Mexico’s most feared prison will now accept tourists

With the opening of Islas Marias as a tourist destination, tourism to several destinations in the state of Nayarit, such as the port of San Blas, will be greatly enhanced. One of the ferries will depart from this port to reach this new tourist center and Boca de Chila, where a new tourist development is planned.

Richard Zarkin, Director of Public Relations of Riviera Nayarit, pointed out that the ferries to this former prison, now turned into a cultural-ecotourism center, will be operated by Grupo Vidanta.


Zarkin pointed out that the federation is already working on this. He also said that tourists arriving at these islands, which are considered a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site, could be mostly tourists interested in bird watching, such as the yellow-headed parrot. In addition to its coral reefs, visitors will be able to observe certain species of sharks.

The Director of Public Relations of Riviera Nayarit mentioned a curious fact that two of the islands have waves as long as a road in Peru – more than a kilometer – so it will be a big attraction for surfers to challenge them.

Aeromar has already raised its hand to land at the destination, and the Secretary of the Navy has already scheduled flights to the islands.

Challenge for the Future

The Tepic airport will be completely renovated by 2023. The interstate highway will also be ready by the end of this year. In San Blas, tourism will be greatly enhanced. This port is expected to receive significant investments for improvements to the municipality and its hotel infrastructure.

Zarkin pointed out that San Blas receives a lot of Canadian tourism from Alberta and British Columbia in the winter, so once West Jet regains the flights it maintained in the area until before the pandemic, it could also reach the Tepic airport.

The challenge for the future is to talk more about Nayarit, which was already reflected in Tianguis Turístico 2022.

Likewise, there are discussions with Volaris to establish the Los Angeles – Tepic route as their route from Tijuana to Tepic is excellent.

The challenge for the future is to talk more about Nayarit, which was already reflected in the Tianguis Turistico 2022. New alliances were achieved during this tourist exhibition to promote the state as an excellent destination without neglecting the promotional work carried out here and several years with Puerto Vallarta and Gustavo Diaz Ordaz Airport.

The airport is recovering and has increased some of its flights from before the pandemic. By December, Copa Airlines will return to the destination with its flight from Panama.

Zarkin also pointed out that they continue to develop in infrastructure and for this year they expect the opening of the new Alberge Susurros del Corazon in Punta Mita, a boutique hotel with only 57 rooms. except for The Ritz-Carlton Reserve at Costa Canova and the Fairmont.

Vidanta will bring more business and tourism to the destination with its new amusement park and the addition of more than 600 rooms in its latest development.

It is located 50 km from the city of Tepic.
The inspection team visited the lighthouse, where they saw Apanto, the remains of the lighthouse keeper’s house and the lookout point.

Ships to the islands

Eduardo Paniagua, president of the AC Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV Nacional), told TravelPulse: “There will be a ferry that will leave Mazatlan and arrive at the Isla Madre pier. We are also looking for air access and it will have three departure points : Tepic, Nayarit, Mazatlan, Sinaloa and one more,” Paniagua said.

During the inspection visit made during the first quarter of the year, it was expressly to the Balleto Colony on the island of Maria Madre, where the delegation, which included 21 businessmen, was received at the jetty and continued to the Visitor Center.

The group continued to the lighthouse, where they visited Apanto, the remains of the lighthouse keeper’s house, and the lookout point. After the visit the group went to the local cemetery. From there, they went to the site museum and then visited the center of the Balleto neighborhood, which has points of interest such as Plaza Benito Juárez, the church and the former handicraft market.

National and international tourists can visit the islands by way of excursions, those who do not sleep on site and stay less than 24 hours. Thus, inclusive, environmentally responsible and economically fair experiences will be offered.

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