It seems like Australians are now rushing in where Americans fear to tread.
International sunseekers from Down Under, Canada, and Europe have supplanted US college students and tourists in the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo – where Americans have traditionally flocked for Spring Break – until a travel warning from the Biden administration put a chill on the holiday revelry, DailyMail.com can reveal.
US officials warned last week that ‘crime in Mexico occurs at a high rate and can be violent, from random street crime to cartel-related attacks.’
Emily Doe, 28, of Perth, who was among the Australians who traveled to the Mexican party resort of Cancún for a week of boozy fun, said she wasn’t worried about cartel abductions or violence during her trip
DailyMail.com visited the popular holiday destination where American college students usually flock to for Spring Break and encountered other international sunseekers reveling on the beach
On the main club strip in Cancún’s Hotel Zone, clubs like Coco Bongo (pictured) the Mandala Beach Club, Señor Frog’s were popular choices for pool parties and drinking events
Americans appeared to be heeding that warning last week. They seemed in short supply in Cancún for the holiday season, but the advisory couldn’t dampen the party spirit on Kukulacán Boulevard in the Hotel Zone.
Emily Doe, 28, of Perth, Australia, sporting a fluorescent teal bikini top and a sarong, frolicked in front of the giant guitar that marks the Hard Rock Café with a group of Aussies who had flown in for a group vacation.
She hadn’t heard about the travel warning, but she said she wasn’t worried about kidnapping or cartel violence.
‘I’d like to see them try,’ she said.
Her group had just stepped out of Grand Oasis where they were doing some day drinking.
‘You only live once,’ Doe said. ‘What are the odds of anything happening?’
Cancún has seen a nearly 30% spike in international tourism over the winter months since the same period last year, according to the Cancún Chamber of Commerce.
More than 3.3million foreign tourists flooded into the country in January, up from roughly 2.6million last year.
Revelers were seen wearing balloon animals, novelty masks, and other party accessories as they let loose
The boozy event saw young partygoers climbing onto platforms to give their best dance performance to the crowd
Photos show dozens of bikini-clad women and young men releasing their inhibitions and dancing wildly in the pool
While Americans appeared to have heeded the government’s advice against traveling to Mexico, they were supplanted by tourists from other parts of the world
Doe, who was traveling with a group of 50 other Aussies from Western Australia, said she worried more about ‘cooked c**ts’ and frat boys. ‘It’s disgusting. Get rid of the ‘roids,’ she said of the latter.
On the main club strip in the Hotel Zone, near clubs like Coco Bongo, the Mandala Beach Club and Señor Frog’s, partiers from the U.K., France and Germany stumbled around, squeezing themselves into venues where they could be seen doing the bump and grind.
Hawkers pushing drugs, prostitutes and strip clubs nearly outnumbered the tourists. On the side streets, men tried to make eye contact and then tapped the side of their noses.
Doe said she was well prepared for anything.
She said her mother used to test her ability to avoid getting kidnapped by drilling in their garden back in Perth. Her mother would hide in the bushes with homemade pepper spray and jump out to spray her and she would have to run away.
Despite the threat of cartel violence and crime, Cancún has seen a nearly 30% spike in international tourism over the winter months since the same period last year
While there were some Americans present in the revelry, they were greatly outnumbered by Australian, Canadian and European tourists
‘I’m well prepared,’ she said. Her mom also advised her to watch YouTube videos on escaping from cable ties.
‘It’s all about breaking your thumbs,’ she joked.
Most of the international crowd said they were unaware that the U.S. had considered the Mayan Riviera a danger zone.
The State Department issued the travel warning after four Americans from South Carolina were kidnapped and two of them were killed after they crossed into Mexico at Brownsville, Texas into the city of Matamoros which is controlled by the Gulf Cartel.
There are four major drug cartels that operate in Mexico in addition to the Gulf Cartel: the Tijuana Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, the Juárez Cartel and the Guadalajara Cartel.
They operate mostly on the border with the U.S. and in the Northern part of the country. It’s rumored that some of the resorts and hotels in Quintana Roo were funded by drug money, but violence in tourist areas is rare, but not unheard of.
Last year, two Canadians were gunned down by an assassin’s bullet in the plush Xcaret resort in Playa del Carmen, 45 miles south of Cancun. It was later discovered that both men had ties to organized crime in Canada and authorities believe the killing was linked to a drug sale gone wrong.
