Playa del Carmen Warnings and Dangers
Playa del Carmen is a popular tourist destination in Mexico. However, there are certain warnings and dangers to be aware of before you visit Playa del Carmen.
Taxi and Police Scams in Playa del Carmen
Many of the locals around Carmen del Playa are friendly and welcoming to visiting tourists, but some will try to take advantage of you if you let them. Notably, taxi cab drivers will occasionally try to exploit unsuspecting tourists. It’s important to know the exchange rate. If you don’t, you may find yourself paying far more for a cab ride than you should. What should cost $3 might actually cost you $8 if you don’t know how to calculate the conversion rate.
Unfortunately, the scammers aren’t limited to just cab drivers, but can also extend to the police themselves. Officers will occasionally try to take advantage of tourists who can make easy prey. These officers may accuse you of speeding and threaten to take you to a police station where you will have to pay a fine. However, they will then offer to overlook your offense if you pay a bribe.
When deciding how to travel in Playa del Carmen, you may have to decide between understanding the conversion rate when paying taxi drivers and avoiding potentially corrupt police officers.
When traveling into Mexico, you’ll be asked to fill out an immigration form that consists of two parts. While travel is generally speedy and convenient, you can help expedite your trip by keeping track of your form. The first part of this form is held by officers once you arrive, while the second part is placed inside your passport. It’s important to keep track of the form.
If you attempt to leave the country without the form, it could result in a long delay at the customs check. Worst of all, you may miss your flight entirely if you’re held back due to the lost form. It’s best to keep your passport somewhere safe until you’re ready to leave the country again.
Beware the Bat Caves
The cenotes around Playa del Carmen are natural pits and sinkholes created as water digs into the local limestone. This eventually leads to a collapse that can form caves and underground pools. While there is beauty to be found in these underground locales, such as stalagmites and stalactites, rainbow-hued ponds, and arching walls of softly worn stone, there is also one danger to visiting these locations: bats.
Cenotes are essentially caves, and the cool environment and dimly lit confines make a perfect home for bats. Notably, these bats are particularly large and easily noticed by their regular screeching throughout the cenote. Bats may be generally harmless, but it also important to remember that they can be carriers of some diseases.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Playa del Carmen warnings and dangers.