Hurricane Dean On Course for Cancun

10:46 pm Previous Hurricanes Archive

The update at 8pm did not make good reading, no sign of a shift in trajectory and most of the major models are agreeing that Cancun will be affected in some way. Whether this means a direct hit, a near miss, or simply some heavy rain we wont know for a while, but my money is not on the last one. Anyone who has a trip planned to Cancun, or elsewhere in the Riviera Maya should seriously be rethinking their plans, and taking advantage of their trip insurance. You did buy trip insurance didnt you?

Hurricane Dean Cancun

Tomorrow will be the first time Dean makes “landfall” over the tiny islands of Guadaloupe, St Lucia, Martinique and Dominica. These islands are unlikely to slow the hurricane at all, and all indications are of continuing strengthening. The various models agree that Dean will hit the Yucatan but the question is where. Will Cancun escape? Will Dean be as devastating as Wilma, or just a damp squib? No one knows for sure, but this time next week everyone will know.

Posted by Steve

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65 Responses

  1. confused Says:

    i have tickets from miami to cancun for tomorrow night (saturday 7pm) for a 1 week vacation during which i was planning on staying mainly in isla mujeres and tulum.

    i should probably suck it up and pay $100 for a voucher, huh. fortunately that’s the only reservation i have.


  2. Steve Says:

    I would pay the $100 in a heartbeat. Chances are the ferries to Isla Mujeres will be closed probably early Monday possibly Sunday. You could be stuck there for a while, and conditions there will be not as comfortable as in Cancun.

    If you try and make it to Tulum you may well find the main highway impassable due to floods. After Wilma there was a 6′ deep flood by Puerto Morelos that lasted around 5 days before subsiding.

    Even if you stay in Cancun you’re not likely to have much fun. Pay the $100, cancel and come back next month when the sun will be shining again :)

  3. confused Says:

    thanks! in the end we got our tickets changed to guadalajara for no fee beyond the $40 ticket price difference. any last minute thoughts on guadalajara and puerto vallarta weather-wise and/or recommendation-wise?

  4. Steve Says:

    That’s good news.

    No idea on Guadalajara or PV, they are both a long way from here, but hope you have a good time.

    Make sure you come to the Cancun area next time, we dont have hurricanes everyday!

    Have a great vacation.

  5. Seth Says:

    We are booked Monday morning Aug 20th to fly from Cancun to Mexico City.How far in advance of on on hurricane do they close the airports?
    Shbuld we try to get on on flight out on Sunday?

  6. Steve Says:

    I would aim to take a flight Sunday if you can.

    The hurricane is still some way off and there’s no real telling what time / day the airport may close.

    Of course, it may not close at all, but my advice would be if you want to make sure go for the Sunday flight :)

  7. doug Says:

    My wife and I are scheduled to arrive in Cancun on Wed August 22 after Hurricane Dean passes through the Yucatan. We have to decide 48 hrs before we leave whether or not we want to reschedule.

    Anyone have any suggestions on what we should do?

  8. Christie Says:

    I know there is no crystal ball, but did you say that next month the sun will be shining again, we are due to arrive in Cancun the week of Sept. 23rd…*fingers crossed* Is that usually a pretty good time?…what can we expect weather wise…thanks.

  9. Lucas Says:

    I have a vacation planned for mid September. If dean is hits Cancun hard how long does it take for the resorts to bounce back? Should I reconsider the destination?

  10. Chris Says:

    Looks like Quintana Roo doesn’t want any tourists coming to Cancun in the next few days. Below is the official announcement made at 10 Am on Saturday 8/18/07:

    Date: Saturday, 08/18/2007 – 10:12:49 AM –
    Title: Official Bulletin of the State of Quintana Roo

