Is Cancun safe?

As the short winter days approached and the temperatures in North Texas were heading south, my girlfriend and I began to think about going south as well. For a vacation that is. As we searched the web for places to soak our pale sun-deprived bodies, we kept finding advertisements for Cancun. The images showed sugary white sands sloping gently into warm, calm turquoise waters. And the rates for the 4-star hotels by the beach were not only affordable, they were cheaper than the Super 8 down the street. It seemed like a paradise, but a question kept popping up in our heads: “Is Cancun safe?”

We had heard about the drug violence affecting Mexico’s border cities and we didn’t want to know about it. We wanted a Caribbean breeze to gently ripple the curtains on our beach bed as we decided whether to take another dip in the cool blue waters of the Gulf or order another umbrella drink from the seaside bar. So we asked our friends, family and our friend Troy who knows everything, we also googled, Binged and Yahoo the same question: “Is Cancun safe?” The responses we received were divided in half. Yes it is and no it is not. After wringing our hands, twisting our arms, and playing rock-paper-scissors, we decided to leave.

Once in Cancun, the answer to our month-long question “Is Cancun safe?” was finally answered with a resounding “YES”. Cancun was not only safe, but we felt comfortable enough to take a 500-mile road trip through the entire Yucatan Peninsula. We were in awe of the Mayan Temple of El Castillo in Chichén Itzá, swam in the icy blue waters of several cenotes (sinkholes), received an exhilarating hour-long massage at Progreso Beach, and walked the streets of each historic city in between. . We feel safe and have a great time in your beautiful country.

This paragraph is only written to temper the enthusiasm of anyone who thinks they have the green light to be a fool in Old Mexico. You do not. Mexico is a foreign country with different laws than the US and many dangers. We didn’t have unlimited shots of Cuervo until 4:00 AM at Coco Bongos, then passed out in the alley and hoped to wake up alive. We drank responsively, drove during daylight hours (the speed limit), and told friends where we were going (among other precautions). You must always be responsible, here and abroad. Now let’s get back to the good stuff.

You’re probably wondering, “Did we ever get the Caribbean breeze to gently wave the curtains on our beach bed?” Yes we did it. One morning we took a ferry from Cancun to the gem of Isla Mujeres and spent a carefree day of sun worship at Playa Norte. It was fantastic!