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The Mexican Caribbean Will Be Packed This Summer — Here’s How To Beat The Crowds

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The Mexican Caribbean has been defying any idea of a “low-season” since the world opened back up after the pandemic.

And that trend is going to continue, with the latest occupancy numbers for this Summer showing accommodation being 70% booked up already. No small number, considering the season hasn’t yet gotten into full swing.

The Mexican Caribbean Will Be Packed This Summer - Here’s How To Beat The Crowds

With that being said, while the crowds can take over and make a Mexican Caribbean vacation feel as busy as a Manhattan sidewalk at rush hour, there are havens from the crowds for those willing to think ahead.

It Starts When You Land

Anyone who has gone through the Cancun International Airport arrivals process knows it can be a mixed bag. Sometimes it can go smoothly, and travelers are through immigration in 10 to 30 minutes; other times it can be a long and dismal wait.

There’s no concrete way to avoid the big queues, but travelers can speed up their time with the immigration official by being organized with their documents.

@niknus #mexico#cancun#immigration#goodtimes#fyp🏝😩 ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

Having the following documents printed out and in hand, ready to pass to the immigration official, will see travelers receive their visa stamp in just a minute or two:

  • Accommodation booking with the dates circled.
  • Proof of onward travel – A flight ticket is the gold standard of course. There will be many more questions for any travelers planning to leave via a land border.

That advice may sound obvious to many people, but it’s a common sight to see confused travelers at Cancun Immigration hunting through their phones for email confirmation of bookings. This unpreparedness slows immigration to a snail’s pace for everyone.

Additionally, Cancun now has e-gates for faster immigration, where travelers will be able to scan their passports and take a photo and pass through immigration without speaking with an immigration official. While it tends to speed up the process, many travelers get confused about how to use the gates.

Simply insert your passport and hold it firmly in place while looking at the camera and wait for the gate to open.

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Getting To The Resort

Walking out of the arrivals building can feel overwhelming; there are people rushing to sell travelers rides in taxis, collectivos (mini-buses), and large public buses to Cancun.

Having transport pre-arranged either through a vacation package or via one of the many private transfer hire websites will take the stress out of the situation and most importantly, allow travelers to bypass the circus outside the airport.

Cancun airport ADO bus

For anyone that wants to bypass the crowds and save a lot of money, the collectivos outside the main arrivals transport areas are the best choice.

When leaving the arrivals building, take a left outside, travelers should see a small security gate on the corner of the building; go through that to reach a new transport area full of collectivos.

Depending on the time of day and how full these are, the price can be as low as $5 to Cancun. They are also a lot more regular than the main transport buses, so travelers don’t need to wait in the baking sun too long.

Be specific with where you are trying to go; these collectivos follow set routes and don’t all arrive at the same place.

colectivos parked on the side of a main street in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Choosing The Right Accommodation

Choosing the right accommodation doesn’t just mean trying to find the less popular one; instead, focus on the number of each amenity.

For example, some resorts in Cancun have 3-6 restaurants and as many bars. Favorites always exist in these resorts, and with so much choice, there is almost always one of each that stays quiet enough to escape the crowds.

The same applies to the pools available, a resort with one large pool is going to be crowded even during low bookings, but finding one that has multiple pools can help ensure there’s always a quiet spot to take a dip.

Another way to escape the crowds when it comes to accommodation is to consider one of the many boutique hotels south of Cancun. As you leave the city, the variety of accommodation becomes much broader.

Even at full capacity, a small and chic boutique hotel with 100 rooms is going to feel much less crowded than the Cancun super-resorts with 800 to 1000 rooms.

@wheretofindme the best hotel room in Tulum! With a bed that rolls out on to the balcony, this is the very definition of mornings done right! ✨ #beautifulhotels #boutiquehotel #besthotels #mexicotravel #tulummexico #tulumbeach #tulumvibes #tulumhotel #tulumhotels ♬ suara asli – Sadvibes🥀

Explore Further Than The Resort Beachfront

The vast majority of resorts in the Mexican Caribbean have their own spot of beachfront, which is a fantastic addition, but these small stretches of real estate can sometimes get very crowded.

Thankfully, beautiful beaches aren’t in short supply in this corner of the world, and in most Mexican Caribbean destinations, there is a quieter and less commercially developed beach nearby.

@cieloyselva Tienes que conocer Punta Allen, México #tulum #desconectateencieloyselva #beach #paradise #beachvibes #viajes #tiktoktravel #travel ♬ Ocean Waves – Sounds of Nature

Public transport and taxis are very reasonable in the Mexican Caribbean, so even for those without a rental car, it’s a breeze getting to these beautiful alternatives.

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