Elite
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Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:57 pm

Hi all -

I will be going to Cancun during spring break this year with some buddies despite the endless suggestions of other destinations to go - some friends just really wanted to go.

However, I am a little worried about safety, and not the safety of sexual assault or spiked drinks, but something more along the lines of drug cartel violence, kidnappings, and the works.

I'll be staying at the Marriott CasaMagna Resort, which should be within the "safe" tourist area.

However, knowing that a lot of Mexicans / very well traveled people are on this forum, I wanted to get your opinion on the safety of our trip.

Thanks,
Elite
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:03 pm

Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
However, I am a little worried about safety, and not the safety of sexual assault or spiked drinks, but something more along the lines of drug cartel violence, kidnappings, and the works.

You should be about 1000x more worried about sexual assault/spiked drinks/falling off a balcony drunk/etc than the violence.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Elite
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:08 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 1):

I know, but I wanted to seek specific advice regarding the violence in Mexico, and even just petty street crime like muggings, etc.
 
Superfly
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:34 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 1):
spiked drinks/falling off a balcony drunk/etc



Tha sounds like Pattaya.

Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
I am a little worried about safety, and not the safety of sexual assault



I've never heard of Mexican women sexually assaulting young men.

Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
drug cartel violence, kidnappings, and the works.


That's up in northern Mexico near the US boarder.

You may need to be more concerned about pick-pockets. My girlfriend was pick-pocket when we visited Cancun back in 2001.

[Edited 2013-01-27 09:35:25]
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DocLightning
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:37 pm

Quoting Elite (Reply 2):
I know, but I wanted to seek specific advice regarding the violence in Mexico, and even just petty street crime like muggings, etc.

Keep all documents in your safe in your hotel, especially your passport. Carry a photo ID, an ATM or credit card (that you have the phone number and account number written down separately) and some cash. That way, if you get mugged or pickpocketed, you are only minorly inconvenienced. Make sure you leave a backup credit card or ATM Card in your safe, or your trip will be ruined.

Don't drink anything that you didn't see poured/mixed yourself.

Keep your wits about you. Have a drink or two if you like, but do NOT get drunk. Drunk people are easy targets.

Violent crime is a problem in Mexico, but not nearly as big of a problem as say, car accidents.
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Superfly
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:04 pm

Doc is right.
Drink the beer from the bottles. It's the safest.
The Marriott CasaMagna Resort is a fine resort and if you want to get drunk, do it there on the resort premises so you can safely stumble back to your room. Don't go out walking the street or riding in taxis drunk.
The resort will also have clean, sterilized water ice cubes so that is the only place I would have a mixed drink.

If you get board of Cancun, you can always hop on a short flight on a Cubana Yak-42 over to Havana.  

[Edited 2013-01-27 10:24:31]
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pvjin
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:07 pm

Probably around Cancun you will be just as safe as where ever in the US you live or even safer, indeed violence seems to be problem around areas near US border, I don't think rest of Mexico is any less safe than most areas in the US.

Even many Finnish travel agencies do package tours to Cancun and such tours are never offered to places that have any serious danger of violence / kidnapping etc. I've always felt way safer at all the places abroad that I've visited than in big Finnish cities during night when drunk & drug addict people with social problems are walking around the streets.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
 
connies4ever
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:16 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
Keep all documents in your safe in your hotel, especially your passport. Carry a photo ID, an ATM or credit card (that you have the phone number and account number written down separately) and some cash. That way, if you get mugged or pickpocketed, you are only minorly inconvenienced. Make sure you leave a backup credit card or ATM Card in your safe, or your trip will be ruined.

Don't drink anything that you didn't see poured/mixed yourself.

Good points to remember. From memory, Cancun at spring break is a little crazy noisy, but not necessarily dangerous. Most of the drug vioence is on the Pacific coast and towards the US border.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:18 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
The Marriott CasaMagna Resort is a fine resort and if you want to get drink, do it there on the resort premises so you can safely stumble back to your room. Don't go out walking the street or riding in taxis drunk.
The resort will also have clean, sterilized water ice cubes so that is the only place I would have a mixed drink.

Good points. The resorts will have the necessary security because they do not want an incident. Bad for the reputation and stuff...
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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MaverickM11
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:05 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):


I've never heard of Mexican women sexually assaulting young men.

But fingers crossed!
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:17 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9):
But fingers crossed!

