Cancun

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The day before we were set to take our first international trip in well over a year, there was buzz that our intended destination, the Quintana Roo area of Mexico (home to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and more) was going to be given a red-level designation due to a surge of COVID-19 cases.

If the area shifted from orange to red, it would have effectively spelled the end of our already twice-delayed trip.

Lucky for us, the weekly evaluation of the area’s COVID-19 stoplight system stayed orange, or naranja, and we were able to grab our passports and fly south.

But while the situation hasn’t escalated to red, there’s no denying that the Quintana Roo section of Mexico is still dealing with a serious COVID-19 outbreak. (Here’s where you can check the current level.) As a result, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently has Mexico listed as a Level 3 high-risk destination for COVID-19.

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Given the surge of cases the area is experiencing, photos I’ve seen of incredibly long arrivals lines at the Cancun International Airport (CUN) and the general perception of openness that attracts travelers from U.S. who want to party but don’t want to deal with vaccination or pre-travel testing requirements, I had some concerns about what I’d find when we touched down in Mexico.

While things can change quickly these days, we ultimately had a great trip. Here’s what it’s like to travel to the Cancun area right now.

Arrival at the airport

a group of people with luggage at an airport: (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Travelers flying into Cancun from the U.S. don’t need to apply for entry, provide any COVID-19 test results, show proof of vaccination or secure visas in advance.

So, while you may want to line up trip insurance or have a contingency plan in place in case you do test positive for COVID-19 while in Mexico, there’s no specific requirement to do so.

Even prior to the pandemic, the Cancun airport was, at times, known for exceedingly long waits to clear immigration upon arrival. The line could go down hallways and wrap around itself even during normal operations. Earlier during the pandemic in 2021, there were also reports of long arrival waits.

The airport, however, has indicated it ramped up staffing to speed up the arrivals process. While I can’t speak to exactly what’s changed with staffing levels, I can say we didn’t wait more than a few minutes after touching down in Cancun one Friday afternoon in late May.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

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Some friends who arrived a bit later in the peak mid-afternoon hours did experience a 15- to 20-minute wait in the arrivals hall, but that was a far cry from the pre-pandemic wait they experienced in February 2020 that lasted more than an hour.

If you’re concerned you’ll face a long wait when arriving at a peak time, you can pay for a VIP service that will get you through arrivals in a matter of minutes, though it will set you back a few hundred dollars. That’s what we did just to be sure we didn’t get stuck in a long, crowded line.

Once we were through immigration, the usual number of car rental and taxi companies were available, and even in the warm, open-air area of the airport, drivers and vendors were largely wearing face masks.

The resort experience

a group of people sitting at a table with a umbrella on a beach: (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Our resort stay was a bit south of Cancun at the Andaz Mayakoba in the Riviera Maya part of Quintana Roo.

At this particular resort, our temperature was checked upon arrival and again when entering restaurants. The staff always wore masks over their nose and mouth — even when outdoors.

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

For guests, masks were available when entering many buildings and were required in some situations, such as when perusing the breakfast buffet that was housed behind plexiglass. But guests here primarily spend time outside, at the pool, by the beach or seated in restaurants where masks wouldn’t typically be worn anyway. Plus, most of the restaurants were open-air or had plenty of ventilation.

text: (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Daily housekeeping and room service were available, and there were no services or activities that seemed to be suspended in the name of pandemic safety.


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American tourist in Cancun wounded in crossfire of jet ski gunmen: report

Source:Fox News

American tourist in Cancun wounded in crossfire of jet ski gunmen: report

US tourist wounded in beach killings in Cancún, Mexico

Source:ABC

US tourist wounded in beach killings in Cancún, Mexico

US tourist hit by stray bullet in Cancun after being caught in crossfire during cartel execution by gunmen on jet skis

Source:The Sun

US tourist hit by stray bullet in Cancun after being caught in crossfire during cartel execution by gunmen on jet skis

A US tourist in Cancun was wounded by a stray bullet when gunmen on jet skis reportedly killed 2 men at the beach

Source:YAHOO!News

A US tourist in Cancun was wounded by a stray bullet when gunmen on jet skis reportedly killed 2 men at the beach

American tourist in Cancun reportedly wounded in crossfire of jet ski gunmen

Source:New York Post

American tourist in Cancun reportedly wounded in crossfire of jet ski gunmen