Every time I return to my hometown of Atlanta,Georgia,it takes me a couple of days (and hours spent in the car) to remember that traffic exists. For those of you living in urban or suburban areas,when was the last time that you had to drive 15 miles,and knew that you could make it in 15 minutes,no matter what time of day it was? That is what driving is like in the Riviera Maya.
Consider this: while the tourism mecca of Cancun had a population of over one half-million people in 2003,Playa del Carmen had only one stoplight to its name. By 2006,“Playa” was the fastest growing city in the world,according to the Guinness Book of World Records. According to my in-laws,who have been traveling to Riviera Maya real estate for almost twenty years,the trip from Playa to Tulum took four hours because of the road’s condition.
Today,the government has done an amazing job with highway road construction in order to keep up with the droves of people annually migrating to the area. In fact,just last year,a brand-new overpass was erected through Playa del Carmen to assist the population of nearly three hundred thousand navigate the area more easily. Being that I live in Puerto Aventuras,about fifteen minutes south of Playa,the overpass has literally cut fifteen minutes off of my trip to Cancun International Airport (about fifty-five minutes in total). And that trip from Playa to Tulum? Well now it’s only about an hour.
The clear correlation between the updates in transportation infrastructure and population do not stop with Playa del Carmen. Tulum,now the fastest growing city in Latin America and slated to achieve the same population numbers in the next ten years as Playa has now,has similar plans to improve its roadways,beginning with a bypass road around the city,similar to the Arco Vial that circumnavigates Playa. This scenic route will divert large trucks and other vehicles around the main part of town,and will also serve as an access route for the new Riviera Maya International Airport that is coming in the near future. With all of these updates taking place,it appears as though the Riviera Maya will remain my favorite place to get from A to B,traffic-free.