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Coming soon: Xavage, a new adventure park for Cancun

A new attraction is coming to Cancun in December 2018. The latest adventure park from the Experiencias Xcaret Group, Xavage will offer visitors a day of thrills on land, water and in the air.

Built with an investment of more than 50 million dollars, the new Xavage Park is located to the south of Cancun Airport in an area of old limestone quarries near Xoximilco Park. There are six different activities for park-goers to try, all named after different wild creatures, and with varying degrees of difficulty. They range from soft to extreme adventures.

Xavage Park Adventures

Barracuda – White water Rafting

Board a raft for a white water raft descent against a strong current that will test your resistance and teamwork.

Puma – Rock Crawler

Drive a rock crawler vehicle across rugged terrain and a thrilling obstacle course to test your driving skills

Dragonfly – Fierce Jet Boat

Board a fast jet boat for a top-speed ride full of twists and turns

Hawk – Flight

Spread your wings and take flight on a horizontal zip line ride

Howler Monkey – Intense Rope Course

Climb into the treetops and swing from branch to branch through the canopy like the Yucatan’s howler and spider monkeys as you negotiate a hanging rope course that will test your strength, agility, balance and coordination

Crocodile – Ultimate Kayaking

Hop into a kayak and paddle your way to adventure through lagoons and canals

Serpent: Tough Cubs

An adventure playground for children aged between five and 12. As they go round the course they’ll face challenges such as slides, rope bridges, water jets and a wading pool

Xavage is the seventh park by Experiencias Xcaret and will complement the activities already offered in Xplor Park and the Xplor Fuego evening adventure in the Riviera Maya. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m, Xavage Park will also have shaded rest areas with hammocks, lockers and rest rooms, a restaurant and store.

 

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Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news

Here is the latest Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news from Cancun. Our turtle guardians report that the tally of turtle nests in the corrals at The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander stands at 209 nests with 25,199 eggs. The resort security guards have also released 7,911 hatchlings to date. Of […]

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Cancun flight news

Mexican budget airline Viva Aerobus has announced three new weekly flights to Cancun from cities in the United States. On December 1 it will start flying the Cincinnati-Cancun route and will inaugurate two new routes: Cancun –Charlotte and Cancun-Nashville on February 16, 2019.

[Source: Sipse]

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Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news

Here is the latest Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news from Cancun. Our turtle guardians report that the tally of turtle nests in the corrals at The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander stands at 209 nests with 25,199 eggs. The resort security guards have also released 7,911 hatchlings to date. Of […]

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Planned new Metro bus project linking Cancun and Tulum

To meet growing passenger demand, four local bus companies have joined forces with plans to offer a new Metro bus service linking Cancun and Tulum. They will operate a new fleet of larger buses that are 16 to 18 meters long. The vehicles are articulated and have two compartments with a capacity of up to 160 passengers, Wi-Fi and comfortable seating.

The metro buses will cover the Cancun-Tulum route and some will go through the Hotel Zone before continuing to the Airport junction and south along Highway 307. There will be designated stops in major Riviera Maya towns. They will be a convenient transportation option for visitors and people who work in the Riviera Maya and may help reduce the number of cars on the road.

The buses run on natural gas and meet environmental standards on vehicle emissions. The initial investment is $250 million pesos for a fleet of 100 buses based in Cancun and 40 in Tulum.

The service is set to begin later this year although no date has been given.

[Source: Sipse]

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Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news

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Cancun Airport news

Cancun Airport continues to grow with the planned construction of a fifth terminal as part of its development project for the next six years. Building is slated to begin in 2019. The new facility will enable the airport to handle an additional nine million passengers each year.

In more Cancun airport news, Frontier Airlines has announced a new flight to Cancun from Raleigh, North Carolina, starting mid-November and operating on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Om December 21, it will also begin twice-weekly (Monday and Friday) flights from Las Vegas to Cancun.

Southwest Airlines will also be offering winter season Saturday flights from Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham and San Antonio.

Source: Travel Pulse, Caribbean Journal

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Train travel planned for the Maya World

Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently announced a number of national development projects, including the Maya Train or Tren Maya, a railway that would link parts of southeast Mexico and enable tourists to discover some of the most important archaeological sites and nature reserves in the Maya World.

The proposed route through the Maya World includes Cancun to Tulum and continues south to Bacalar before turning west to Xpujil, the stopping off point for Calakmul, Becan, Chicanna and other archaeological sites in southern Campeche. It would then continue west to Palenque in Chiapas and complete the circuit passing through Tabasco and Campeche to the colonial cities of Merida and Valladolid, Yucatan. In the Yucatan it would follow a pre-existing rail route from Palenque to Valladolid.

