Cozumel is Generally a Safe Travel Destination

Cozumel is a popular spot for tourists.

Cozumel isn’t just one of the safest travel destinations in Mexico. Death rates show that Cozumel is actually one of the safest travel destinations in the world.

Note that for years I traveled to Mexico on business, sometimes, weekly, and it became a habit to check safety advisories. U.S. Mexico travel advisories are primarily concerned with border towns and urban regions.

I pay attention to what U.S. government employee restrictions are. Although I can’t say this about most of Mexico, currently there are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state, which include tourist areas in: Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.

When it comes to safety, geography plays to Cozumel’s advantage. The only two ways on or off the island are by taking a ferry from or to Playa del Carmen, and  the high security of the Cozumel International Airport where everything is screened at the origin, sniff dogs and x-rays at the airport.

News about rising crime in Cancun and the Yucatan coast don’t impact much in Cozumel. Knowing that it costs more than a typical day’s wages to take the ferry over here and another day’s work to get back keeps the riff-raff down.

Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Popular with divers, day-trippers from the mainland and cruise ship passengers, Cozumel is teeming with tourist attractions and services.

Visitors flock there to swim with dolphins, shop for souvenirs and sunbathe on the island’s many beaches. By following a few common-sense strategies for safety, travelers can enjoy a pleasant, worry-free visit to the island.


When traveling in Cozumel, don’t spend all of your time worrying about safety. Keep in mind that the crime rate here is lower than in most large cities around the world, and the likelihood of violent crime is low.

A tourist police force patrols the island, and its priority is to maintain safe streets to attract visitors.  Don’t try to buy pot in Cozumel unless you are prepared to go directly to Jail.  Possession of any contraband is not tolerated.

Be Careful in Crowds

As with any popular tourist destination, Cozumel has its share of pickpockets and petty thieves. They tend to work in crowds, where there are many distractions and the likelihood of detection is low.

“You will feel safe walking along the waterfront on the main street,” a travel advisor told me. “This is not to say the island is crime free. House robberies are a fact of life for those that don’t spend some time paying attention to home security. And there have been some purse snatching of late — a small gang of youths on moped. But incidents like this are still big news in the local newspapers which shows you how infrequently they happen in the large scheme of things.”

When traveling on Cozumel, be alert when moving among crowds of tourists, particularly groups from cruise ships that dock at the island.

In a crowd, keep your wallet and phone in a front pocket, preferably one with a button or zipper. Women should keep a tight hold on their purses or wear messenger-style bags across the body with the bag in front.

Watch Alcohol Consumption

Cozumel’s many bars are a popular attraction for visitors. Avoid over-indulging to ensure that you have your wits about you when it comes time to return to your hotel, cruise ship or the mainland. This is particularly true for travelers who have rented vehicles or scooters to get around the island; never attempt to drive after you have been drinking.

Understand Water Conditions

Swimming and diving are big draws for visitors to Cozumel. Before you head for the sea, ask your hotel clerk about safe spots.

Storms can come up suddenly on the island, forming dangerous riptides; head back to the beach if waves get higher or the wind picks up while you’re on or in the water.

Female Travelers

Women, particularly those traveling alone, are advised to be extra cautious when visiting Cozumel.

While the local people are generally friendly and non-threatening, there have been several instances of men preying on female tourists.

Be cautious when drinking, try not to walk alone at night in deserted back streets and never go places alone with someone you don’t know.

Don’t Drink Tap Water

Check to make sure, but most vacation rentals provide bottled water in 5 gallon water cooler jugs and some hotels provide small bottles daily. You should drink that.

This water is made via osmosis and tastes good. It isn’t salty and hard like the tap water.

Before I traveled routinely to Mexico, I heard locals were ‘immune’ to tap water. That’s not true. Most residents and locals I met also drink bottled water. Usually this is what’s served in restaurants and it’s what they use to make ice.

This is why you won’t automatically be given a big glass of water when you sit down at most restaurants there. It costs them a little money for that water–it doesn’t come from the tap.

I never brush my teeth with the tap water. Good advice includes not running shower water over your face and into your mouth.

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Texans Jack & Dodie View All →

Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Space Explorers
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.

As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.

He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.

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