Is Playa del Carmen Protected in 2021? [An Honest Guide]

Playa del Carmen is, general, a comparatively protected place to go to, however you need to learn this text fastidiously earlier than going to ensure visiting this Riviera Maya vacation spot is inside your private consolation zone.

Whereas it was as soon as a small fishing village way back, at this time tourism is huge enterprise in Playa del Carmen. Resulting from this, the Mexican authorities has labored arduous to keep up the state of Quintana Roo as a protected worldwide vacation spot. 

I’ve spent 5 weeks touring across the Yucatan Peninsula up to now and, in that point, have had no security incidents. Journey Lemming’s founder, Nate, can be at the moment based mostly out of Playa del Carmen and has spent many months there with out incident. That mentioned, our experiences are clearly anecdotal. So, as a way to keep as protected as potential, there are some necessary matters you need to know earlier than touring to Playa.

Particularly, the worldwide well being disaster continues to be very a lot ongoing in Playa del Carmen. Many vacationers check optimistic daily, together with vaccinated vacationers, so fastidiously think about carrying journey insurance coverage to Mexico.

Okay, let’s attempt to equip you with as a lot security data as potential to arrange to your journey to Playa del Carmen:

Disclosure: Journey Lemming is an impartial reader-supported weblog. You possibly can assist my work by buying by means of the affiliate hyperlinks on this web page, which can earn a fee for this website. Thanks!

Is Playa del Carmen Protected in 2021?

Taylor stands on a small pier out in the ocean near Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Although Mexico tends to get a nasty rap within the media relating to security, statistically talking Playa del Carmen is usually protected for journey.

Mexico is a large nation and, as with wherever on the earth, there are matters to keep away from and location-specific points to pay attention to. Within the Mexican state of Quintana Roo (the place Playa del Carmen is positioned), there’s little or no violent crime particularly directed at vacationers. As I discussed above, it’s because native cities like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum all Maya closely depend on tourism {dollars} to keep up its financial system and it’s in everybody’s finest financial curiosity to keep up the realm’s popularity.

That mentioned, petty crime and robberies have been recognized to happen, and cartel-related violence (though not often directed at vacationers) is a actuality of life in Quintana Roo. Total, the best methods to maintain your self protected are to steer clear of gang hotspots (which you’re unlikely to unintentionally bump into anyway), and to not be tremendous flashy along with your belongings.

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Key Matters to Know About Security in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen Journey Advisories

Although an general protected vacation spot to go to, Playa del Carmen’s journey advisories by OSAC (Abroad Safety Advisory Council) point out Covid-19 security, water contamination, cartel relations, and pure disasters.

We’ll dive into every of those journey advisories under for a extra complete look.

Covid-19 Security

Loungers line the beaches of Playa del Carmen in Mexico, with a lifeguard house

Because it stands, there isn’t any COVID-19 testing requirement to enter Mexico, and the general caseload and vaccination charges appear to be evolving fairly quickly. Mexico is at the moment within the midst of a 3rd wave of the pandemic. However these numbers change rapidly, so staying updated on Mexico Covid-19 an infection and vaccination charges is your finest guess for figuring out how protected your journey plans shall be.

Some of the necessary matters to know earlier than your Mexico journey is about Mexico’s four-tiered covid stoplight system. Quintana Roo is at the moment within the orange standing, which requires restrictions for matters like capability limits, bodily distancing, and mask-wearing. Be aware that Journey Lemming’s founder Nate, who’s in Playa del Carmen at the moment, experiences that these measures are being solely sporadically adopted on the bottom.

👉 Professional Tip: To enter the USA or Canada getting back from Mexico, you want a unfavorable check. Get it at your resort, on the Cancun airport, or within the many well-marked stations on the town. The USA’s CDC additionally not too long ago cleared two at-home assessments for journey, Abbot’s BinaxNOW and Azova’s Ellume check, which you may be capable of do in your resort. Test along with your airline for re-entry necessities.