Amid the chaos and alcohol-induced antics, law enforcement officers as well as Mexican Marines were seen standing guard nearby
The State Department issued a travel warning after four Americans from South Carolina were kidnapped and two of them were killed after they crossed into the city of Matamoros which is controlled by the Gulf Cartel. Pictured: Marines stand guard in the Hotel District during Spring Break festivities
On the main club strip in the Hotel Zone, partiers from the U.K., France and Germany stumbled around, squeezing themselves into venues where they could be seen doing the bump and grind
A missing persons flyer is posted on a lamppost near Señor Frog’s on the main avenue in the Hotel District of Cancún, Mexico
A 2023 shootout on the beach in Puerto Moreles in Tulum, a hippy beach town an hour and a half south of Cancún, left two members of rival drug gangs dead.
This year it has been relatively quiet, but not entirely. On March 11, gunshots rang out at Satellite 307, a bar in Tulum.
Richard K, 23, a German exchange student from Texas A&M who asked that his last name not be used, said that he had witnessed the aftermath of the shooting.
‘I saw a girl fall from the stairs and then all of the sudden people were running. People were yelling ‘shots fired, shots fired.’
He and his friend Sam, 22, another German exchange student who also did not want his last name used, ducked for cover amid the chaos.
‘Everyone was kneeling on the ground,’ he said. ‘We were hiding. Even the bartenders were hiding and they had guns.’
He said he was shocked by the violence. A taxi driver told him that it was a fight between the cartels.
‘It’s a weird feeling. We see all the military down here with their ARs’ Sam said. ‘It’s everything that you hear about Mexico. You get to see the influence of the cartels.’
The threat of danger or violence did not seem to have dampened the fun for many out-of-towners or the commerce for the businesses. Pictured: Spring breakers party on the beach in Cancún
Most of the international crowd said they were unaware that the U.S. had considered the Mayan Riviera a danger zone
Marines monitor the beach scene in Cancún during Spring Break mayhem last week
Shayla Payne (right), 37, an American ex-pat now living in Playa del Carmen, who hosts wellness retreats at Akkuun Hotel, said she actually feels safer in Mexico than in the U.S.
He said that he’s seen a lot of drug dealing. Men in the clubs touching their noses and tipping their heads back in a sign that they’re selling cocaine.
Patricia De La Puente who runs women’s clothing boutique, Terracotta, on Avenida Norte in Playa Del Carmen, said tourism was surging again thanks to Canadians and Europeans
‘We don’t do drugs,’ Kramer said. ‘It was scary.’
American accents were rare in Cancún andother resorts in the state of Quintana Roo during the Spring Break this year.
Still, none of this seems to have dampened the fun for many out-of-towners or the commerce for the businesses.
Patricia De La Puente has been running her women’s clothing boutique, Terracotta, for 35 years on Avenida Norte in Playa del Carmen.
She said that tourism is surging back, thanks to Canadians and Europeans.
‘Do you see a problem here?’ she asked, dismissing the alarms raised by the Biden administration.
She pointed to the diamonds and Rolex watch that she was wearing.
‘If you go looking for trouble, if you go buying drugs, you will have a problem,’ she said. ‘If you behave yourself, you can enjoy paradise.’
Many tourists agreed.
Dusty Wise, 44, a tradesman from Ontario, Canada, sporting a tanktop, sunglasses and a large balloon sculpture on his head and carrying a yard glass of margaritas walked down Avenida Norte with his countrymen, soaking up the sun and perusing the shops in the main commercial district.
‘There danger anywhere you go,’ he said. ‘Look at what’s happening in Miami’
DailyMail.com encountered hundreds of sun-seeking tourists at Customs at Cancún International Airport in Mexico
Indeed, for all the State Department’s travel warnings, it would appear that Florida may be the more perilous location for Spring Break.
Partying in Miami has led to 322 arrests and two deaths, with a third wounded. Videos show Spring Breakers flooding the streets fighting and jumping on cars. The chaos has gotten so bad that a midnight curfew has been put in place. In Ft. Lauderdale, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen suffered an assault by an Ohio partygoer.
Shayla Payne, 37, an American ex-pat now living in Playa del Carmen, who hosts wellness retreats at Akkuun Hotel said she feels safer in Mexico than in the U.S.
‘I don’t feel any more in danger here than I feel in America,’ she said. ‘Actually, America scares me. I’m from Washington, D.C. I grew up in the murder capital of America.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk