• Alan Travers

Is Chichén Itzá Safe To Visit? | A Gringo's Guide!



Chichén Itzá is recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world, and is quickly gaining more attention from international visitors alike, as it rightly should!


This ancient city was built by the Maya people sometime around 600 A.D, and remarkably remains in good shape, this archaeological site, and tourist hotspot are home to some of the most magnificent sites and temple ruins you may ever see.


If you are anywhere near this ancient city or were even considering a visit to these majestical ruins, then you should absolutely do it! You won't regret it! This could very easily be the highlight of anyone's vacation or getaway to Mexico.



How Safe Is It To Travel To Chichén Itzá?


For the most part, it will be pretty safe to travel to Chichén Itzá, I would just take extra precaution if you are choosing to drive to this remote location, as some of the roads in Mexico can be quite treacherous and unpredictable, if you also don't know the roads or area very well I would definitely reconsider driving, this is not a place you want to get lost!


For the majority of tourists or people visiting Chichén Itzá, they will most likely be coming from Cancun or Tulum, as these are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, which are not too far from this popular attraction.


If you are traveling from either of these area's it's pretty much the same deal, as Tulum and Cancun, are next to one another, the only difference being the journey from Cancun may be slightly longer, but either way, you will most likely be travelling by bus or taxi to Chichén Itzá from either of these locations.


The Journey by bus from Cancun or Tulum is most likely the safest option for you, and it should be fairly straight forward for you to organize a tour with your resort or hotel, which will include your travel, these tour buses will also be full of other tourists, so you won't feel out of place.


The bus will have a pickup time and a departure time, so make sure you are aware of the pickup and drop of points and leave with enough time, you don't want to miss that bus back to the resort or hotel!


The other option a lot of people choose to take is a taxi, which I really can't recommend you do, taxies aren't usually dangerous and can be a safe option, but it is very common to be scammed or overcharged in tourist areas like Cancun or Tulum, which is a big no from me!



How Safe Is Chichén Itzá?


Mexico may be having problems currently controlling crime all over the country, but you can be sure of one thing, Mexico attracts millions of tourists every year, most of which head to Cancun, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, and plenty of other tourist hot spots too, if you are in any popular tourist destination, resort or attraction you can be sure you are in safe hands.


Crime in Mexico is mostly gang and cartel-related and has absolutely nothing to do with tourists, of course, you might hear of the odd horror story, but honestly, where could you travel in the world where you are guaranteed nothing bad can happen?


Chichén Itzá is one of the most popular attractions in not only Mexico but the world, and while there is considerably little threat here to your well being, there are still bad people out there, especially in places that gather mass crowds of tourists.



Be Careful Of Scammers And Pickpockets!


You will most commonly find pickpockets and scammers here, and regardless if there were any or not you should always stay aware of your surroundings and never fully trust a stranger, especially if they want something from you.


Like it or not there is some inherent risk when visiting Chichén Itzá, just like there is when you visit anywhere for that matter, it's up to you to keep you and your belongings safe, with that in mind here are a few simple tips that can go a long way in keeping you, your loved ones and belongings safe!


The best thing you can do to avoid falling victim to a pickpocket is not to be flashy, I mean do you really need to wear that expensive watch, carry around that expensive camera or wear those expensive clothes, I'm not saying to change who you are but you can take photos with your phone now, wear shorts or t-shirts that don't have a huge brand name printed on them, if you look like money, you are a target, that's a simple fact!


There aren't quite as many scammers in Chichén Itzá as there used to be so this one is a little less of a worry, but it's still good to be mindful.


One thing that is quite common is people selling tours on the streets in Cancun and Tulum, you are taking a risk if you plan on or try to book something with these people, you will most likely be overcharged, or even worse, not receive anything and just losing your money completely, while this scam might not be directly in Chichén Itzá, it's one that you should be mindful of none the less.


It's always best to book using a reputable agent, you can find these online, in shops around Cancun or Tulum, but your best bet is to book it using your hotel or resort, the person attending the front desk should be able to help you.



Are The Surrounding Areas Safe?


There are only a few small towns surrounding Chichén Itzá, and these towns should be of little to no concern really, these are very small tight-knit communities filled with families and close friends of families.


The nearest city will be Valladolid, which is a beautiful Mexican city that is just bursting with culture, once in the city you really feel like you have just stepped out of a time machine, you'll understand if you have ever been or do get the chance to visit, which I highly recommend you do!


Other than this, you can rest easy knowing you will be absolutely safe when visiting one of Mexico's most visited ancient cities.



Is Mexico Really Dangerous?


This is what everyone really wants to know, and unfortunately, it's not a straight forward answer, there are plenty of places in Mexico that are inherently dangerous either because they are filled with, gangs, cartels, and or can be extremely poverty-stricken, but more than that, there are also very nice areas that can attract a lot of tourism but are located in dangerous states that can be partially under the control of paramilitaries or cartels, Mazatlan being a prime example.


Places like Mazatlan, which have beautiful beaches and attract thousands of tourists year after year can be quite dangerous if you don't know the place very well.


This city is located in Sinaloa which is unfortunately rampant with the famous Sinaloa cartel, and throughout Mexico, you will find a lot of similar places, making this answer a very difficult one.


Before visiting Mexico just make sure to plan your trip very well and research the area you are planning on visiting, make sure to do enough due diligence.


Mexico has many very safe tourist locations but it also has many locations one needs to be mindful of, so to answer the question is Mexico really dangerous, the answer is yes and no.


If you are looking for more information about this topic, I have written in great detail about the Mexico safety situation right here.