Crime, Cartels, and Scams

An iguana lounges on a log in front of the ocean in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Not a rip-off artist, however I nonetheless wouldn’t get too shut! 😉

Scams and crime exist regardless of the place on the earth you journey. Like most vacationer scorching spots, Play del Carmen isn’t exempt from this.

Particularly, these are the most typical scams to pay attention to in Playa del Carmen, Mexico:

  • 💳 ATMs – Random money machines on the road are usually unmonitored and could be tampered with. To maintain your bank card protected, all the time use ATMs positioned at a financial institution.
  • 🚗 Automotive Leases – Renting a automobile in Mexico could be difficult, what with rental firms typically charging you for injury you didn’t create and for sky-high insurance coverage charges. To fight this, I like to recommend utilizing Uncover Vehicles for all worldwide bookings.
  • Gasoline Stations – When you’ll be driving in Mexico, then take note of the gasoline meter if you first pull up on the pump. A standard rip-off is for attendants to not zero out the meter, making you pay for extra gasoline than you bought.
  • 🍷 Unregulated Alcohol – As in lots of locations, there have been experiences of spiked or unregulated alcohol in Playa del Carmen. All the time ensure you’re getting your alcohol from a reputable supply, and regulate your drinks always. I can’t let you know what number of occasions I used to be randomly invited into institutions by strangers making bootleg tequila of their bathtubs. I by no means accepted, clearly.
  • ⚠️ Acquainted Face Rip-off – I discovered this rip-off to be particularly current on fifth Avenue, the place folks come as much as you saying they’re the supervisor of your resort, and that they acknowledge you. That is normally carried out to lure you into an overpriced store and stress you into making a purchase order.
  • 🐦 Chook Poop Rip-off – There’s a effectively dressed couple that runs a rip-off in Playa del Carmen the place they faux that can assist you clear off “chicken poop” out of your hair. After all, it’s all only a distraction to allow them to swipe your valuables in the course of the commotion.

Along with these widespread scams, cartel (gang) violence is undeniably current in Playa. A fast web search will let you know that homicides have been rising within the space in recent times. These are very not often directed at vacationers, but it surely does occur.

Typically, except you’re utilizing medicine, buying medicine, or are concerned with people who find themselves affiliated with cartels, chances are high you received’t be the sufferer of a cartel-related incident. 

📚 Associated Studying: Is Tulum Protected?

The place To Keep away from in Playa del Carmen

Colorful Dia de los Muertos skulls line the shelves of a playa del carmen shop

Typically, most vacationers select to remain within the areas near La Quinta (fifth Avenue) and inside just a few blocks of Playa del Carmen’s seaside. The final recommendation you’ll possible hear is to keep away from going farther from the seaside than the freeway.

Nonetheless, after wandering round many neighborhoods and doing a ton of analysis on the topic, I’ve to say there are not any distinct areas to keep away from. Sure, some areas of Playa are nicer than others, however the information reveals that this doesn’t essentially correlate to being roughly protected.

Reasonably, a lot of Playa del Carmen’s safety-related incidents are usually situational and happen when widespread journey ideas are ignored.

That mentioned, particularly at night time, it’s good to stay to the busy areas and keep away from poorly lit alleyways and public transport stations. All the time concentrate on your environment, go the place different persons are, and belief your instincts in relation to leaving uncomfortable conditions.

👉 Want journey insurance coverage? It takes 1 minute to get a quote from World Nomads.

Can You Drink the Water in Playa del Carmen?

An underwater shot of a cenote with taylor and three scuba divers under water

When contemplating water security, the quick reply is that the faucet water in Playa isn’t thought of protected to drink. 

Now for the lengthy reply:

Although there are strong water therapy amenities within the Yucatan, the difficulty arises within the piping system used to ship the water to properties and companies. A variety of these pipes are susceptible to micro organism that infiltrate the water and, upon consumption, make folks sick.

