Three islands located in close vicinity to Cancun were recently rated as some of the best in the world. Regular visitors to Mexico will know that the country is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, home to plenty of unspoiled beaches, an inviting and enthralling local culture, and some of the most picturesque islands, coves, and outcrops on the planet – and the recent ratings prove that this is no longer an opinion, but a fact.
Beating out stiff competition both locally and around the world, the recent accolades bestowed to the three islands are a perfect way to cap off what has been a fantastic year for tourism in the Mexican Caribbean. Here’s a look at which islands were selected as some of the best in the world, why travelers rate them so highly, and what kind of activities you can expect to get up to when you visit them.
Isla Holbox has recently been recognized in the global mass media company Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice awards as being the best island in the Rest of North America category. Situated at the northern tip of Quintana Roo, around 70km from Cancun, Isla Holbox topped the charts with an aggregate score of 88.96, beating off stiff competition from more recognized islands such as Vancouver Island, Canada – and adding itself to the travel wishlists of millions in the process.
The charming island is perfect for lovers of the outdoors, with a stunning array of adventure activities such as surfing, kayaking, and diving to take advantage of – but it’s not all about adventure. Stunningly laid-back, travelers can also relax on beachfront hammocks and take in the majestic sight of flamingos in the water – cocktail in hand optional. Beautifully underdeveloped compared to other islands, travelers can witness the wonders of bioluminescent plankton on its shores, as well as marvel at the vast mangrove networks, which play a vital part in the island’s ecosystem.
A close second behind Isla Holbox in the Rest of North America vote was Isla Mujeres, with a score of 88.01. More well known than Isla Holbox but just as beautiful, Isla Mujeres is just 13 miles east of Cancun and can be reached by ferries that depart every half an hour. With a short journey time of between 30-45 minutes, the island has long since been a favorite day trip destination for travelers staying in Cancun – but it is equally as strong as a destination in its own right.
Few who visit the island’s Playa Norte beach leave feeling anything other than blown away. The beach’s reputation precedes it, frequently featuring in the world’s best beaches lists – and it’s not hard to see why. The immaculate white sand is fronted by a stunning turquoise sea, with palm trees providing that picturebook-perfect backdrop that keeps travelers coming back in their droves. With a good range of quality hotels and eateries to choose from – not to mention attractions such as an underwater art museum and activity-laden Garrafon Park, Isla Mujeres’ place on the list is well-deserved.
The third and final island to receive recognition in the Rest of North America vote was Cozumel, scoring 80.22. Coming in fifth place behind Cape Breton and Vancouver Island, Cozumel has long since been a popular destination with travelers to the Mexican Caribbean. Located southeast of the popular resort town of Playa Del Carmen, it’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of mainland Mexican, serving as a tropical oasis in the sea.
Cozumel is a diver’s paradise. Situated on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the second largest coral reef system in the world – travelers can lose themselves in the underwater world, observing a dazzling array of colorful coral and sea life in their natural habitats. On top of this, it has all the trademarks of an island in the Mexican Caribbean – top-quality beaches, a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, and some stunning Mayan ruins to explore.
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