Is Playa del Carmen Safe?

Playa del Carmen is a town in the Riviera Maya area of Mexico, about 45 minutes south of the Cancun airport. It is located in the state Quintana Roo, which is in the Eastern part of Mexico.

Playa del Carmen started out as a fishing village more than 100 years ago. Its laid-back feel, clear turquoise waters and pristine white-sand beaches have made it a popular tourist destination today. In the 1990s, the population of Playa del Carmen grew from 2,000 to 20,000, making it the fastest growing city in Mexico, a title it holds to this day. It is a popular location where many expatriates relocate.

Playa del Carmen is a very safe city. The locals are friendly and the tourist areas are patrolled by the police. As when traveling in most Mexican tourist destinations, the biggest piece of safety advice to consider is using common sense. Below are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay on major thoroughfares where most other tourists travel
  • Never walk alone, especially at night
  • Don’t wear jewelry or carry flashy handbags that might make you a target for pickpockets
  • Be vigilant when using ATMs, especially at night
  • When visiting bars and nightclubs, keep an eye on your drink
  • Don’t drink alcohol excessively
  • Wear your seatbelt (even though most locals don’t)
  • Don’t do anything illegal, and stay away from others who might

A few other things to think about when visiting Playa del Carmen …

There are some reports of problems with sewage in the city. It occasionally causes unpleasant odors. More importantly, it might impact water quality. Take caution as you see fit by avoiding tap water and ice in restaurants.

You might not need to exchange dollars for pesos in Playa del Carmen since most shops and restaurants take credit cards and American dollars. Your credit card will likely give you a better exchange rate than your hotel or a casa de cambio.

The most important thing to remember when traveling to Playa del Carmen is to relax, have a great time, and enjoy the beach!


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  1. ‘Never walk alone’….. hmmmm what if I’m a girl and I’m about to go to Mexico by myself? How can I not walk alone…. is it safe for a girl to go there?

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