When you’ll be staying in personal lodging resembling an Airbnb, then my recommendation is to not drink the faucet water and supply it elsewhere. Each OXXO comfort retailer sells massive jugs of water. Or, if you wish to assist save the setting, think about investing in a water filtration bottle (I reviewed the Grayl Geopress, which you can purchase right here).

That mentioned, in the event you’ll be staying at a significant resort or resort, then chances are high the water popping out of the faucet has been domestically filtered and is protected. Double-check along with your resort on this, but it surely’s a usually accepted rule of thumb. 

Moreover, any time you order a beverage at a restaurant it must be made with purified ingesting water. Eating places don’t need their patrons getting sick, so that you don’t need to dwell in worry each time you go to a restaurant.

Security Ideas for Playa del Carmen

Tip #1 – Costume Casually

Fifth Avenue of Playa del Carmen right after a rain, with shops lining the street and people walking around
fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen is stuffed with retailers, and could be tremendous busy in the course of the day!

Usually when incidents resembling petty theft and muggings happen in Playa, it’s as a result of thieves discover a weak vacationer with an apparent show of wealth. 

So as to preserve your self protected from theft, costume casually, go away the expensive-looking jewellery and equipment at house, and don’t flash round electronics. Strive to not pack something for Mexico that may trigger you main heartbreak in the event you did lose it.

Tip #2 – Don’t Overdo the Alcohol

The statue of two women at parque fundadores in Playa del Carmen Mexico

A journey tip you’ll get virtually regardless of the place you’re headed, getting overly drunk whereas on trip in Playa is an enormous no-no.

Despite the fact that Playa has nice nightlife, being publicly inebriated in Mexico (particularly whereas alone and at night time) will make you a simple goal for theft, assault, drink spiking, and bribery, and as a lot as we want it didn’t — these conditions do occur.

By all means, have some enjoyable whereas in Playa, however don’t go so overboard that you simply make your self a weak goal. 

Tip #3 – Keep away from Leisure Medicine

A coloful hacienda style building in Playa del Carmen, with cars parked out front and palm trees.

As I discussed above, drug trafficking and turf wars are quite common in Playa, and foreigners who discover themselves combined up in these matters go away themselves uncovered to elevated threat. To not point out, doing leisure medicine will open you as much as the identical vulnerabilities as getting overly drunk.

Tip #4 – Be Conscious of Wildlife

A half-underwater photo of Taylor in a cenote, with a scuba diver below.
Completely satisfied that every one was beneath me on this photograph was a scuba diver — no crocs!

Although it’s a bustling metropolis, make no mistake — Playa is a mere stone’s throw from the jungle and the huge array of wildlife that lives there. 

Although you’ll have to depart the downtown core to discover a wild jaguar, crocodile, or spider monkey, these animals do exist not far past the boundaries, and it’s a good suggestion to take heed to their potential presence. 

For instance, in the event you’ll be visiting a cenote and not using a ton of different folks there, simply do a scan for crocodiles. Incidents are uncommon, however you don’t need to be “that individual”. 

👉 Professional Tip: Keep away from the distributors attempting to promote you animal pictures or experiences. Animals in these institutions normally need to be tranquilized to be thought of protected round people and customarily have a reasonably low high quality of life. 

Tip #5 – Know Fundamental Spanish

Playacar beach in Playa del Carmen lined with palm trees and filled with people.

Whereas most individuals in Playa’s tourism business communicate English, I nonetheless advocate studying at the least just a few fundamental phrases in Spanish.

Not solely will this enable you to get round and present your respect for the locals, but it surely may be invaluable when in a sticky state of affairs.

Tip #6 – Hold Valuables Locked Away

I don’t advocate bringing a ton of high-value gadgets on trip to Mexico, however those who you do have must be saved locked away when not in use (assume Passports, immigration playing cards, electronics, and so forth.)

This tip is made simple in case your lodging has a protected, however I personally all the time journey with a PacSafe Transportable Protected that I can safe to an object in my room. It’s actually helpful!

