Is Merida Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

Is Merida Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

For many years, Merida has been regarded as one of the safest travel destinations in Mexico. Not only is it safe to wander around alone during the day and night, but pickpocketing and other petty crimes are less likely to occur here.


January 18, 2024: Survey reveals Merida is one of the four safest Mexican cities

According to the National Urban Public Security Survey by Inegi, Mérida ranks fourth in Mexico for the lowest perception of insecurity, with only 22.2% of respondents feeling unsafe. The city is noted for its minimal incidence of high-impact crimes, contributing to its reputation as a haven for families from Mexico and abroad. The sense of security in Mérida has made it a preferred destination for settling down, attracting an increasing population due to the comfortable and safe environment for walking the streets at any time.

Areas to avoid

  • Although there is nothing a visitor should be doing in South Merida, it is recommended not to visit this place since it is the least safe area of the city. 
  • Unfortunately, pickpocketing is common at Mercado Lucas de Galvez (market) downtown, so be sure to watch for your belongings there.

Merida is generally not any less safe at night than it is during the day. It’s important to remember that drinking alcohol—especially too much of it—decreases the level of safety in all circumstances and environments. Choose Paseo Montejo and Centro Historico (Downtown) if you’re going out late at night.

Common Scams

Merida is susceptible to various scams, and it’s crucial to be vigilant. Here are some common scams to be cautious of:

The Fake Tour Guide Scam: Locals may approach you, posing as official tour guides, offering city tours. However, they might charge excessively or take you to tourist traps. Be cautious of such individuals.

The Overcharging Taxi Driver: Some taxi drivers may attempt to overcharge tourists, especially those unfamiliar with the local currency. Verify fare estimates and choose reputable taxis.

The Pickpocketing Scam: Pickpocketing is prevalent in busy Merida areas, including markets and tourist spots. Keep a close eye on your belongings, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

The Fake Police Officer Scam: Scammers may impersonate police officers, requesting identification or searching for belongings. Always insist on official identification, and refrain from surrendering your passport or other personal documents.

Official Advisories

U.S. Travel Advisory

Travel restrictions are not currently imposed on U.S. government employees visiting Yucatan state, which includes popular tourist destinations like Valladolid, Merida, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza. This means they can help U.S. citizens in need.

Canada Travel Advisory

Canada has not issued particular travel advice for Merida. 

When arriving in Mexico by air, it is necessary to download the tourist card issued by Mexican authorities upon entry.

Depending on the airport you arrive at:

  • An immigration official will stamp your passport and indicate the permitted duration of your stay in Mexico, or
  • You may pass through an E-gate kiosk, where you’ll scan your passport and self-register your entry into the country. Opt for this option only if you are entering Mexico as a tourist.

Safety travel tips for Merida

  • Secure valuables in front pockets: This advice remains pertinent, even in areas of Merida with a low risk of robbery. Exercise caution, especially in markets and southern districts.
  • Get comprehensive travel insurance: Having reliable travel insurance is crucial, as it would cover all expenses in case of illness, sparing you from paying the bills from your pocket.
  • Dress Casually: Opting for casual attire not only reduces the likelihood of attracting attention from criminals but also minimizes the risk of your phone or wallet being stolen.
  • Choose reputable restaurants: Unfortunately, food-related illnesses are common among travelers in Mexico due to poor hygiene or undercooked foods. 
  • Participate in official tours only: It is advisable to join highly-rated tours to ensure the best experiences and travel with guides who prioritize safety protocols.