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Tourists Visiting Cancun Warned To Be Cautious On All Beaches

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Americans' favorite international beach getaway is coming with some caveats right now to keep vacationers safe.

As the calendar flips over to a new year, many travelers are seeking to start 2024 off right with a sunny vacation to escape the winter cold.

Tourists on a Cancun Beach

What better place than Cancun? Always a hit with beach lovers, this world-renowned resort icon is seeing some worrisome trends that are being addressed by local officials.

As a major tourism hub, safety is always at the forefront of Cancun to protect their valued guests. So much so, that a warning has been cast out to tourists to have a heightened sense of awareness during their dreamy beach vacation.

Multiple Incidents

Cancun checks off all the boxes for a premiere beach getaway, especially this time of year. As a majority of the U.S. is seeing less-than-stellar temperatures, Cancun is a sunny paradise year-round.

bright blue water cancun beach

Hordes of travelers make their way to Mexico's top destination during the winter season year after year and it's important for those people to know to heed caution when going to the beach.

As it pertains this winter, there have already been 5 fatal incidents in Cancun's waters. While the unfortunate instances have already occurred, Cancun has stationed more lifeguards in an attempt to prevent more accidents.

“The beaches, although they are very beautiful… does not have the best conditions to enter. However, there are people who venture and, well, these situations happen.”

– Secretary of Citizen Security of Quintana Roo, Juli César Gómez Torres
palm tree lined beach cancun

Whether lifeguards are present or not, it's up to beachgoers to pay attention to beach conditions and any possible warning signs when entering the area.

Mexico's Warning Flag System

No matter which popular beach destination you visit in Mexico, there will be a color-tiered flag system in place to display any possible hazards.

Whether you're in resort towns, such as Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos, or lesser-known getaways, such as Mazatlan, vacationers should keep an eye out for these flags.

lifeguard station and beach flag in cancun

If something seems off about the beach you visit, you can always ask a lifeguard too since more should be around now.

Although, the flags are updated quite often and are a surefire way to know if there are any precautions to be aware of.

Whether it's simply harsh currents that may drag you to Cuba or an influx of jellyfish sightings, these flags will help you stay aware of any threats.

This is what each colored flag represents in Cancun:

  • Black – no visitors allowed under any circumstances; the beach is completely off-limits
  • Red – sunbathing is allowed on the beach; entering the water is completely off-limits
  • Yellow – remain cautious; swimming conditions are not for novices
  • Green – the beach and water are deemed safe for all activities
cancun resorts along beach

Cancun is not common for jellyfish sightings, but that would signify a white flag in very rare cases of aquatic aliens.

However, there is another flag besides the green color that vacationers should be happy to see. The sight of blue flags means you are at one of the cleanest beaches in the world.

These prestigious Cancun beaches are :

  • Playa Ballenas 
  • Playa Coral 
  • Playa del Niño 
  • Playa Chic Mool 
  • Playa Las Perlas 
  • Playa Delfinens 
  • Playa Marlín
beach resorts in Cancun

Going Beyond Cancun

Cancun has long been the main draw of Quintana Roo, but more and more destinations are becoming increasingly popular.

In close distance, the three magic towns of Cozumel, Bacalar, and Tulum are surging with tourists this winter.

With the new Maya Train overcoming startup hurdles and beginning to gain steam, this region of Mexico is surely to be booming in 2024.

Whether visiting Cancun proper, Isla Mujeres, or any other awesome coastal getaway, these beach warnings should not be limited to just Cancun.

cancun at sunset

Vacation horror stories happen every year. By simply staying alert, it can make all the difference in having the time of your life as planned or falling victim to avoidable tragedies.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Monday 8th of January 2024

This is such bull! They haven’t added lifeguards! I was there last year and there was one for a large area of beach and they allowed ppl to get in when clearly it was dangerous. Flags? That’s a joke. My brother drowned there in February 2022… 3 others in a span of 1 week. Avoid spending your money here until they make real changes! Don’t let more ppl die! Not everyone knows what a rip current looks like! Again, the flags are not there or are obsolete!


