Is booking a trip to Riviera Maya Mexico for 2020 safe?
World tourism seems to be on hold due to the Corona Virus’s lockdowns. But sometime this year borders will be open en you can go on summer holiday. Maybe you are on lock-down and planning the summer break now, to keep spirits up. Is it wise to book a trip to places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum or anywhere in the Riviera Maya for the upcoming seasons?
Mexico and the COVID-19 outbreak
It is hard to tell how the virus will affect Mexico in general. In a country the size of Europe, the numbers are pretty low right now (March 2020) but on the rise. And although the government seems to be preparing pretty well and handling it pretty well as far as I can see and read. We all know they cannot prevent an outbreak. They can only try to control it and in trying they heavily rely on the behaviour of people willing or not to obey safety rules.
Mexico seems to be a little behind in the whole outbreak scenario when it comes to ‘first contagious person” and “first recorded death” and the health department here predicts a community contagious stage for the last week of March. That means that the virus outbreak, when it happens, most likely will resonate long after in Europe things calm down.
The Mexican government is doing a lot, despite some people criticizing the regulations I find them transparent, clear, they lack panic and they communicate control and a secure operating plan.
What they communicate most is not to panic. And I like that for I see a world in panic outside of Mexico. And it makes you wonder how we have become so vulnerable.
There is more to consider when planning a Riviera Maya vacation in 2020
Every year tons of sargasso reach the ever so blue waters of the Caribbean sea and the Riviera Maya coastline. And although for this year the predictions are so much better than they were for last seasons, still there will be seaweed on the beaches.
So when you dream of a pure white sand beach holiday, keep in mind that the beach might not be so white as you hoped for.
The sargasso season is from April to November, more or less, depending on wind and currents
The government is working hard to clean up sargasso, both at sea and on the beaches, but will they be able to keep the beaches sargasso free this year?
About safety in the streets is it safe to travel to the Riviera Maya?
Let me first explain where exactly the Riviera Maya lies. What area it covers.
It is a stretch of land on the Caribbean Sea roughly between Cancun and Tulum. So places like Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen are included and all in between. So it is part of the state of Quintana Roo and located on the south part of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The area is known for its all-inclusive resorts, that are either far away from towns and cities or right in the middle and in the reach of shops, bars and restaurants.
The more remote resorts offer the suggestion of private beaches for locals will not travel so far to visit a beach
Safety in the Riviera Maya has always been on travellers mind. I live in this area for over a year now, first in Cancun, and now in Playa del Carmen. I live among the locals, in the city centre. I walk the streets every time of the day and night. I shop in local shops, eat in local restaurants, and I can tell you I feel safe here.
The violence, if there is any, is cartel-related and not aimed at tourism. In Mexico, they will do anything to keep the tourism sector healthy and alive for the local economy depends strongly on it. So you have tourist Police, the national guard, the federal police and the municipal police all patrolling both the city and the beaches to keep everybody safe.
I think it is very safe to travel to the Riviera Maya
Now I am not the one to decide for you, I can merely tell you facts and share my feelings. And although I love the locals trying to keep their business alive during these hard times for tourism due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I myself, would not book a vacation here. Unless I will be in one of those private all-inclusive resorts along the highway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen where I can spend my 9-20 days in private isolation away from everything.
Like I wrote, Mexico is a little behind in the contamination stages, and that is great, but when the outbreak does happen here it will also take longer to recuperate. And depending on where you are from, you might be well in the clear already while Mexico is at its peak.
But it is not up to me to advise you, you might feel different about health safety and maybe you are immune by then.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.