Playa del Carmen is located in the state of Quintana Roo, on the eastern side of Mexico. It is a top Mexican Caribbean destination that is well known for its beaches, stunning natural features and lively nightclubs. Playa del Carmen is a place that nature enthusiasts will appreciate; in fact, one of its most popular natural attractions is the extensive coral reef system. But this destination is also diverse and has other thriving natural features like the tropical jungle, pristine beach, cenotes and even ancient ruins. On top of its environmental offerings, the coastal town is a year round party place with plenty of things to do. 

Since Playa del Carmen is known for its nightlife and parties, it is undoubtedly a great vacation spot. For travelers wanting to have an exciting and active trip abroad, it is the perfect place to go. Many tourists enjoy going bar hopping on 5th avenue or visiting popular clubs like Coco Bongo and Mandala. Visitors can also appreciate all that nature has to offer at an array of Playa del Carmen sites. Much of Playa del Carmen’s natural environment is well preserved and can be observed by tourists. For example, Xcaret Park and Xel Ha Park are popular commercial eco parks while places like Sian Kaan and Rio Lagartos are more private preserves. 

Although Playa del Carmen is a pretty popular destination with millions of visitors per year, it is still wise for travelers to assess the safety level of potential travel destinations before visiting. With the thriving nightlife scene of Playa del Carmen is one of its popular features, with it comes some aspects of danger. Learn more about the safety concerns that travelers should remain knowledgeable of when considering travel to Playa del Carmen and how to avoid potential threats.

Best Travel Advisories

These travel advisories are the best resources for tourists that want to learn more about Playa del Carmen. 
pictured: a red bike in front of a palm tree on a white sand beach in Playa del Carmen

To thoroughly assess the safety of a potential travel destination, it is of critical importance for travelers to stay informed. So, knowing the most important information and tips about Playa del Carmen is a great way to avoid unnecessary stress, lessen the possibility of potential threats and plan a safe and happy trip abroad. Here are the foremost resources that will aid travelers in making informed decisions. 

There are many platforms that can help put travelers at ease about a travel destination they may be concerned about visiting. The U.S. Department of State posts a regularly updated list of (areas within individual) countries that are categorized by safety level. Currently the state of Quintana Roo, where Playa del Carmen is located, is categorized as a level two destination. This means that travelers should exercise increased caution when traveling there. Crime in Playa del Carmen is mostly to do with local gangs but not all crime that occurs is violent. Given that tourists are seldom impacted or targeted by violent crime, most visitors do not worry. As long as travelers stay in safe areas, it is mostly the non violent crimes that they should be concerned about. There are even U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Mexico which can provide support for citizens in distress or in need of help with travel. The U.S. Embassy even provides travel tips and alerts on its website, which travelers can access at any time. 

In terms of health safety, there is usually some type of risk (whether minor or major) anywhere that travelers go. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a top resource for travelers that want to learn more about the places they may travel and the people there. For the latest on Mexico’s travel health notices, medicines, preventable illnesses and environmental threats, the CDC website is the right place to look. 

Is Playa del Carmen Safe for Tourists and Solo Travelers?

Learn more about the safety concerns in Playa del Carmen and if the destination is considered safe for travelers. 
pictured: a white sand beach with lush green palm trees near sun set in Playa del Carmen

Yes, Playa del Carmen is safe for tourists and solo travelers. In fact, it is a popular place for solo travelers to live abroad. The nuance with this is that Quintana Roo is not necessarily the safest state. But while Playa del Carmen is not in the safest state of them all, it actually has a relatively low crime rate. This, along with the general reputation it has with the public, has made it a pretty well-visited destination. Generally, if travelers are impacted by crime while visiting Playa del Carmen, it is petty crime, like theft. So, a traveler’s main concern has to do with securing their personal property, as long as they steer clear of drug and cartel activity.

How to Stay Safe in Playa del Carmen

Check out these tips on staying safe while in Playa del Carmen.
pictured: a straw hut on a Playa del Carmen beach

While staying in Playa del Carmen it is advisable for travelers to exercise regular travel precautions. For example, things like not flashing expensive or valuable things while out and about may help avoid travelers feeling distraught over their possessions being swiped from them. Other baseline precautions include not going out alone at night in poorly lit areas or anywhere that travelers do not feel safe in. Other than that, scams do occur occasionally but generally travelers that are vigilant and cautious do not fall victim to them. One of the most popular scams include ATMs, which is particularly impactful for tourists that depend on the cash they have on their person while abroad. Especially since many places in Playa del Carmen are cash only. Travelers should avoid using ATMs that look like they may be tampered with or are in seemingly unsafe public areas. The best options are inside banks, not on the street.

Travelers that will depend on public transportation should take heed. While the public transportation of Playa del Carmen is not necessarily dangerous, it can pose threats to foreigners. Technically, Playa del Carmen can be easily walkable but it is not recommended for travelers to navigate a brand new city on their own (depending on where they are). Getting places on foot is generally common near the beach or in central party areas. If travelers are not taking luxury buses to the main attractions, they will need to take a taxi or the local bus service. Taxis are best utilized to get out of the main resort area of Playa del Carmen. As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable to confirm the rate before entering a cab. For bus rides in Playa del Carmen, travelers should stay alert to those around them, secure their personal belongings and never fall asleep while riding, especially at night. 

Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen 

For first timers, there are many places to stay in Playa del Carmen to ensure their safety. The downtown area and Mayakoba are popular areas for tourists. Of course, since downtown Playa del Carmen is so centrally located to all the best things to do and is a walkable area, it is the most popular place for tourists to be. Fifth avenue is a pedestrian area of downtown where travelers can find the best bars, restaurants and stores. This means that this is where travelers can expect to pay a higher price for higher end goods, but they will find the most fun there. The majority of travelers attempt to stay in or near fifth avenue, so that they can stay in high end hotels during their stay and not have to pay much for transportation. The area of Mayakoba is well known for its lagoons and beaches. There are many luxury residences there, including lavish resorts and hotels, some of which are adults only. Tourists will find the best golf and beach clubs, wellness retreats and some of the top cuisine that Playa del Carmen has to offer in Mayakoba.

Best Time to Visit Playa del Carmen

Travelers looking to visit Playa del Carmen are better off visiting sometime between April and May, for the optimal experience. The weather is more manageable (between 70 and 90 degrees) and there are even fewer crowds during this time. The rainy season may be a damper on certain travel experiences, so it is best that travelers plan their trip accordingly. Visiting during the dry season, between December and April, is advisable. With drier and (increasingly) warmer temperatures, this time period is the best for beachgoers that will enjoy the moderate weather. Playa del Carmen is near the Atlantic Ocean so the hurricane season runs between June and November and should be avoided if possible. 

People Also Ask 

Is Playa del Carmen safer than Cancun? Both Playa del Carmen and Cancun are considered safe places to visit for tourists.

Why is Playa del Carmen so popular? Tourists love Playa del Carmen’s laid back environment and stunning beaches, as well as its local affordable prices.