Tulum: a beach destination where authorities are not in charge

Who`s in charge in Tulum? Who organizes the “Secret parties” in the Tulum cenotes? Who tells the tourists to wear a mask and keep a healthy distance? Who oversees drug dealing in the middle of the streets at broad daylight? Who stops criminal groups from setting on fire businesses that are not paying “protection fees”? Who stops criminal groups from fighting for the territory?

Tourist activities registered a high tourist activity during Holy Week in Tulum, although the capacity of people overflowed in different commercial points, coupled with the fact that very few comply with the preventive measures against Covid-19.

A reference site in Tulum is the public beach area, which does not have any type of sanitary filter at its access points or surveillance to ensure that hygiene protocols are respected. Beachgoers can be observed without face mask on the beaches of the Tulum National Park (PNT) and the famous Punta Piedra.

Another situation that could be verified during Semana Santa was the large influx of motorists, especially in peak hours (between noon and six in the afternoon). Another palpable situation is that the recently opened alternative highway of Kukulkán street is being used by tourists, transporters and workers.

The most affected are the providers of aquatic services, since according to Antonio Rodríguez Cauich, president of surveillance of the cooperative Dorados de Playa Maya, the port captain told them that on Sunday navigation to vessels smaller than 40 feet in length was suspended.

For this reason, the interviewee stated that it was a severe blow to the destination’s economy, since specifically this Sunday was the most important in this period of the Semana Santa. He explained that they were taken by surprise by this indication from the Harbor Master’s Office because, in their opinion, the sea conditions were optimal for carrying out the walking and snorkeling tours in the reef area.

For his part, Germán Paredes, manager of the Playa Paraíso beach club, commented that this weekend they were able to work with 60 percent occupation, as allowed by the Epidemiological Traffic Light in yellow. He mentioned that this weekend was much more moved in relation to the first days of Holy Week, which meant an economic respite for the different sectors.

Regarding the tourist heart of Tulum Avenue, it was at night where the influx of people was notable, so that mainly restaurants were the most favored, to the extent that some did not respect the allowed capacity. 

The Archaeological Zone of Tulum also registered a high influx of people, so that tour sellers, tourist guides, handicraft sellers and restaurateurs were favored in this sense.