Is Cozumel safe for tourists?
Many people wonder about safety when visiting Cozumel, Mexico because of what they hear in the news.
Despite what you hear on the news, most tourist destinations in Mexico are safe and welcoming, including Cozumel.
I went a few months ago (March 2022) and felt perfectly safe the entire time I was there.
Cozumel is one of the most beautiful places in North America, and I don’t want anything to stop you from experiencing its fantastic beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and delicious food.
With a bit of caution and common sense, you can enjoy all that this island offers without much worry.
I’ll tell you everything you need to know about safety in Cozumel so you can travel with confidence.
So, come enjoy the Caribbean Sea, white-sand beaches, and the friendly locals of Cozumel. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
In This Post:
Brief Overview of Safety in Cozumel
First, here are a few basic things to consider when thinking about safety on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast.
U.S. Media Portrayal of Mexico
The United States media often portrays Mexico as a dangerous place full of crimes and dangers.
Whether news reports or popular movies, there is a common perception that violence is rampant south of the American border and that tourists can never be truly safe when visiting Mexico.
They don’t do much to alleviate concerns about safety in Cozumel, either.
This perception is not only misleading, but it is also harmful, as it perpetuates negative stereotypes that can damage the livelihoods of many honest locals.
Contrary to popular belief, most regions in Mexico are pretty safe, with much lower levels of crime than some cities in the U.S.
San Miguel de Cozumel is actually one of the safest cities in all of Mexico, with a very low crime rate.
Of course, there is always a risk of crime when traveling anywhere, but these risks are minimal in Cozumel.
Bottom line — don’t let negative portrayals in the media keep you from exploring this beautiful island!
Crime Rate Statistics for Cozumel
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at some actual crime rate statistics for Cozumel.
As I mentioned before, Cozumel has a very low crime rate compared to other cities in Mexico.
In fact, according to Numbeo, the crime index in Cozumel is low at 34.17, compared to Cancun, which is 55.24.
For reference, Numbeo uses a crime index scale from 0 to 100, with the following classifications:
- Very Low: less than 20
- Low: 20-40
- Moderate: 40-60
- High: 60-80
- Very High: more than 80
Of course, as with any place, there is always the potential for crime, but you are more likely to experience crime in other parts of Mexico, such as Playa del Carmen, or even in some American cities (Chicago is 66.06) than you are in Cozumel.
Travel Alerts and Warnings for Cozumel
As of May 2022, Mexico has a Level 3 travel alert from the U.S., meaning that people are advised to reconsider travel due to crime and violence.
However, this only applies to some areas of Mexico (such as Sinaloa, Jalisco, Chihuahua, Mexico City, and a few other destinations).
Cozumel is quite far away from these areas, so you should be fine if you stick to the tourist areas on the island.
The U.S. government also states a minimal risk for violent crime in areas like Cozumel, which tourists frequent.
Before going to Cozumel, look at the latest Mexico travel advisory for the most up-to-date information.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
When you visit Cozumel, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a great way to stay safe and connected while you’re away.
STEP is a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State that allows U.S. citizens and nationals to enroll their travel plans with the embassy.
That way, if something happens while you’re in Mexico, like a natural disaster or civil unrest, the embassy will be able to reach you and provide assistance.
STEP is also helpful for staying up-to-date on travel advisories. For example, if there is a rise in crime in a particular area, the embassy can alert all enrolled travelers.
Finally, enrolling in STEP is a good way to let your family and friends know where you are in case of an emergency.
Common Q&A About Safety in Cozumel
Now, let’s take a look at some common questions and answers about the safety of Cozumel.
Is Cozumel Safe in 2022?
Tourism is a vital part of the economy in Cozumel, and the island is working hard to make sure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.
In recent years, Cozumel has taken steps to improve safety for tourists, including increasing security at popular tourist destinations and collaborating with law enforcement to crack down on crime.
As a result, the island has become one of the safest places to travel in Mexico.
So, is Cozumel safe in 2022? Yes! Cozumel will continue to be a safe and welcoming destination for travelers from many countries.
Is It Safe to Walk Around Cozumel?
Although it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings when traveling, you can feel confident walking around Cozumel without worry.
The locals are also helpful and friendly, so they will likely be happy to help you out if you do have any concerns.
Moreover, many police officers and security guards monitor the streets.
Is Cozumel Safe From Drug-Related Crimes?
In recent years, drug cartel violence has escalated dramatically in Mexico.
However, the island of Cozumel has remained largely untouched by this wave of drug related crime.
Thanks to its location off the coast of the Mexican mainland, Cozumel is physically isolated from the mainland and is not a feasible route for smuggling drugs.
In addition, the island is heavily policed and has a strong military presence.
You can rest easy knowing that you’re unlikely to encounter any drug related violence while in Cozumel.
Is Cozumel Safer Than Cancun?
