By winter of 2014-2015 the hotspot of Cancun is poised to be even more appealing for vacationers looking to escape the winter doldrums with a quick,affordable and luxurious jaunt to Mexico. A variety of new hotels and airline routes from the world’s major cities are opening up,and an entire host of new destinations brimming with exciting adventures for travelers of all ages and skill levels are just waiting to be discovered. Here,are a few of the many exciting changes to look for in Cancun over the coming months.
New Destinations & Activities
In an effort to expand Cancun’s already impressive list of offerings beyond what is currently available for mainstream tourists,the Cancun Convention & Visitor’s Bureau has partnered with local communities and environmental groups to develop the nearby destinations of Puerto Morelos,Isla Mujeres,Isla Holbox and Isla Contoy.
“We have been promoting these destinations for years and are delighted that our efforts are now part of an official marketing strategy,” Jesus Almaguer,CEO of the Cancun CVB,in a recent interview with Travel Weekly. “They offer the perfect balance to Cancun’s tourism offering.”
The idyllic coastal fishing village of Puerto Morelos is located just 21 miles south of Cancun in an area with plenty of first-rate resorts to choose from. Here,as with most destinations along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast and the Riviera Maya,the worlds second largest barrier reef lies just offshore,making it wonderful for snorkeling and diving.
Isla Mujeres stretches four miles long and a half-mile wide,situated just northeast of Cancun and easily accessible via ferry service. Visitors will thrill to the small but charming hotels,delicious seafood restaurants and low-key atmosphere,where most people get around either on foot or via golf cart,bicycle or moped.
A little farther north,just off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula,Isla Holbox is car-free and separated from the mainland by a lagoon with shallow water that provides the ideal nesting place for colorful flamingos and stately pelicans. Isla Holbox is still a fishing community,but tourism is growing in the area and there are plenty of small inns,boutiques and places to eat while visiting. Plan to spend about two hours of easy traveling from the Cancun International Airport,ending with a ferry ride from the mainland to Isla Holbox.
Just 18 miles north of Isla Mujeres,the haven of Isla Contoy is an important seabird nesting site and has been an environmentally protected destination since 1961,before it was officially named a national park of Mexico in 1998. Today,only 200 visitors a day are permitted to visit Isla Contoy,and only then if accompanied by official tour operators.
New and Remodeled Hotels & Resorts
Cancun is on an undeniable up swing,with an impressive list of new hotels,re-branded properties and renovated resorts popping up regularly,which have either already opened or announced plans to open soon. For example,the brand new Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is scheduled to open this winter in 2015 and will offer an all-inclusive luxury experience that includes a “resort within the resort” – an area known as “The Hideaway.” 1,200 rooms and suites,10 restaurants and 16 bars will be available for guests.
Also,the former Grand Oasis Villa has been re-branded as the Dreams Sands Cancun Resort & Spa,and received a complete makeover. Scheduled to open this September,visitors can enjoy dining at any of the property’s eight restaurants and top-shelf spirits at all four bars and lounges. Similarly,the former Villa Rolandi on Isla Mujeres has been re-opened as the Zoetry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres,where guests enjoy holistic wellness treatments and oceanfront suites. The Royal Cancun has also been rebranded as the Hyatt Zilara Cancun,and the former Dreams Cancun will reopen as the Hyatt Ziva Cancun in mid-2015.
Finally,the Riu Cancun is currently closed and undergoing extensive renovations,but will be open for business with a chic new look and plenty of new amenities by August 2,and Club Med Yucatan will reopen by the end of summer with much anticipation following a major overhaul.
Southwest will reportedly continue nonstop service to Cancun from Atlanta,Baltimore/Washington and Milwaukee as of August 10,Alaska Airlines will launch seasonal service to Cancun from Seattle November 6,while Delta is expanding seasonal Saturday service to Cancun from 13 major U.S. cities,including Cincinnati,Boston,Nashville and Tampa. In addition,Signature Vacations offers direct flights to Cancun and the Riviera Maya from 20 major airports across Canada,including Montreal and Toronto,while British Tour Operator Thomas Cook is slated to begin service to Cancun from Stansted and from Dublin,Ireland.
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