With its massive resorts and tourist-oriented beach towns, the Riviera Maya is free of most big-city dangers. Though increasingly urban, Playa del Carmen is generally safe in tourist areas, and extensive police patrols keep it that way. Between 2011 and 2013, Playa del Carmen experienced a slight rise in crime outside the major resort areas, most of it associated with criminal groups. Regardless of this, Playa del Carmen is still more secure than most North American cities and remains among the safest areas in Mexico for vacationers. Resorts all have 24-hour security guards, and most have in-room safes. Thanks to advances in water purification, food safety has made great strides in the last decade, but Mexicans drink bottled water and you should, too. However, there's no need to worry about ice—it's made from purified water virtually everywhere. Look for the barrel-shaped, industrial ice cubes, just to be sure.

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