U.S. travelers are sure to benefit from new direct flights to the world-famous Costa Maya this season, especially at a time when the Omicron variant prompts a majority of touristic destinations to tighten rules for Americans once more.
On the other hand, Mexico has stood by its open border policy and continues to allow passengers to fly in with very few requirements. Other than filling out a health declaration form, Americans can still expect their long-awaited Mexican holiday to go ahead.
And now, strengthened ties to Chetumal offer yet another option to vacationers.
Costa Maya Even More Accessible To Americans This Winter
Often overlooked by travelers, who usually have their eyes set on resort paradise Cancun or the ruins of Tulum, the southern fringe of the Quintana Roo state is rich in Mayan heritage and beaches that rival its sister destinations.
Prior to December 2021, most U.S. arrivals would have normally faced long layovers in Mexico City and a 9-hour journey overall on their way to Quintana Roo’s capital of Chetumal.
The suboptimal route strongly discouraged visitors to even consider it as a destination when neighboring Cancun had always been easily reachable with traditionally better links and now holds the title of second most visited city in the world.
However, new direct links between Miami and Chetumal are set to boost tourists along the whole stretch of the Mayan Coast. Leading the way among U.S. airlines, American Airlines now offers a nonstop service every Wednesday and Saturday from Miami International Airport.
It means that Floridians can now reach the Quintana Roo city and nearby beach destinations like Mahahual in as little as 2 hours and 10 minutes, avoiding unnecessary stopovers.
With prices starting at $95 one-way, the Miami-Chetumal route is now one of the most accessible for U.S. citizens looking to travel south of the border this winter while saving time.
What Can Visitors To Chetumal Or Other Quintana Roo Destinations Expect This Winter?
Even though the pandemic has shown no signs of slowing down, with new variants being identified and restrictive measures re-imposed, Mexico as a whole has proven to be an unusual success story when it comes to tourism.
Now one of the most visited countries in the world, it owes much of its astounding aviation recovery and newfound popularity to an open border approach, which has attracted tens of millions looking to escape more stringent policies.
Currently, no vaccination certificate, quarantine for the unvaccinated, or even PCR testing is required for entry into Mexico. The only thing American travelers are advised to have in hand upon landing is a completed Vuela Seguro form.
According to Quintana Roo’s Tourism Minister, Andrés Aguilar, 12.5 million visited the Caribbean state in 2021, or 84% of pre-pandemic figures.
A large portion of those, or about 57%, are foreign tourists including Americans, indicating traveler confidence could be an all-time high among visitors to Mexico two years in the pandemic.
When it comes to hotel occupancy, availability should not be a problem across Quintana Roo: 200 hotels with approximately 17,000 rooms have been built in the state over the last three years, enough to cater to higher demand and accommodate a heavy influx of guests.
How Is Quintana Roo Handling The New Omicron Wave?
When planning a trip abroad in times of Covid, it is natural to have concerns regarding the safety of the destination and its response to local outbreaks. And, just as importantly, what restrictive measures could be announced at short notice and tarnish travel plans.
Quintana Roo-vacationers should note that, even though the coastal region has seen increased Covid numbers lately, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is optimistic this will not have a strong impact on Mexico as a whole.
According to the President, albeit very contagious, the new variant does not seem to be driving up hospitalization rates or even deaths. Irrespective of those figures, Americans are still advised to check CDC guidance for individual countries.
For now, no new state-wide measures targeting travelers in Quintana Roo are likely to be announced anytime soon, as the tourism sector continues to strongly benefit from new direct links to the United States and other highly profitable markets.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com