One of the favorite activities of visitors to Isla Mujeres is watching the scenic views of the sea standing on the dramatic rock cliffs.
However, tourists are advised to be careful standing on the rocks and enjoying the natural seascapes due to the instability of the rock cliffs.
Rocking and Rolling
Part of the quaintness of Isla Mujeres for visitors is the fact that most of the traffic in the town is from golf carts.
However, it is alleged that when construction vehicles were used to clear 30,000 tons of waste from Isla Mujeres in 2021, they caused vibrations that destabilized the cliffs which are leading to the rockslides along the coastlines.
For the past two years, the erosion of the rock cliffs has intensified, endangering locals and tourists getting the perfect Instagrammable picture of the sea.
The Danger Zone
According to officials, the location where the Isla 33 Condominium is located is of special concern because rockslides have intensified in the area, much to the distress of tourists and community residents who have witnessed it first-hand.
The belief is that an intense hurricane is all that could be needed to cause a break in the perimeter road, which crosses very close to the water’s edge.
There is already a history of landslides in the area. Prior to the pandemic, there was a large landslide that affected construction operations.
Local officials later reinforced the area with rocks to keep locals and tourists from falling over the edge.
Stabilization and Reopening
Isla Mujeres experts say the area that has experienced the most coastline rockslides is the Caribbean Malecon area, which recently reopened to visitors.
This is a popular tourist photo area that now features beautiful sculptures for visitors to enjoy, along with a freshly paved walking path area.
The Isla Mujeres Civil Protection Department had excluded visitors from walking on the most dangerous section of the boardwalk until reinforcement actions could be taken.
Once the supports were strengthened in the popular Isla Mujeres visitor area after the pandemic, it was reopened for locals and visitors to enjoy walking, jogging, taking photos, or even walking their pets.
Other Areas of Concern
There are two other areas of lesser concern of rockslides due to the instability of the cliffs on Isla Mujeres.
One is the boardwalk on the eastern side of the island, which extends to Punta Sur.
So far, this area has not been an area of focus for the reinforcement efforts by local authorities.
The other one is the popular tourist area where the Goddess Ixchel shrine is located in the far south.
However, to this date, the rocks on the cliffs at this location on Isla Mujeres have remained in place and are not a significant enough concern at this time for reinforcement activities.
This is in part thanks to a prior remediation technology put in place to protect the area and the shrine.
Tourists Need to Be Aware of the Issue
There are no plans or budgets in place by local Isla Mujeres officials to address the issue in the current fiscal planning period.
Therefore, tourists need to be careful and take proper precautions when visiting the boardwalks of Isla Mujeres.
The best suggestion would be to avoid walking close to the rock cliffs on the shorelines and instead stick to the paths created for walking.
Visitors to Isla Mujeres should especially avoid the rock cliff areas in heavy storms or during periods with strong waves.
The area is susceptible to further deterioration during those two weather actions.
A little advanced precaution might ruin a popular selfie shot for tourists on the popular island of Isla Mujeres.
However, it will go a long way to make sure travelers are safe and able to return for another fantastic vacation on the magical island.
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