Lisa Thornberg
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Get up-to-date news on the safety of traveling to Cancun this year and advice on the best areas for tourists to stay during their visit.

By Emma Sloley

Cancún is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason: set on the Caribbean coast, the destination offers year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and an anything-goes sense of fun. But with recent headlines about crime and negative tourist experiences, you might wonder whether Cancún is safe to travel to in 2018. Here, we break down the risks, explain the sensible precautions you can take, and outline the safest places to stay to ensure your Cancún holiday goes swimmingly.

Is it Safe to Travel to Cancun in 2018?

On Aug. 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated travel warning on Mexico, advising caution to several beach destinations, including Cancún. The warning arose after the city saw an increase in violent crime as rival gangs battle over territory, although the warning notes that tourists are not targets of this activity. There have also been recent reports of tourists being sickened after drinking tainted alcohol at resorts along Cancun’s Hotel Zone.

So, should visitors avoid travel to Cancun? As with anywhere in the world, it pays to stay informed and practice sensible precautions when traveling here. Tourism authorities in Mexico have pointed out the rarity of violent events and the low numbers of victims of crime compared to the 28 million American tourists who travel to Mexico each year, and this is worth bearing in mind when planning your travel. Most of the recent violence has occurred outside the Hotel Zone and other popular tourist areas, and most resorts have tightened security to bolster the safety of guests.  

Some simple tips to ensure a safe visit to Cancun:

Cancun's Hotel Zone
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Best (and Safest) Areas to Stay in Cancun

The safest area to stay in Cancun is still the Hotel Zone, a 13-mile arc of beautiful white-sand beaches lined with resorts and hotels for every budget. Many hotels are all-inclusive and discourage non-guests on property, and the high-end resorts tend to have robust security. Avoid staying or partying in downtown Cancun, where most of the recent violence has taken place.

Related: 5 Things to do in Tulum