Sunday 9th April saw the start of Semana Santa for those who choose the celebrate Easter. Semana Santa is the holy week before Easter and an important part of the Christian faith followed by many Mexicans. However it’s also a time for people to let their hair down and enjoy the extended holidays that Mexicans and foreign tourists receive at this time of year. This week will see hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Riviera Maya, with Playa Del Carmen receiving as many as a quarter of a million domestic and foreign tourists.
Visit Riviera Maya
The Riviera Maya is one of the top destinations for domestic tourists during Semana Santa. With so many tourists coming to visit towns like Playa Del Carmen, hotels are experiencing very high occupancy rates. Rocio Ocampo Colmenares is the head of tourism in Solidaridad. He has confirmed that occupancy rates for many areas in the region are between 80 and 90%.
These numbers are great for local tourism, but what can you expect during Semana Santa in Playa Del Carmen and the Riviera Maya?
People! It’s hard to hide 250,000 people, so expect to see a lot more footfall in popular areas such as 5th Avenue. many domestic tourists descend during Semana Santa. Most hail from Mexico City, Guadalajara and nearby states such as Yucatan and Campeche. As a result, things may take a little longer than usual. Grocery shopping, finding a cab or getting a spot on the beach prove a little trickier than usual. But if you give yourself a bit of extra time to get things done, you should be ok!
Hotels are Full! As mentioned before, hotels experience occupancy rates of up to 90%. This means that prices go up and it can make it a little hard to find accommodation on short notice. The lower range of hotels tend to see this rush more so than the 5* all-inclusive hotels. Private rentals also push their prices up and experience a high occupancy rate. This is great news for anyone with a vacation rental in the area. However, make sure you specify how many people are allowed to stay in the unit at once. Some tourists may try to take advantage of this.
Road Closures! To deal with the temporary increase in population and vehicles, the local police often close roads. This enables easier access to popular places such as the beach and avoids more traffic jams.
More Security! The police department also increase the number of patrols in the centre of town. Up to 3 times as many police officers can be found patrolling during Semana Santa to ensure the public’s safety.
Parties! The tourists are ready to blow off some steam on their first holiday of the year. This means restaurants and clubs are all jam-packed. The party starts early and finishes late during Semana Santa.
The Riviera Maya always has something to offer. But for those looking for a lively, party atmosphere with a variety of tourists from Mexico and all over the world – visit Riviera Maya for Semana Santa.