Shore excursions to the Mayan ruins are on again!
United States has removed its travel warning to Playa del Carmen from Cozumel, Mexico, that was directed towards tourists who wanted to go by ferry boat from Cozumel to the mainland port at Playa del Carmen.
There was also a travel ban issued by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City that banned U.S. government personnel from travel by ferry between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. That too, has lifted. The warning and ban are removed because Mexican authorities are expanding their security procedures in popular tourist destinations. Playa del Carmen is located in Quintana Roo, the same Mexican state where you’ll find Cancun to the north and the ancient ruins of Mayan temples at Chichen Itza to the south.
On February 21, 2018 there was an explosion aboard one of the ferry boats, injuring several tourists and locals. After finding a second undetonated explosive device on another ferry, the travel warning for tourists and travel ban for U.S. government personnel was posted.
As a result of the travel warning issued by the U.S. State Department, cruise ship shore excursions to visit the Mayan ruins on the mainland were canceled by the cruise lines. It is necessary to travel by ferry from the island of Cozumel to the mainland port at Playa del Carmen to begin shore excursions on the mainland of Mexico. With the lifting of both the travel warning for tourists and the ban on travel for U.S. employees, cruise lines have resumed or are in the process of resuming their shore excursions that require ferry service.
The Mexican government said it will spend $2.14 million to increase its security procedures at Mexican ports. All ports will now have metal detectors and surveillance cameras in use.
The cause of the first explosion has been linked to a homemade bomb.
Direct from the U.S. State Department:
Quintana Roo state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
Exercise increased caution due to crime.
According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents injuring or killing bystanders have occurred.
There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in Quintana Roo state, which includes tourist areas such as: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.