Ok, people, enough’s enough. Too many people are finding my blog by researching “crime in Playa del Carmen” and the US media has been going on a frenzy trying to sensationalize crime in Mexico in an effort to deter Americans from traveling here.
Here is the most recent travel advisory from the US State department. Read it for yourself and then come back.
Ok, they’re warning you that there has been drug cartel violence as well as some robberies, etc. in some of the border cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. They recommend restricting travel to Durango.
Have any of you seen a map of Mexico? Here you go:
Quintana Roo, which is Playa del Carmen’s state, is the grey/purplish state that is on the far right, curled up little Yucatan peninsula. In other words, it’s really, really far away from the border.
This is not to say there is not crime in Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Of COURSE there is crime, as there is in any city in the entire world. But I live here and have for 5 years. If there were street shootouts or random hijackings/kidnappings going on, do you think I would still live here?
Here’s my advice:
1. Don’t get involved in illegal drugs, particularly drug-trafficking.
2. Don’t leave your bike locked up with a crappy chain lock, it WILL get stolen.
3. Don’t get drunk and walk home alone in the dark, with your wallet half falling out of your purse.
4. Don’t get drunk and walk home alone in the dark ANYWHERE in the world.
5. Credit cards still aren’t that widely accepted here, so you’re better off using cash. Pesos are better than dollars for use in Mexico, no matter what your American friends say.
6. Use the same common sense here that you would use in any city. People do things on vacation that they wouldn’t normally do and relax to the point of making themselves a target. I’ve seen scammers in Las Vegas taking people with elaborate schemes on city buses. Don’t be that guy.
7. Ask yourself just why it is that the media has such a hard-on for trying to steer people away from travel to Mexico. Could it be that there are certain interests in keeping US tourist dollars in the US during economic crunch time? Wouldn’t be exaggerating anything in an effort to scare you, now, would they? Hmmm.
Please read this list of Common Dangers in the area.
Do these people look like they are in danger?
How about these guys?
Think for yourself, don’t be an idiot, ask locals. Playa del Carmen is as safe as any other tourist destination. The end.