   Where is the "like" button?  
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Jetsgo
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:34 pm

Cancun and Cozumel are both extremely safe. There's too many tourist dollars flowing into their local economy for them to just sit back and allow the cartel to run wild. Security at the resorts is no joke. Like when traveling anywhere else, use good judgement and you will have a great time.
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AR385
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:36 pm

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 11):
There's too many tourist dollars flowing into their local economy for them to just sit back and allow the cartel to run wild.

Besides, why shoot your golden goose? The dealers do a lot of business with the tourists, and in hard currency too.
 
Superfly
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:11 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):



Since Cubana has recently retired their IL-62, is Cancun now all Yak-42 or do they use the IL-96?
I flew their IL-62 from Cancun.
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AR385
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:23 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 13):
Since Cubana has recently retired their IL-62, is Cancun now all Yak-42 or do they use the IL-96?
I flew their IL-62 from Cancun.

CUN-HAV they are doing A320.
 
Superfly
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:01 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 14):
CUN-HAV they are doing A320.

That sucks!  
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AR385
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:16 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
That sucks!

Yup. It really does suck.
 
Superfly
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:30 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 16):
Yup. It really does suck.



On my trip to Cancun and Havana, we had an equipment sub. I had planned my trip to get the IL-62 going and the Yak-42D on the return. Instead of the Yak-42D, we got the same IL-62 we flew on to get there. It wasn't a huge disappointment. If it was a A320 sub, I would have gone ballistic!

In my report, I didn't spend too much time talking about Cancun. The place was everything I had expected but worse. Me & my girlfriend was ripped off big time in Cancun! I absolutely hated the place. It was mostly college aged spoiled brats. The only native Mexicans we saw were service workers at the hotels & restaurants. It was not the real Mexico at all. We were charged an entire week for a hotel we never stayed at and I was charged $150 for a phone call I was never able to get through when attempting to call my bank. The shady hotel we stayed at was next to the MTV Spring Break Headquarters and our room had a view of a giant speaker that was blaring out loud music. On top of that, our air conditioner blew hot air and leaked water on to the floor. The whole Cancun portion of our trip was a nightmare.
We had very little money between the two of us when we flew off to Cuba. My girlfriend at the time wanted to just go back home. Me being the risk-taker and all, we went forward with the planned trip to Cuba. Between the two of us, we only had $80 cash on us to last us for our two weeks in Cuba. We ended up making friends in Havana and we were able to barter for food and entertainment. I had bought a bunch of new shorts, t-shirts and sandals which still had price tags on them. The couple we made friends with were so happy to have brand new clothes from the United States. So they'd cooked for us, we went fishing with them a few times. We were able to provide them with soap, tissue paper and shampoo that that hotel provided for us. It was like we didn't even need money in Havana.
When we left, we had $25 between the two of us and that was ate up by the taxi from SFO to my house which was a 10 minute ride.
We ended up getting our money back but it took a month and that was funds we wanted to use on our vacation in Cuba. I was supposed to fly on a AN-24 on a domestic hop.

Sort of an odd report but it really begins are reply #48 ;
Cubana IL-62 Experience. Fantastic! (by Superfly Jun 18 2001 in Trip Reports)?threadid=9636&searchid=159840&s=Cubana+IL-62+Experience.+Fantastic%21+#ID159840

[Edited 2013-01-28 02:32:32]
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Elite
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:58 am

Quoting Jetsgo (Reply 11):
Security at the resorts is no joke.

Out of curiosity - anyone know what security is in place at the Marriott CasaManga Resort?
 
Gatorman96
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:09 pm

Quoting Elite (Reply 18):

Out of curiosity - anyone know what security is in place at the Marriott CasaManga Resort?

Probably isn't public knowledge, but I stayed there in April '08 and felt completely safe. Echoing some of the previous posts, the drug cartels have zero interest in taking out tourists. That removes a prospective client and brings more unwanted international attention to the cartels.

Treat Cancun the way you would any other trip to a resort. Secure your belongings in your room and use good judgement. It's an awesome place
 
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pvjin
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:26 pm

Oh yeah if you start to feel any bored I too would recommend a nice trip to Cuba, so different and amazing place to visit with the friendliest people I've ever seen anywhere, some day I'm going to return there and travel around the country for a longer time.

