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Cancun and Mexican Caribbean See 1 Million Tourists During Holidays

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Mexico is one of the few places left in the world where travelers can go without the worry of pre-travel testing or quarantines on arrival. 

Relaxed entry requirements with perfect tropical weather and close proximity to the United States drove almost 1 million visitors to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean over the Christmas and New Year holidays. 

Mexico Beach in Tulum

Secretary of Tourism for Quintana Roo, Marisol Vanegas Pérez stated that approximately 961,000 tourists visited Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean from December 22 to January 6.

The majority of visitors were vacationing Americans followed by national tourists. 

Beautiful Tulum beach at Caribbean sea

“With everything that has happened due to the pandemic, we could say that we had a successful year-end holiday season with a good number of hotels open, increased operations at the airport, tourists from the United States and from around the country,” Pérez said reported the Riviera Maya News. 

crowded beach in Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, Cancun, Mexico

Over the holidays, hotels in the Mexican Caribbean were able to apply for special permits that would allow them to operate at 80% capacity instead of the 60% set out by the state Covid-19 restrictions. 

154 hotels applied for the permit as booking for the holidays surged in the area. 

Playa del Carmen, Yucatan, Mexico

Tourism stakeholders in Cancun are already preparing new testing measures in preparation of tightened travel restrictions when Joe Biden is sworn in as President on January 20th. 

Hoteliers believe that the Biden Administration may impose a 72 hour testing requirement for travelers returning home to the United States. 

mexico beach and resort tower

Rather than having a wait and see mentality, major resorts are already planning on-site testing that will be convenient for travelers. Tests are expected to start at US $100. 

The Cancun Hotel Association is working on testing sites that will be open to travelers with quick turn arounds and affordable costs. 

cancun white sand beach

As of January 7th, all Canadian travelers returning home must present proof of a negative Covid-19 test no older than 72 hours. 

With Canada being the Mexican Caribbean's third largest market, testing facilities for travelers in Cancun and the surrounding areas are already being established. 

cancun hotel on beach

Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will continue to be a top destination for 2021.

Both tourism stakeholders and hoteliers are trying to ensure travelers keep coming by offering convenient testing, strict health protocols and great deals.

White sand beaches of Cancun, Mexico

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Everything you heard about people being detained in Mexico city airport have othing to do with coronavirus.It all have to do with immigration requirements. Testing negative for covid -19 probes should have started at the beginning of December to avoid what its going to become a nightmare in Mexico since we have been receiving tourist from all over the World and now we will see contagious and death rate increase more rapidly than expected. Not having covid safety measures or requirements in a country with the 4th. Position of covid death and with a precarious health system will take a toll. Please excusexmy english.

Bernadet Ann Marie Racicot

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

I so enjoyed my holiday in January. I felt safer at the resort than I have at Costco. My covid was negative and now I am quarantined (stupid) for 2 weeks. All so worth it.


Monday 11th of January 2021

I've been reading reports about people being denied entry and deported from Mexico City airport after D.F. was declared a red zone on 19 December. Unless they have a good reason for entry, such as work or family matters, they get turned away by immigration. There seems to be no official info on this but it seems to apply to D.F. only. Any insight here?

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 11th of January 2021

Hi Daniel. I have not personally heard of this happening, as CDMX is such a major hub for coming into Mexico. Many of our readers have been through there lately. Not saying it's not happening, but I haven't heard of it. We did have a guy post in our group that he was detained and deported at CDMX last week because he did not have a hotel booking or any other type of accommodation, tour, etc booked at all. He was coming from Iraq, so I am not sure if that factored in for him.


Monday 11th of January 2021

I hope they enjoyed it. As the first UK variant of the virus has arrived in Mexico they will probably soon become more strics for travelers as well :-(.