Playa del Carmen Beach

Safety in the Riviera Maya

As well as being portrayed for its beautiful coastlines and serene getaways, Mexico is also seen as a dangerous country to travel in. But what is true about this? This view is only related to the areas closest to the United States. The Riviera Maya, about as far as you can physically and geographically get from the north of the country, is a very different story.

The Rivera Maya has only recently evolved from a few small villages into a tourist area and, because of this recent evolution, a tropical, tranquil and secure environment has been created. Its activities focuses around local Mayan history, the preservation of natural Mexico and ensuring that these things accessible and enjoyable for those who travel here; so people can truly get the most out of this region. Tourism is the number one income for the Riviera Maya, so safety is priority. Traveling in this part of Mexico is not something to be feared, it is something to be relished!


Before traveling to Mexico you should meet with your doctor, ideally 4 – 6 weeks before traveling, to check what vaccinations you will need to travel. Vaccines that are recommended for the whole of Mexico are:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

Other diseases are present but these are generally covered by routine vaccines programs. Check that you are up to date with yours and, again, check with your doctor to see if it covers you for everything. Also consult with them over any recent outbreaks that may have occurred.

Although the risk of Malaria in the area is low compared to the rest of the country, it is always advisable to obtain medication before you go. Unfortunately there is no vaccination for Malaria, but are a few different options to choose from that your doctor can inform you about.

If you are traveling as more than a tourist -for example, as a volunteer on a farm- you may need to obtain a slightly larger variety of vaccines because of the work you may be be undertaking. Again, explain this to your doctor and he will give you more detailed information.

Safety tips

  1. Do not drink the tap water (bottled only), as this is where many diseases lie. Also if your unsure, ask your server where the ice comes from; if in doubt ask for no ice at all.
  2. Wear long trousers in the evening if your going to be around the beach or the jungle as this is prime time for mosquitoes.
  3. It is safe in the Riviera Maya, but as always when traveling in a foreign country: keep your wits about you, lock up valuables, use common sense and if it does feel dodgy or out of the ordinary, chances are, it probably is.