Is Cozumel the safe haven it’s portrayed to be, or is there a darker side to the beautiful island? How safe are the thousands of people who visit each year? Let’s take a closer look at the safety myths and realities of safety of Cozumel, Mexico. The but short answer, Cozumel is safe to visit. As we enter the start of 2024 nothing has changed in regards to safety since last year.

Cozumel Beach Club

Not just a hub for cruise vessels, Cozumel unfolds its charm for those opting to extend their stay. From parasailing tours to  such as the captivating Mesoamerican Reef and Art Museums the island has lots to offer.

Yet, it’s not solely about the deep blue sea – Cozumel crafts the ideal ambiance for a mellow getaway too! Truthfully, a swift glance at snapshots of the breathtaking shores is generally all it takes to sway anyone into packing their bags and experiencing it firsthand. 

Drawing from my personal experience as a frequent visitor to the island since 2019, with six trips under my belt, I can confidently share that my experiences in Cozumel have always felt secure and safe. Join me as I thoroughly answer your question and more.

Safety Overview

Let me help you shed you worries and embrace the allure of Cozumel the tropical paradise. As of Nov 15th, 2023, the Cozumel Crime Index stands at a low 34.54, according to Numbeo, a reputable site that tracks crime statistics and the cost of living worldwide.

When visiting Cozumel, it quickly becomes clear why it stands out as a beacon of safety, not only for locals but also for the 150,000 tourists it warmly welcomes each week. Yes, you should exercise increased caution when traveling with a comfortably low violent crime rate, (significantly lower than many other (popular vacation destinations), and a strong police presence, it sets a gold standard for security.

Is it safe to visit in 2024?

Yes, Cozumel is very safe in 2024, not just for families but also for solo travelers. During my trip, I met a young lady (about 32 years old) who was traveling alone and stayed in Cozumel for 5 days. She met 4 guy friends on the island, they all went to college together.

It’s always more comforting when your able to get first hand knowledge from someone who’s been to the place you want to visit, especially in Mexico. But the fact is Cozumel is definitely on the safer side of all the places to visit in Mexico as of right now because of the low crime rate.

Crime in Cozumel

Crime in Cozumel may be your biggest concern, but it’s relatively low compared to other tourist destinations in Mexico. The local authorities are vigilant, and there’s a visible police and military presence, ensuring safety and detering any who may think it’s just a sleep island. Read more safety reviews from visitors on this Reddit travel blog here.

Diving deeper into the stats for 2023, only 21 homicides were reported in Cozumel’s municipality, mostly isolated acts of violence far removed from the frequented tourist spots on the island. The rate of other violent crimes echoes this trend – notably low.

But, just like anywhere else in the world basic precautions, like keeping an eye on your valuables, are still wise, rest assured. In this pristine paradise it is unlikely you will encounter significant danger.

Cozumel is more than just a postcard-perfect tropical haven; it’s a living community, and like any other place, it grapples with its share of challenges. However, in terms of safety, Cozumel not only meets Mexican standards but also aligns with the expectations of discerning international visitors.

While basic precautions, like keeping an eye on your valuables, are still wise, rest assured that your sojourn in this pristine paradise is unlikely to encounter significant danger.

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Most Common Crimes In Cozumel

Theft from parked cars: Avoid leaving valuables in whatever  you decide to drive around the island

Credit Card Scams: This is one not many people know about. Vendors are able to change the peso – USD conversion rate and set it at whatever they choose. Ask “What is your conversion rate?” before using your card.

Purse Snatching: Young youth here still purse snatch just as they do in other countries. Carry the minimum when walking about.

Theft: Theft can happen in any part of the world keep your valuables in a safe place.

Is It Safe To Eat In Cozumel?

Yes, eating local cuisine and drinking prepared drinks (including cocktails) is safe in Cozumel. When it comes to eating and drinking in Cozumel,  the island has a plethora of options ranging from high-end restaurants to local street food and of course a seemingly unlimited supply of tequila.

They store and prepare food largely differently than in developed countries such as the US. The hygiene standards are above average but not stellar if you ask me. I still highly recommend you drink bottled or purified water.

Be careful not to indulge heavily in things you don’t already typically eat at home. To Avoid getting sick make sure to wash your hands often, and be mindful of what you eat and drink.

