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Isla Mujeres Blackouts Lead Tourists To Cancel Reservations, Should You Be Worried About Your Trip?

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Isla Mujeres, one of the reigning hotspots for travelers this summer in the Mexican Caribbean, is confronting an energy crisis this week with reports of blackouts.

Aerial view of Isla Mujeres with buildings

Hoteliers and business owners have been dealing with a growing number of power supply issues, prompting some tourists to cancel their trips to the otherwise idyllic island destination.

With the peak of the summer season just around the corner, here’s everything travelers need to know about this potentially troublesome situation.

A resort at night with some lights

Blackouts Cause Uproar Among Isla Mujeres Businesses

Situated just 13 kilometers from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is poised to be one of the most popular hotspots for travelers this summer.

Unprecedented demand from sun-seeking travelers, aging infrastructure, and issues with the local energy distribution company are believed to be the cause of growing blackouts in the paradisiacal island in the past two weeks.

And with the peak of the summer season – July and August – quickly approaching, travel numbers are only expected to grow further. 

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Aerial view of a strip with lots of hotels in Isla Mujeres

The escalating situation is a conundrum for Isla Mujeres’ booming hospitality industry. The small island, measuring just 4 square kilometers in size, is dotted with massive all-inclusive resorts and a handful of smaller accommodations, which place a massive strain on the destination’s electrical infrastrucutre.

With some 65 hotels representing more than 2000 rooms, Isla Mujeres is feeling the consequences of record-breaking demand.

This week, several hospitality industry representatives called for the Federal Commission for Electricity (CFE) to revise the situation of Isla Mujeres’ power grid to prevent the situation from deteriorating. 

a massive amount of people heading to Isla Mujeres from Cancun

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that one of the main generation plants used to supply the island with electricity has broken down.

A similar situation occurred in 2021 when blackouts lasted for more than a week.

Isla Mujeres street food at night in a busy plaza

Simultaneously, hotels and tourism industry businesses, such as restaurants and shops, are frustrated over the CFE’s lackluster communication regarding the duration of the blackouts, which are known to occur without warning.

Should Travelers Be Worried?

While the situation may seem alarming, it’s unlikely to affect larger resorts, which have extensive backup systems and generators in case of hurricanes or other weather phenomena.

On the other hand, smaller boutique hotels, as well as Airbnb rentals, are more affected by recurring blackouts. Travelers staying in such accommodations this month could potentially see occasional power cuts disrupt Wi-fi, refrigeration, and other appliances.

man working on power cable

Blackouts can also affect street lighting, especially at night, which may be a safety concern for travelers looking to party at one of Isla Mujeres’ many bars and nightclubs. 

On June 15, Isla Mujeres residents and travelers were caught by surprise when a blackout affected the popular destination from 6:00 PM on Wednesday until 4:00 AM the following morning. 

While blackouts have been occurring for over a week, there’s no saying how long they will last. But with growing pressure from the island’s travel industry, which represents the beating heart of Isla Mujeres’ economy, it is expected that CFE will release an update on the expected duration of the blackouts. 

These Mexican Caribbean Destination Have Reported Blackouts

Isla Mujeres isn’t the only resort hotspot grappling with supply issues. Holbox, a tiny island in the northern corner of Quintana Roo, has also seen blackouts as a result of inadequate infrastructure and soaring travel demand.

Tourists Walking Down a Sandy Road on the Island of Holbox in the Mexican Caribbean

While the issue has been most prominent in Holbox, causing up to a 30% drop in business, other destinations like Bacalar have also seen a rise in occasional power outages.

Still, though, tourists can expect that accommodations will do everything in their power to ensure blackouts do not affect their trips, and local authorities will work as quickly as possible to make sure blackouts have minimal affect on travelers.

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