I hope I could make a flight with Cubana Il-96 before they get replaced with some boring western stuff.
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:09 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
mostly college aged spoiled brats

Who appear to be stuck on stupid. I never witnessed so many people urinating out in public in my life. So drunk they urinated in the elevators, in front of a phone bank in the lobby of the hotel and right at the front desk! One hotel I went into had them urinating in artificial plants right in the lobby! Forget about hotel security---they are completely overwhelmed. Everywhere we went there was vomit and urine. And the accompanying odors. I would think the biggest risk of going to Cancun during spring break would be exposure to biohazards. You need tongs instead of hands to touch anything with. Forget walking poolside in bare feet.

Do take comfort in that you can expect to see hoards of Mexican Police and Soldiers at the ready. Americans make for big profits when arrested. The get-of-of-jail card costs mom and dad dearly and the local economy reaps all the benefits.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
I was charged $150 for a phone call

And especially beware of any payphones. Don't give them your credit card information! You will get a bill three months later for hundreds of dollars for a two minute call. If you must use a payphone purchase calling cards just for that purpose!
Beware!

I enjoy a good party, however, thousands of out-of-control drunken people is not my idea of fun. As I recall things get so bad that after spring break many of the hotels and resorts close down to clean-up, and repair from all the damage. The less expensive all-inclusives resorting to a complete refurbishment from furniture, and carpet, to drapes.

I think a side trip to Cuba makes much more sense!
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777222LR
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:25 pm

Any place other than war hot zones are as safe as you make them. Just don't do anything stupid....and sexual assault on young men is very rare....and depending on what you look like, may be even rarer for you.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:47 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 21):
Who appear to be stuck on stupid. I never witnessed so many people urinating out in public in my life. So drunk they urinated in the elevators, in front of a phone bank in the lobby of the hotel and right at the front desk! One hotel I went into had them urinating in artificial plants right in the lobby! Forget about hotel security---they are completely overwhelmed. Everywhere we went there was vomit and urine. And the accompanying odors. I would think the biggest risk of going to Cancun during spring break would be exposure to biohazards. You need tongs instead of hands to touch anything with. Forget walking poolside in bare feet.

   I really can't fathom how Americans are still worried about going to CUN. There's just zero reason behind it. They think Mexico is unsafe so they'll go to the Caribbean instead, where the murder rate makes Mexico look like Winnepeg. Or maybe a staycation in Chicago, where people are assaulted on the L on a regular basis, never mind the record shootings.

Quoting gatorman96 (Reply 19):
Echoing some of the previous posts, the drug cartels have zero interest in taking out tourists

   The vast majority of drugs are going to Americans, and if the cartels can sell to them without crossing the border, that makes life easier for them. Scaring their customers is bad for business.
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Superfly
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:55 pm

Quoting pvjin (Reply 20):
I hope I could make a flight with Cubana Il-96 before they get replaced with some boring western stuff.

Not going to happen. Their three IL-96s are brand new and will be around for a long time.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 21):
And especially beware of any payphones. Don't give them your credit card information!

I never gave my credit card information to any payphone. I used a calling card to make call from my hotel room but the hotel which had my card number ripped me off. I had changed my hotel an entire day in advance and had confirmation. I was ripped off by two legitimate hotels. I eventually got my money back but it was after the trip.
It's not just the drunken college coeds that get ripped off. Lots of innocent travellers that just want to relax and enjoy the sun & beach get ripped off an awful lot.
This was back in 2001. I learned a lot on that trip.

Quoting 777222LR (Reply 22):
and depending on what you look like, may be even rarer for you.

  
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pvjin
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:16 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 24):
Not going to happen. Their three IL-96s are brand new and will be around for a long time.

Well that's great to hear, I somehow imagined if embargo was ever lifted they would quickly get some A330's or something for better fuel economy, but I guess then Il-96 will stay flying long enough for me to experience it.
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Marcus
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:56 pm

What you really need to worry about are the "Time share" salesmen....they are worse than used car salesmen.
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Moose135
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:04 pm

Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
I am a little worried about safety, and not the safety of sexual assault...

If you go for a haircut while you are down there, bring the barber a snowglobe just to be on the safe side.
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connies4ever
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:11 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 23):
They think Mexico is unsafe so they'll go to the Caribbean instead, where the murder rate makes Mexico look like Winnepeg.


