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New Air Route Opens Doors to Las Islas Marías’ Natural Beauty

Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico – A commercial air route using a 13-passenger Cessna Caravan recently took off from the Tepic International Airport, offering a new way to reach the Islas Marías Biosphere Reserve. This collaborative effort between government agencies and private companies marks a significant step towards increased accessibility for the previously remote islands.

Located 60 miles off the coast of Riviera Nayarit, the Islas Marías archipelago boasts pristine natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Designated a Natural Protected Area in 2000, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2010, the Mexican government declared the Marías Biosphere Reserve a fully protected marine area dedicated to biodiversity and conservation in 2021.

Among the riches of the Islas Marías Biosphere Reserve are healthy reefs and corals. Divers and snorkelers will appreciate the diversity of marine life, with coral reefs, an abundance of colorful mollusks, over 21 shark species and 10 different kinds of rays.

A paradise for birdwatchers, the Marias Islands are home to the Tres Marias Amazon, an endemic parrot that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Other endemic birds include blue-footed boobies, blue mockingbirds, broad-billed hummingbirds, and migratory birds such as the hook-billed kite, Caspian tern and blue-winged teal.

The Ministry of Tourism has designed a set of activities and experiences that allows visitors to explore and learn about the history of María Madre Island, which once housed one of the most feared and isolated prisons in Mexico, while ensuring the proper conservation of its diverse flora and fauna.

Previously only accessible by a 3-6 hour boat ride, the inaugural flight signifies a significant step towards making the Islas Marías more reachable. This improved connection is expected to generate a positive domino effect, fostering tourism growth and strengthening the local economy.

Following a celebratory inauguration ceremony at the Carlos Castillo Bretón Islas Marías Aerodrome, which included a symbolic ribbon cutting, federal and state officials met with the directors of the Islas Marías Comprehensive Tourism Company to discuss current tourist packages and innovative plans to attract more visitors.

To meet future travel demands, the new air routes will be adjusted according to demand, with scheduled departures from Tepic, Nayarit, and Mazatlán, Sinaloa.

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