###

Despite COVID-19, Sisal struggles to manage all its tourists

Tourism in the tiny coastal community has increased 100% since it was designated a 'Magical Town'

Don't miss

More amazing birds in Yucatán, from pheasants to the American robin’s southern cousin

This week we kick things off with one of Yucatán’s most emblematic species, the great curassow or hocofaisán.

34 business shut down in Playa del Carmen over new COVID-19 rules

Affected business owners and administrators say that shutting down by 11 pm renders their businesses unviable, and will lead to permanent closures and layoffs.

New images of the Mayan Train spark imagination

Here are the designs that serve as an expression of the Maya Train's grandiose ambitions.
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Sisal has long been considered one of Yucatán’s best beach destinations. Photo: Courtesy

Restaurateurs and hotel operators in Sisal say that the growth of tourism in the coastal community is rapidly outpacing capacity. 

Despite the pandemic, tourism in the tiny coastal community of Sisal has increased 100% since it was designated a “Magical Town” by Mexico’s federal tourism authority. 

The appointment came in late 2020 amid stricter rules to qualify as a Magical Town, or Pueblo Magico. Only 16 of 121 municipalities evaluated in 2019 met all the requirements, and some towns struggle to remain on the roster.

Aside from infrastructure challenges, business owners say that they are having a difficult time training additional staff capable of meeting customer expectations. 

“Sisal has always been a magical town, but this is a small place. We are thrilled that so many people are now interested but the problems start when visitors come expecting amenities we can not yet provide,” said a local business owner, Jaime Abreu Rosado.

Earlier: Sisal and Maní named Pueblos Mágicos, a double victory for Yucatan tourism

Tour operators and shops along Sisal’s boardwalk can also be seen doing their best to improve facilities to meet greater demand.

Business owners also noted that it is up to the government to improve transportation infrastructure. The narrow two-lane road which currently connects Sisal to the state highway system is no longer wide enough. 

Over the Easter weekend, record numbers of visitors descended upon Sisal’s beaches and businesses. This was likely due in part to the closing of Progreso’s beaches and boardwalk out of fears of a post-Easter COVID-19 surge. 

Critics of the move to close Progreso over the Easter holiday say that it is ridiculous to shut down the most-visited beach in the state and then act surprised when beachgoers crowd into smaller communities. 

Sleepy Sisal, about 70 kilometers northwest of Mérida, was once Yucatán’s main port. Now it is a fishing village of about 2,000 residents boasting a few waterfront restaurants, a pier, mangroves and unspoiled beaches.

Popular

Confused, jealous wife stabs husband after seeing her younger self in old photos

A woman who apparently didn't recognize herself in an old photo stabbed her husband when she suspected an affair. Photo: Contributed

55 years ago an aircraft mysteriously crashed in Yucatán. Now a team of adventurers seeks answers

It is uncertain if the adventurers will be able to make it to the crash site, but claim that the expedition is as much about the journey as the destination.

Its port quiet for over a year, Progreso will welcome Carnival Breeze in July

Progreso will be a rare port of call for Carnival in July.

New Xcaret theme park to open in Yucatán by December

Xibalba park will feature a circuit of eight cenotes connected by an artificial flowing river.