The federal official said that the directors of the Xcaret company, led by Miguel Quintana Pali and the brothers Oscar, Marcos and Carlos Constandse, are a group that “prefers to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”
The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), María Luisa Albores González, affirmed that the Xcaret group has never presented environmental impact statements in its nine parks that it built in the Riviera Maya and said that It is about a business group that “prefers to ask for forgiveness, to ask for permission”
For this reason, he announced that the new Xibalbá tourism project that the Xcaret company is building in the vicinity of the municipality of Valladolid, Yucatán which was scheduled to open at the end of this year, will be closed permanently because it simply does not comply with environmental laws due to the lack of studies. of environmental impact.
“The new Xcaret project does not have a permit and was trying to make its environmental impact statement and it will surely be closed because it does not pass, it is temporarily suspended because they were reviewing a proposal for an environmental impact statement that they did not have and did not finish,” he assured.
In the morning conference, the federal official said that the directors of the Xcaret company, headed by Miguel Quintana Pali and the brothers Oscar, Marcos, and Carlos Constandse, are a group that “prefers to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”
He even stated that he has never presented environmental impact manifests in all his well-known projects such as: Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xoximilco, Xenses, Xenotes, and Xichén.
However, he said that in the case of the new park where they diverted underground rivers and altered cenotes in Valladolid, Yucatan, the temporary suspension of the works could lead to the definitive closure.
Arrangements in the cenotes
For several years, some cenotes in the region have been arranged to make them more attractive to visitors, and as part of this, holes are drilled to make stairs or any type of work inside, in order to make them functional and that the tourism can go down to the body of water without problem.
According to information provided by some tourist entrepreneurs who have cenotes, before 2015 the owners of the land where there are cenotes did not have so much problem doing what they wanted, however the local legislature approved some laws to order this type of exploitation in the cenotes, but the facilities were given to those who wanted to enable those bodies, of water as long as they deliver a project that is analyzed and then approved.
In the specific case of Xibalbá, the project began long before 2015, so it did not have so many problems to carry out its work, however, according to the informants, they indicate that all the corresponding permits were requested from the National Water Commission, such as they were told and then they did it with other instances of the federal government.
What is the main attraction of Xibalbá
It already has a kayak navigation circuit with almost 100 meters of water channel, a 125-meter-long zip line, a cenote for snorkeling, another cenote for listening to underwater music, two cenotes for nature observation, mainly roots and hanging branches.
According to the president of the Xcaret Group, Miguel Quintana Pali, the Xibalbá tourist circuit is in a triangle formed by the towns of Yalcobá, X-Tut and Sisbichén. The central attraction are eight enormous cenotes with a Mayan underworld setting.
They built a Mayan Village where they will offer products and services such as embroidery teaching, hammock weaving, stone carving, saddlery, crafts from the region, restaurant service and traditional Yucatan activities.
The most spectacular part of the construction was the sculpture of a cathedral in the vault of the earth, the work of Yucatecan artisans and masons.
The theme park will have an aviary with more than 4,000 birds of different species.
The Xibalbá project is complemented by the construction of three boutique hotels with 33 rooms each, but given the good expectations of this project, they built cabins for the accommodation of visitors, who presume they will spend more days in the Magical Town of Valladolid.
Grupo Xcaret’s global investment in the theme park is around $3,314 million, of which more than $1,000 was allocated to the development of the Xibalbá infrastructure.
Benefit for other municipalities
Grupo Xcaret’s expectations are that with these new attractions and hotels, Valladolid will consolidate itself as the second most visited destination in Yucatan.
Of the 250 hectares owned by the business group, 50 will remain as an untouchable nature reserve, 20% of the land will be used for the theme park, so the rest of the property will remain on “stand by” for future growth or new tourism projects.
The Director of Sustainability of Grupo Xcaret, Diana Rodríguez, affirmed that the Xibalbá Nature Reserve will have a comprehensive environmental management plan “that includes wastewater treatment, solid waste management and optimization of energy use.” It includes a nursery with native ornamental plants, native medicinal plants and those of forest value.
This tourism development has increased the surplus value of the nearby lands and ranches due to the hotel potential it has due to the wave of tourists that could arrive in Xibalbá in the future. To tour the entire park requires at least six hours.
The tour would start in the cenote called Zopilotes in whose surroundings there will be the store, lockers and bathroom and dressing services. From there you can go to the other bodies of water through a canal and on board a kayak.
In one of the cenotes you can enjoy a musical show with musicians dressed in traditional costumes, in another cenote a play of light that will change the color of the water, a cenote with an embankment that serves as a beach, among other underground attractions.