 

Did you know in Cozumel they don’t refrigerate their eggs? Eggs sit on shelves at room temperature and are completely healthy to eat. Fun Fact

Weather Safety

Cozumel Hurricane season is from  June – October   

So we covered crime, now you want to know if Cozumel Mexico safe from natural disasters. Yes, the weather is traditionally safe in Cozumel. The only natural disaster that applies to Cozumel is a hurricane. The last hurricane to hit Cozumel was Hurricane Wilma in 2005. It was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin according to highly trusted Wikipedia. The local authorities are well-prepared to handle these situations that come up with early detection, and procedures for evacuating visitors from the island. 

Honestly, when I booked my first trip to Cozumel in 2019, my 1st concern (after I booked my ticket) was “Uh-oh, when is Cozumel’s Hurricane Season?” So I frantically searched Google and found out Cozumel’s Hurricane Season is from June to October. The National Weather Service has published a comprehensive list to prepare for a hurricane. A good resource for tracking weather is Accuweather.

 The last one to hit the island was in 2005, yes 18 years ago! So don’t worry the chances are very low you will be greeting a hurricane anytime soon.

Areas to Avoid in Cozumel

This ones is easy, I did some digging and there are no dangerous areas Cozumel that you need to stay away from completely. Keep in mind the crime that happens in Cozumel is typically where there are high traffic areas (near the ferry/downtown). Just be aware of your surrounding and you will be fine.

Though Cozumel is largely safe, staying in well-traveled and lit areas is good practice anywhere you go on vacation and should be no exception when visiting Cozumel. Here is a short blog of 11 -things to avoid in Cozumel There aren’t any areas or places in Cozumel I would say you should avoid as a tourist.

Mexico Travel Advisory – Is it Safe to travel?

Yes, it is safe to travel to cozumel in 2023. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for Mexico, which means that travelers should be aware of the risks and take precautions to protect themselves. This advisory applies to all of Mexico, including Cozumel.

While Cozumel is generally considered to be a safe destination for tourists, it is important to be aware of the potential for crime, such as petty theft and pickpocketing. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  • Stay in tourist areas and avoid walking alone at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash or valuables.
  • Be careful about accepting drinks from strangers.
  • Be aware of potential scams, such as people offering to help you with your luggage or giving you fake directions.

You will notice all of these tips are ones that people should exercise when traveling anywhere new. They are simple precautions directly from the U.S. Dep of State.

If you are planning a trip to Cozumel, it is a good idea to register with the U.S. State “STEP” Program. How to enroll in the Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This will allow the U.S. government to contact you in the event of an emergency.

Overall, Cozumel is a beautiful and welcoming place to visit. By taking some simple precautions, you can help ensure that your trip is safe and enjoyable.

Local Safety Measures

One of the key safety measures in place by Cozumels local authorities is no drinking in public. In order to keep travelers safe and in check the police do not allow open intoxicants out on the street.

For Example: you can’t get a drink at a local bar and walk down the street with it legally.

Getting Around in Cozumel: Safest Way to Travel

We cover all the ways of Getting around Cozumel Safely in a quick 5-minute read. Discover the pros, cons, and suggestions in our article. Surely, if you ask anyone, exploring Cozumel is best done by using a Taxi. Taxies are the safest way to get around.

Taxis are easy to hail, reasonably priced, and convenient. There are many ways to traverse the island, with many taxi drivers, my personal favorite being the Scooter Rental, but that isn’t for everyone. When taking an official taxi agree on the fare before starting your journey to avoid any misunderstandings. Pesos or US Dollars are acceptable.

Is It Safe to Walk Around Cozumel?

Yes, walking around Cozumel is very safe, especially in the tourist-frequented areas located on the West side of the island. During my stay, I spent my mornings and evenings walking. Early before the solicitors/salespeople are out and late in the day long after they are packed up for the night.

It was comfortable, with no presence of gangs, cartels, or sketchy people. At night, you’ll see couples giggling, holding hands walking down the street, or groups of locals standing outside a local drinking spot. Your biggest worry while walking is getting sunburnt. This includes the area near the Ferry, Cruise Port, Resorts, and Cozumel’s Downtown area. As always, be aware of your surro

Is Cozumel Safe For Cruise Passengers?

