MEXICO CITY - Citing a new security threat in Mexico’s Caribbean beach resort of Playa del Carmen, the U.S. government is prohibiting its employees from traveling there, marking another blow to the battered reputations of the country’s most popular tourist hubs.
The U.S. travel ban was issued late Wednesday and was later cited by the Canadian government in its own warning. While the travel ban only applies to government employees, the U.S. Embassy said Americans should consider the security threat, which it did not specify, before traveling to the area.
Playa del Carmen is about 46 miles (76 km) south of Mexico’s top beach destination, Cancun, part of a long strip of white sand beach-front resorts that attracts international tourists.
Late last month, an explosion on a ferry docked at a Playa del Carmen pier injured 25, including several U.S. citizens.
The blast was caused by an explosive device, according to a U.S. embassy statement earlier this month. Local media reported that two similar devices were later found attached to another ferry on the nearby island of Cozumel, also a major tourist draw, but neither detonated.
Both federal and state officials continue to investigate the incidents.
The U.S. State Department has previously advised travelers to avoid five Mexican states because of soaring crime. Mexico’s long-running battle against drug cartels has in recent years bled into its iconic tourist destinations, including the once-glamorous Pacific beach resort of Acapulco and most recently Los Cabos on the southern tip of Baja California, both of which have seen murder rates jump sharply.