, one more thing….be smart with money! keep cash (both pesos and dollars) on you, some in the hotel safe, and also a loaded credit card…don’t carry everything with you! spread it out for your own safety, and make copies of your passports/drivers license/ and other important documents you might have on you and keep those in the safe. ok thats it…have fun everyone, remember, you make of your vacation what you put into it! safety first!,,, ; D

June 30, 2012 at 10:30 am
(93) sue says:

A friend and I were offered tickets on a glass bottom boat ride at a discount. Because supposedly this Victor knew the boat owner. Supposedly he owned the sidewalk cafe we paid almost double for lunch at. Well he took us for 70.00 . The travel agent at the Dreams hotel on edge of cancun warned us not to buy any tickets downtown. Unfortunately we didn’t list to her. ONLY , purchase tour tickets from your hotel !!!!!!!!!!!!! Lesson learned. Victor is a scam artist !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm
(94) Jordan says:

My wife and I are headed to the oasis cancun resort this month, anyone ever stayed there? We want to do an excursion, but is it safe?

August 18, 2012 at 10:49 am
(95) Nikki says:

I just came back from cancun, Mexico. We were 3 sisters on vacation and safety was our biggest concern.
To begin with we stayed at JW Marriott and the staff at this resort is wonderful. We felt safe and well informed about the tours, cruises and their recommendation were top notch. They made sure our stay was pleasant and concierge went out of their way and helped us with taxi, buses etc.We had a hurricane just passed from their during our stay thank god only a day (they right away heated their indoor pool….)

Now come to local people we were hanging out in mall and looking for a new camera(my cuz sister had destroyed her camera). The guy at their indoor mall showed all the lastest gear gave us some great discounts. He didn’t have it in stock and was available at their downtown location. We begged him that we needed it …this man went out his way after his shift ended in the raining hurricane weather brought the camera back.

So, to make the long story short from our resort to local buses everything was generally safe. I mean if we were running late at night we would arrange a taxi through jw Marriott.

We had few strangers try to talk to us but we just ended the conservation with brief smiles and went with our business…safe as long as you pay it safe

January 13, 2013 at 10:52 am
(96) Rob/Non says:

Just returned from isla mujeres and was pick pocketed on ferry at dock gran Juarez. Coming into dock the people crowd together and that’s when it happened. Security people we’re useless. They refused to search the guy I think did it. My mistake. Lost cash, credit card , bank card and license. Didn’t feel a thing as was done so fast. Keep your wallet in frt pocket. And stay out of tight crowd. Suspect couple guys in on it.

March 30, 2013 at 6:41 am
(97) Marc says:

Everything went great till I was drugged. Don’t kno how it happened, I’m just lucky I made it out. It was at the sky garden right across the street from cocobongo. My buddy and I were drinking and having a great time, making our own drinks, we bought a bottle and never let go of it. So it might’ve been the server? Or the mixers got slipped. I’m 90% sure it was GHB.
They intentionally separated me from my friend. I tried my best to stay with him but I didn’t kno where he went. I got away from their grasp and ran to the nearest taxi and went straight to my hotel. My friend was thrown in a car by 5 Mexican guys and taken to an ATM. Luckily, he slipped from their grasp, punched one of them and took off running and was able to disappear in a crowded street. He got away with only hand sized bruises on his arms.
The bad thing is, I didn’t have the wherewithal to kno that I was drugged for a solid 10 hours. The hangover lasted 48 hours and was the worst i ever experienced. And since its Mexico, u can’t go to the police or the marines or tourist police….
Another night I had a marine point his m16 at me and extort money from me, but that was probably my fault.
This was a bad experience that taught me a lot. I don’t kno if I will go back. I don’t kno if I will ever go back, I think a place like the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, or even south east Asia might be safer for a beach vacation. Not to mention all the scams and how expensive Mexico is. Plus the hotels don’t allow guests.

July 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm
(98) Beky says:

Hi, I’m planning to visit cancun during the spring break of 2014 from Britain with my friends. Their is a group of us specifically coming to party! But after spending hours reading the information and comments (some of which are quite disturbing) on this website and others I’m now worried and unsure of what to do?? There seems to be mixed reviews on Cancun…could someone inform us on the best hotel to stay with and the safest nightclubs to go to please??

November 22, 2013 at 4:20 am
(99) Mike says:

I live just outside of Detroit….can’t be any worse in Cancun then it already is here. I’ll probably even feel safer!!! :D

February 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm
(100) ResortGoer says:

I have been the Grand Oasis Cancun once and I am headed back in a couple of weeks. I truly enjoyed the last stay. The people were nice and the food was great. I bought the private round trip airport transfer through the travel agency during my online booking through Funjet for $40 and was nice and safe (a group tranfer meaning you will stop at multiple resorts just like a bus to drop of the group are $20). It is always best to have someone local, professional and well known do the driving for you. Never go it alone on anything and be back to the resort before dark. Plenty to do at the resorts. Have fun and be safe. I did not know to check the pools to see if the drain pipes have covers but I will check on my next trip for sure! Word of caution, I don’t live anywhere near the ocean so I had no idea what beach flag colors meant. Google them and know them before you go. I went into the ocean sober as a judge right in the middle of a beautiful sunny day with water only up to my belly and had to fight the fight of a warrior not to get sucked under the water and out into the ocean. I had no idea that there were such rip tides or how powerful one was. I must have just stepped foot on the very outer edge of it. My husband was also pulling me and it was all we could do to get back to shore just a few feet out into the water. Thank God we made it. I didn’t realize until I read of all of the drownings how much danger I was really in at the time. Know your flags and the number to the Amercian Consulate in case you have any injuries or problems.

February 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm
(101) ResortGoer says:

I should have added that I went into the ocean when a BIG RED FLAG was waving (which means Danger-riptides- oh my gosh). There was nobody on the beach or in the water (another huge sign I missed). I should have picked up on this but I was a happy go lucky vacationer thrilled to be in paradise and man I was dumb. Please be clear I am not “citing the dangers of Cancun”. I am saying that it is dangerous to be an uneducated daydreaming traveler. Pay attention and know your flag colors. I don’t recall seeing a decoder that explained flag colors in English so prepare ahead or ask the desk personnel or the lifeguard if you forget to learn the colors before you go. What a dummy I was. Don’t be like me LOL!

February 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm
(102) Judy says:

I stayed at the Grand Solaris just before Christmas 2013, and the undertow was quite strong. I am a former lifeguard and am fairly ‘strong’ but even so, the waves and undertow were more than enough for me.
Red flags were up everyday, and a man drown while we were there. I went over to help in any way I could… but by the time the lifeguard saw, and able to get him to the beach, it probably was too late. Not to mention – ambulance took ~45 min to arrive. I should note, the lifeguard did not see and his daughter yelled for help. The lifeguard belonged to the next resort and was not affiliated to Grand Solaris. Very sad to see.. and a terrible example of poor management in emergency situations in Cancun.
NOT safe.

March 9, 2014 at 11:19 am
(103) Suzanne Barbezat / Mexico Travel says:

As the past couple of commenters noted, travelers should be aware of the beach flag warning system. Most beaches do not have lifeguards, and every person is responsible for their own safety and that of their children. Do follow safety recommendations! http://gomexico.about.com/od/healthandsafety/qt/mexico-beach-warning-flags.htm

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