Is Merida Mexico Safe to Visit in 2023? (Top Safety Tips)

By Anna

Mexico is a vibrant country with many beautiful cities to visit and the city we’re going to be telling you all about in this article is Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula, but what you might be thinking, is Merida Mexico safe to travel to?

Safety is paramount wherever you’re going in the world so in this article we’ll be telling you everything needed to know about how to stay safe in Merida covering all the little things from water safety to night life as well as much more before revealing our top 9 safety tips for staying safe in Merida.

So, let’s get straight into it and find out, is Merida Mexico safe?

Is Merida Mexico Safe Right Now?

Merida is known to be one of the safest cities in Mexico and an overall risk of something bad happening is very low. Although it’s considered safe, just like everywhere in the world, cities have their good areas and bad areas and Merida included.

You may want to be careful in the south side of the city as there have been rumours about violent gangs living in small private housing areas. You may also want to keep an eye out for pick pockets are they are a common nuisance in Merida.

Some locals are known to pick pocket and bag snatch in tourist areas, public and crowded areas, airports and train stations so it’s a good idea to make sure your bags are with you at all times and never take any valuables out, instead leave them in the safe at the hotel room so you can have peace of mind knowing that no valuables are going to be taken from you.

Lastly, as long as you’re being sensible and weary of surroundings then there’s no reason that trouble should follow. If something does happen on your holiday, then call the local police station as they will be able to sort out the problem.

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Photo credit: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash

Is Merida Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

As Merida is one of the safest cities in Mexico, it’s certainly safe for solo female travellers to visit too. Mexico has bad press and it may be off putting for some, yes there are drug cartels and gangs in Mexico but if you’re travelling in tourist areas then you’re not likely to come into contact with any trouble.

If you are planning a solo visit to Merida then never walk anywhere by yourself at night time, this includes going into a night club or walking past a bar as there are more than likely going to be locals and tourists who are intoxicated and could take advantage of the fact that you’re walking alone.

When exploring the wonderful Yucatán capital city in the daytime then there’s no need to worry about travelling solo, just remember to keep your eyes on your possessions so they can’t be lost to pick pockets or bag snatchers. There’s lots of things to see and do in Merida so don’t feel put off by travelling solo as you’ll get to do all the things on your own agenda and relax knowing that Merida is safe for solo female travellers.

Merida solo female
Image by ncb80 from Pixabay

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Is Merida Safe to Live?

Merida is considered safe to live in as long as you’re in one of the good areas. The north is said to be the safest region of the city as there are private residences in the area and the further up you go in Merida, the more expensive the neighbourhoods are to live – but this doesn’t mean that the houses are unaffordable.

In Merida, it’s more than likely that you’ll find retired foreigners living in the neighbourhood who are mainly American and Canadian living in the north to be close to the beaches and small towns. Some of the cities in the south region are said to be the areas to steer clear from if wanting to make the move to sunny Mexico, this is because of violent gangs known to live in this region, but just like everywhere, some areas are better than others.

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If you are seriously considering a move a Merida, then it’s worth checking out different areas first and spending a few weeks there at a time so that you can get a real feel the area and the local people. There’s lots to see and do in Merida and with a yearly average temperature of 31 degrees Celsius and stunning beaches, what’s not to like?

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Female traveller
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Is Merida Safe at Night?

As long as you’re with a group of people then Merida is safe at night. If you’re going out to bars and restaurants or even clubs then stay central as there will be lots of people around compared to a small village where you might not feel very safe to if there aren’t many people around.

If you’re travelling back to the hotel by foot at a sensible time and it’s only going to take around 10 minutes or so to get back, then you should be safe as long as your group sticks together. When it’s getting very late then we would suggest a taxi, even if it’s five minutes down the road, it’s better to get back safely than encounter any trouble.

There will be a mix of tourists and locals out at night in Merida which gives this city a good holiday vibe and of course it’s nice when you start talking to new people but at night time if you’re offered a lift home or taxi share back to the hotel, then to be of the side it’s better to decline as you’ve only just met them especially if you’re by yourself – instead get a taxi back to the hotel.

is Merida safe at night
Image by proy_digi from Pixabay

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Is the Water in Merida Safe to Drink?

