What I learned about crime and safety in Merida, Mexico:
I want to point out that this was our first time in Mexico. Having heard horror stories about Mexico, my family was VERY hesitant about letting me go. We were going to the heart of Mexico, after all. We couldn’t help but think “What is safety in Merida, Mexico like? What is Merida crime like?”
Well, the good news about our crime and safety questions is we were told Yucatan is the safest state in Mexico and Merida is the safest city in the state! WHEW, you can breathe. We asked around to the locals that could speak some English and asked how this part of Mexico was the safest. I don’t know if this is the complete truth or not, but this is what we heard. They said Merida was the safest and lowest in crime because the police was not corrupt and the drug cartels were not there.
Something else that I want to mention is that when you are in Merida, the police presence is real. LOL. They are usually well-armed with rifles or machine guns. As an American, this is not something you see everyday and can be a bit intimating but the reality is it is more comforting than intimidating.
There is something to be said about having street smarts. I would not be going out at night aimlessly walking. We really tried to get in before dark, however, there were a couple nights we were out late and did have to take a Uber home and still felt safe. If you don’t know what Uber is- you should. Check the app out here.
Now, I want to be clear that this is OUR OPINION. This is also coming from us speaking 1% Spanish and only knowing phrases like “por favor” and “gracias”. So, I am not going to lie to you. Because of the stories we heard, and because we hardly spoke any Spanish, we never really FELT safe, even though it WAS safe.
What I mean by this is that we always had the feeling of “why are you being so nice to us” in the back of our head. I think a lot of it was the language barrier and quite honestly the more you’re around, the more you learn.
The real truth is that in Merida, the people are SO NICE and it WAS SAFE. I have expensive-ass camera gear and felt like a target, especially being American but we never had any problem. We always had people who were more than willing to help.
When it was time to leave, our hotel was amazing and called a taxi for us to get back to Cancun. It was a seamless 30 minutes to get there. We were sad to go, but we will definitely be going back.
If you want to see some more of our stay you can check out our visit to Chichen Itza here or our time at Ik Kil Cenote here.
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