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Cancun in Winter

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San Diego
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84 posts
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Cancun in Winter

I have a group of about 20-30 college buddies that are interested in taking a winter vacation after our semester is over. It could be a huge university thing but the U.S. travel warning has to be lifted for universities to promote trips down there. Cancun seems attractive because of the comfortable temperatures and good deals. I imagine this winter is low season like it is in many areas compared to summer. While I've traveled all over the world for some reason I've never checked out Mexico other than Tijuana which is only a 20 minute drive for me. Is there anything better or worse in winter compared to summer in Cancun? Is it safe to leave the resort? I'm normally not too worried about safety but I've heard more horror stories about Mexico than anywhere else I've been to. In doing research I came across a bunch of "accidental" tourist deaths. Damn the only place that rivals these numbers is Thailand. My Mexican relatives are actually suggesting we not go anywhere in Mexico on vacation which is pretty alarming. Well we still have 2 months to decide.

Kenosha, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Cancun in Winter

First….it depends on when you are planning on traveling. The busy season starts the day after Christmas, so if you’re planning on before the Christmas holidays, it will be less crowded, and less expensive. After Christmas….number of travelers and prices both go up.

Second….Tijuana? It’s been many decades since I’ve been there, but I’d like to think that Cancun is a whole lot safer. There are areas of just about every city on the planet that you should be wary of venturing into, but the hotel zone of Cancun is not one of them. There are certainly parts of Mexico which should give rise to concern about traveling to, but I’m a little surprised that your relatives would warn you away from Cancun. We’ve been going to Cancun for 15 years….dozens of times, and I feel safer there than I do walking the streets of Chicago.

When you say….”a bunch” of tourist deaths…..how many is a “bunch” and over what timeframe? Certainly, accidents happen, especially when guards are down and alcohol levels are up….as sometimes happens on vacations. Random, violent attacks on tourists in Cancun are pretty rare.

Now, the differences between summer and winter…. Typically, more folks from colder climes want to get some sun during the winter. As you get deeper into summer, the storm season builds, and there will likely be more rain. Of course, the temps in summer will be warmer, but in winter, you should expect overnight lows around 70 and daytime highs in the low 80s. In summertime, add 10 degrees to those.

So, my advice for you is to investigate resorts that will meet the needs of you and your friends, make your plans and – GO. Use your heads when you get there, don’t be stupid, be gracious guests, and enjoy the heck out of all that the area has to offer….the beautiful sea, the gorgeous weather, and the lovely people.

Los Angeles...
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8 reviews
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2. Re: Cancun in Winter

Living only 20 minutes from Tijuana, I'm sure you must be aware of the drug-related violence in Mexican border cities from California eastward thru Arizona, Texas, etc. Cancun is located a very far distance from those areas. I have traveled to Cancun many times (2-3 times a year) since 2005 and feel very safe and have wonderful times on my vacations there. Although I have been to Tijuana years ago, there's no way I would travel to Tijuana now. As long as you don't intend to buy drugs, stumble around drunk out on the streets, or pee in public, all of which may cause the Cancun policia to take notice of you, you should have a wonderful, safe trip to Cancun as so many of us do on a regular basis. I have been to Cancun in April, May, June, September numerous times, October, November, and December, and had wonderful warm weather during all the months, with December being the coolest--which also means cooler water in the pools and the sea.

Pittsburgh...
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3. Re: Cancun in Winter

We travel to either Cancun/Riv Maya areas or to Punta Cana every year in January.

Wonderful vacation time IMO, less crowded, but the pools may be too cold to enjoy much.

Your biggest concern IMO would be young men indulging in too much alcohol and therefore losing the sense they have. Normal travel precautions would give you a great trip, careless actions could result in problems brought upon yourselves.

San Diego
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84 posts
41 reviews
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4. Re: Cancun in Winter

Sounds good. My main concern was from a website with lots and lots of negative information and I don't know if I'm allowed to post links so I won't post it. I can send it through a private message if anyone is curious enough. Anyways, these posts are comforting. My relatives didn't say specifically not to go to Cancun, they were more like "don't go anywhere in Mexico". I think they see the bad news a lot more than Americans do because Mexican news don't censor the gruesome details so it always looks worse when there's footage of someone being killed / tortured. Also, many Mexican citizens know someone personally that has been a victim of the drug war. My friends' main concerns apart from kidnappings are police extortion. In Tijuana bribes are very common. In fact my dad used to be a cop there and he tells me they still stop cars with American license plates for no reason to collect some money. I imagine these bribes aren't as common in Cancun. I would probably rent a car if I go there.

richmond, va
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10 reviews
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5. Re: Cancun in Winter

My husband and I goto Cancun every November (and have done so over the past 5 years). Its extremely safe and we walk everywhere. We always stay at the JW Marriott because of location and points. If you are going with a bunch of your friends, I wouldn't necessarily stay at that property. As long as you stay at a hotel on the hotel strip then you should be just fine. The weather in November is great!

Davie, Florida
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6. Re: Cancun in Winter

there is no advisory for the yucatan so its very safe for tourists. tourists do die there just as they die anyplace but the little cartel violence in the yucatan is aimed at each other not tourists. Mordida does exist in the yucatan as it does in all third world countries its just part of the landscape when you travel. most of the 24.7 million tourists in 2012 will get out of the country alive.

Cancun
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19 reviews
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7. Re: Cancun in Winter

I think I know what website you're talking about, and please don't pay any attention to it. They latch on to any tourist death in the area to make it sound like Mexico is some horrible place, when really almost all of these incidents were simply accidents that could happen anywhere or the result of bad alcohol-fueled decisions.

If I were to make a similar site for any country in the world, I could also come up with God knows how many horrific stories to scare people off. Mexico is a safe country (except for certain areas, of course, like all countries have), and Cancun is particularly safe for a city of its size... even more so for tourists.

Winter can get quite cool in the evenings and you'll want a jacket, but the daytime weather is pleasant and warm. I agree with some posters that the pool might get a little chilly.

Edmonton, Canada
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8. Re: Cancun in Winter

I trust you looked carefully through your country's advisory, right? It's quite detailed, and gives Cancun the all-clear. (It has a lot more to say about Tijuana.)

…state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5665.html

Cancun
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9. Re: Cancun in Winter

This article is a good read on safety when traveling to Mexico:

lonelyplanet.com/blog/…

San Diego
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84 posts
41 reviews
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10. Re: Cancun in Winter

I understand chances are I won't die in Mexico but that doesn't necessarily mean nothing bad will happen. In most countries I can rely on the police to help me out if something goes wrong, that is not the case with Mexico which is what really kills tourism in many spots. My relatives there say sometimes it gets worse when you call the police because they will rob you as well. I can accept that there will be thugs everywhere but the offsetting factor is that in most countries I've been to I feel the authorities are there to help me.

As far as numbers go, I think what bothers me is that at expensive resorts you would think it should be as safe as possible like it is in most of the expensive resorts in the world and there should be few to no deaths there. For any region when you are paying top dollar relative to that region I expect top service and top safety standards. So reading about preventable deaths due to safety violations or murders because security was incompetent annoys me. When I was in Paris I stayed in a cheap hostel in the ghetto of Paris. I accepted that there were risks with that and the benefit was $28 a night with free breakfast. If I stayed in a nice hotel in a nice area paying $500 a night I would expect much more.