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Is Cancun city safe to live in?

I'm considering moving to Cancun city but want to know if it's safe.  Also, what area or zone of Cancun is nice but affordable?

Hi and welcome to the forum only1chellem!

Your query seems to be vague.
Could you be a bit more specific?
A few words about yourself maybe?

Regards
Armand

I have heard a lot of rape reports there. Playa Del Carmen is safer

I would like to start this message by saying that, even thou the recommendations I'll make are to prevent many concerning scenarios, it does not mean this scenarios happen all the time so please don't get the impression the whole country is really unsafe.
   I don't personally in Cancún, as a matter of fact I live in Mexico City, but at least in the news (TV and newspapers), they have only mentioned a very few incidents and not a serious unsafe environment. The more serious problems and aggressions, which apparently have only been a very few of them, are between the different cartels and not against common people.
   Sad to say, yes, Latin Americana is unsafer than other countries but not that serious as the news make it sound (except for the border states where the situation is very serious and a some other specific states). The thing is that you can avoid problems by learning a few basic rules applicable all around the world.
   If you decide to move to Cancún (or any other place in the world), first you cannot be showing off extremely expensive values as jewelry. Many people from other places come and wear, seriously, a dozen of 18K gold chains an rings and literally takes out rolls of money at stores instead of having a discrete wallet or purse and just using a single discrete chain  and a couple of rings. I've even seen people wearing many pimp like gold chains in the subway in the worst zones of the city. That is an invitation to get robbed.
   If you go to an ATM, you gotta double check no one is following you or waiting for you as to get out. If possible, is best to just go in couples and you won't have a problem. For sure, never ever ever accept assistance from anyone. If you require it, either use the phone inside the ATM calling to the bank or call from home or the office. ATMs in Mexico are inside glass rooms so most of the time no one else should disturb you or be with you when you get money. Of course, avoid having 10 credit cards with you or huge amounts of money. You don't need thousands and thousands on you for your regular life, right?
   Never be alone in the night in an empty street and this rule is specially important for girls. I know and I feel embarrassed that we have to be overprotective with girls at night but I think anywhere in the world someone could try to rob you or rape you if your alone in the middle of the night in an empty street. Just take a cab from an approved taxi spot or call one from a trusted company (or even easier if you have a car).
   I hope with this recommendations, if you wish to live in the (and I mean it) gorgeous Mexican Caribbean, you should considerably reduce the probabilities of having serious problems there.
   All the best!

Playa Del Carmen is MUCH safer. In March/April, there were 13 locals murdered in the north of the city away from the tourist area. Probably drug related.

Hola you mean north of Playa or Cancun?

North part of Cancun. I should qualify that 4 may have been related to the on-going fiasco with the taxi driver's union. The others were definitely drug related in retaliation to small time dealers. it's a fact. God help us if we get in the same hell hole as Acapulco. For now, Playa Del Carmen is safe with a great police presence. :)

YucatanYanqui :

North part of Cancun. I should qualify that 4 may have been related to the on-going fiasco with the taxi driver's union. The others were definitely drug related in retaliation to small time dealers. it's a fact. God help us if we get in the same hell hole as Acapulco. For now, Playa Del Carmen is safe with a great police presence. :)

Hi...well I'm a newbie here also & will be coming down from the states in Jan with a friend to scope out the area for a possible move...so you are saying that PdC is a safer place to live?...what about the cost of living?...are there safer areas away from the touristy places there?..thanks in advance for any help you can me...

Hola I lived there 5 months and never had problem Lived  west of beach about 5 blocks $350.00 a month in small departamento  near Mega store  Moms bar is good place to meet gringos in area for info

Thank you....will check out Mom's while we are there...& the rent sounds about right for my budget...will do some research on the area...D

There is a local paper that has rentals advertised  and also bulletin boards around

yes it is safe.  The two most popular places to live are going to be either Cancun or Playa Del Carmen.  The short answer may be that Playa is safer, but only becuase it is smaller.   Cancun is a bigger city, has more people living here so of course there is going to be more crime in certain areas.

