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As Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) begins requiring negative COVID-19 test results from air travelers entering the United States, Mexico’s tourism industry is introducing new ways for vacationers to get tested.
Editor's Note: Due to the changing nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, readers are encouraged to contact the suppliers listed here to verify prices prior to booking.
Tour operators are among the businesses working to help vacationers access the necessary tests while visiting Mexico, in response to new guidelines that require a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result from no more than 72 hours before arrival in the U.S.
Pleasant Holidays and its luxury brand, Journese, for example, have revamped their traveler support portals to include the latest information about CDC testing requirements, as well as listings of hotels in Mexico (as well as the Caribbean and Costa Rica) where onsite testing is available.
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Journey Mexico, meanwhile, helps guests arrange COVID-19 tests, generally at a cost of $150 to $300, both at testing facilities and — when available — on-site at hotels and rental villas around the nation. Results are usually delivered between 24 and 72 hours after the test.
Those traveling by private jet have additional options for getting tested, too. The private jet charter company JetSet, which began flying to Cabo San Lucas in 2020, now arranges tests for its members, with prices starting at $230 for PCR tests, which come with same-day results, and rapid antigen tests, which provide results in 15 minutes or less. Tests can be administered at a clinic or where guests are staying in Los Cabos.
In the villa space, Punta Mita Rentals is offering complimentary antigen tests for clients staying a minimum of five nights — guests are advised to book in advance.
COVID-19 Tests at Mexico Resorts A variety of independent and chain hotels around Mexico now offer COVID-19 tests for guests; some are free while others are available for a fee.
Several major hotel brands offer free rapid antigen testing at all of their Mexico properties — including La Coleccion Resorts, Palace Resorts, Le Blanc Spa Resorts, Velas Resorts and Iberostar Hotels and Resorts. Palladium Hotel Group offers the antigen test for free until April 4; the company also offers PCR tests, but at a cost of $150 at its Costa Mujeres and Riviera Maya properties and $250 in Puerto Vallarta. Those who test positive and need to quarantine for additional time at Palladium properties will have the cost of accommodations covered for up to 10 days, including separate accommodations for up to three travel companions.
Karisma Hotels & Resorts, which operates properties in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, is taking a similar approach with its current policy, which is in effect through March 31, 2021. The company, which also offers free antigen testing, provides quarantine accommodations for those who test positive for up to 14 nights.
AMResorts, which owns hotel brands including Secrets, Dreams and Breathless Resorts and Spas, also aims to take care of guest expenses for testing and quarantine in the event of a positive test result. Guests traveling to the U.S. can sign up for free antigen testing on-site, with results delivered the same day. According to the company’s latest policy, which is valid through March 31, those who test positive will receive extended quarantine accommodations for themselves and one travel companion sharing the same room for up to 14 days.
Boutique Mexico Hotels With COVID-19 TestingA growing number of independent, individual and boutique hotels around Mexico are also now offering on-site testing for COVID-19.
Prices, of course, vary. In San Miguel de Allende, for example, Hotel Amparo charges about $140 for a PCR test, while in Puerto Vallarta, Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway charges about $152 for a PCR test and about $61 for an antigen test. In the Riviera Maya, Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya offers complimentary antigen tests for up to two guests (with a minimum three-night stay) or charges $170 for a PCR test. The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, in Los Cabos, also offers free on-site antigen tests.
Montage Los Cabos, meanwhile, will facilitate complimentary on-site rapid antigen tests with a two-hour turnaround period; guests can schedule appointments with the resort’s concierge.
Solmar Hotels & Resorts, which operates multiple properties in Los Cabos, charges $23 for on-site rapid antigen tests, but currently has a spring sale that includes two free tests with a minimum three-night stay. Guests who test positive will be able to quarantine and extend their stay at a 40% discount, based on the property’s lowest nonrefundable rate.
Also offering discounted rates for those who need to quarantine is Mexico Grand Hotels, which operates Los Cabos properties including Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences. The company is collaborating with AMC hospitals to arrange for on-site testing; prices were still being finalized as of press time, but were expected to be between $18 and $20.
Mexico Tourism Offers COVID-19 Testing ResourcesIn addition to hotels and tour operators, tourism offices in various Mexican destinations can also be a helpful source of testing information. Several have begun gathering and sharing information about COVID-19 testing facilities via their websites and other channels.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau, for example, lists three hospitals and several clinics that offer convenient testing for foreign visitors; prices range from about $50 for an antigen test to $158 for a PCR test, with on-site services at hotels and residences available for an extra fee.
In the Mexican Caribbean, travelers and travel advisors can find information about testing facilities on the official websites for Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya. They can also find assistance through Guest Assist, a free app developed by the state’s Ministry of Tourism. During complicated times like these, communication and information are even more important for a safe and enjoyable trip.