December, 2005

Cancún beach recovery to start in January

December 23rd, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún, News

Cancún’s ongoing post-Wilma recovery efforts will shift into high gear on January 16th with the start of efforts aimed at restoring over 12km of powder-white sands eroded by the October hurricane.

Funded by an initial investment of around US$20 million, Belgian maritime engineering and construction firm Jan De Nul beat off four other contenders to win the rebuilding contract, and will be also be charged with maintaining the sand after it has been replaced.

Between two and 2.8 million cubic meters of sand will be dredged from ‘La Ollita’ and ‘Megarizaduras’, two sandbanks lying in the deeper waters of the Bahia de Mujeres, and deposited on the Hotel Zone beaches.

The work is scheduled to be…

Akumal loses turtle nests

December 21st, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Akumal, Sustainable tourism

‘Akumal’ on the Riviera Maya means "Place of the Turtles" and is so named because it is an important turtle nesting area.

Once accessible only by boat from Cozumel before a road was built linking Cancún to Tulum (Hwy 307) in the early 1970s, this coconut plantation transformed into a diver’s paradise for those lucky enough to be privy to its existence.

In its latest newsletter, the project director of the Centro Ecológico Akumal, Paul Sánchez-Navarro, reflects on the how hurricanes Emily and Wilma have affected this season’s  turtle breeding.

"This past summer was expected to be a strong season for turtles, both loggerhead and green, along the Mexican Caribbean and strong it was," he writes.…

Tour Operators blown off course by Wilma

December 15th, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Tour operators

Almost two months on from Hurricane Wilma, it’s interesting to reflect on the experiences of some of the estimated 8,500 British tourists who had booked their holiday with a tour operator and who were in and around Cancún at the time Wilma struck.

The Times (London) has published a selection of their emails and subsequent attempts to get adequate refunds. The messages suggest that some of the big names in travel need to face up to some unpalatable truths:  Will I get a refund because of Wilma?

For example, Dianne Taylor (Lincoln, UK) wrote "we will never use Thomas Cook again. The hurricane was a natural disaster but our holiday was ruined by Thomas Cook’s handling…

In brief…

photo: Chantelle TuckerCanadian tour operator Transat A.T. Inc. warned Tuesday its bookings to Mexico and the Caribbean have slipped because many consumers are wary of buying winter packages to Cancún and the Riviera Maya after Wilma – December 13th

In brief…

Wilma-damaged Cancun still under construction - many visitors are heading instead to the Riviera Maya…that suffered less damage.

The water is still those glorious shades of blue, but much of the beach is gone. The hotel zone is a mess. The nightclubs are silent. Cancún is recovering, but it will be months before Cancún is Cancún again. Chicago Tribune

Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancún

December 12th, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Photos, Puerto Morelos, Riviera Maya

Riviera palmFlickr friend "Flip" is back in Cuernavaca after her three-day break on the Riviera Maya.

She stayed at the Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancún, which re-opened on November 25th. The luxury all-inclusive hotel is located between Cancún International Airport and Puerto Morelos.

Flip tells me that everyone at the hotel went out of their way to make their stay a memorable one.

The wedding ceremonies have already started, even with some palapas still under repair.

In brief…

Washington Post Staffer Cindy Loose spent four days early in December touring Cancún and the Riviera Maya. After Wilma, Is Mexico Ready For Some Fun? Yes, she says… "with a few caveats" [mainly sections of Cancún]. A balanced snapshot of how far the region has recovered since Wilma – December 11th

Footprint author’s impressions of Cancún

December 8th, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, Isla Mujeres

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres - Nov 28, 2005Travel writer Peter Hutchison took this photo on November 28th. It shows the eastern end of Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres.

Before he left Mexico today, I quickly asked him for his impressions of what he saw.  Here are a few snippets…

"Land transport is not restricted in any way…but the boat shuttle service from Cancún no longer exists as the dock was destroyed by Wilma.

"I knew Wilma had dallied over Cancún, but I was still shocked by the amount of damage. Palapa roofs have been ripped off, palm trees have been shredded, but they’ll recover.

"The amount of damage to hotels and shopping malls is incredible – as if a small bomb had gone off in…

Hemingway, Tulum

December 1st, 2005 by Steve Bridger filed under Riviera Maya, Tulum

Ellen and Jim Fields have just returned to Merida after a long weekend spent on the Riviera Maya.

They report in their blog that they stayed at the Hemingway resort, "a lovely little collection of casitas" right on the beach 3km from Tulum.

Italian owner Paola Sbrizzi lost her beach restaurant in the hurricane, but has already started to rebuild.

Hemingway Eco Resort, Carretera Boca Paila km 2.5, Tulum
Tel +52 984 114 2321