Sunday 7th of January 2024

I've heard of stories, but fortunately haven't had any bad experiences when renting a car previously. Now only use ADO busses from the airport these days. Super cheap and only slightly inconvenient.


Friday 5th of January 2024

Please also make tourist aware of taxi prices and not to get them from Cancun, we asked at our hotel was it safe to get a taxi back they said the taxi cost $90 there on the way back we got into what looked like exactly the same fair my husband agreed on $80 fair back to our resort half way through the journey he decided that it was $80 per person wanting $320 for a one way taxi from Cancun to our resort just before playa del Carmen he started playing music and guns and knives really loudly and speedy in our driving erratically he kept wanting to drop us off out side our hotel we said no into the resort please where we knew maybe we could get the concierge to translate better than we could, he then told the man from our hotel that he had to take us to another hotel and we didn't know where we were going? He was clearly lying! Anyways we had to give him another @$20 when he left the concierge told us he didn't want to argue with him as he was part of the mafia the blood drained from my body I'm so over Mexico now taxis are so expensive we've worked out after finding a taxi driver from the hotel that was safe and reliable that we've paid about $700 in taxis that's a trip to Cancun, and two trips to play del Carmen central which is about 15 mins away from our hotel.


Friday 5th of January 2024

@Betty, We went last fall, at the airport we couldn't find our driver so this man went to get him. Long story short he put on a t-Shirt to the resort we were staying & said he would take us. Our phones did not work yet. He asked for 100.00 up front. Took is to the hotel. He was not with the Company. We were not harmed or threatened but VERY Volnerable. We had no idea where we were or going. We were lucky.


Friday 5th of January 2024

@Kelly, I am sorry that happened to you. I am embarrassed because Mexico is my country. Please try to always get the public transportation. It is very un expensive and safe. When taking a taxi negotiate and be sure you cover all aspects pf the deal. many of them are thieves but also many honest taxi drivers. Also if you rent a car be aware of the change in speeding zones. Police will stop you and ask you for money to release your D.L. Be safe.

Audie Espinosa

Friday 5th of January 2024

We are planning on going soon for a wedding and I would like to know more about any hazards or danger situations to avoid, please


Tuesday 9th of January 2024

@Audie Espinosa, we just got back, we stayed at RIU Americas, it was amazing. Taxi from airport was 110 which was a RIP off only cost 50 to go back. We did not venture beyond resort except excursions and we were fine.


Thursday 4th of January 2024

I want you to post about their random targeting car rentals with Americans. I just got back from Tulum and it happen twice. It ruined our vacation. They were completely terrorizing my family and making up stories about kids in the back not having their seat belts. We felt completely exposed to corruption and unsafe. Ir was very scary, they kept pointing guns at us, asking for 5000 pesos. Took my husband out of the car to search the back of it. Said we were going to lose our flight if we didn’t pay. Harassing me teenager daughter in the back seat. It was an insane horrific experience. With so many Americans traveling there, someone should talk about this and make it stop. It also happen to 2 other families that was traveling with us.


Monday 8th of January 2024

@John, be safe and vacation in beautiful, safe Florida. We've had too many unsafe situations in Mexico.


Friday 5th of January 2024

@Catharina, a very similar event happened with us...we left our resort in the area south of Cancun. Copolitos stopped us in our rented car and said we were speeding. NOT. Told us we would miss our flight cuz we had to see the judge. I asked if perhaps we could plea guilty to the copolito and pay him the fine. Yes we could do that...the fine was negotiable and he agreed to a fine of $100...after originally asking for $150. They didn't point guns at us but the copolito driving made sure we saw his submachine gun. When we got home we tried to call the resort...but couldn't get through. Lesson learned: next time carry a wad of counterfeit american dollars.