There is a pilot project beginning in Mexico City’s airport Terminals 1 and 2 which signals a significant change to the current Customs and Immigration procedure currently in place at Cancun and other Mexican airports. Mexico wants to do away with the Declaration Form and instead have everyone’s bags X-rayed between connecting flights or prior to unloading baggage onto carousels; also, the dreaded red/green light at Customs entry points is also going to be a thing of the past. No more will travelers need to stand in line wondering whether they will get the red light and have their bags randomly searched–I’m all for that! Traveling can be stressful enough without adding a procedure which purposefully induces more stress.
There is now a taxi service out of Playa del Carmen which is composed of women drivers who serve women-only customers. It is called Taxi Rosa; the business was started with the intention of promoting gender equality in Mexico’s male-dominated transportation industry while at the same time providing safe transportation for women in the area.
My latest trip to Cancun (which was Feb./March 2017) involved something I’d never done before–meeting up with another traveler coming into Cancun from a different city and different airline. Since all my trips to Cancun had wound up in the same place and the same terminal (by the Air Margaritaville palapa hut which is now outside Terminal 3), I assumed my fellow traveler would wind up in the same place. WRONG.
To those of you familiar with Panama Jack products (sunglasses, tanning oil, beach clothing, etc.), it may be of interest to note that Playa Hotels and Resorts has partnered with said company in order to launch Panama Jack’s brand into Mexico’s all-inclusive market. Both the Gran Caribe and Gran Porto Resorts will be rebranded with the Panama Jack name (Panama Jack Gran Caribe/Panama Jack Gran Porto)–the resorts will officially use the name in the last quarter of 2017 following a multi-million dollar refurbishment.
There is a new visitor attraction in Cancun’s Hotel Zone which will be opening sometime next week–it is called Gran Rueda Cancun and it is located at km. 9 in the Hotel Zone. Grand Rueda Cancun is a 200 ft. high ferris wheel with 42 climate-controlled gondolas; the entire ride lasts approximately 20 min. and will give visitors a panoramic look at the Hotel Zone and Nichupté Lagoon. Admission prices have not yet been listed.
Just a day following the tragic shooting at the Blue Parrot Nightclub, downtown Cancun was rocked when gunmen attacked the state prosecutor’s office with explosive devices and firearms which resulted in four deaths; reportedly, three of the gunmen were killed along with one police officer. While there is no evidence at the present time to link the two events, many individuals (tourists and locals) are now wondering whether Cancun’s insulation from Mexico’s problem with drug cartels has now reached this popular tourist destination. Here is a short article with more information about both attacks.
Cancun’s Union of Taxi Drivers has started their own private transportation service called VIP Fleet. It is meant to compete with Uber which recently began services in the Cancun area. VIP Fleet will be using digitally metered vehicles and will be charging by time and distance rather than mileage or artificially inflated rates. A “user fee” of 15 pesos will automatically be added to every fare. All vehicles used are 5 yrs. old or less, have A/C, and are supposedly in excellent condition.
Uber began offering their private car service in Cancun Sept. 14, 2016 under a temporary operating license. While it is now up and running, the Mexican government is trying to find a way to temporarily halt the service until it can be regulated just like the taxi service. Understandably, taxi drivers are also upset and trying to highlight current government traffic laws which supposedly outlaw outside companies, such as Uber, from operating in Quintana Roo.
For those of you that don’t already know, Temptation Resort is closing for a total renovation. The resort will be closed starting September 25, 2016, and will reopen August 2017. Everything about the resort will have a new look–the new look is described as “sensual minimalism”. Here’s a sneak peek.
If you’re not too familiar with Cancun or the Riviera Maya, now there’s an app which can help. The Cancun Convention and Tourism center has launched an interactive map which allows visitors to gain access to various information about public beaches, shopping malls, entertainment venues, distances between destinations, as well as host to weather widgets and live webcam feeds. Check out this link for more information concerning what this app covers and where to go to access this great travel “friend”.