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Cancun goes rad with jet-surfing

Power-surfer zips through the waters. Photo courtesy of JetSurf Mexico.

Next time you’re out splashing around the aquamarine waters off the beaches of Cancun, don’t be surprised if someone zips by you on a surfboard – without having to paddle it, and even if there’s no waves around. It’s the latest watersport – motorized surfing -- at this 30-mile-long resort on the Mexican Caribbean.

The motor is built right into the board, letting riders hang-ten, ride the curls and yell “cowabunga” at speeds of up to 35 mph. The board’s hi-tech design holds its weight down to just 30 pounds, so dudes or dudettes can enjoy maneuverability to the max.

Renters or buyers of the boards are invited by the maker, JetSurf Mexico, to attend its power-surfing school in Marina Chac Chi in the Cancun Hotel Zone.

Among other new activities around the resort, visitors can now hop on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for a six-mile adrenaline-pumping ride through the Maya jungle. Along the way you’ll see spider monkeys and all kinds of other local critters, explore ruins on ancient Maya trade routes and go for a dip in a “cenote” (a natural well). Check your hotel’s tour desk for more info on the excursion, called “nATiVe’S,” offered by tour operator Altournative. The tab runs from US$65 to US$85.

Elsewhere in Mexico’s No. 1 resort area, you’ll see a lot of big smiles on the faces of the town’s hoteliers and the folks at the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau. That’s because a surge in new hotels, renovations and rebrandings is expected to help make 2014 a record year – topping the 4.6 million visitors hosted here in 2013.

Jesus Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun CVB, said the resort’s visitor count is up a whopping 11 percent for the first five months of 2014 vs. the same period last year.

Hotels either recently renovated or now undergoing major facelifts include the Club Med Yucatan, the Riu Cancun, Dreams Sands Cancun Resort and Spa (once the Grand Oasis Viva), the new Royalton Riviera Cancun, Hotel Ziva Cancun (formerly Dreams Cancun) and the Zoetry Rolandi on the nearby island of Isla Mujeres.

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