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Resorts Nearly Sold Out On This Island Near Cancun As Demand Skyrockets

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The record-breaking holiday season has seen hotels and resorts fill up with travelers across Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.

But one island destination has proven to be particularly popular, with an average occupancy rate of over 90% during Christmas.

Stunning azure water in cozumel with boat

Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, is trending with travelers this winter. Known for its quaint beaches and abundant nature, the massive island is a hotspot for sun-seeking travelers.

As the Mexican Caribbean continues to skyrocket in popularity, here’s a look at why Cozumel is attracting so many travelers.

@shemamamaps Travel with me while we try to make the most of a day in port in Cozumel Island, Mexico while traveling with kids on a cruise ship. #traveltiktok #tiktoktravel #cozumel #cozumelmexico #cozumelisland #travelwithkids #cruisingwithkids #travelwithme #comewithme ♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) – Ellen Once Again

Cozumel Grows In Popularity With Resort And Nature Travelers 

2024 has gotten off to a great start in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. The beginning of the year is typically one of the busiest times for the region’s sun-soaked destinations as millions of North American travelers flock south in search of warm weather and excellent hospitality.

That’s especially true for the paradisiacal island of Cozumel, which is soaring in popularity with travelers. Nearly all of the destination’s hotels and resorts are currently sold out, with only 10% of rooms available for booking.

@amyandjon.travels Day 1 in Cozumel 💙💙 #travel #cozumel #snorkelday #travelvlog #love #traveling #partner #traveltiktok #travellife #traveltok #travelbucketlist #traveldiaries ♬ Summer day – TimTaj

According to the Hotel Association of Cozumel, which represents some 3,100 rooms on the idyllic island, occupancy rates have varied throughout December, with the end of the month being particularly busy. 

Cozumel now heads into the new year with renewed expectations as the Mexican Caribbean’s arrival figures continue their upward trend. Not only is the tropical island a popular choice for nature and culture lovers, but it’s also home to a major cruise port, regularly welcoming some of the world’s largest vessels.

The warm tropical destination boasts some of the most lavish all-inclusives in Quintana Roo, including the award-winning InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa.

@amyandjon.travels Things to do in Cozumel, Mexico! #travel #traveltips #mexico #cozumel #whattodo #travelvlog #backpackers #love #traveling #partner #traveltiktok #travellife #traveltok #travelbucketlist #traveldiaries #beach #beachvibes #islandvibes ♬ Sunny – BCD Studio

The Mexican Caribbean is home to several popular islands – including Holbox and Isla Mujeres. The former, situated off the northern coast of the state, has seen flooded streets due to its poor infrastructure, leading thousands of travelers to cancel bookings and search for new alternatives.

Meanwhile, Cozumel, home to nearly 90,000 residents, is home to several urban areas, complete with resorts, restaurants, and shops. The largest city on the island, San Miguel de Cozumel, is also a vibrant cultural destination, with attractions like the top-rate Museo de Cozumel offering deep insight into the location’s history. 

@cozumelconnection 3 things you can ONLY do in Cozumel. #travel #vacation #carribean #yourcozumelconnection ♬ Vamos Pa La Playa – Carlos Viernes

In addition to boasting an excellent array of traditional all-inclusives, a new report also shows that vacation rentals are particularly popular in Cozumel. The sunny island is home to nearly 2000 Airbnbs and other similar properties.

Known for offering quaint ocean views and cozy interiors, Airbnbs are an excellent choice for travelers seeking more flexibility and local authenticity.

They’re also a popular accommodation for digital nomads, offering cheaper rates for longer stays.

@enchanted_travels Went swimming with dolphins in Cozumel and it was magical 🐬✨. #vacation #mexico #cruise #cozumel #traveltiktok #travel #dolphin #swimmingwithdolphins #selenagomez #fyl ♬ snowfall (Sped Up) – Øneheart & reidenshi

Cozumel is the perfect alternative this winter to other crowded resort hotspots in the Mexican Caribbean.

The island is just a 50-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen, with companies like Ultramar operating numerous daily departures. Meanwhile, travelers from Cancun can also catch direct private flights to the sunny island.

@kenjahb Since we only had 4 hours to spend in Cozumel Mexico 🇲🇽, we had to utilize our time wisely! The trolly ride allowed us to explore the city and gain a little history at the same time! We booked this excursion directly through the Royal Caribbean app. #VoyagerOfTheSeas #FamilyTravel #MexicoCruise #TravelingWithToddler #CruiseFun #FamilyAdventures #ExploreMexico #CruiseTips #CozumelExploration #ToddlerFriendly #TravelInspiration #CruiseWithRoyalCaribbean #affordablecruise #affordablevacation #cruisereview #royalcaribbean #5daycruise #traveltips #cozumelmexico ♬ Good Times – Vin Music

The tropical destination is also home to a small but busy international airport, which operates seasonal flights to several destinations across the U.S., including Atlanta, Chicago, and Minneapolis. 

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Murray Gordon

Saturday 6th of January 2024

While it is good to see Cozumel tourism booming, as someone who has cycled all around the island, I find it a bit saddening to know that Cozumel will be somewhat less relaxed and peaceful than it has been. Part of the reason for that laid-back nature is that Cozumel has just one urban area, not several as the article erroneously states. Outside of San Miguel there is nothing that might be really described as a community let alone an urban area.