Cancun flight news

In preparation for the winter season many airlines are expanding their Cancun flight networks, adding routes or extra departures. Frontier has new routes from Raleigh-Durham and Las Vegas, and Southwest Airlines from Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham and San Antonio.

Canadian visitors can take advantage of WestJet’s new flights from Calgary, Saskatoon and Vancouver. Low cost carrier Swoop also recently announced new three flights a week from Calgary to Cancun, starting on January 14, 2019.

In Latin America, Aeromexico has a new service from Medellin, Colombia, GOL Airlines is flying from Brasilia and Copa Airlines is upgrading to 737 aircraft on its Panama City – Cancun route due to growing demand.

Air France also has plans for expansion in the years to come.

In more flight news, Cancun Airport expects to receive 25 million passengers by year-end, a new record. The number of passengers for 2018 is six percent up on 2017.

(Sources: Travel Pulse, Carib Journal)

Xcaret’s macaw success story

Over the past few years we have reported on Xcaret’s remarkable mission to bring the scarlet macaw back from the brink of extinction in Mexico. To date, 242 macaws raised in the Riviera Maya park have been transported to jungle reserves in the Palenque region of Chiapas and Los Tuxtlas in southern Veracruz, where they have been released into the wild after a period of adaptation. Thanks to this project, the wild macaw population in Mexico is now almost double what it was in 2013 and in Los Tuxtlas flocks of these beautiful birds are now seen where they had been extinct for 50 years.

There’s more good news. The released macaws are beginning to form breeding couples and the first chick was born in Nanciyaga Reserve in Veracruz during the summer and is doing well. Hopefully it will be the first of many.


Xcaret named World’s Best Park 2018

At IAAPA Expo Attractions, the entertainment industry’s largest trade fair held in November in Orlando, Xcaret Park received the Liseberg Applause Award as the Best Park in the World 2018. It beat other finalists such as PortAventura World in Spain and Universal Studios in Japan.

Presented every two years, the Liseberg Applause Award is considered the Oscar of theme parks and it is given to parks that excel for creativity, originality and commercial success. Xcaret was honored for the experiences that it offers visitors, based on a celebration of Mexico’s natural and cultural heritage, its sustainability projects and its commitment to the local community.



New environmental tax for Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos will soon be following in the footsteps of Solidaridad municipal district in the Riviera Maya by charging a nightly Environmental Sanitation Fee to hotel and resort guests.

This new green tax will be used for projects such as beach cleaning and coastal management, waste disposal, LED lighting to reduce carbon emissions, conservation and programs to make Puerto Morelos a sustainable destination.

With its beaches and coral reefs, mangroves, jungle and cenotes, Puerto Morelos is an area of outstanding natural beauty yet its rich ecosystems are fragile. Increasing visitor numbers and population growth have outpaced public services in the area. For the health of the environment, waste management and other services must be improved. The new Green Fee charged by the Puerto Morelos Municipal Government will be used for such programs.

There is no news yet on when the new green tax will be implemented. We will share further updates when more information becomes available.

Isla Mujeres will implement a similar measure for guests at hotels and resorts on the island and the area of the municipal district on the mainland.


Holbox bans single-use plastics

The island of Holbox has taken the lead in banning single-use plastics from its shores. The new management plan for the Yum Balam reserve, which includes Holbox, prohibits the entry of plastic bottles and containers, PET, polystyrene and plastic bags.

Holbox is the first island in Mexico to implement this important environmental legislation.


Seaweed update

For those of you wondering about the seaweed that has been washing ashore from time to time along parts of the Quintana Roo coast during the summer, we are happy to report that it has disappeared and our turquoise waters have returned.

The decline in the amount of sargassum is due to cooling sea temperatures that come as the first cold fronts begin to affect the Yucatan. Floating patches of seaweed may also be blown off course and prevented from making landfall by northerly winds.

The authorities and a committee of marine scientists continue to study the sargassum, monitor its movements through the Caribbean and look for better ways of disposing of it should it return in the future.


New security initiatives in Quintana Roo

Millions of tourists visit the Mexican Caribbean each year and the authorities work closely to ensure the safety of visitors and residents. Security is being boosted further in the state of Quintana Roo with the implementation of additional monitoring measures, extra police for the cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen and increased coordination between municipal, state, federal police and military police.

In October, 3,200 military police arrived at a new base located to the north of Cancun in the Isla Mujeres municipal district. They will be working with the different police forces in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and other parts of the state and will carry out surveillance and intelligence gathering.

An additional 2,400 security cameras will be installed in the state’s cities to improve existing monitoring systems.

The Cancun city police force will soon have 50 additional patrol cars and more police on patrol, including extra English speaking Tourist Police in the Hotel Zone to assist visitors.

   Mexico welcomed more than 39.3 million international visitors in 2017 and climbed to position No. 6 in the World’s Top Tourism Destinations.

The current US State Department travel advisory for Mexico places no restrictions on visiting Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta or Los Cabos, some of the world’s most popular vacation spots.

The US travel advisory system classifies threat levels in countries around the world from 1 to 4, with 1 being the lowest threat level and 4 the highest. Mexico is in the Level 2 category, which is the same as many European countries such as Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy and the recommendation is for ‘Visitors to Exercise Caution.’



Anniversary of the Founding of Merida, January 6

On January 6, inhabitants of Merida, state capital of Yucatan observe the anniversary of the founding of the city in 1542 by Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo. Observed with a procession, mass and serenade to the city, it marks the start of the month-long City Festival, a gala event featuring concerts, dance performances, art exhibits and more.

Feria de la Candelaria, January 22 – February 2, Valladolid

This traditional fair is dedicated to the patron saint of Valladolid, the Virgin de la Candelaria. Events in this colonial town include an agricultural fair, processions, concerts and dances.