Cozumel is often touted as a safer and more peaceful alternative to Cancun.
This is mainly due to the island’s smaller size and more relaxed atmosphere.
With fewer tourists and cars on the roads, it is easier for authorities to keep track of what is going on and enforce safety regulations.
In addition, locals tend to have stronger ties within their communities, which helps them stay vigilant against potential threats from outside sources.
Overall, Cozumel is known for being a calm and safe place where people can feel at ease relaxing on its beautiful beaches or exploring its intriguing history.
Is Cozumel Safe at Night?
Like you would anywhere, it’s essential to take extra precautions when traveling at night.
The streets are well lit in most areas, but it’s always a good idea to stay in well-lit and populated areas.
If you are out late at night, it’s best to take a taxi back to your hotel or resort.
As long as you use common sense and take basic safety precautions, you should have no problem staying safe in Cozumel at night.
Is Cozumel Safe for Female Travelers?
Many female travelers worry about whether is Cozumel safe for them to visit.
The good news is that Cozumel is a safe destination for women, and there are several ways to stay safe while you’re on the island.
First, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling alone.
If you’re not comfortable walking around by yourself, there are plenty of tour groups that you can join.
Additionally, it’s good to avoid wearing flashy jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash.
Finally, remember to use common sense and listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Is Cozumel Safe for Backpacking?
Cozumel is an excellent destination for backpackers, as it offers a wide range of budget-friendly accommodations, dining options, and activities.
Whether you want to go scuba diving or just relax on the beach, you will find plenty of ways to explore and enjoy the island without spending a fortune.
Just be sure to take the same safety precautions that you would when traveling to any new place, such as being aware of your surroundings.
Is Cozumel Safe for Cruise Passengers?
Cozumel is one of the busiest cruise ports around the state of Quintana Roo, known for its gorgeous beaches and incredible snorkeling and diving spots.
Whether you are taking a shore excursion or exploring on your own, you can rest easy knowing that Cozumel is a safe place for cruise passengers.
The island is home to friendly locals who are always happy to help out visitors, and the strong tourist infrastructure means that you have access to many amenities and services.
Is Cozumel Safe for Families?
Cozumel is a safe and family-friendly destination. The island has many activities that are perfect for families, such as snorkeling, diving, and relaxing on the beach.
Many resorts offer kid-friendly amenities and services, such as babysitting, family-friendly restaurants and activities, and special kids’ clubs.
Is Cozumel Safe for Solo Travelers?
Is Cozumel safe is a popular topic of conversation amongst people who are traveling solo.
The truth is that Cozumel is one of the safest destinations in Mexico for solo travelers.
There are many tour operators and activities that cater specifically to solo visitors, and you won’t have any trouble making new friends with the locals.
Do You Need Travel Insurance for Cozumel?
While Cozumel is a safe destination, it’s always a good idea to have insurance in case of any unexpected events such as flight cancellations or illness.
I personally believe that it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry and recommend purchasing it to protect yourself in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
👉 If you decide to purchase travel insurance, I recommend buying it from SafetyWing because their policies are affordable, reliable, and include many great benefits such as emergency medical coverage, trip interruption, and more.
Check prices and buy your insurance with SafetyWing here.
Safety Concerns in Cozumel
As with any destination, here are some safety concerns that you should be aware of when traveling to Cozumel.
Petty Crimes/Petty Theft
Petty crimes occur all over the world, and Cozumel is no exception.
Some common petty crimes in Cozumel include pickpocketing and bag snatching.
These crimes typically occur in crowded or tourist-heavy areas, such as beaches, restaurants, or shopping centers.
One way to avoid being a victim is to exercise caution when traveling through these areas and look for any suspicious activity.
Additionally, it’s important to keep your valuables close at all times, especially when using public transportation or visiting crowded attractions.
Last but not least, another petty crime is credit card fraud, where cards are illegally duplicated or used for unauthorized transactions.
Check your credit card statement periodically and ensure there aren’t fishy charges.
Rental Car Safety
When renting a car in Cozumel, it’s important to keep your safety in mind at all times.
For one thing, you should drive defensively and abide by local traffic laws.
Also, park in well-lit parking lots and lock the car whenever you’re not in it. Make sure your personal items aren’t visible in the car.
Additionally, you should always have maps or GPS navigation on hand to easily find your way around without getting lost or distracted by unfamiliar streets or traffic patterns.
Last but not least, it is crucial to only rent a car from reputable companies known for providing reliable and safe vehicles.
👉 I recommend using DiscoverCars for car rentals. There are no hidden fees, the prices are competitive, and their customer service is amazing.
Check prices and rental car options with DiscoverCars by clicking here.
Diving and Snorkeling Safety
Cozumel is one of the best spots for snorkeling and diving in Quintana Roo/Riviera Maya, which attracts most visitors here.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is the strong currents.
