Is Tulum Safe To Visit Right Now? Travel Advisory 2024

Is Tulum Safe To Visit Right Now? Travel Advisory 2024

Although Tulum is generally safe for travel, there have been more high-profile security incidents and disturbances lately. A large number of the safety concerns are related to corruption, cartels, and the conflict between the rapid development and the local population. Since things have changed from even a few years ago, it is best to educate yourself and determine how much risk you are willing to take before visiting Tulum.


February 12, 2024 – California woman shot dead in Tulum beach resort

An American woman, Niko Honarbakhsh, died amid a drug deal that turned violent at a well-known Mexican beach resort in Tulum. The incident occurred on February 9, prompting an investigation by the Quintana Roo State Attorney General’s Office. The deceased man, believed to be a drug dealer from Belize, was found with cocaine and various drugs in his possession, suggesting involvement in illicit activities. Although initial reports suggested a romantic relationship between Honarbakhsh and the deceased man, authorities dismissed this claim. It is believed that Honarbakhsh was killed by a stray bullet. The investigation is ongoing, with suspects identified and pursued. Tulum has seen similar incidents in the past, with tourists becoming casualties of gang-related violence.

January 26 – The Mexican Navy transfers 30 soldiers to strengthen security in Tulum

More than 30 military personnel have been sent to Tulum to support public order and law enforcement. The beginning of the weekend saw the arrival of thirty soldiers. Since then, they have been incorporated into the Tulum team to strengthen public safety.

Mexican military personnel will join the Tulum Secretariat of Public Security and Citizen Protection, according to Tulum Mayor Diego Castañón Trejo. He claims that in addition to the most recent 30 arrivals from the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar), technology and equipment will also be used to bolster security in Tulum.

“Thirty sailors have just arrived to further reinforce the security of the municipality and they will be helping in several neighborhoods, providing patrols so that people feel safer,” said the Mayor.

Latest Increase in Crime in Tulum

According to, in the latest Quintana Roo Crime Report, Tulum exhibited concerning crime statistics. The report, which tracks 11 different crime categories monthly, showed Tulum with six categories marked as red, indicating high levels of crime, and two marked as yellow, signaling caution.

The crimes associated with the red indicators included homicides, drug dealing, home and business burglaries, rape, and family violence, while vehicle theft and injuries were marked with yellow. Comparatively, the data from December represented a significant increase in crime, as the previous month’s report indicated only three red and two yellow categories.

Areas to avoid

The general guideline in Tulum is to stay away from the following areas:

  • Locations that are not popular with tourists
  • Remote locations
  • Places without tourists
  • Poorly lit and dark areas
  • Nighttime beaches

U.S. Travel Advisory

Travelers should “Exercise Increased Caution” in Tulum, per the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory. This implies that visitors are not deterred from going, but they do so at a greater risk of danger than at other locations.

Employees of the United States government are free to travel to Quintana Roo state. It is recommended that staff members maintain heightened situational awareness after dark in Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen downtown areas and stick to well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist areas.

Canada Travel Advisory

The Mayan Riviera (Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, and Tulum) and Acapulco are popular tourist destinations, but there are high rates of violent crime, including homicides, kidnappings, carjackings, and assaults.

There are drug cartels and criminal groups in tourist areas. There have been incidents of gang and cartel fighting in tourist-friendly hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Uninjured witnesses have suffered fatalities. 

UK Travel Advisory

Proceed with extra caution after dark in Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen’s downtown areas. Stay in the tourist areas and well-lit pedestrian streets. If you plan to visit any of these locations, pay attention to local advice, exercise caution, and heed the guidance of your tour operator and relevant authorities.

Although tourists have not been the target, anyone nearby may suffer consequences in the event of an incident. There have been multiple incidents of gun violence affecting tourists in Tulum since 2021.

Tips for Staying Safe in Tulum

  • Avoid using unsupervised street ATMs. Opt for legitimate banks where there is a designated entrance for ATMs.
  • Corrupt authorities often seek opportunities for bribery, especially when tourists deviate from the rules, such as being under the influence, carrying drugs, or speeding. Refrain from any influence in public, particularly when alone, and strictly adhere to the laws.
  • Renting a car in Tulum may pose risks, as rental companies might impose exorbitant insurance rates. Ensure you are aware of the prices before finalizing the rental.
  • Tulum has experienced incidents of petty theft and robbery. Carry only a limited amount of cash, avoid displaying valuable items, and remain vigilant about your belongings.
  • Exercise caution to prevent drink spiking. Purchase alcohol only from reputable sources to safeguard yourself.