Travel Safety in Yucatan


Yucatán - A safe and friendly place to vacation this year!

There has been a lot of media coverage recently about violence in México. It is difficult for us in Yucatán, as the negative image can be very powerful. Most of the violence you hear about is related to drug cartels. The irony is that the increased violence is because the Mexican government is actually making headway on the drug problem. The drug cartels feel less secure and are fighting more between themselves for drug traffic territory control.

What we always tell nervous travelers is that the violence is very limited to the people directly involved in the distribution of drugs or controlling the drug traffic. So as a visitor you would be totally outside the realm of violence. Our past president, Felipe Calderón, worked very hard since 2006 on this problem, and the Obama administration in the US has made a commitment to help by trying to prevent the cross-border traffic of drugs, northbound, and arms and cash, southbound. By the way, if you pass through military checkpoints on the highway, they are a good thing, don't worry, they are there for your safety. They are very polite and really trying to prevent the traffic of drugs and arms.

The U.S. State Department's most recent Travel Alert emphasizes the U.S.-Mexican border areas as the highest risk. Yucatán is far from those cities.  Use the same common sense you would use at home or anywhere else: don't wander empty streets late at night, and avoid isolated areas.

A 2011 report from CNN:

For more opinions on this subject, visit "Mexico: The elusive truth about safety" posted by Tom Foster: 

and other articles and websites of interest:

Take advantage of the strong US and Canadian dollars, and the Euro, and come visit Yucatán! You'll be glad you did.



Hi; We travel to the Island of Cozumel at least two times per year and have never had any problems. The people are friendly, courteous and we are the same. Love the Island and the folks. We spend on average twenty days a year there and we are headed by next month. We also spend time in Playa de Carmen. Same people and a great place to visit


house rental in Merida

Hi, I have a darling little one bedroom, one bath home near Santiago in Merida that I would like to rent out by the month for about $300US. Can anyone tell me the best way to advertise or get the process started? Thanks!


re. house rental

You can post your info here. Also try , , and maybe list it with the Merida realtors and property managers too.


Feeling safe on the roads in the Yucatan.

Just returned from 10 days in Merida and northern beach areas. Three women driving on highways and backroads days and nights and never a problem. Sure, on the beach road east of Progresso there is a Police light but we just smiled and waved! With so few people on the beach this time of year east of Progresso I was glad they were there. I have to thank Yucatan Today for your great magazine. Your maps got us everywhere we wanted to go and without your 7 days of things to do we never would have danced in the park at Santiago Church.
Thumbs up to Los Dos Cooking School- David gave us a fantastic experience!
Thumbs down to Progresso Vacation Rentals who rented our beachfront house out from under us to someone else! I was furious and did not appreciate being put in a house that wasn't ready, further out of town, wasn't supplied with enough towels and leaked water into living area when it rained. I will never rent from them again and Alex doesn't really care or doesn't understand how to communicate effectively.


Thanks for sharing the facts

Thanks for sharing the facts about Yucatan. It helps to the travelers who want to visit this place but have fear of the violence.


Will always return

I have been to the Yucatan twice and have always had a priceless time. I've never stayed in Cancun (which I hear is the only place of concern for tourists) and have always gone off the beaten path. In two weeks I will be traveling with my cousin to the Yucatan and heading south towards Sian Ka'an. As two women alone, I feel totally safe! There are several little towns I've visited with incredible beaches and people, and I can't wait to return!



We are staying in Telchac puerto for 4 months this winter. In the past week, there have been four houses broken into while people inside sleeping. Only electronics taken, no harm to people. However crime is now not just due to absent mindedness on part of the home dwellers - our home had exterior lights on, caretaker, door locked, electronics hidden and yet they still entered by removing shutters while we slept and found cell phone charging in room beside bed. I've found very few posts talking about security, assumption is that you need certain level and that "petty thief" and opportunistic crime will occur, as it does world over. I have found even less in posts referring to deliberate break and entry crime at night, police action, standard procedures for landlords to replace items. To me, based on research the numbers have increased, who's talking about this ...

