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13 Tips for Staying Safe in Cancun as a Solo Female Traveler (2024)

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As a solo female traveler, it can be liberating to go out and explore the world on your own, and there’s really no destination like Cancun, Mexico. From the pristine beaches to lively Mexican culture and, of course, countless excursions available, your trip to Cancun will surely be life-changing. However, when you’re traveling solo, especially as a woman, it’s important to consider your safety. That’s why I’ve put together the tips that I wish I would have known before planning my trip to Cancun.

Knowing Where to Go

Knowing Where to Go

Before you even leave for your trip to Cancun, you can already make sure you’re on the right path to a safe vacation by picking the right accommodation. I’ve got you covered with the best tips to ensure you pick the absolute best accommodation for safety in Cancun.

1. Stay in a safe neighborhood

We’ve done the research and experienced it firsthand – there are two areas in Cancun that are considered the safest for tourists to stay in. These are the “Hotel Zone” and “Downtown Cancun.”

The “Hotel Zone” – it’s the main hub for tourists and has everything you need from hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The Hotel Zone is located right on the beach on a narrow strip of land that separates the gorgeous Caribbean Sea from the Nichupte Lagoon. You’ll love the crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches – it’s truly paradise!

The second area that is considered safe for tourists is “Downtown Cancun.” This area is perfect if you’re looking for a more cultural experience. It has local markets, shopping centers, cultural attractions, and restaurants. You’ll get to experience the local culture of Cancun and maybe even practice your Spanish!

Now, on the flip side, there are some areas that you should avoid as they are considered the most dangerous. These areas include Bonfil, Tres Reyes, Santa Cecilia, and Valle Verde. So, make sure to steer clear of those neighborhoods.

2. Pick your accommodation wisely: read the reviews

When deciding where to stay, it’s not only about the neighborhood but also the actual accommodation that you’ll be in. While there are plenty of Airbnb’s available in Cancun, it’s not a bad idea to prioritize safety and opt for a resort that offers additional security measures, like gated entrances and 24/hr on-site security.

When selecting a hotel, be sure to check the reviews. But instead of just focusing on the good reviews, make sure to filter and read through the lowest-rated reviews first to ensure that people aren’t complaining about safety and security issues.

For an all-inclusive experience, you might want to consider resorts like Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort, Paradisus Cancun, Le Blanc Spa Resort, or the Hard Rock Cancun. These types of hotels offer everything you need, from in-house restaurants to fun activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and fitness centers. You won’t have to worry about a thing!

Nightlife Safety


Excited to explore the city’s nightlife? While it’s a highlight of Cancun, and you should definitely go out and have fun, it’s important to prioritize your safety, especially if you’re traveling alone.

3. Watch your drinks

Like anywhere, keeping an eye on your drinks while you’re out in Cancun is extremely important. Unfortunately, drink spiking can happen, so as a solo female traveler, it’s vital to make sure you’re staying alert when it comes to your drinks.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid accepting drinks from strangers, no matter how friendly they seem. If you’re at a bar or nightclub, keep an eye on your drink and never ever leave it unattended. If you can, stick to bottled drinks rather than mixed drinks or cocktails since they’re less likely to be tampered with. Overall, you should be mindful of how much alcohol you’re consuming and know your limits.

4. Be cautious of new friends

When you’re traveling alone, it’s normal to want to go out and make friends. While it’s great to meet new people and make new friends, it’s important to exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings.

When you’re out at a bar or club in Cancun, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and let your guard down. Unfortunately, there are people out there who may have ulterior motives and take advantage of solo travelers. So, while it’s not necessary to be paranoid, it’s important to trust your instincts and be mindful of who you’re talking to.

Don’t reveal too much personal information, and be careful following strangers to unknown locations, even if it’s a second bar— in Cancun, it’s a fairly common scam for bars to pay locals to go make friends with tourists to bring them to their bar, only to charge them 3x the price for a drink.

5. Don’t resist

If on the off-chance someone does try to rob you, don’t resist. Hand over your phone, wallet, or anything else they want because most victims get seriously injured while trying to fight back. It’s not worth it. As soon as you give the thief what they want, they will take off, and you will be left unharmed.

Touring/Getting Around

Touring Getting Around

I wouldn’t blame you if don’t want to leave the beaches in Cancun, but one of the best parts of traveling is getting out and exploring the city. If you do find yourself exploring the city, there are some things to consider for your safety:

6. Be aware of corrupt cops

Mexico is well-known for its corruption – and being a tourist won’t make you immune to it. Police officers are known to stop tourists (usually when you’re driving a car) and give you a fine for speeding or any other traffic violation they can come up with. See, what he’ll tell you is that you’ll need to go to court and sort it out, but he’ll let you off the hook if you just pay him a small fee. That’s when you call their bluff, tell them you’ll follow them to the police station, and 9 times out of 10, they will let you go on your way for refusing to play their game.