Winnipeg, actually. But hey, we just had our 1st homicide of 2013 on the 25th, so maybe things are looking up. Last year there were 39, which was a record.

By contrast, the Piedmont Triad cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point, having an aggregate population about 175,000 less than Winnipeg, had 33, according to the information I can dig up. That doesn't include any of the smaller communities in the Triad, though. Nice area, have spent a lot of time there.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
AR385
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:24 am

Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
I will be going to Cancun during spring break this year with some buddies despite the endless suggestions of other destinations to go - some friends just really wanted to go.

The ABSOLUTE worst time of the year to go to Cancún.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 7):
Good points to remember. From memory, Cancun at spring break is a little crazy noisy, but not necessarily dangerous.

It´s not dangerous. "Little crazy noisy" is a huge understatement though. The place is racously noisy, polluted, dirty, crowded and totally unconducive to R&R. I could get an all expenses-paid package to CUN during American Spring Break and I would still not set foot in the place.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
I absolutely hated the place. It was mostly college aged spoiled brats.

It is.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
The only native Mexicans we saw were service workers at the hotels & restaurants. It was not the real Mexico at all.

Cancun, the hotel area, the cheap hotel area, is exactly like that. Not the real Mexico at all. You don´t see native Mexicans vacationing there, because the ones that go during Spring Break, stay at the most expensive all included resorts in Playa del Carmen, or in other areas of CUN a bit off the original hotel zone. The problem becomes worse when American Spring Break coincides with Mexico´s Easter holidays. Then CUN really becomes hell on Earth.

If you do wish to do something besides chasing girls, getting drunk (or high) all day long and participating in wet t-shirt contests, day trips to Mayan ruins are excellent things to do. Tulum is fairly close by and it´s essentially a Pre-Hispanic Mayan Spa. A bit farther there´s Chichen-Itzá, well worth the drive or bus ride. X-Caret? Well some people love it. I personally think it´s just another Disney type tourist trap.

My father was one of Cancun´s developers in the 70s. The first time I went there, there was only ONE hotel, "El Presidente" and barely nothing else. Can you imagine that? I think that hotel now is the Intercontinental. It was a beautiful place. It still is of course, the issue is how tremendously crowded it becomes at certain times of the year. I went to CUN many many times growing up and it´s amazing how it has grown. Now, I preferr other Mexican beaches.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 21):
Who appear to be stuck on stupid.

Yup

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 21):
And especially beware of any payphones

Buy the pre-paid cards from Tel-Mex and you shouldn´t have any trouble.

Now, about safety.

1.The first thing you need to do, is to not suspend your common sense.
2.Don´t do anything stupid that would get you in trouble if you did it in the US. You´ll go to jail, it´s not fun, and it´s going to be expensive.
3.If you do get in trouble, do not become sassy with the authorities. THAT´s going to get you into further trouble.
4.Do not get stupidly drunk (or otherwise intoxicated) to the point you are drooling. That makes you a potential victim, even from your own countrymen.
5.If you want to get ahold of any illegal substances, all bets are off. I strongly suggest you don´t even consider this. Not even pot.
6. If you get offered deals on fishing trips, scuba lessons, para-sailing, etc. that are too good to be true, well, should I say more?
7. Get travel insurance
8. Any questions you may have, get the staff at the front desk in the hotel to answer them for you.
9. If you are into hookers, well, pray you do not get involved through a scam with a minor. Boy, would you be in deep shit.
10. Use the hotel safe, preferably the one in the front desk, even if they have safes avaliable in your room. It´s a bit inconvenient, but it´s better.
11. Don´t act flashy or ostentatious when you go out.
12. You want to increase your chances of being admitted in the nice, in vogue night club? Dress nicely. Do not show up in flip-flops, shorts and t-shirt. You won´t get in.That attire is for Señor Frog´s.
13. Only use the certified, registered cabs, or better yet, the ones the concierge in your hotel will get for you. Public transport is safe.

And in general, exercise the same caution you would exercise when travelling abroad in any big city.

Have fun.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Cancun During Spring Break: Safe Or Not Safe

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:30 am

I've been to Cancun 4 times over the last two years. It's an awesome place to visit. The people are wonderful and so much to see and do. The further out towards the tip the better the beaches get. Take advice from above and just be smart as you would in any big city. Learn to politely barter and get a direct quote from the front desk on cab prices. Don't fully trust the cabbies
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