News of the Week for the Riviera Maya
First, lets start with some good news. The traffic light system that Mexico uses for Covid-19 has been updated for the state of Quintana Roo, where the Riviera Maya is. Each week the Governor makes an announcement concerning the following week. Recently the northern half of the state went green for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The green light means there are the least amount of restrictions. Now, the entire state has been moved to green.
Having the green traffic light does not mean all restrictions are gone, it means more things can open and open more fully. This is good news going forward toward the busy winter season. Baring a variant outbreak, things are feeling and looking pretty good for this winter season in the Riviera Maya.
Beaches and water quality
After a relatively light hurricane season, and now moving into the Fall/Winter season of 2021.22 we are experiencing very good beaches. The seaweed is very low to nonexistent and calm waters have made the beaches look beautiful! In Facet the beaches and water are some of the best we have seen in years, we hope this continues to be true.
Playa Del Carmen is busy and loud
After a brief lull of tourism in September and early October, things are roaring back. We have seen the signs of a busy winter season in talking to travel agents and hoteliers. Many tourists have been waiting to book travel and it is coming to fruition now. A walk at night now on 5th Avenue will show you just how many people are here now and how many businesses are competing for clients by pumping up the music. Is it just us, or is Playa Del Carmen getting louder?
What this means for you if you are thinking of coming to the area this winter season, be sure to book ahead. Many hotels are near full capacity now. We see lots of rooms for rent, but these often are the last of the pickings and the less desirable rooms.
Shooting on the beach between Puerto Morelos and Cancun
One of the biggest news stories of the week, one that made many international news outlets, was a shooting on the beach. The shooting took place on the beach in front of two resorts between Puerto Morelos and Cancun. The suspected gunman arrived by boat and carried out what appears to be a cartel execution of rivals. Two people were killed that are suspected to be rival cartel members. As tourists ran for cover, it is reported some minor injuries and it is reported that one tourist was shot, but is recovering in the hospital.
Approximately 10-15 men arrived by boat and carried out hat police are describing as a targeted execution of rivals. Social media showed guest’s video of the confusion and panic as the guests went into the hotels and barricaded themselves.
Mexican authorities have given the all clear for the resorts to return to operations.
The bad part
This is another violent act that has happened in the Riviera Maya and one that has happened in a public place. In the past, most cartel on cartel violence has been isolated to personal homes and out of the center of towns and the eye of tourists. Now, more aggressive attacks’ are happening in public view, and tourists are getting caught in the crossfire. The Governor of the state called the attack “a serious blow to the development and security of the state, putting the image of the state at grave risk.”
This is an increasing trend that has been evident in the past year, but can date back to 2017 when the BPM music festival shooting happened at the Blue Parrot Club in Playa Del Carmen. Many point to this event as a turning point for the Riviera Maya. Before that event, many would never have imagined something like that or current events could happen in the area.
Some takeaways from this event
The initial reaction to some might be that resorts are dangerous in Mexico when reports of shootings happen. The important note to take away from this story is this happened on the public beach. Gunman did not enter the resort from the lobby or main entrance. Resorts have very good security in the Riviera Maya. Even a regular person trying to visit a friend staying at a resort can find it hard to get past the main gates. Behind the scenes at resorts you will find lots of cameras, security, metal detectors, walls, and gates. Resorts put a lot of emphasis to make guests feel relaxed and safe on their holidays.
This in no way excuses it, and everywhere, including the public beaches should be places where people feel safe. For people that have been in the area for some time, it is evident crime is on the rise. We recently wrote about the population increase in Playa Del Carmen showing a 103% increase in the past 10 years. Other towns have also grown rapidly as well in the Riviera Maya. Doubling the population means an increase in crime and this is a sad fact of growth,
Not only tourist feel dismayed when events like this take place. Locals also denounce violence and are appalled that things like this happen in the area. It is a shame that a small group of individuals can impact how people view and feel about an area.