what is the drinking age in cancun
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How Old Do You Have to be to Drink in Cancún?

Cancún, renowned for its vibrant nightlife and pristine beaches, is a haven for tourists seeking a blend of relaxation and entertainment. One of the pivotal aspects to consider before indulging in the lively atmosphere is understanding the legal drinking age in the region.

In Cancún, as is the case throughout Mexico, individuals must be 18 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages legally. This age restriction is strictly enforced to promote responsible drinking and ensure the safety of both locals and visitors.

As you prepare to immerse yourself in the rich cultural experiences that Cancún has to offer, being informed about the legal drinking age is crucial. It not only helps in adhering to the local laws but also fosters a respectful and enjoyable environment for all. Whether you plan to sip on a refreshing margarita by the beach or explore the bustling nightlife, being aware of the legal stipulations will enhance your Cancún experience manifold.

Do I need my ID to buy alcohol in Cancún?

Depending on how old you look, you may find that waiters and waitresses in Cancún may not ask to see your I.D. However, if you are an American citizen, it’s always a good idea to bring your US identification to buy alcohol in Mexico. If you are not, please bring your passport to buy alcohol. It’s also a good idea to make a copy of your U.S. passport and bring it along to accompany your other form of I.D.

Should I drink in Cancún?

A lot of people go to Cancún to leave their worries behind and really enjoy themselves. Many times that equation includes getting your drink on. I get it. However, there is always the question in our minds… “Will I be safe if I drink in Cancún”?

We advise that you always stick with your crowd if you’re going to be drinking. Remember, you’re in a different country and 99% of the people there will never see you again. So, if there are people there with bad intentions they may feel like they can get away with something while they’re in a different country at an international hot spot for tourists.

Our advice is to enjoy yourself, but take real precautions when you go out at night. Here are a few tips that will keep you safer:

  • Use the 1 to 1 method to pace yourself. 1 water for every 1 alcoholic drink
  • Never leave the people you came with
  • Always go out with a fully charged phone
  • Always designate one person in your crew to be designated sober

Drinking Laws in Cancún, Mexico

Understanding the drinking laws in Cancun, a popular tourist destination in Mexico, is essential for a safe and enjoyable vacation. Here, we delve into the specifics of open container laws, public intoxication regulations, and restrictions on alcohol purchases.

Open Container Laws

In Cancun, like other parts of Mexico, open container laws prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces such as streets and parks. While enforcement might vary, it’s generally advised to consume alcoholic beverages within licensed premises to avoid any legal complications.

Public Intoxication Laws

Public intoxication is frowned upon and could lead to fines or arrest. The local authorities maintain a vigilant eye, especially in tourist-heavy areas, to ensure the safety and decorum of the place. Visitors are urged to enjoy responsibly and avoid causing disturbances while under the influence of alcohol.

Restrictions on Alcohol Purchases

Cancun observes specific restrictions on the sale of alcohol, which include limited hours on Sundays and complete prohibition on election days. Usually, on Sundays, alcohol can be purchased from stores between 10 AM to 5 PM. During election periods, a dry law is enforced, halting the sale of alcohol for 24-48 hours to maintain public order. It’s essential to be aware of these nuances to plan your trip accordingly and enjoy a hassle-free vacation in Cancun. If you’re wondering about the specifics of the timezone for Cancun, you should read: Is Cancun EST or CST?

What is the blood alcohol limit in Cancún?

The blood alcohol limit in Cancún is the same as it is anywhere else in Mexico, which is 0.02%. Police in Cancún, MX can administer breathalyzer tests to determine if you are over the limit and can arrest you if you are.

Be sure to have a great time in Cancún, but always use common sense when drinking! Cheers!

Safety Tips for drinking in Cancún

Cancun, a hotspot for tourists, beckons with its azure waters and vibrant nightlife. While the city promises an exhilarating experience, it is vital to adhere to certain safety guidelines when it comes to enjoying alcoholic beverages. Here, we outline some crucial safety tips to ensure a pleasant and secure time in Cancun.

Avoiding Tainted Alcohol

In recent years, there have been sporadic reports of tainted alcohol in some establishments. To safeguard yourself, it is recommended to consume alcohol only from reputable sources. Opt for sealed bottles and avoid dubious mixed drinks, especially in less frequented areas. We also wrote another blog about drinking frozen drinks while in Cancun.

Being Cautious of Public Intoxication

Public intoxication is not only frowned upon but can also lead to legal repercussions in Cancun. It is advisable to maintain a level of sobriety when in public spaces to avoid unwanted attention and potential conflicts. Remember, the goal is to enjoy your vacation without any hitches.

Responsible Drinking

Embrace the spirit of responsible drinking by knowing your limits. Binge drinking can not only spoil your vacation but also put you at risk. Pace your alcohol consumption and intersperse it with plenty of water to prevent dehydration, a common issue in the tropical climate of Cancun.

Protecting Your Belongings

Unfortunately, tourists can sometimes be targets for opportunistic crimes. When you are out enjoying the nightlife, ensure to safeguard your belongings. Avoid carrying large sums of cash or valuable items that might attract unwanted attention.

Traveling in Groups

Safety is amplified when you are in a group. Try to venture out with friends or family, especially during the night. Staying in well-lit and populated areas can further enhance your safety.

Hydration is Key

Given Cancun’s tropical climate, staying hydrated is essential, particularly when consuming alcohol. Always opt for bottled or purified water to prevent any health issues.

By adhering to these safety tips, you can ensure a memorable and secure vacation in Cancun, enjoying the best of what this vibrant city has to offer without any concerns. We wrote a whole other blog dedicated to staying hydrated while in Cancun.

Drink at Your Resort

The safest place to partake in drinking is at your resort with your crew, and when it comes to resorts we think the absolute safest resorts are the ones that are located away from Cancún proper. This means when you’re choosing your resort you want to pick resorts that aren’t actually in Cancún. We suggest finding great resorts in between Puerto Moroles and Playa Del Carmen.

Some of our favorites are the Karisma resorts. We’ve done a few reviews of those resorts, and you can read them here.

Busy Bars Close to Transportation

If you’re going to enjoy the nightlife we suggest going to busy bars and nightclubs where there will be many people. One of the bonuses about going to a busy place is being close to public transportation. Taxis are everywhere and pretty easy to procure. Let your designated sober person take the lead on finding transportation after you’ve been drinking.


You have to be at least 18 to drink in Cancún. Be sure to have a great time in Cancún, but always use common sense when drinking! Cheers!

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