A Tren Maya project linking Merida with Cancun and Playa del Carmen had been discussed by the previous administration but this new proposal is much larger and has a different route. It would spread the economic benefits of tourism beyond the Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan by connecting Maya World communities that have been off the beaten track to all but a few visitors.

The railway would carry passengers and cargo and the definitive route, environmental and social impact, investment partners and financing are still under discussion. If it goes ahead, the project could get underway in 2019 and would take about four years to complete.

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Beach cleaning update

It is natural for seaweed to wash up on the beach from season to season, after storms and in the summer heat. However, this summer large quantities of two species of seaweed known as Gulfweed or Sargassum (Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans) are coming ashore from time to time in the Riviera Maya, Cancun and other parts of the Mexican Caribbean. These landings occur periodically, the amount of seaweed varies and not all beaches are affected.

Similar landings are occurring in the Caribbean islands and along the Gulf coast of the United States, including Florida.

Based on the recommendations of marine scientists, the authorities are now implementing a second phase of the program to prevent the sargassum from coming ashore by installing barriers in the sea. The first barrier has already been installed in the Punta Nizuc area and will be followed by additional barriers in Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Mahahual and Puerto Morelos.

The barriers are anchored to the seabed but float on the surface of the water perpendicular to the coast. Each one is 30 meters long and they can be connected to form a chain two kilometers long. They will be located in areas where sargassum landings are the most frequent, taking into account the circulation of ocean currents and wind direction. They do not trap the sargassum but are designed to deflect it so that the currents move it away from the shoreline. The authorities expect that the amount of seaweed reaching the coast will be significantly reduced.

The barriers will not impede the movement of marine creatures nor trap them. Similarly, they will not affect coral reefs or the sea grass beds and they can be dismantled at the end of the season.

Specially equipped vessels will be used in the future to collect patches of seaweed before they are cast ashore.

Beach cleaning brigades dispose of the seaweed that comes ashore on public beaches and hotels and resorts have their own cleaning programs.

In September and October, water temperatures begin to fall with the approach of cooler weather and periodic cold fronts (nortes) and the amount of sargassum is expected to decline.

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Flamingo chicks ringed in Ria Lagartos

Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve on the Gulf coast of Yucatán is home to the world’s largest breeding population of Caribbean flamingos and in August biologists, park wardens, local NGOs such as Niños y Crias A.C. and volunteers joined forces to ring 585 flamingo chicks.

Biologists counted 40,000 birds this season and ringing a percentage of the chicks born in the 2018 season helps experts to monitor their feeding habits and seasonal migrations. Flamingos move along the Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche coast to feed in the coastal lagoons and wetlands and ringed birds have also been seen in Cuba.

If you are due to travel to Royal Resorts later this year and you are a nature lover why not plan a day trip to Ria Lagartos? Not only will you see some of this year’s grey chicks which will not get the striking pink plumage of their parents until next year, you’ll spot herons, kingfishers, skimmers and countless species of migrant waders that fly south for the winter.

Ask at the Thomas More Travel desk about trips to Ria Lagartos, Sian Ka’an and Contoy and bird watching in the jungle near Puerto Morelos.

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Seaweed landings in the Caribbean

It is natural for seaweed to wash up on the beach from season to season, after storms and in the summer heat. However, this summer larger quantities of two species of seaweed known as Gulfweed or Sargassum (Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans) are coming ashore from time to time in the Riviera Maya, Cancun and other parts of the Mexican Caribbean. These landings occur periodically, the amount of seaweed varies and not all beaches are affected.

Similar landings are occurring in the Caribbean islands and along the Gulf coast of the United States.

The word Sargassum comes from the Portuguese word sargaço, which means “little grapes,” a reference to the air-filled bladders that enables it to float on the surface and move with the currents. Unlike other algae that are rooted in the seabed or attached to rocks or corals, pelagic or free floating sargassum grows and reproduces as it drifts through the water.

Pelagic Sargassum seaweed is historically associated with the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean where vast beds of it are a habitat for marine life such as microscopic plants, shrimp, crabs, sea horses, baby fish and turtles.

Sometimes ocean currents transport lines or patches of this seaweed to areas beyond the Sargasso Sea. However, biologists believe that the Sargassum affecting the Caribbean islands and the coast of Quintana Roo may have a different source, an area off the coast of northern Brazil, thousands of kilometers away. The causes of the seaweed proliferation or bloom have been attributed to rising sea temperatures due to global warming and excessive nutrients in the water flowing into the sea from the Amazon River and its many tributaries. The appearance of drifting mats of sargassum where they were previously very rare may also be linked to variations in currents and wind patterns.

Beach cleaning in Quintana Roo
A statewide campaign is underway to track the movement of patches of drifting sargassum and to collect and dispose of the seaweed when it comes ashore on public beaches in different parts of the Mexican Caribbean. The Mexican government pledged additional funds for beach cleaning during the summer. Many hotels and resorts have their own cleaning programs and there are volunteer beach cleaning initiatives too.

