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Cancun Is More Popular Then Puerto Vallarta And Los Cabos 

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Cancun is a more popular tourist destination today than ever before, growing in popularity so much over the last couple of years that it has far surpassed Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.  According to recent reports, the number of visitors that have visited Cancun has increased by 25 percent or more compared to pre-pandemic numbers.  To be sure, other Mexican vacation destinations, like Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, have grown in popularity significantly as well, but Cancun is the current hotspot and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon. 

All three of the cities, Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta, made the list of favorite Mexican vacation destinations this year but Los Cabos pulled ahead of Puerto Vallarta, while Cancun remained first for the second year in a row, according to many polls and statistics.  In 2021 Los Cabos catered to about 2.8 million visitors while Puerto Vallarta was a little less than that, bringing in around 2.5 million tourists.  Cancun, on the other hand, hosted that many tourists in just the first few months of this year. Last year more than 7 million visitors in total vacationed in Cancun and this year the number has already surpassed 12 million. 

Some visitors to Cancun come in on cruise ships but the majority fly into the city.  Cancun International Airport registers close to 500 inbound and outbound flights every day, with that number jumping to as high as 600 during the really busy months.  Most of these flights involve an international destination, with the most tourists coming from the United States. 

During the month of March, alone Los Cabos reported around 325,000 visitors, while in Puerto Vallarta the number from January-March was only about double that for a three-month period, with approximately 650,000 visitors.  In Cancun, 2.6 million tourists passed through Cancun International Airport just in April alone.  And April is one of Cancun’s busiest months but during March it’s likely the city hosts as many or more tourists than in April. 

So what makes Cancun so special?  Many people visit for the beautiful Mexican Caribbean beaches, with breathtaking views and so many to choose from.  But Cancun has a pretty exciting nightlife too, with numerous clubs and bars in the Cancun Hotel Zone.  Another draw for some tourists is the close proximity to Mayan history and archeological sites. 

empty cancun beach

Much of the increase in popularity in the Mexican Caribbean overall started to take place during the pandemic.  Mexico did not close its borders during this time and restrictions were minimal.  This gave those that could work from home the opportunity to do so from places like Cancun and other cities in the Riviera Maya region.   

downtown cancun aerial shot

Cancun, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta are all fantastic places to visit, each with its own unique identity and offerings for tourists.  Cancun is by far the most popular currently and is only going to become more popular as the Covid pandemic more and more becomes a distant memory.  Hotels are being constructed every year to accommodate the increase in tourists and the ones already operating continue to stay full. 

cancun hotel zone

It is inevitable that it’s going to get harder and harder to visit Cancun without planning well in advance, as the word seems to be getting around that the city is the perfect vacation destination for tourists looking for sun, sand, and a good time.  That makes now the perfect time to start planning a Cancun Mexican Caribbean vacation.   

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