Cozumel’s Cruise port is generally considered to be quite safe for tourists. The local authorities and cruise lines take security seriously to ensure the well-being of visitors. This goes for both of the major cruise ship ports that are used daily. The safety situation in Cozumel means you can walk around Cozumel freely on and off your cruise boat without worry.

Is It safe To Walk at Night In Cozumel?

Yes, walking at night in cozumel is safe. Exercise basic safety precautions, and be aware of your surroundings like anywhere else. If you are planning on exploring the nightlife in Cozumel safely, you will be safe and sound.

There isn’t a lot to choose from because the island’s locals are fairly “ sleepy”. They aren’t big on parties, or drinking. Therefore there aren’t bad people to worry about preying on intoxicated tourists. Cozumel’s nightlife is vibrant and offers a few options for every taste.

Is Cozumel Safe From Drug Cartel: The Truth

Yes. The presence of drug cartels in Cozumel is practically nonexistent. There is no Cozumel Cartel, nor has there ever been any proof of it. Unlike the rest of Mexico, the island shows no presence of the common activities associated with the Cartels such as (drugs, and human trafficking.)

There is very little if any known illegal Cartel activity in Cozumel. You don’t hear about it on the news with phrases such as “Cozumel Cartel”, or from people who have traveled which is a good thing. So is there a cartel in Cozumel? No, there is no evidence of it

Wild Encounters: Dangerous Animals in Cozumel

While Cozumel has its share of wildlife, dangerous encounters are rare. Read our are there dangerous animals in Cozumel article. If any, the ocean is the home of the most dangerous unknown wildlife… jellyfish! Respect the wildlife, give them space and you will have a wonderful time safely exploring the island above and below the water.

Swimming Safely: Navigating the Waters Around Cozumel

Swimming in Cozumel’s waters is generally safe and the primary reason for many seeking the incredible underwater views. Pay attention to weather conditions and heed any warnings from flags put up by local authorities. The flags will give you indications of the conditions for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. 

Here is a little video to show you just how fast ocean fun can turn dangerous even in a beautiful place like Cozumel.

Additional Tips to Keep You Safe in Cozumel

Additional Tips to Keep You Safe in Cozumel

For your Cozumel Excursions and activities make sure to research first: If you’re planning to indulge in activities when you visit cozumel like Parasailing, super fun Jet ski Rentals, snorkeling, or guided tours, always opt for reputable and certified operators.

Check online reviews and ask for recommendations to ensure they demonstrate normal precautions and guidelines and have the necessary safety equipment Make sure you arrive on time because the cozumel zone can be a little confusing. Exercise increased caution when booking with small companies with less than 10 reviews. Looking into travel insurance isn’t a bad idea

Watch Your Belongings at the Beach

Cozumel’s beaches are stunning, but they can also get crowded You don’t have to worry much about petty crime here. Still, keep a close eye on your belongings, or even better, bring only essentials and leave valuables locked up at your accommodation. Truth is cozumel is safe, but you are more likely to have your belongings stolen by another vacationer before a local. Why, it’s simple the workers have more to lose.

Learn Basic Spanish Phrases

While many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning a few basic Spanish phrases can go a long way in keeping you just slightly safer. After all, knowing exactly what the locals are saying will definitely increase your situational awareness. 

Imagine, a local gives you directions to the local restaurant and you interpret them wrong and now your driving around on a scooter for an additional 30 minutes trying to read street signs, determine where you are, and make wrong turns down a one-way. This could easily make your time less safe unknowingly.

It also shows respect for the local culture and can be incredibly helpful in situations where English isn’t as commonly spoken. They can tell when you are making an effort and that appreciate it. I used Babbel.com to learn Spanish. I no pro, but I can definitely get around the Spanish culture more comfortably.

Respect Local Customs and Laws

Every place has its own set of rules and customs, and Cozumel is no different. So for a safe and enjoyable experience, be respectful of the Mexican island. Respect the local traditions, and adhere to laws, and you’ll find the locals are more than willing to help and welcome you. Not, if you are rude, driving down one way in the wrong direction. Doing these two things and visiting cozumel will be an awesome experience. 

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