We've hired a guard in addition to caretaker as my understanding is we will be targeted again but not immediately.


re. theft

Dear Lorna,

We are sorry to hear this has happened to you. And, we are horrified to see that this is happening along our coast. We, along with a group of Canadian residents in Telchac Puerto, have spoken with the local police, the local mayor, the state tourism director and the state police. Judy, our editorial director (coordinator of the Telchac Education progams) even spoke with the Jr. High students and their parents commenting that these robberies have to stop or the village will lose its winter tourism. As for landlords responding for the stolen goods, we've heard of two specific cases where the victims' household insurance in the US covered their losses. She will be visiting the town mayor again (she is out of town) and demanding he take more action. We believe that in such a small town, people have to know what's going on... who the thieves are, who is buying the stolen goods, etc. The good news, if there is any, is that these rats do no physical harm to the victims. We have also heard that many home-owners are installing motion detector lights and alarms and video surveillance cameras. These measures will act as excellent deterrents. You may wish to suggest this to the person who owns the house you will be renting.

Thanks for writing to us.


Travel in South of Yucatan Peninsula

Have spent much time in Yucatan Peninsula over the years, always driving down from Texas. Now that driving is not possible, was hoping to fly in and finally go to Calakmul. Had heard reports thought that the south of the areas was potentially problematic - although of course that road was never one to drive at night, and certainly stay away from Escarcega. Just wondering if there is any current (12/2011) information to help me decide whether or not to go.


re. travel in south

We have not heard any problems about south Yucatan. I know some people who own a lovely hotel in Calakmul, Rick and Diane, why not drop them a line and see what they say?


travel to Mexico Feb 2012

I am interested in any updated information in safety of travel to the Yukitan.


re. travel to mexico feb 2012

Yucatan continues to be the safest state in Mexico. Come and visit us!


Travel in South of Yucatan Peninsula & Calakmul hassles

Just got back - had no problems whatsoever and a wonderful time. Be aware if you want to visit Calakmul that it is a bit of a mess and has become quite expensive - about $25/person - you have to pay to drive thru ejidal lands, then at the museum for the museum and the ride the last 20 miles in a "cattle car" the kind of vehicle you might see in a safari park - a truck with seats in the back pulling a trailer full of seats, then again once you reach the ruins. They are apparently trying to restrict access somewhat to the site - and the ride in the cattle car is not pleasant and about 1 hr long going and coming. If you get carsick, try to go in one of the few vans, but you will likely have to take what you can get. The site is a good site to visit, although the hassle factor almost makes it not worth it. Get there early (like 7 am or earlier, I think they open at 6:30) to sign up for a slot - I was there at 8 am and couldn't get a slot until noon. Then be sure and show up 1/2 hour or so early for your time slot, since the vehicle may be leaving early - we ended up leaving at 11:30, not noon. The site is very large with a lot of walking. I felt rushed due to needing to be able to get a ride back out. Hopefully they will work out a better way of dealing with what does appear to be a rather dangerous road the last 20 miles - very narrow, winding etc., but at the moment the solution is VERY unsatisfactory.



I recently spent a month in Merida as a solo female traveller and found the place to be extremely safe. In my month there I didn't see any trouble. Its fantastic place to travel :) will definitely return!


Travel to Progreso and Uxmal

I am looking to take a cruise, porting in Progreso Mexico. Wanted to take a 2 hour bus ride to the Mayan ruins in Uxmal. Anyone have any update on how safe this would be? Will also be porting into Cozumel 2 days later.


re. travel progreso & uxmal

Absolutely completely and entirely safe. Don't worry and have fun!

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Yucatan Today is the leading tourist guide of Merida, Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula and was recently voted the best tourism website in all of Mexico! In our companion monthly magazine, we bring you the information you need to enjoy your experience while you are here. Read more