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New Cancun attraction, Parque Maya opens

Cancun has a new fun park called Parque Maya combining adventure with a dash of Mayan history. Located just to the south of Captain’s Cove restaurant and opposite the Cancun Maya Museum, Parque Maya offers a zip lining circuit with five towers, a fun rope course over the lagoon and a lagoon cruise which takes park visitors through the mangrove forest in search of birds.

There is an interesting short film to introduce you to the Mayan culture and hanging bridges take you across a sacbe or Mayan path through the forest lined with the replicas of ancient temples, carved stelae and the statues of Mayan gods. Your guide will explain the workings of the Mayan calendar.

There are two Parque Maya options, the aforementioned activities and a longer four-in-one package which includes Parque Maya activities, a visit to the Cancun Maya Museum opposite Parque Maya for more ancient Mayan culture and exhibits of pottery, jewelry and figurines found at archaeological sites in the state of Quintana Roo and Yucatan and elsewhere in the Maya World and to the adjacent archaeological site of San Miguelito. It also includes admission to Ruinas El Rey, the largest of the archaeological sites in the Cancun area, and a ride on the Cancun Turibus.

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New vacation activity, ride the Cancun Big Wheel

Cancun has joined a select group of cities around the world with their own big wheel for a birds’ eye view of the urban landscape, London, Paris and now Cancun! The brand new Cancun Big Wheel or Rueda de la Fortuna is located at La Isla Shopping Village and takes its passengers 60 meters up in the air for stunning vistas of the Caribbean, Nichupte Lagoon and the Hotel Zone.

The big wheel is built with the latest Dutch technology and has 42 glass viewing pods for up to six people. The ride takes around 25 minutes and the wheel operates day and night.

La Isla Shopping Village is set to expand and the Cancun Big Wheel will eventually be moved to the second phase of the shopping center, which is currently under construction.

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Cancun Flight News

Here is the latest Cancun flight news for you. Sun Country Airlines will be offering direct flights to Cancun from Austin, Texas starting June 15. This new summer service will operate until August 2018 with three departures a week on Monday, Friday and Saturday.

American Airlines also announced in late March that it is expanding its direct flight service to Cancun from Dallas Fort Worth. It is also adding more flights to Los Cabos from Dallas and will be inaugurating a new route to the colonial city of Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 19, 2018.

For those who would like to discover more of Mexico, on June 22, Mexican airline Interjet will begin daily flights between Houston and San Antonio, Texas to the city of Leon in the historic Bajio region. The international airport of Leon, Guanajuato is the starting point for trips to the twin colonial cities of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many other historic towns along the Ruta de la Independencia.

[Source: Novedades, American Airlines, Travel Pulse]

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Cancun Celebrates its 48th Anniversary this April

The Pioneros de Cancun (Cancun Pioneers Association) are preparing to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the founding of Cancun on April 20. This group is comprised of members of the founding families who came here in the 1970s to work on the construction of Mexico’s first master-planned tourist center.

Planners, architects, engineers, surveyors, builders and the first hotel workers settled in a paradise of deserted beaches and dense jungle. They forged the fledgling town from the forest and shared their space with wildlife such as spider monkeys, coatimundi, toucans, boas and even tarantulas. Cancun’s first children have great stories about growing up in the Mexican Caribbean.

Cancun’s anniversary celebrations include masses, processions, exhibitions and a dinner dance for the Pioneros Association. This annual gathering of the first settlers and their children, many of who were born in Cancun, is a chance to meet up again and remember the early days.

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Cancun Flight News

Starting March 14, Mexican airline Interjet will offer two new routes from San Francisco, California to Cancun and Guadalajara. There will be three direct flights a week to both cities.

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Xcaret named world’s best theme and water park

For the third year running, Xcaret Park picked up a Travvy Award as the world’s best theme and water park, beating a field of stiff competition.

The Travvy awards are presented by TravAlliancemedia at a ceremony in New York and are based on the results of a poll of US travel agencies.

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New vacation activity, ride the Cancun Big Wheel

Cancun has joined a select group of cities around the world with their own big wheel for a birds’ eye view of the urban landscape, London, Paris and now Cancun! The brand new Cancun Big Wheel or Rueda de la Fortuna is located at La Isla Shopping Village and takes its passengers 60 meters up […]

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ATP tennis great Rafael Nadal to build a tennis academy in Cancun

Rafael Nadal, one of the greatest tennis players of all time and 10-time French Open champion, is to take his tennis academy global. He already has one on the Spanish island of Mallorca and recently announced the construction of five more around the world, including Cancun.

A resort complex in Costa Mujeres just to the north of Cancun will be the location for his first international tennis academy for promising youngsters. It will offer tennis classes and weekly programs for children and adults.

The Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre Costa Mujeres is set to open in November 2018.
[Source: Rafa Nadal Sports Centre]

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New vacation activity, ride the Cancun Big Wheel

Cancun has joined a select group of cities around the world with their own big wheel for a birds’ eye view of the urban landscape, London, Paris and now Cancun! The brand new Cancun Big Wheel or Rueda de la Fortuna is located at La Isla Shopping Village and takes its passengers 60 meters up […]

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Mexico breaks records, more than 39 million travelers in 2017

Pristine beaches, breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, history, a rich culture and truly hospitable people, Mexico has endless attractions and more and more international tourists are flocking here to discover its charms. By the end of 2017, Mexico had welcomed 39, 547,000 international visitors, a record-breaking number that is likely to mean that the country will climb one place in the WTO’s World’s Most Visited Countries,to position No. 7.

The number of international visitors visiting Mexico in 2017 showed a 12.7 percent increase from 2016 and tourism revenue was also up by 8.9 percent.

Airline connectivity continues to improve and the network of international flights expanded in 2017, showing a 10.2 percent increase over 2016. The number of seats on direct flights reached 28 million; this includes seats on new direct routes and additional seats on existing routes where the number of flights increased or larger airplanes were introduced.

Closer to home, Cancun and Riviera Maya welcomed more than 915,000 tourists in December 2017 alone, 7.7 percent up on the same month in 2016. In 2017, 23.6 million passengers arrived at Cancun International Airport, a 10.2 percent increase over 2016. Finally, 4,103,787 cruise ship passengers visited the island of Cozumel in 2017, a record-breaking number, 11.37 percent up on 2016.

(Source: Mexican Tourism Board)

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Photo courtesy of Herbert Meyrl
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Riviera Maya cave discovery: world’s longest flooded cave system

Photo courtesy of Herbert Meyrl
Photo courtesy of Herbert Meyrl

In a limestone landscape peppered with cenotes or sinkholes and caves, there has been another incredible Riviera Maya cave discovery. The world’s longest flooded cave system has been discovered in the Tulum area. After 10 months of exploration, the Gran Acuifero Maya (Great Maya Aquifer Project) expedition team of cave divers announced that they had found a tunnel linking the Sac Actun (white cave in Maya) and Dos Ojos flooded cave systems near Tulum in the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This connection means that Sac Actun is now the world’s largest known underwater cave; at 347 kilometers long, it is longer than the Ox Bel Ha cave system, also in the Tulum area. With 270 kilometers of mapped submerged caverns, Ox Bel Ha had previously held the world record.

When a tunnel connecting two cave systems is found the name of the larger one is adopted for both, this means that the Dos Ojos system is no longer known as such and now forms part of Sac Actun.

For Robert Schmittner, the cave diver team leader, the discovery is the culmination of 14 years of exploration of the Sac Actun system. Team members think that it is likely that Sac Actun is connected to other flooded cave systems in the area such as Ox Bel Ha and Kook Baal.

In another Riviera Maya cave discovery, the team also found a huge cenote to the north of Sac Actun that is 18 kilometers long and has a depth of up to 20 meters.

Mexican archaeologist and National Geographic explorer Guillermo de Anda, the Gran Acuifero Maya project director, revealed that during the exploration of Sac Actun the team had made some amazing discoveries that will help build up a picture of the early history of the Yucatan Peninsula. He referred to the flooded cave system as a huge archaeological zone, the world’s most important flooded historical site. The team has found the fossils of prehistoric animals, traces of the earliest human inhabitants of the Americas and structures, bones, ceramics, offerings and cave paintings associated with the ancient Maya. All are documented and left in situ so as not to interfere with the context.

This is the latest in the series of groundbreaking discoveries that the Gran Acuifero Maya expedition has made as it explores the mysterious Mayan Underworld, the network of cenotes and caves scattered across the Yucatan Peninsula.

(Source: Gran Acuifero Maya)

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Emotions Jungle Night tour, new eco-adventure

Playa del Carmen eco-adventure tour company Alltournative has a new jungle adventure to add to its collection, the Emotions Jungle Night tour that takes place at the Emotions Native Park in the Riviera Maya.

The Emotions Jungle Night tour includes an ATV ride along a forest trail that takes visitors across a wooden suspension bridge spanning a cenote. Then it’s on to an exciting zip line circuit with three zip lines, one of them with a splash down in a cenote.

Trained guides accompany visitors as they explore the park. During a walk along jungle trails, visitors listen to the sounds of the forest and catch a glimpse of ancient Mayan temples and nocturnal native wildlife. They also swim in the Media Luna cenote, explore an illuminated cave and participate in a Mayan purification ritual before entering the temazcal, the traditional sweat lodge used by the ancient Maya and other pre-Hispanic cultures.

Finally, it’s time to sit down around a bonfire, munch on Mayan snacks, share Maya World travel experiences and gaze up at the stars.

For more information about the new Emotions Jungle Night tour and other eco adventures in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan contact the Thomas More Travel desk in your resort.

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