I have been living in Cancun for 4 years with my wife and 3 children and we have always felt much safer here than we ever did in San Diego, Ca.   Just saying.

In cancun there seem to be 3 main areas that people choose to live in.  The Hotel Zone is usually everyone first choice.  it is close to the beach, night clubs and has a ton of dining options.  Down side is that there are a lot of tourist there, traffic going in and out is awful, it is pricey to live and to eat out, not close to groceries or services.

Then at the base of the hotel zone is main drag called Bonapak where a lot of people live to.  Pricing is fair, it is close to the main shopping mall and just minutes away from grocery stores, and very safe.

We live in the original downtown part of Cancun.  Neighborhood is probably 20 years old but very well maintained, walking distance from schools, churches, services.  It is safe.  Rent is affordable and we do not need a car.

Best thing is to come down here and check it out for yourself and get an idea of what makes you feel safe.

Most importantly get clear on what you are looking for in your Cancun/ Maya Riviera Life Style: Beach, work, night clubs, etc?  That will determine where you want to live.

Craig

Thank you for your informative reply Craig.....Of course everyone wants to be down at the beach area, myself included...lol...however, budget is an issue, as we are both retired, so a safe, economical area that is close to stores, ect., will be a requirement...so going to the beach will have to be a day trip...lol....if you can suggest any area where apts are available on a $500 p/mo or under budget, I would appreciate it if you would pass these on to me....thanks again & I will do some research on the area...D

Always glad to help.   My wife and I are both still working.   We could have done the beach front living but that would just mean that we would be commuting through traffic to go to the grocery store, take the kids to school, get a hair cut, etc. 

We go to the beach every weekend for a whopping 64 cents on the bus.  Get our fun and just take it back.   

We pay about 666 dollars for a 3 bedroom/ 3.5 bathroom / approx 1100 square feet.  You can absolutely get a 2 bedroom for less.  We have a 2 different grocery stores, movie theatre, dining choices, Home Depot about a 5 minute walk from us.  Walmart/ Sams/ Applebees is about 20 minute walk or a 5 minute bus ride.
Costoc, plus another grocery store with some other great places to eat is about a 15 minute walk.

Buses run about every 7-10 minutes and cost 48 cents per person to go anywhere in Cancun except for the beach.  they are convenient and safe as long as you dont mind traveling with some of the locals.  Some are not comfortable with that but we are.

Taxis go almost anywhere for 2 dollars a car load except the beach.  There are almost more taxis than people.

bus to the beach is like 64 cents and a taxi ride to the beach is 10 dollars.

We have 3 different choices of internet and phone services in the downntown where in the hotel there is only one.

Also downtown you have a choice between cable and satellite tv.  There is only satellite available in the hotel zone.

just some other things to consider.

Craig

I have been all over Mexico, including extended periods in Tijuana and other border areas, not to mention Playa Riviera and the Yucatan. The question I always get asked is "But how safe is it." Simple research will answer your question. For instance, I live in La Paz with a population roughly the size of Sacramento. Want to know if it's safe here? Simple. Compare murder and violent crime rates with Sacramento or some other city of similar size. You'll be shocked at what you find.

The Los Angeles Times and other media outlets have been waging a quiet war on Mexico for a decade and it's been extremely effective.

I liked Craig's answer best.

"Is Cancun safe?"

"Yes, it is."

The further you get from large cities afflicted with drug trafficking problems, the safer it is. I live in a city of a half million people where violent crime is virtually nonexistent.

WOW...I'm impressed...the downtown area has more to offer than I thought & the money sounds really good...I have no problems with riding the bus with locals, as this is also a good way to learn of other things to see & do & of course the price is great...if you could pm me, maybe you could tell me what area you & your family are in, if you don't mind...thanks & talk to you soon...Donna

Thanks Justin..we will take your advice & check around...we actually thought about Las Paz...seems like a good place to settle...D

How safe is Mexico?