    The Governor of Quintana Roo just addressed to the state a few minutes ago, the hurricane alert status was upgraded to YELLOW ALERT (permanent watch for possible impact from 48 to 72 hours). Among the immediate preventive actions the most important are:
    1.- Schools will be closed on Monday for the whole north area of the state
    2.- The airports of Cancun and Cozumel will continue operating until Monday as long as the weather allows the aerial operation.
    3.- The full evacuation of the Islands of Contoy, Holbox and the keys of the central part of the state will be completed today. Cozumel is excluded of this evacuation since that is a big island that has its own system of protection, in the case of Isla Mujeres there will be meetings this afternoon to take the decision about the actions to take.
    4.- Travel agencies must NOT bring to any tourist to the region
    5.- Flights departing Cancun and Cozumel from today and until Monday are reported as full
    6.- Empty planes will be arriving to the Cancun airport this weekend to take the most number of tourist out of this area
    7.- Travelers staying in Cancun at this moment must contact their airline to book a return trip immediately
    8.- Tourists that can not get a seat to return hotel will be protected by the government in the authorized shelters

    It is recommended to the people to follow the bulletins that the government will be issuing over the course of this day, the next one will be at 4:30 pm.

    Issued by: Gobierno del Estado de Quintana Roo

  11. Steve Says:

    There’s no real way of knowing what shape Cancun will be in so soon after the hurricane. In all honesty I would recommend you reschedule.

    By the time of your trip, we’ll all know what happened with the hurricane. Remember hurricane season lasts right through to end November so please make sure you have flexibility in your travel plans should the need arise.

    As for how quickly the resorts bounce back. The Mexicans are very hard working and resourceful, it wont take too long.

    I wouldnt be thinking of switching destination this far out. Wait and see what happens next week at least before deciding.

  12. saylahv Says:

    My brother & fam are at Club Med Cancun, and are in a meeting right now (sat. 11 cst) to hear what the resort’s plan is for moving them inland… yikes!

  13. Stephen Says:

    I recommend you stay away from Cancun. I was trapped on Isla Mujeres in 1988 because of hurricane Gilbert. Isla Mujeres was under water for 3 days. No power, no water, no food, and no help from the US government. It was a complete disaster.

  14. Stephen Says:

    Not to mention the Cuban freighter that ran a ground in the hotel lobby.

  15. Paul Says:

    I have a trip planned to playa del carmen leaving on september 1st – do you have any advice? Should I cancel and rebook – or have past trends indicated that I may be ok? Thanks!

  16. CancunCanuck Says:

    saylahv- Keep checking the updates, stay in touch as long as you can but don’t worry about your family’s safety, they will be fine. The plans for tourist care are good, they will be in a safe place. They might be wet and smelly, but safe. :)

    Stephen- That must have been quite a ride, I’ve heard horror stories about Gilberto. Most people say that it was the lack of notice that was really horrible, instead of days like we have now, the alerts came out five hours before he struck.

    Paul- At this point I would hang on, September 1st is farther away than you think. Wait to see what happens on Tuesday.

  17. just your big sister Says:

    if you like to gambel go to las vegas get a real idea what you might encounter !!!! How can you bring your kid s !!!! I under stand plans $$$$$$$$$ spent but PLEASE DO NOT DEPEND ON YOUR HOTEL to take your family to as SAFE HOUSE it will be a school , maby in my neighrobhood ( not a bad area of cancun ) But you will be sharing a classroom with 25 other people sleeping on the floor& bathrooms will be NOT AVIALBLE during storm ,Food will be served by rations please Be RESPONSABLE COMING THIS WEEK is LIKE Russian roulette please just let us be !!!!!!!

  18. Karen Says:

    im ment to be flying out to cancun on thru 23rd august, but to this day it still hasna ben canceled! im jst wondering how bad hurricane dean is going to hit? i know how im feeling about it, i cant imaging what the poeple living there are feeling and going throw at this time…..

  19. Mark Says:

    I have booked a trip for Cancun on 8/25/07-9/01/07 are there any web sites that give status for hotels,airports ect… I want to go but not if the place is a wreck.

  20. Paul Says:

    I’m supposed to go to Cancun August 26-Sept 2. I’m really unsure what to do at this point…

  21. Markatha Says:

    Damn, i just bought a house in the Gulf Of Mexico, I should just let the house drown right?

  22. Anastasia Says:

    Same. We are supposed to be going Aug. 29- Sept. 03.

    What is the best website or information source? Wonder if we should try to change to Puerto Vallarta or other destination?