For this reason, it’s essential always to follow the established diving and snorkeling guidelines and stay within designated areas.
If you’re diving, make sure you pick an experienced and properly certified company.
Additionally, it’s important to use appropriate diving or snorkeling gear, such as life jackets, snorkel masks/fins, wetsuits, and reef-safe sunscreen.
With these tips in mind, you can fully enjoy exploring the undersea wonders of Cozumel while ensuring you are safe.
Scooter and Moped Safety
Scooters and mopeds are popular modes of transportation in Cozumel.
While they can be a fun and convenient way to get around, it’s important to exercise caution when riding them.
First and foremost, always wear a helmet whenever you’re on a scooter or moped, and don’t drive too fast.
Also, avoid driving at night or in bad weather conditions, and make sure the scooter or moped you’re renting is in good condition before setting off.
Last but not least, make sure the moto scooter you’re renting is in good condition before setting off.
Unfortunately, taxi scams are common in Cozumel, so it’s important to be wary when getting into a taxi.
Common taxi scams include overcharging for rides and driving to the wrong destination.
Before entering any vehicle, ask how much the ride will cost upfront and ensure that the driver takes you to your destination.
Furthermore, it’s recommended only to use clearly marked taxis and have an official phone number listed on the outside.
Cozumel is generally a healthy place to travel, but you can always take precautions to reduce your risk of getting sick.
First and foremost, drink plenty of water and stick to bottled water. Don’t drink tap water.
The average temperatures can get pretty, so make sure you drink enough bottled water in Cozumel!
Some luxury resorts and hotels might have their own tap water system, so double-check.
Also, be sure to eat only fresh and properly cooked food, and avoid food sold by street vendors.
👉 Don’t forget to pack the Pepto-Bismol! The last thing you want on your vacation is to spend more time on the toilet than on the beach.
If you’re planning on spending time in the sun, be sure to use sunscreen and avoid over-exposure to the sun.
Finally, make sure you have proper travel health insurance in case of an emergency.
Top 12 Cozumel Safety Tips
Here are some top tips for keeping yourself safe in Cozumel.
- Always be aware of your surroundings: Avoid walking alone at night and watch for suspicious characters or shady situations.
- Keep your valuables out of sight: Avoid drawing attention to yourself by keeping your valuables hidden. There’s no need to wear expensive jewelry or constantly have your phone in your hand.
- Carry a photocopy of your passport: Leave your actual passport locked up in the safe at your hotel and carry a photocopy with you instead.
- Only use official taxis: Be sure only to use clearly marked taxis and have an official phone number listed on the outside.
- If you’re being robbed, don’t resist: It’s always better to walk away than put yourself in danger. If someone is trying to rob you, simply hand over your belongings and let them go.
- Watch your alcohol consumption: Drunken tourists are easy targets because they draw attention to themselves for opportunistic criminals, so be sure to pace yourself. Plus, the drunker you are, the more likely you will trust strangers, which could end up bad. Stick to the bottled water for a bit!
- Learn Spanish: Knowing a few words of Spanish will help you communicate with locals and avoid being taken advantage of. English is widely spoken in some tourist areas, but it never hurts to be prepared.
- Don’t hang out in isolated areas in the dark: If you’re going to be out at night, stick to well-lit, busy areas.
- Keep your money in multiple places: Don’t keep all of your cash in one place. Store some in your hotel room safe, some in your wallet, and some hidden in a secret pocket. That way, if you are robbed, you won’t lose everything.
- Be cautious when ATMs are involved: When using an ATM, be sure to shield your PIN from view and keep an eye out for skimmers.
- Don’t carry huge amounts of cash: Carry as little money as possible. If you have a lot of money on you, you’re more likely to be targeted by thieves.
- Use your common sense: This may seem like obvious advice, but it’s worth repeating. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and walk away.
Where to Get Help If You Need It
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, the best thing to do is to contact your hotel or the police.
The resort and hotel staff will be able to assist you if there is a problem, and most hotels and resorts have a medical facility on site.
If your problem is more serious, several hospitals and clinics on the island can assist.
You can also dial 911 for help to contact the police, and they will send someone to assist you.
No matter what happens, the most important thing is to stay calm and know that help is available if you need it.
Is Cozumel Safe? Summary
Cozumel is a beautiful, welcoming place in the Riviera Maya that is perfect for a relaxing vacation.
And, yes, Cozumel is safe! You won’t have to worry much about violent crimes, and it’s safer than a big city in other countries.
While there are always safety concerns when traveling to any new place, Cozumel is generally safe for travelers.
By following the tips above, you can rest assured that you will have a safe and enjoyable trip to Cozumel.
Is Cozumel Safe? Final Thoughts
So, there you have it — my top tips for staying safe on your trip to Cozumel.
I hope that this information will help you put your mind at ease and that you have a wonderful visit!
Have you been to Cozumel before? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!
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Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.