Playa Mujeres, a beautiful resort area in Mexico, is known for its stunning beaches and luxurious accommodations.

However, safety is often a concern for travelers visiting Mexico, with questions about crime rates and cartel activity.

In this article, we will discuss the safety of Playa Mujeres, addressing various safety-related aspects, and provide a list of tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

General Safety In Playa Mujeres

Crime Rates:

In 2023, Playa Mujeres is considered a safe destination for tourists, with relatively low crime rates compared to other parts of Mexico [1]. The majority of visitors enjoy a trouble-free stay, and incidents of crime are rare.

Police & Security Presence:

To maintain the safety of the area, local authorities and hoteliers have implemented increased security measures, including a higher police presence and security patrols within the resort areas [2].

This helps ensure that Playa Mujeres remains a safe and peaceful destination for visitors.

Cartel Activity & Playa Mujeres

Image credit: Freepik
Woman in handcuffs holding hemp leaf and dollars, closeup

Mexican Cartels:

Mexico is home to several powerful cartels, known as “carteles,” which are involved in various illegal activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and extortion [3].

Cartel-related violence can occur, particularly in areas where rival cartels compete for control over drug trafficking routes and local criminal markets.

Local Cartels & Playa Mujeres:

The primary cartels operating in the state of Quintana Roo, where Playa Mujeres is located, are the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Gulf Cartel [4].

However, Playa Mujeres is generally considered to be safe from cartel-related violence, as it is situated far from the main urban centers where such activity is more prevalent [5].

Risk Assessment for Tourists & Visitors

Relative Risk from Cartel Activity:

The risk of cartel-related violence affecting tourists in Playa Mujeres is relatively low. While it is essential to be aware of the situation, the majority of incidents occur away from tourist areas and do not target visitors [6].

Additionally, the increased security measures in place help to maintain the safety of the area.

Seaweed Situation & Beach Cleanliness:

Red seaweed sargazo at tropical mexican beach 88 Punta Esmeralda in Playa del Carmen Mexico.

Playa Mujeres has generally been less affected by the seaweed issue compared to other parts of the Caribbean [7].

Local authorities and resort staff have taken several measures to address any seaweed accumulation, such as regular beach cleanups and the use of barriers to prevent seaweed from reaching the shore [8].

Safety Tips For A Worry-Free Vacation

  1. Stay within the resort areas and avoid remote or poorly lit locations at night [2].
  2. Avoid displaying wealth or leaving valuables unattended.
  3. Use reputable transportation options and book excursions through trusted providers.
  4. Follow the advice of local authorities and stay informed about any safety alerts or travel advisories.
  5. Exercise caution when swimming in the ocean, and be aware of any potential hazards such as rip currents or marine life.
  6. Keep a copy of your passport and important documents in a separate location from the originals.
  7. Purchase travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings.

While safety concerns are valid when traveling to any destination, Playa Mujeres is considered a safe and peaceful area for tourists.

By following the safety tips provided and staying informed, visitors can enjoy a relaxing and worry-free vacation in this beautiful part of Mexico.


[1] Playa Mujeres. (n.d.). About Playa Mujeres.
[2] El Economista. (2019). Refuerzan seguridad en Playa Mujeres ante alerta de viaje de EU.
[3] BBC News. (2018). Mexico’s most-wanted: A guide to the drug cartels.
[4] InSight Crime. (2021). Quintana Roo Profile.
[5] U.S. Department of State. (2021). Mexico Travel Advisory.
[6] Travel Off Path. (2021). Is Cancun Safe for Tourists Right Now?
[7] TripAdvisor. (n.d.). Playa Mujeres Seaweed Situation.
[8] Riviera Maya News. (2019). Playa Mujeres Beach Resorts Combating Sargassum.