Spotlight on the Yucatan


The tourist trade in the Mexican state of Yucatan is once again getting a helping hand from WestJet.

Rosa Elena Vermont Ricalde, the state’s international promotion manager, told a Dec. 7 Toronto gathering that WestJet is again linking Toronto and Yucatan’s largest city of Merida, the second straight winter its providing the service.

And Vermont Ricalde said a difference is that this year WestJet has lengthened the service, with the Tuesday flights having started earlier and running through April 26.

“Due to its success (last winter) this second season started two months before (last winter’s date),” she said.

WestJet Vacations is offering stays in Merida and the Gulf of Mexico-fronting community of Progreso. Merida is known for its colonial architecture, but Vermont Ricalde added that it’s also “the perfect starting place to explore the Mayan world,” with hugely popular Chichen Itza being in the region. Vermont Ricalde added that there are many other Maya archeological sites in the area.
Merida itself has hotel brands like Holiday Inn and Hyatt, and the region also has long-standing haciendas that have been converted into “lavish” hotels, she said. Among those one-time haciendas is Merida-area Chable, which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

“We like to say Chable is where the Mayan world meets modern,” Chable’s Karina Fuentes told the gathering. A Maya priest helped design Chable’s spa treatments, she noted.

Seen here are Vermont Ricalde and Susana Moreno of the Mexico Tourism Board.