  23. Joseph Says:

    Well, I was supposed to be leaving Cancunb Tuesday, though it looks like I’ll be stranded here. The Hilton is offering a bus ride to Villahermosa to stay there at another Hilton. Should I do this, or try and tough it out at a shelter until the airport gets the all-clear? Villahermosa is a 10 hour bus ride away in Tabasco, and it seems as though that’s also in the path of the storm. The latest hurricane course shows it just south of Cancun, so I’m not sure if I should I high tail it outta town for some random city deeper inland to be stranded again… please advise.

  24. Renee Says:

    I have a trip planned the week of Sept. 8 – 15 to Riviera Maya. Do you think the place will still be a mess? This is our first time to Riviera Maya and we dont want to be disapointed. We are just about ready to change destinations. Maybe PV.
    What do you think?
    Thanks Renee

  25. valerie Says:

    hi im off to rivera maya the end of september do you think that everything will be okay then? in a bit of a panic now dont really know what to do?

  26. Cameron Says:

    My wedding is on Saturday. My bride and I are supposed to be honeymooning in Playa Del Carmen from August 25- Sept. 1. To echo some other questions: how do we credibly find out of the resort (The Royal) is in condition to service us or if they are seriously damaged? My prayers go out to the people in Jamaica and Mexico. We don’t have any real problem compared to them.

  27. Mandy Says:

    Im booked to leave september 6th for cancun…help what should I do, I have a package deal booked. AHH HELP

  28. Rivergirl Says:

    Gean – See if this convinces the airline, another person was able to get a refund by faxing this to her airline:

    “Por instrucciones del Gobernador, la Secretaría de Turismo solicitó a
    aerolíneas y tour-operadores que suspendan el envío de turistas y que
    los aviones lleguen vacíos para desalojar entre hoy y mañana a 60 mil
    paseantes alojados en Cozumel, Cancún y la Riviera Maya, de un total
    de 80 mil alojados en la entidad.”

    My quick translation:
    Under the instructions of the Governor the Secretary of Tourism is
    asking that airlines and tour operators stop sending tourists and that between today and tomorrow the planes come empty in order to take away 60,000 of the 80,000 tourists staying in Cozumel, Cancun and the
    Riviera Maya.

    I got this from the Noticias (News) section of the City of Cancun web site:

    This announcement was issued either later Friday or early Saturday in a press conference here given by Cancun officials.

  29. Michelle Says:

    I feel the same way the other tourist feel. I have my vacations planned for the end of this month. My family and I are scheduled to arrive Cancun on Sunday August 26th and I dont know if I should cancel our trip. I think I want to wait until wednesday but I dont know what to do yet. Any other suggestions?

  30. Tiago Says:


    Me and my wife are going to Playa del Carmen on the 3rd of September.
    Do you think it´s better we cancel the trip?

  31. NANCY Says:


  32. Melissa Says:

    I also have tickets for Cancun to arrive on August 22nd. From what the airlines have informed me(Continental) I have until the day of my departure to cancel. Although, I reserved my hotel with Orbitz, they give me 24-48 hours to cancel, and both the airlines and website are open 24 hours for any cancellation. So far it seems that Cancun and Cozumel are only going to see the tropical storms. My plans were to call the hotel as soon as it passes to make sure they weren’t hit as bad and if there is any water running and electricity. If you can’t reach your hotel, try calling the airport for their status.

  33. RM Says:


    Im also going to Playa Del Carmen on the 24th till Sept 1st. Im not too worried about the whole situation. People always like to scaremonger…basically it will hit Mexico tmw/wed. It is not guaranteed to hit Cancun directly – I read earlier it will more than likely miss by 100-150 miles of a direct hit. The hotels along the coast deal with this kind of situation every year and so should be able to handle this one. As long as the roof is on the hotel, the beach is still there and you have a beer in your hand Im sure you will have a great holiday. Best bet, call you hotel today and take it from there..

  34. RM Says:

  35. Anastasia Says:

    I called our hotel, The Riu Palace this morning re: our arrival on the 29th. It was disconcerting as I could hear the boards being hammered over the windows. The agent was in good spirits (said they were all coming to work, business as usual) and that I should keep checking back. That we should know by tomorrow what is going to happen. She said it should be fine next week? My travel partners and I are going to wait until tomorrow night and after the storm has hit to decide. I have no other useful information. Please, if anyone else finds anything out, please repost here. Thanks…hope to see you all on the beach next week!

