Saturday, June 15, 2024

En Breve Travel: Yo Amo México festival, Islas Marías opening, snow and ice in CDMX

Yo Amo México Festival in Playa del Carmen

During the weekends of February and March, the Yo Amo México Festival in Playa del Carmen, Yucatán, will host different activities supported by guests who have one thing in common: their love for Mexico.

Set to happen at the hotel Rosewood Mayakoba, artists, artisans, chefs and mixologists from across Mexico will share the work that led them to become cultural ambassadors of the country.

During the two-month event, each weekend will be dedicated to a specific region of Mexico, covering that region’s gastronomy, mixology, arts, design and more.

Islas Marías will open before Christmas

Mexico’s former penal colony in the Mexican archipelago of Islas Marías will now by an eco-friendly tourist destination. According to President López Obrador, the islands will start receiving visitors before Christmas.

The archipelago, located off the coast of Nayarit, is a UNESCO world heritage site and is conformed of the islands María Madre, María Magdalena, and María Cleofas.

The prison, located in the island of María Madre, closed its doors in 2019 after 114 years of operation. The prison buildings have been renovated and will now operate as a hotel.

The entrance to Puerto Balleto, one of the main settlements in the archipelago.
The entrance to Puerto Balleto, one of the main settlements in the archipelago. (Víctor Ortíz / Semarnat)
Snow and ice in Mexico City 

Mexico City’s Christmas spirit can be found across the city with different shows and activities organized for the holiday break.

For starters, free ice skating rinks have been set up in the boroughs of Cuauhtémoc and Iztacalco, in addition to the permanent ice-skating rink in Iztapalapa.

Ice slides can also be found at Iztapalapa’s Macroplaza as well as a 42-meter-high Christmas tree — the tallest in the country — and a gigantic nativity scene.

Fake snow will also fall over different parts of the city as part of the paseo nevado (snow walk), an attraction that will tour Mexico City throughout the holidays. However, it will permanently be found in the Vicente Guerrero linear park (between Eje 6 and Periférico Oriente) until Jan. 8.

Increased paid vacation approved by the Senate
The Senate in session on Thursday.
The bill, first approved by the Senate in November, has now been finalized. Senado de México

The Mexican Senate unanimously approved amendments to the labor law to double paid vacation days for workers, which passed the lower house of Congress on Dec. 9. Under the new terms, employees are entitled to twelve days of leave after completing their first year of service.

Legislators of all benches agreed the amendment fulfilled “a historic debt” with Mexican workers, who for decades were only entitled to six days of leave after the first year.

The approved law will now be sent to the president’s office for it to be published in the country’s Official Gazette. The new terms will enter into force on Jan. 1.

State of Guanajuato expects more than 1 million tourists for December

From Dec. 16 to Jan. 8, the cities of León, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende will be the most visited destinations in the state. The local Ministry of Tourism said it anticipates an economic revenue of 3.1 billion pesos (US $158 million).

San Miguel de Allende, recognized as the “Best Small City in the World” by travel magazine Condé Nast, expects a hotel occupancy rate of 42%, slightly lower than that of Guanajuato, which expects a rate of 43%.

The cathedral in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende (pictured) along with León and Guanajuato are preparing to receive the bulk of Guanajuato’s holiday tourism. (Miranda Garside / Unsplash)

Different events are set to happen across the state. Luztopía, the largest light festival in Mexico, will open its gates until Jan. 8 at Explora Centro de Ciencias (Explore Science Center) in León. Navidad en el Parque sobre Hielo (Christmas at the Park on Ice) in Silao’s Parque Guanajuato Bicentenario, will also run until Jan. 8 and will welcome guests with an ice skating rink, snow slide and Santa’s house.

For more information, visit

Waldorf Astoria to open in San Miguel de Allende

On Dec. 15, Hilton announced its latest addition to the firm’s luxury portfolio: the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in San Miguel de Allende. With plans to open early in 2025, the property will join Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Conrad Punta de Mita, Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya and the recently opened Waldorf Astoria Cancun.

The growth of Hilton’s luxury portfolio in the country is part of the company’s broader expansion plans in Mexico, where guests are welcomed at approximately 90 hotels and resorts across 12 Hilton brands.

With reports from La Jornada, La Jornada Maya and La Lista

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