President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador visited the Islas Marias off the Pacific coast December 6 to inaugurate a ferry service to the archipelago, and open its new tourist center.
After decades serving as an isolated and feared penal colony, the islands—home to numerous species of wildlife—are welcoming tourists under the watchful administration of the Mexican Navy.
Visits to the main island—Isla Maria Madre—will be carefully managed, and cruise ships and private vessels will not be permitted to anchor offshore.
The president traveled to the islands in one of the ferries that will take tourists from San Blas, Nayarit and Mazatlán, Sinaloa to the former prison colony in a time of between four and four and a half hours.
He said visitors will be able to spend a couple of nights on the islands in properties that have been refurbished into comfortable “hotel-style accommodation.”
Lopez Obrador said it will be important to ensure the islands “do not become saturated.”