Based on the recommendations of marine scientists, the authorities are now implementing a second phase of the program to prevent the sargassum from coming ashore by installing barriers in the sea. The first barrier will be installed in the Punta Nizuc area in the coming days and will be followed by additional barriers in Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Mahahual and Puerto Morelos.

The barriers are anchored to the seabed but float on the surface of the water perpendicular to the coast. Each one is 30 meters long and they can be connected to form a chain. They will be installed in areas where sargassum landings are the most frequent, taking into account the circulation of ocean currents and wind direction. They do not trap the sargassum but are designed to deflect it so that the currents move it away from the shoreline.

The barriers will not impede the movement of marine creatures nor trap them, affect coral reefs or the sea grass beds and they can be dismantled as the sargassum diminishes with the arrival of cooler temperatures in September and October.

In Puerto Morelos, the local authorities are also collecting the seaweed in a boat before it reaches the shallows.

Royal Resorts
Beach cleaning has been redoubled at the Royal Resorts in Cancun in recent weeks. It is taking place at night and in the morning. The local authorities are permitting the use of a tractor at this time as long as it is on wet sand in the zone where the waves break. An additional cleaning brigade was brought in at The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander for June, July and August.

Cleaning has also been stepped up at The Royal Cancun although seaweed landings principally affect the stretch of Cancun shoreline from Punta Cancun to Punta Nizuc that faces the open ocean.

Grand Residences by Royal Resorts
At Grand Residences by Royal Resorts to the south of Puerto Morelos, a mechanized beach sweeper operates twice a day. If needed, the resort’s team of gardeners is on call to offer additional support.

The Royal Haciendas
The Royal Haciendas is doing its best to keep the beach clean with volunteers and an external team that has been hired by the resort for this duty. With additional personnel and the use of the tractor, the aim is for a more efficient removal process, however sometimes more seaweed comes ashore later in the day.

Turtle nesting season
It is turtle nesting season and in the Riviera Maya government beach cleaning regulations prohibit the use of heavy machinery on dry sand to prevent it from compacting or causing irreversible damage to turtle nests and eggs. This means that at The Royal Haciendas the tractor can only be used on the shoreline where the waves break and at certain times of the day.

All along the coast, turtle patrols are keeping an eye on adult turtles coming ashore to nest on beaches at times when there are seaweed landings. They will also watch over the hatchlings as they are born later in the season to ensure that they do not become entangled in it.

Swimming tips
Seaweed washes up on the beach naturally and is an important habitat for marine life. The presence of seaweed does not mean that beaches are polluted. You can still swim in the sea.

Showering after swimming is recommended and swimsuits should be rinsed out after use. Seaweed will not sting you. However, microscopic creatures or insects may be trapped in the weed and can occasionally irritate the skin, hence the recommendation to rinse off after sea bathing.

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Mexico welcomes even more visitors in 2018

The Mexican Tourism Board recently announced that in March, Mexico welcomed four million international visitors, 14.6 percent more than the same month in 2017.
From January to March, the number of Canadian visitors to Mexico rose 17.4 percent over the same period in 2017. Two million Canadians visited Mexico in 2017.

According to the latest passenger statistics released by ASUR, the Airport authority that manages Cancun International Airport, it received almost 13 million visitors from January to June this year, a 7 percent increase over the same period this year. The number of Mexican passengers arriving on domestic flights rose by 12.5 percent and visitors on international flights by 4.7 percent. Cozumel Airport registered an increase of 3.7 percent in the number of passengers handled and in Merida numbers were also up by 13.6 percent.

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Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news

Here is the latest Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news from Cancun. Our turtle guardians report that the tally of turtle nests in the corrals at The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander stands at 209 nests with 25,199 eggs. The resort security guards have also released 7,911 hatchlings to date. Of […]

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The world’s best city to visit, and it’s in Mexico

For the second year running, the readers of Travel & Leisure magazine have voted San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s colonial jewel and UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the Best City in the World to visit. Another Mexican city, Oaxaca, also a treasure trove of history and traditions, comes in at number two and Mexico City is at number 11, a nod to its pre-Hispanic and colonial landmarks, museums, vibrant arts scene, shopping, dining and nightlife.

All three cities also featured in the Travel & Leisure listing of Best Cities in Mexico, along with Guadalajara and Merida and Isla Mujeres was one of the favorite Islands in Mexico, Central and South America.

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Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news

Here is the latest Royal Resorts 2018 turtle season news from Cancun. Our turtle guardians report that the tally of turtle nests in the corrals at The Royal Sands, The Royal Caribbean and The Royal Islander stands at 209 nests with 25,199 eggs. The resort security guards have also released 7,911 hatchlings to date. Of […]