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The British Petroleum oil spill that struck the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 and continues to spill from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig may raise concerns about traveling to Mexico, but the greatest impact has been on the U.S. states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. The Mexican Caribbean, Cancun, and the Riviera Maya, Mexico, have not been affected. In fact, travelers who want to vacation in these areas can reap the benefits of some great travel deals.
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is primarily surrounded by the U.S. states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas (known as the Gulf Coast), and the island of Cuba to the southeast. It also borders Mexico's Bay of Campeche, the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and the southerly Caribbean Sea. Cancun and the Riviera Maya, located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, border the Caribbean Sea southeast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Although the oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, active measures are being taken to stop the oil leak and contain the oil flow. Already having devastated the Gulf Coast's shorelines, oceans, and natural ecosystems, impacting its wetlands, wildlife, birds, fish, dolphins, whale sharks, and other marine life, additional methods of containment -- including thousands of feet of booms to confine the oil -- are being employed to prevent further environmental damage.
Since Cancun and the Riviera Maya border the Caribbean Sea further to the southeast, the ecosystems of this region have not been affected by the oil spill. Given the increased containment measures, along with the wind flow patterns and water currents surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, the oil slick is being carried north towards the southeast coastline of the U.S. by the Florida Keys, and will most likely not impact Mexico.
There's no speculation that the BP oil spill will affect the beaches and oceans near Cancun and the Riviera Maya in the future -- and they're certainly not being affected now. The clear, turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea and its white sand beaches are still as beautiful as ever, making this the perfect time of year to swim with the whale sharks on a whale shark tour or swim with the dolphins on a dolphin swim tour where the ocean is tranquil and clean.
About the Author
Christina Famiglietti is a professional writer and editor with experience in various industries. Her most recent passion is the Mexican Caribbean, where she lives and is inspired to write about her beloved Mexico -- its nature, culture, travel, and tourism.
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I am thinking about going to Mexico, Riviera Maya at the end of August of this year. What can you tell me about the hurricane season? Should I be concern? I don’t remember when was the last time the Riviera Maya was hit by huricane. I would appreciate your input. Thank you,
Thank you for contacting us. Since the Riviera Maya, Mexico, borders the Caribbean Sea, hurricane season in this region runs from June 1 through November 30.
While we’re unable to predict this far in advance exactly when a hurricane might hit the Riviera Maya, we recommend checking in with the weather experts below:
For hurricane predictions, visit The Tropical Meteorology Project:
For current weather forecasts, visit The Weather Channel:
Please keep in mind, hotels and resorts in the Riviera Maya and Cancun have hurricane preparedness measures in place to protect guests if a hurricane warning is issued. They adhere to standard safeguards and procedures to comply with regional weather forecasts in anticipation of a possible hurricane.
We hope the weather remains favorable at the end of August, so you can enjoy your vacation in the Riviera Maya!
I was just reading what you have wrote in April about the oil spill. What do you think about it now? Do you think the oil spill is getting closer to Riviera Maya since when it started?
I’m planning to go to Riviera Maya in Mid August and I’m very concern about this oil spill.
Thank you for your interest and question about the oil spill reaching the Yucatan Peninsula (a broad region in which the Riviera Maya and Cancun exist).
The regional newspaper, Novedades, edition for Quintana Roo – the Mexican state where Cancun and the Riviera Maya are located – reports that officials are investigating the possibility of the BP oil spill reaching this portion of the Caribbean Sea and are proactively evaluating measures to reduce possible contamination.
For some recent information about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, written on June 28, 2010, please check out my Facebook article:
BP Oil Spill Bypasses Cancun
Hopefully, this will alleviate your concerns about oil spill impact in the Riviera Maya, so you can enjoy your vacation in mid-August.
I just read an article in a Spanish language Yucatan newspaper saying that oil had been found on the beach at Chicxulub. Do you know anything about this?
I’ve been doing some research about your question and haven’t find anything on the topic. Also asked some people related and they don’t know about the oil spill arriving to the Yucatan Peninsula area. As far as we know, we are risk-free from that matter. Would you share the name of the newspaper?