  36. Gean Says:

    We were on a flight with United going into Cancun Mon. morning. United did NOT cancel the flight, only delayed it for about 3 hours, and will thus not be issuing us a refund. The insurance company stated that a hurricane is NOT a natural disaster and is also giving us trouble. Reschedule all vacations ASAP. What should we do, and whom should we contact???

    Any advice?

  37. I-LOVE-CANCUN! Says:

    Travel insurance IS SO IMPORTANT! A MUST, SINCE LIFE IS SO UNPREDICTABLE. I think that many people that did not get it this time, will next time. BEING HUMANS…many times we don’t learn, but the hard way. We are living in unpredictable times, IT IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO PAY THAT EXTRA MONEY just in case something happens > could be anything. Money will be saved and the stress level will be lowered. I’m really sorry for all the people that are being inconvenienced by Hurricane. The most important thing is that people and all the animals in the areas being affected by MONSTER DEAN stay safe. After all…material things can always be replaced. LIFE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!

  38. Smart Ckick Says:

    My flight was from Reagan to Cancun at 7:20 in the morning. I’m highly annoyed with the travel insurance since COMMON SENSE is not covered. I can’t proceed with a claim unless the flight is officially cancelled or the Cancun airport shuts down. I can’t decline to go for safety reasons. I read 2 many horror stories about evacations to risk it. I re-booked for January and the hotel is TWICE the cost.

  39. Not a Lawyer, but a disclaimer anyway Says:

    I’m scheduled for Cancun Sept 1st, and I was kicking myself for not getting insurance, . . until I read the prior posts. I’m sure whatever we decide to do, we will be well, and my best wishes go out to the people of Cancun.

    For those that have decided NOT to travel, and are being given a hard time utilizing their insurance product, I would advise: Google (Chapter 93A) consumer protection statue and write a formal demand letter. Follow the performance guidelines and you may receive a judgment of triple damage if the provider does not comply. I’ve used it with great success when companies want to give you the run-around. Be well All!

  40. Justin Says:

    I also have a trip booked for Aug 25- Sept 1st and I agree with what that guy Mark said i want to go but not if it is going to be trashed and nothin will be open….do you have any suggestions in terms of going or not my friends are really adament about going but im not so sure.


  41. I-LOVE-CANCUN! Says:

    Not a Lawyer, but a disclaimer anyway….

    THANKS FOR THE INFO ABOUT CHAPTER 93A, good to know. :)

  42. paolo Says:

    Trzymajcie sie ludziska.Bedzie dobrze.

  43. It is looking good Says:

    Sveral friends from Cancun, are reporting low to no dammage in the area. It will take few more hours to do a full evaluation but so far it looks like Cancun and the norther part of the Mayan Riviera should be ok.

    The area most effected was Chetumal and Mahaual. They got a direct hit and it will take a while to fully understand the magnitude of the dammage there.

    For those of you that had booked trip to Cancun or down to the Mayan Riviera, the best option is to stay in close contact with airlines and the hotels you were booked at. They will be able to give you updated info on the status of each facility as well as the latest air traffic update.

  44. brandon Says:

    I was wondering what damage hurricane dean did to the el dorado royale in the riviera mya. We have our 8 day vacation planned starting September 1st. Any info would be great thanks,brandon

  45. Armand Says:

    Any news on Xel-Ha, Xcaret, Tulum?

  46. Francesca Says:

    I had to leave this morning, August 21, to Cancun, but did not take the plane thinking it would be canceled. Then I discovered that the plane flew to Cancun… I wonder what the damage in that area and if itis still worth to go there (leaving tomorrow or after) or if it is best tojust cancel everything and go somewhere else… I had booked also to playa carmen and tulum. Any suggestion?

  47. garrett Says:

    I have customers staying at the moon palace starting next week. Status?

  48. Deena Says:

    I am getting married on isla mujeres on December 1st will everything be ok by then>

  49. Deena Says:

    I am getting married December 1st on Isla Mujeres. Will it be ok by then?