7. Take an Uber

While taxis can be a convenient way to get around, Uber is a safer option for solo travelers in Cancun. Unfortunately, some taxi drivers in Cancun have been known to overcharge or take advantage of tourists, especially female solo travelers. With Uber, you’ll know the price upfront, so there won’t be any unexpected charges, and since Uber drivers have their identity shared and their livelihood on the line with bad reviews or getting reported, there’s less chance for foul play in general.

Just remember the safety precautions you would take anywhere, like whenever possible, share your location with a friend, and always keep an eye on the map, even in an Uber. Better safe than sorry.

8. Don’t walk around distracted

While we all love to put our headphones on and jam out while walking, when you’re in Cancun you should leave the headphones behind. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings while you’re walking around the city. When you’re listening to music or a podcast, you may not be able to hear what’s happening around you. This can make you more vulnerable to potential risks such as theft or harassment. By keeping your ears open, you’ll be more aware of any potential dangers and better able to react to them.

Plus, fancier headphones (i.e. AirPods) are a quick signal to thieves that you might be worth robbing since all they see is $200 worth of valuables in your ears, (that’s a pretty big chunk of change in pesos!)— so to avoid unwanted attention it’s better to leave them at the hotel and save your podcasts or music for when you’re lounging poolside.

9. Stick to public places

If you’re in Cancun’s touristic zones we mentioned above it is generally safe to wander around alone. If you’re like me, you’ll want to discover the off-the-beaten-path parts of Cancun while you’re there, but it’s important to be very aware of your surroundings because if you do leave the tourist areas, chances are you’ll be easily spotted as a tourist. Wherever you go, it’s important to exercise caution when you’re out and about, especially as a solo female traveler.

One way to stay safe while exploring is to stay in public places while exploring the city. Public spaces such as parks, plazas, and busy streets are generally safer than quiet or secluded areas. At night be sure to stay in well-lit and busy areas – that way, you’ll be less vulnerable to potential risks. Never follow anyone to an unknown destination or into a private residence, regardless of how nice they seem to be. You never know someone’s true motives, and as a solo female traveler, you need to protect yourself.

General Safety Tips

General Safety Tips

Traveling always comes with a certain level of risk. There are some things that you can do to protect yourself regardless of your destination.

10. Leave your flashy jewelry at home

Cancun is a beautiful destination, and you’ll want to look your best when you’re going out, but it’s also important to keep in mind that, like anywhere, there may be pickpockets around. A simple way to reduce your risk of being targeted is to leave your flashy jewelry at home. Wearing expensive or eye-catching jewelry can draw unwanted attention and make you more vulnerable to potential risks, and it’s risky even just leaving it in your hotel room. A family friend of mine had her $10,000 engagement ring stolen out of her hotel room while they were in Cancun for their wedding!

Instead, opt to wear jewelry that’s simple and understated. Think about swapping your wedding ring for a simple gold band for the duration of your trip— even consider leaving flashy costume jewelry behind since thieves might not be able to tell the difference. This way, you won’t attract unwanted attention.

11. Get a local sim card

This might seem like a no-brainer, but staying connected is essential for your safety while traveling to Cancun. The last thing you want is to find yourself lost, alone, and with no data to navigate your way back to your hotel. Plus, if you do find yourself in a sticky situation while you’re in Cancun, you’ll be able to call for help.

Even if your phone carrier offers international roaming, I’d still suggest getting a local TelCel SIM card because sometimes international plans can be unreliable, plus it’s typically more affordable than using an international roaming plan. You can go into any OXXO convenience store and buy one for $15.

12. Don’t carry your passport

While you will need to bring your passport with you when you’re traveling to Mexico, it’s not always necessary to carry it with you everywhere you go once you’re in the country. When you’re out and about in Cancun, it’s a good idea to leave your passport in a secure location, like in your hotel room’s safe.

Instead, carry a photocopy of your passport or another form of identification, such as a driver’s license. This way, if you happen to lose your purse, get pickpocketed, or any other number of unexpected situations happen, you can rest assured that, at the very least, your passport is safe and sound back in your room.

13. Trust your gut

You know that feeling you get when something just seems a little off? When you’re traveling, especially as a female solo traveler, it’s important to trust those instincts and listen to your gut. If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, don’t hesitate to remove yourself from it. Whether it’s declining an invitation from a stranger or avoiding a poorly lit alleyway, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Even if it means that you have to take an extra couple of minutes to get to your destination or leave a fun party. Your safety should always be the number one priority— so if your gut is telling you something not right, listen to it.


Remember that staying safe while traveling boils down to being mindful, aware, and prepared. With these tips in mind, you’re going to have an absolute blast while also being safe in Cancun, soaking up the sun and enjoying the lively Mexican culture.

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