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Ambitious ‘Water City’ would include Latin America’s largest aquarium

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The Water City concept, which has been kicking around for 11 years, is getting attention again. Photo: Courtesy

Progreso, Yucatán — The idea of “Water City,” complete with Latin America’s largest aquarium and a replica of Chichén Itzá’s famous temple, has been kicking round for years.

Renderings of the proposed manmade island have been dusted off for a new pitch before Progreso port officials.

In 2012, the luxury tourist attraction was estimated to cost 3.2 billion pesos, with 60 percent of its funding coming from the Inter-American Development Bank and the remaining 40 percent from shipping companies and investors. Now, its architect, Jorge Ongay Lara, tells Sipse that the plan could be budgeted at 2.2 billion pesos.

And this time, the project has the support of Cetur, the Tourism Business Council.

The project would place Yucatán in the eyes of the world, he said. The project includes dredging a new channel next to Progreso’s existing pier to accommodate large ocean liners.

The sand collected from dredging would be the basis of the Water City, home to a series of towers for luxury hotels, a marina, an aquarium and a replica of Chichén Itzá’s pyramid.

In an interview with Milenio Novedades, he stressed that the project would be very important not only for Yucatán but also for the tourist economy in Quintana Roo, Campeche and Tabasco.

“With what is taken out of the dredging, that is to say more than 3.6 million cubic meters of sand, an islet would be built that would have an area of ​​700 by 700 or 490,000 square meters, in which a marina, canals, an area available for hotels, shops, restaurants, aquariums, diving channels, jet skis, boats, water skiing and the largest aquarium in Latin America, with 120,000 cubic meters of water.”

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