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5 Reasons Why This Stunning Island Near Cancun Remains A Top Destination For 2024

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After closing 2023 with record-breaking visitor numbers, Isla Mujeres, a stunning island off the coast of Cancun, continues to be a favorite among tourists exploring the Mexican Caribbean.

Following the New Year celebrations, tourism in the region typically experiences a slight dip as both domestic and international travelers return to their hometowns.

However, it looks like Isla Mujeres is bucking the trend this year. The island has maintained a consistent 90% hotel occupancy rate throughout 2024, with no signs of slowing down.

Tourists enyoing a beach day at Isla Mujeres, with turquoise waters and palm trees and a palapa in background

During the recent “Fantasía Tropical 2024” Carnival, the numbers climbed up to an impressive 94%, and reservations indicate positive figures for the upcoming summer vacation season, according to a recent statement by the municipal government led by governor Mara Lezama.

With so many other nearby destinations like Playa del Carmen and Tulum experiencing their own tourist boom – not to mention the iconic Cancun – what is it about Isla Mujeres that travelers can’t get enough of?

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Turns out, it’s a lot. So, here are 5 reasons why Isla Mujeres remains a top destination for 2024.

Magical Town Recognition

The Magical Town (Pueblo Mágico) designation is a special accolade granted by the Mexican government to destinations that showcase unique historical, natural, and cultural features.

Isla Mujeres checks all the boxes, with its rich Mayan and Caribbean heritage, numerous natural wonders, and a laid-back vibe complemented by picturesque landscapes that make up for a much more relaxed and authentic experience compared to the bustling Cancun.

The island, along with Tulum, was among the first Mexican Caribbean destinations to earn the recognition in 2015,  being joined by Bacalar and Cozumel in recent years.


Isla Mujeres, a magical island near Cancun, Mexico

♬ original sound – amari🎧

Far from being a frivolous decoration, the Magical Town designation provides awarded destinations with the means and funding to significantly enhance its tourism offerings, from local crafts, festivities, and cuisine to extreme sports and ecotourism.

In Isla Mujeres’ case, it seems to have done the trick, considering the island’s unprecedented tourist numbers lately and the recent ratification of its Magical Town status.

Stunning Caribbean Beaches

If there’s one thing the Mexican Caribbean is famous for, is its gorgeous, white sand beaches.

But Isla Mujeres coastlines truly stand out, with spectacular beaches like Playa Norte and Playa Centro consistently ranking among the best in the country and even worldwide.

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These beaches not only boast breathtaking natural beauty, featuring shallow turquoise waters and fine-grain sand, but the local government’s dedication ensures their cleanliness and safety, consistently earning them the prestigious Blue Flag distinction.

The best part is that beach experiences at Isla Mujeres are wide-ranging, from lively beach clubs and seafood restaurants at Playa Norte to the romantic, secluded ambiance of Punta Sur beaches on the southern tip of the Island.

Luxurious All-Inclusives

Traditionally, Isla Mujeres has been mostly a day-trip destination, popular among Cancun tourists taking the ferry to enjoy its beaches, attractions, and local charm.

But over the years, the island has gradually evolved into a thriving resort hub, now home to lavish all-inclusives like Mia Reef and Impression By Secrets.

Not only do these resorts offer all the amenities you’ll find at all-inclusives in Cancun, but their privileged and secluded location adds a layer of exclusivity that it’s hard to match.

That said, there are numerous accommodation options for all kinds of budgets and preferences, making an unforgettable Isla Mujeres getaway accessible for everyone.

Endless Tourist Attractions

Regardless of whether you’re just exploring the island for the day or staying overnight, there are plenty of things to do at Isla Mujeres.

One popular choice is to rent a golf cart and explore the island, making stops at the beaches, local boutiques, and seafood restaurants.

You can even venture to the southern tip of the island and marvel at the temple of the goddess Ixchel and the stunning vistas.

golf car on isla mujeres

Just make sure to take a quick picture or video before leaving the rental, as a scam in which vendors falsely claim damage to the golf cart and seek reparations is not unheard of. 

Other exciting activities awaiting Isla Mujeres tourists include private sailing tours, whale shark sighting tours, and, more importantly, snorkeling and diving, as the island is home to a beautiful coral reef and a fascinating underwater museum with real-life statues called MUSA.


Isla Mujeres proudly stands as one of the safest destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, largely due to preventive measures by the local government in order to curb crime rates.

New police patrols are routinely added, particularly during peak tourism seasons, ensuring the safety of both locals and visitors.

Beach Vendor and Municipal Police on a Beach in Isla Mujeres

Nevertheless, it’s always important to stay alert and take common sense precautions, as petty theft and scams (like the aforementioned golf cart scam) can happen.

Yet, for travelers prioritizing safety, a trip to Isla Mujeres guarantees an unforgettable and highly secure experience.

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