Generally, Playa del Carmen (PDC) is a very safe city. The tourist areas are well patrolled by police and the locals are friendly. Most safety tips are common sense to follow any time you travel.

-There have been reports of problems with the sewage system in Playa del Carmen (and elsewhere in the region). It is not only causing offensive odors in many parts of PDC, it could impact water quality. Be aware.

-Stay on the main streets where other tourists travel

-Never walk alone at night

-Avoid wearing jewelry or carrying anything that will make you a target for thieves or pickpockets

-Be careful using ATMs, especially at night

A note on using credit cards: If you plan to use your credit card while in Mexico, it is a good idea to inform your credit card company before you travel. Many credit card companies will freeze activity on a credit card if unexpected foreign transactions begin showing up.

Cash vs. Plastic: You may also find that you don't need a lot of pesos in Playa del Carmen - most shops and restaurants take credit cards, and your card will give you a comparable, if not better, exchange rate than you'll get from your hotel, from a casa de cambio, and possibly from the store. But the larger stores gladly accept American dollars, and give change in pesos (at a decent exchange rate).