For those who heard that Mexico was unsafe.

Thank you very much for that info site...some very interesting reading to say the least...& as it states, we are probably as safe in Mexico or more so as in the US...I'm glad to finally get to chat with people who are actually living in Mexico..it gives a better prospective...much thanks...D

Koolcue :

Thanks Justin..we will take your advice & check around...we actually thought about Las Paz...seems like a good place to settle...D

To be honest, as much as I love living here, I would prefer the Playa Riviera down south of Playa del Carmen and north of Akumal but the biggest advantage for our family here in La Paz is that we can drive back to California.

It would be very difficult for me to recommend to a friend to settle in Cancun. There are, in my opinion, much, much better places to live in Mexico. In that general area I would first suggest Merida or Playa del Carmen for starters.

we love Playa Del Carmen.   I think the beaches are nicer in Cancun.  Not as accessible but prettier.

Everyone I know that lives in the Riviera seems to make their shopping trips to Cancun anyway.  Much less of a selection for shopping in Playa and non existent in Akumal other than some hole int wall Supers. Now that may not be a factor for some.

We love living in Cancun and it is so centrally located you can make day trips all over the Riviera Maya to Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Morelos ( my fav), Akumal, Tulum, etc.

Merida has a special place in my heart.  I go there 2 or 3 times a year and we love it.  A much more Mexican Cultural experience, super friendly people, very clean city, super affordable when compared to Cancun, incredible medical facilities and the local American Consulate for this region.

The only downside Merida is it gets really hot in the summer and it is hours away from the Caribbean.  There is near by Progresso on the gulf which is nice for a day at the beach.

Craig

I am mexican living in usa, even though I am mexican, I haven not lived there in 20+ years, I like warm weather and for that reason I would move to mexico. about crime the truth is that crime can happen anywhere, but any big city in the world is more likely to get more crime and confrontations between people.
When I went to  puerto vallarta a time share sales guy told me he move back to mexico from new york, and the first days he would panic, then he began to feel safer. now he is happy to be in puerto vallarta.
I feel afraid to go live there but I think my chances of getting robbed or anything else are the same as here in some parts of salt lake city utah. I live in a small town 50minutes from salt lake city, the area is safe, I never lock my car and sometimes the garage is left open overnight. we have found the main door open in the morning and in one occasion when we came home. I feel safe there for now. in salt lake city you could not do this anymore, sometimes several car windows are found broken in some streets, it is maybe kids with nothing better to do. you have to be careful anywhere you go and think ahead to prevent crime or accidents.

expatcraig :

we love Playa Del Carmen.   I think the beaches are nicer in Cancun.  Not as accessible but prettier.

Everyone I know that lives in the Riviera seems to make their shopping trips to Cancun anyway.  Much less of a selection for shopping in Playa and non existent in Akumal other than some hole int wall Supers. Now that may not be a factor for some.

We love living in Cancun and it is so centrally located you can make day trips all over the Riviera Maya to Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Morelos ( my fav), Akumal, Tulum, etc.

Merida has a special place in my heart.  I go there 2 or 3 times a year and we love it.  A much more Mexican Cultural experience, super friendly people, very clean city, super affordable when compared to Cancun, incredible medical facilities and the local American Consulate for this region.

The only downside Merida is it gets really hot in the summer and it is hours away from the Caribbean.  There is near by Progresso on the gulf which is nice for a day at the beach.

Craig

What a life! Sounds great, Craig!

Let me know if you ever want to come visit La Paz and we'll help you out.

