Tuesday morning, Costa Maya, Mexico’s fastest-growing tourist destination and cruise port, was hit by Hurricane Dean after the Category 5 hurricane made landfall at 3:30 a.m.

According to Cesar Lizarraga, Costa Maya’s director of sales and marketing, approximately 50% of the port’s infrastructure, including the cruise ship pier, has been damaged by the storm. An early estimate indicates the port will remain closed for six to eight months while clean up and construction crews work quickly and efficiently to bring the port back to full operational mode. Revitalizing the port and surrounding areas represents a multi-million dollar investment.

Costa Maya officials are currently meeting with cruise lines with previously scheduled port calls to reevaluate schedules. Costa Maya hopes to see a speedy recovery and have cruise ships calling back to the port as early as mid 2008.