Many beaches in Cancun and the Riviera Maya are currently experiencing red flags or closed entirely due to the effects of Hurricane Irma. Although the Yucatan Peninsula was not in the direct path of Irma, strong waves are coming onshore and in some cases flooding some areas with water rushing past beachfront restaurants/stores and entering parking lots beyond. This phenomenon is called “mar de fondo” , or wave systems created by strong winds originating from other areas.
Vacationers with direct flights from Cancun to the USA should plan on arriving at the airport at least 3 hrs. prior to their departure. Travelers going through airport security with any electronic device larger than a smartphone will be scrutinized more carefully, according to Mexican authorities; these new security checks and procedures will be done at the request of the USA Dept. of Homeland Security.
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.
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.
The Beloved Playa Mujeres resort is currently offering free private transportation for one or two people when booking online with them (Hotel Only bookings). Dates of travel should be between July 20 and December 20, 2016, and the reservation should be made by July 30. Their promo does not say “round trip”, so I am guessing it is a one-way promo, either to or from the airport–still a savings of USD $110. Check out the direct link here.
I just came back from Akumal the first part of December and did not encounter this, but word has it that the beach access road into Akumal has been blocked due to a protest which is currently going on. The protest is being staged by locals who are against the new proposal to charge a fee (USD $12 p/p) to enter the beach area. This is interfering both with tourists who are staying elsewhere and want to snorkel at Akumal Bay and with those who are staying in the area in a condo or other rental. Check back for updates! In the meantime, here is a link to an article which explains a bit more about the situation.
During my recent stay at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya , I decided that I wanted to be more adventurous this trip AND save money, so I took the ADO public bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum to see the ruins. ADO’s are “first class” buses in Mexico and very comparable to American Greyhound buses with comfortable seats, strong A/C, an on-board bathroom, and small movie screens to help pass the time; however, programming is in Spanish. There are two ADO terminals in Playa, 5th Avenue and Benito Juarez which is right downtown, and the other is at 12th Avenue and Calle. 14 which is further north in town. From my prior research on the Trip Advisor Playa del Carmen forum, 5th Ave. and Benito Juarez sounded like my best departure point to get to Tulum, so I took a quick cab to Playa from the resort (USD $6).