WOW both of you have given me much food for thought on where to start this adventure...looks like I have a lot of research to do before I come down in Jan..lol...& I thought this was gonna be easy...lol

Playa has plenty of shopping The Mega and Wal MArt for a  basics and a few other giant box stores Costco!  and it is a cheap bus ride in first class bus to Cancun   Merida has a much richer  non tourist culture and better prices /architecture    Campeche is close and gorgeous

My wife is asking the same question, Let's use common sense,
it can be unsafe in any big city in the world. There is places in Germany, Canada, USA where it can be unsafe as well, I do not do Drugs therefor I do not get in Contact with Dealers. I do not walk in Dark deserted alleys at night. I only walk in well lit populated areas at night and during the Day. I drink ,but I do not get Intoxicated in Public.Blend in, do not wear flashy cloth or drive flashy Cars, do not act like a snob, do not flash you Cash.I do Honestly Believe that if you learn the local language you will be lesser a target. for one more respected and accepted as well as you can hear what others say about you and prevent a situation. Also we bought in a condo complex that is guarded. People these day are way to paranoid because the Media is making us this way. If a Canadian gets killed in Mexico is a way juicier story then if 10 Canadians get killed in Canada.or Americans in the US or Germans in Germany and so forth. Isn't Buffalo the Murder Capital of the US? and Edmonton The Murder Capital of Canada? I'm sure Germany has one too. I also heard that Jamaica has 3000 Murders/Year and the Dominican ain't safe. At Least Mexico is a bit more civilized then other Latin countries, Brazil isn't save either. There is no real save place in this world. If people want to be scared off by the Media go ahead live you life in fear for the rest of your life. Seriously, what activity in live can not kill you? Common sense prevails. Being cautious is one thing being paranoid is another.

Cancun has a population of 630,000 while Playa is 150,000. Adjust the statistics appropriately.

Hi Joaquin,  i have an important question.  A good friend of mine crossed border back to eagle pass.  He forgot to return his still valid fmm. Would you know anything about this and would there be any fines?  He's  planning on coming back down in december.  He drove across border (short bridge) back to eagle pass. Will be driving back in december.  Need info.  Asap... Thanks.  Going into P.N. mexican immigration seem more relaxed on entering.  Thanks for any info. So i can let him know.

I do not know if it does nor not apply.
I need a visa waiver  when I go to the USA since I'm German who lives in Canada. I do not return it at when I exit because it is good for 90 days. I usually go to the Airport in Calgary and give it either to the Canadian Boarder services or the US boarder Services a couple of days before it expires. I would suggest to seek out for a Mexican Embassy and return it there instead of being in trouble entering Mexico in the Future. Do it right, let's not forget they do not have to let you in. But since you are American , I would try to go to an Airport and return it to the US border services who then will return it to the Mexicans.

Cancun Hotel Zone is Totally safe! But I can not tell much about Town Area. i live in Playa del Carmen for 2 years and here is 100% safe everywhere!

Hello,

I have been in Cancun about thirty times. I have never had a bad experience. Of course, I know where to stay and I never try to do illegal things.
We have been robbed in Paris in New York multiple times. This is not to excuse Cancun, but to show you that safe is very relative

Playa is cool, but the best beaches are in Cancun without a doubt.  The night life in the town is more towards young spring-breakers but there is A LOT to do outside that.  Same thing goes with any country.  You don't need to go to the tourist traps of any country or city.

Cancun has some lovely restaurants and lovely beaches. I have also found out that people are extremely nice. You can hire help for your place for under 50 dollars a day.  (cleaning and light cooking)

Tulum is nice for vacation but again. Water is very dangerous and extremely overrated with yoga wannabes.

Cancun is also 5 minutes to the International Airport. This is very convenient.

Yes

I agree with you! :)

hi . we are a family of 5 ( 3  young kids ages 7,6 and 3) . we are planning to move to Cancun next year. anybody who actually lives in Cancun can recommend the ff :  best and safe area to rent a 3/4 bedroom apartment, good internet connection since our job is mostly online, good schools for the kids, good neighborhood. appreciate any help.

thanks

Heard last night from a native resident that drug related violent crime in Cancun is on the rise.

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