Mexico’s Best Beach Earns Further Accolades
Isla Mujeres continued its high-profile year as it was confirmed once again as the best beach destination in Mexico. It has already received several top rankings this year.
The announcement was made in Acapulco at the Tianguis Turístico México 2022, a tourism conference designed to help promote Mexican tourism domestically and across the world. Those voting on the award were industry professionals with a strong understanding of destinations all across Mexico.
Unknown Mexico magazine announced the winners as part of the Best of Mexico awards portion of the conference. Isla Mujeres was named alongside other destinations like Bacalar, in the south of the state, Bacalar received the “Best destination to live an experience” award. The two towns were the only areas in Quintana Roo to receive an award. Nearby Yucatan province had multiple awards too.
It’s not the first time Isla Mujeres has drawn acclaim for its beaches. The idyllic island was featured on travel giant TripAdvisor’s recent best destinations list. The travel review site awarded the island’s Playa Norte as the best beach in Mexico and the nineteenth best beach on the planet – an outstanding recognition for the region considering some of the beaches on the list.
Isla Mujeres’ popularity is soaring at the moment and is controlling a disproportionate amount of growth in the region. Quintana Roo is expecting to add around 4000 rooms by the end of the year – Isla Mujeres will be home to two thousand of them. According to reports, it has already added around 8000 this year, a huge amount for any destination let alone a smaller island.
There are fears that the rapid growth of Isla Mujeres could be problematic. It’s known for its laid back atmosphere, with many choosing to stay there instead of Cancun to beat the crowds and enjoy some quiet, With so many hotels being added, there is the potential to disrupt that atmosphere.
It’s a small island, only stretching around 5 miles long and half a mile wide. There’s not a lot of space to develop in the grand scheme of things. But within its little stretch of paradise, visitors can enjoy some of the best food in Quintana Roo, Mayan ruins (it’s named after the Goddess of fertility), and of course the best beaches in the country.
Many visitors visit Isla Mujeres on a day trip, grabbing the twenty-minute ferry from Cancun. but more and more travelers are choosing to make it their main residence in Quintana Roo, evident in the increased hotel investment in the area. Once on the island, visitors often choose a golf cart as their preferred method of travel. The rented buggies dart around the island, allowing tourists to hop off at the best beaches and restaurants.
Quintana Roo will need to do what it can to ensure the development is kept in check. Tulum is seeing problems with its own explosive growth and has been drawing international criticism for both infrastructural and social issues.
Although Isla Mujeres is far smaller and unlikely to have the same problems, work must be done to preserve the idyllic nature of the island. Overtourism could quickly see beaches like Playa Norte fall down the rankings, and an over-investment in hotels can quickly ruin the atmosphere of its pleasant towns.
Isla Mujeres is most definitely a gem, but one that needs to be polished and protected as much as possible. The exposure it’s receiving is excellent as it is a world-class destination, but it’s an extremely slippery slope to ruin as over-tourism creeps in.
Other Mexican destinations awarded were:
Best experience in an archaeological zone: Chichen Itzá, Yucatán.
Best Wedding Destination: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Best beach destination: Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo.
Best Magical Town or destination for an adventure getaway : Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila.
Best emerging destination: Homún, Yucatán.
Best cultural festival to enjoy: La Guelaguetza, Oaxaca.
Best extreme sport experience: Surfing in Nayarit.
Best light and illumination show: Nights of Kukulkan in Yucatan.
Best ecotourism experience : La Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosí.
Best Magic Town for an unforgettable experience: Bacalar, Quintana Roo.
Best gastronomic route: Route of wines and dinos, Coahuila .
Best Magical Town or destination to experience a romantic getaway: San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.
Best experience of approach to animal life: Michoacán .
Best tourist experience in original towns: Yucatán .
Best state to live an artisan experience: Oaxaca .
Best state to live a cultural experience: Puebla .
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