To say Cancun International Airport has had a good year is an understatement because it has repeatedly broken records in the number of tourists that have passed through the gates this year. During the busiest times, the airport serves more than 500 passengers a day, with nearly half of those passengers coming and going from foreign countries, and by the end of the year, the airport is on track to have served as many as 27 million people.
But while this huge number of tourists uses Cancun Airport as their starting point, it isn’t always Cancun that these tourists are going to, as, along with Cancun, there are a number of amazing places to visit in this awe-inspiring corner of the world.
Cancun is the most popular vacation destination in the Mexican Caribbean region and gets millions of visitors every year. It’s known for its stunning white sand beaches with turquoise blue waters, its exciting nightlife, and vibrant energy. The main tourist area in Cancun is the Hotel Zone, where you’ll find more than 100 hotels and resorts, many of which are luxurious all-inclusive properties that define the meaning of superior service.
Isla Mujeres is an island off the coast of Cancun and takes less than an hour to get to, including the drive to the ferry and the ferry ride to get to the island. It has many beautiful, unspoiled beaches and is much more laid-back than Cancun, so if you’re looking for rest and relaxation, Isla Mujeres may be where you want to go. There is a charming village on the island with restaurants, bars, and shops too.
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a little over an hour from Cancun and has much the same vibe but on a smaller scale. In addition to being known for its amazing beaches, this popular Riviera Maya vacation destination is also frequented by divers due to its location near one of the largest coral reef systems in the world. The main tourist area in Playa del Carmen is the vibrant 5th Avenue, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and an energetic nightlife.
Isla Cozumel, better known as simply Cozumel, is an island off the coast of Playa del Carmen, so if you’re visiting Playa del Carmen, you might as well take the short ferry ride to this gem of the Mexican Caribbean. In addition to the reef system, there is also an underwater art museum, one of the few in the world, making this an ideal place to visit for underwater adventures. Cozumel is also known for its largely undeveloped land and more laid-back vibe.
Puerto Morelos sits on the Mexican Caribbean coast between Cancun and Playa del Carmen but has more of a fishing village vibe than a beach town, although there are beautiful beaches here too. For divers, Puerto Morelos is the place to be, with numerous fantastic dive sites, including the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park. This charming village is also known for its diverse food scene, particularly the fresh seafood, and its quaint village vibe.
Holbox is another island in the Riviera Maya worth visiting, and to get to it only requires less than a two-hour drive from Cancun International Airport to Chiquila, where you’ll take a ferry to the island. It is a quintessential beach town that exudes charm and authenticity and is much more laid-back than most Mexican Caribbean vacation destinations. While spending some time in the quaint village shops and restaurants is a must, the number one thing tourists come here for is to see the bioluminescent water at night.
Cancun is an amazing place to vacation, but the Mexican Caribbean has even more to offer, and any of these unbelievable destinations will make for the perfect beach vacation.
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