Tip #7 – Be Taxi-Savvy

Although uncommon, taxi scams in Playa have been reported. Particularly, incidents occur both when a vacationer will get into an unmarked automobile, or when the value isn’t negotiated and agreed upon upfront.

Solely get right into a taxi that has apparent signage, and all the time settle the value with the motive force earlier than you get within the automobile.

👉 Professional Tip: Lease your automobile by means of Uncover Vehicles to keep away from scams. It’s a search engine that reveals evaluation for various rental companies, so you’ll be able to keep away from those with a nasty popularity!

Tip #8 – Test the Climate

Playa del Carmen beach hammocks and palm trees in Riviera Maya Caribbean at Mayan Mexico

Checking the climate and truly getting ready for it may be among the finest matters you are able to do to remain protected on this area. 

Although it’s good to pay attention to hurricane season (June by means of November) and some other potential pure disasters, I’d say being conscious of potential warmth stroke and warmth exhaustion is much more necessary on a day-to-day foundation.

The Yucatan can get excruciatingly scorching and humid relying on the time of yr, and overheating, sunburns, and dehydration are very actual issues.

To remain shielded from the pure parts all the time carry reef-safe sunscreen, water, and a journey umbrella (for solar or rain).

Tip #9 – Persist with the Predominant Streets

Piles of colorful velvet hats that say "Mexico" on them in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Hats on the market on La Quinta, Playa del Carmen’s major strip

As I discussed earlier than, sticking to Playa’s major streets is an effective rule of thumb for not wanting like a misplaced vacationer. Keep in well-lit areas of the town, go the place different folks go, and check out to not stroll alone at night time.

After all, the exception to this rule is fifth Avenue (La Quinta), the place you’ll need to be a bit extra cognizant of your environment as a result of potential for scams.

Tip #10 – Keep in Contact

A straw hut in the middle of the jungle with a colorful hammock out front

One other good journey tip no matter vacation spot is to all the time keep in contact with somebody from house throughout your journey. Allow them to know of your normal journey plans, together with journey days and lodging, and check-in with them usually to allow them to know you’re okay.

After I journey, I’ve a spreadsheet with my itinerary that I give my household entry to, after which I ship them fast messages from time to time to allow them to know all is effectively. 

Playa del Carmen Security FAQ

Is Playa del Carmen Protected Proper Now?

Playa del Carmen is usually protected proper now for journey, however guests ought to concentrate on scams and health-related restrictions.

Is Playa del Carmen Protected for Feminine Vacationers?

Playa del Carmen is protected for feminine vacationers, though ladies touring to this area ought to train affordable warning and concentrate on dangers to make sure they keep as protected as potential.

Is Playa del Carmen Protected for Solo Vacationers?

Playa del Carmen is a usually protected vacation spot for solo guests, although they need to train warning as petty crime and scams have been recognized to happen in Mexico. Ideas for solo vacationers embody sticking to major vacationer facilities, staying in hostels, and never strolling alone at night time.

Is Playa del Carmen Protected for Households?

Playa del Carmen is protected for households because it’s simple to get round, has loads of family-related actions, and is a comparatively laid-back metropolis.

Is Playa del Carmen Protected for American vacationers?

Playa del Carmen is protected for American vacationers granted they observe widespread journey ideas and are conscious of potential scams and risks. 

Is the cartel in Playa del Carmen?

The cartel is in Playa del Carmen, though tourist-related cartel incidents are a uncommon incidence. Vacationers can steer clear of cartel violence by not utilizing leisure medicine, not being overly intoxicated, and by sticking to central vacationer zones.

What’s the crime price in Playa del Carmen Mexico?

The crime and security indexes of Playa del Carmen are ranked as average, in response to a crowdsourced survey by Numbeo.Com.


That’s it for my information to staying protected in Playa del Carmen, Mexico! 

Playa is general very protected to journey to and I hope this text gave you the knowledge and instruments it’s good to journey right here with confidence.

Earlier than you go you should definitely try a few of my different fashionable articles:

Get pleasure from your journey to Playa del Carmen!

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