Is it Safe for Americans to Vacation in Cancun?
In the wake of the shocking Cancun shooting, some Americans may be wondering if it is safe to visit the area.
The State Department has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Mexico, which means people should “reconsider their travel” to the country. The advisory was first put in place in July due to COVID-19, according to the department’s website.
The current advisory includes warnings about an increased risk of crime, including kidnappings, in parts of Mexico, including resort areas.
Specifically, the State Department encourages travelers to “exercise extra caution,” which is a Level 2 warning, when visiting the Mexican state of Quintana Roo – where Cancun is located – due to an increase in crime.
Thursday two suspected drug traffickers were killed in a shootout that broke out on the beach at the Ziva Riviera Cancun hotel in Puerto Morelos, Fox News previously reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued a statement after the shooting, saying Mexican authorities were responding to the situation.
“We advise US citizens in the area to contact affected family and / or friends to let them know they are safe,” the embassy said. “Affected US citizens should follow instructions from local authorities and call 911 if they have an emergency.”
The embassy also listed steps Americans can take when visiting the area, including monitoring local news, following instructions from local authorities and avoiding crowds.
The embassy also said American tourists should “be aware of your surroundings” and “review your personal safety plans.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also warned travelers against visiting Mexico due to the pandemic.
According to the CDC website, Mexico has a high level of COVID-19 cases. The agency recommends that people make sure they are fully immunized before traveling to the country.
According to Statista data, 21.73 million Americans traveled to Mexico in 2020 amid the pandemic, up from 39.94 million in 2019.
Cancun saw a decline in visits from international travelers last year. In 2020, the city recorded 2.3 million tourists, compared to 6 million in 2019.
US News and World Report have found that the best times to visit Cancun are between December and April to avoid fall storms and “sweltering” summers.
According to the Numbeo database, Cancun has seen a significant increase in crime over the past three years. The city is considered safe for walking alone during the day with the risk of becoming “moderate” at night.
Meanwhile, about 2 hours and 40 minutes away, is another popular tourist destination in Mexico: Cozumel. According to Numbeo, Cozumel has a low level of crime, although it has also seen crime increase at a high rate over the past three years.
In summary, the State Department states that “violent crimes – such as homicides, kidnappings, carjackings and robberies – are widespread and common” in Mexico today.
The two Mexican states where visitors can “take normal precautions” are Campeche and Yucatan, the department said.