Tap water in Merida is not safe to drink, a bit like other cities in Mexico or even other cities/countries across the world. Although the water is purified at the source, the water may become contaminated en route to the tap so always stick to bottled water!

Hotels will provide free bottled water for your rooms which will be stocked up daily and you can ask for more if needed. The water in Merida comes down to more than just filling up your cup and drinking it (from a bottle in this case), when brushing your teeth, make sure that you don’t rinse them using tap water, instead use the bottled water provided and when finished don’t forget to recycle the plastic!

If eating out in a restaurant, never ask for ice in drinks as this could be contaminated too and if you’re not fancying an ice-cold beer but instead want water then always ask for it bottled and not from the tap. There are also some foods to be wary of ordering too including vegetable dishes and fruit for dessert, this is because we don’t know how the food has been prepared and more than likely the vegetables and fruit would have been washed with tap water before being chopped up into a salad.

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Mariachi band
Photo credit: albertozero_7 via Pixabay

Are Taxis in Merida Safe?

Taxis are extremely safe in Merida and they’re also one of the safest ways to get from A to B. As we mentioned previously, a taxi is the best and safest way to get home or back to the hotel if travelling back at night-time and you should know by now that Merida is one of the safest cities in Mexico!

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Taxi drivers are friendly and won’t overcharge, but you’re welcome to leave a little tip to say thank you if wanted. If however you’re struggling to find a taxi then you’ll be pleased to know that Merida has Uber so all that’s needed to do is have the Uber app, pick the time and the place of pick up and pay straight away – Ubers may work better for some people as you know what you’re paying and the payment is made straight away.

You can get a taxi from pretty much anywhere in Merida so whether you want to be taken back to the hotel after a night out, want to spend a day at the beach or even get picked up from a tourist hotspot, taxis are the way to go and will be a lot quicker than the bus.

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Top 9 Merida Safety Tips:

So, you know how safe Merida is for all of the reasons that we’ve just spoken about, but as safety is extremely important to us, we couldn’t end this article without giving out 9 top safety tips for travelling in Merida!

  • Never wonder the streets of Merida by yourself at night, even if the area has a good reputation, it’s not worth chancing it in case something bad was to happen, instead get a taxi ride back to where you’re staying.
  • Keep valuables with you at all times and never put your bag down on the ground, if you’re eating at a restaurant then put a chair leg over your bag as this will stop anybody from stealing your bag.
  • Don’t drink tap water or have ice in drinks, instead stick to bottled water as you know this will be fresh, if you do accidentally drink tap water, then make sure in a medicine bag you’ve packed tablets to help an upset stomach and nausea.
Mexican taxi
Photo credit:
Maxwell Ridgeway via Unsplash

And Finally:

  • Pack lots of sun cream and after sun. This may seem like a strange safety tip but the sun on the Yucatan Peninsula can get extremely hot, especially in the summer season so don’t be shy about slabbing on the sun cream to stop you from getting heatstroke. Even if you haven’t burnt, apply after sun in the evening to help your skin stay moisturised and supple.
  • Don’t keep loose change or your purse in the back of your jean pockets, especially in crowded tourist areas – this is a pickpocket’s paradise, instead keep it in your bag and make sure that’s zipped up and with you at all times.
  • If travelling solo never share a taxi with somebody else at night-time or never accept a lift from somebody that you’ve just met – there probably isn’t anything to worry about but it’s always best to be safe than sorry.
  • Exploring all areas of the city may be on the cards but you should avoid the south as that’s where gangs are rumoured to live making this an unsafe area of Merida to visit.
  • Yucatán is known to sometimes flood which will happen in the rainy seasons (June-October). The drainage systems are known to be poor and leave the streets flooded so be warned in case this happens in the month you’re travelling.
  • If you’ve decided to rent a car whilst away, then be warned that the roads in Merida aren’t well organised and it’s more of a free for all. Stick to speed limits and put your sat nav on so that can tell you anything needed to look out for.

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James Ardimento has spent the last 12 years journeying around the globe ! With its precious experiences and tips he gained around Asia, South America, Europe and the US he is a precious asset for this blog and for its readers