We know Cancun can be chaotic at times. Over the years, it transformed into the most popular beach destination in the Americas, and as a result, excessively long queues at the airport, traffic delays, and crowding became common occurrences. Fortunately, authorities have begun addressing complaints and improving the visitor experience. On this article, we will give you 4 reasons why traveling to Cancun will be more stress-free than ever this winter, despite mass tourism (and the long-standing security challenges):
Passport Control Will Take Less Than 30 Minutes
An excessively long waiting time at passport control has become one of the leading causes of distress among passengers arriving in Cancun. Understandably, Americans winter break want to clear customs quickly to enjoy as many precious hours of sunshine as possible, not be held up at immigration for hours on end until they can speak to an agent.
This season, sun-seekers will be thrilled to learn that INM, Mexico’s National Institute of Migration, is launching a pilot program in Cancun to expedite the screening of international arrivals. Their ultimate goal is to get Americans through in ‘less than half an hour’, as stated by Roberto Gonzales Lopez, an INM delegate.
The program will involve the opening of new E-Gate lanes, which will allow U.S. passport holders to scan their way into Cancun, lowering waiting to 25 minutes or less, even at peak times. Other measures enacted by the local Government include the scrapping of the much-criticized customs form, and deployment of more immigration staff to keep up with demand.
Transfer Times Have Been Reduced As Well
Prior to this year, commuters were advised to leave several hours ahead of their check-in time in case there was congestion at any point along the Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard, the main road leading to the airport. Needless to say, getting stuck in traffic when you have a flight to catch can be quite stressful, and definitely not the best way to spend your last day of vacation.
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This year, however, authorities have been working around the clock to finish construction on the boulevard, and streamline the flow of vehicles. Over the holidays, Americans will no longer have to take secondary routes, or wake up in the early hours to make it to the departure gate on time. To be more precise, transfer times are now estimated at 45 minutes.
We must reiterate estimations are not always reflective of the situation on the ground, especially during the high season, when arrival figures tend to skyrocket, but it still represents a significant improvement over previous reports. In quieter days when traffic is minimal, a taxi ride may take no longer than 20-25 minutes.
Cancun Is Cracking Down On Taxi Misconduct
The Cancun taxi monopoly can lead to a whole lengthy discussion that deserves its own feature article – and trust us, we are not fans of the so-called ‘shark tank’ corridor, either: landing in Cancun, passengers must walk across it in order to reach the transfer desk, to the disconcerting shouts of drivers offering rides, some unlicensed.
The Quintana Roo administration is yet to tackle this issue in particular, but they are revoking the permits of drivers who commit acts of misconduct. If you ever got into a cab and felt like the conductor was ill-mannered, or even feared they could turn violent over a disagreement (e.g. after you disputed an inflated fare), you will know why this is such an important step.
As reported by The Cancun Sun, misconduct is defined as assaulting passengers, a colleague, or even drivers from private companies like Uber. We do not know, at this stage, whether scammers will also be punished under the new stricter guidelines, but it’s a fact the city has moved quickly to redress the problem, after multiple reports emerged in October.
Increased Police Presence In Tourist Hotspots
Safety is a major concern for U.S. citizens going abroad, especially to Mexico, where they are met with striking cultural differences and risks they may not find at home. With that being said, let’s make this clear: Cancun – and the wider Riviera Maya – is perfectly safe for foreigners, especially those traveling on an all-inclusive package and staying in tourist areas.
Unlike in Colombia, where Americans have been directly affected by crime, officials here have ensured guests are well-received and looked after. This year, they really went above and beyond in tightening security on beaches, sending more police officers, and even the navy, to keep crime under acceptable levels.
Soon enough, yet another operation will take place – in Tulum speifically – to further heighten surveillance in the town. Dubbed the Guadalupes–Reyes program, it will be headed by the Tulum Civil Protection Coordination, in partnership with the National Guard, the Navy and many other entities, with the sole purpose of protecting beachgoers.
In other words, Cancun has never been safer, or more pleasant to visit. If you’re flying to Mexico this winter, don’t forget to keep up to date with all the latest developments affecting tourists in Quintana Roo by accessing this link.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com