  50. Craig asks Says:


  51. Donna Says:

    I called the el dorado resort hotel to find out the damage. I don’t go until Oct. but very curious about whats going on. The woman there told me really no damage at all at the resort. Some sand has blown around and such, but will be perfect in day or so. No major damages ….Yipee

  52. garrett Says:

    for those of you needing to buy travel insurance is recommened by AAA (I am a Travel agent for AAA). their insurance covers “bad weather” amoung m,any other things. you don’t have to book your travel thru AAA to buy this insurance. Just call AAA (if you are a member) or email or call Access America. Be sure you get the omprehensive plan that includes trip cancellation and trip interuption…..thought this might help….

  53. Kelly Says:

    Hi friends. Looking for news on the status / damage surrounding the RIU Palace Mexico in Playa del Carmen. I’m taking 40 people next week. If you know a quick way (besides calling the hotel) to find out, please post ;)

  54. Kate Says:

    Hi- I am going to Riviera Maya in January, do you think the hurricane is going to damage the whole area?????

  55. CancunCanuck Says:

    Kate- Check out the most recent posts on the blog, the hurricane caused very little if any damage.

  56. Anastasia Says:

    We are leaving on August 29th and staying until Sept. 03rd. I think we are still going to go. We are staying at the RIU Palace and this was posted on their website today.

    august 21, 2007
    RIU’s resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen are operating normally after Hurricane Dean
    *Hurricane Dean, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, caused only minor exterior damage at RIU’s resorts in the area
    As of Tuesday afternoon, RIU’s nine resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen were once again operating normally after the passing of Hurricane Dean.

    The storm, which brought significant wind and rain to the area, caused only minor damages to the resort’s exterior and gardens. No problems have been reported with any of the company’s guests or employees.

    RIU has dispatched specialized technicians and crews to all of the properties to repair damages and clean up the expected debris left in the wake of the storm.

    As these efforts are underway, guests at all of the resorts are once again able move freely about the properties and resume normal activities.

    All is peaceful at the resorts. RIU’s staff has step-by-step resumed its normal activities and are once again serving food and drinks in the restaurants and bars.

    Riu Hotels & Resorts has nine properties in Cancun and Playa del Carmen offering a total of 8,300 beds. For over 10 years the company has had a major presence in the Yucatan beginning in August of 1997 with the opening of its first resort in the region.

  57. Mark Says:

    I have been watching the news checking every web site I can find. Found a few blogs from people who live in Cancun and they said other than light clean up CANCUN HAS NO DAMAGE. The beaches have not washed away and the power did not even go out. I have trip to Cancun 8/25 -9/01
    and from all I’ve seen and read I am not at all worried about going I will be there this Saturday

    YEEE HA!

  58. Kat Says:

    I’m leaving from Montreal to Cancun on saturday with 4 friends and staying for a week at Oasis…any thoughts on if we should change our destination? (going in a month isn’t an option):)

  59. Mark Says:

    Anyone how wants information about Cancun,Mexico after Hurricane Dean struck should go to it has alot of very useful info,photos

  60. Riupalaceguest Says:

    Hi! thanks for all the helpful info – my husband and I are staying at the riu palace riveria starting Aug. 31st – it seems like it should be ok to stay there by then – thanks anastasia for that statement made by the riu palace hotel – came in handy!

  61. Helen Says:

    We are leaving on September 4th for a 4 day stay at the Occidental XCaret resort in Riviera Maya. Any news on the damage there?

  62. Chris Says:

    Any report on damage to the beaches near RIU CANCUN hotel? We are scheduled to take our honeymoon there in two weeks and I’m wondering if we should cash in on the insurance in case the beaches are all eroded away, or if everything is in pretty much normal condition?


  63. Robin O'Hara Says:

    The whole family is going down to Cancun and staying at the Crown Paradise, near the Flamingo…how do the beaches look????? Any damage to the hotels (Crown Paradise, Flamingo)

  64. Justine Says:

    my family is travelling to puerta vallarta on september 2nd. do you think we will be safe from the hurricane?

  65. Lindsay Says:

    Thanks Donna for your comment on the El Dorado Royale. We are going there in September and have been wondering if we should go or not. Your update assured me it’s still ok:) Yippee!!!