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These 3 Destinations Near Cancun Will Be Hugely Popular In 2024 According To Airbnb

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As crazy as it might be to think about 2024 already, it is just around the corner, and there is no time like the present to start planning your next vacation to the Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula. 

As the popularity of vacation rentals continues to soar as a worthy alternative to all-inclusive resorts, Airbnb has released data that reveals the main searches for holiday destinations on its platform are Merida, Tulum, and Isla Mujeres. 

All of these incredible destinations are situated near the ever-popular Cancun and offer something completely different for tourists. 

aerial drone view of Isla Mujeres

Vacation Rental Need-To-Knows Before Booking

With the chance to live like a local in some unique locations, plenty of flexibility, and often cheaper prices, vacation rentals are booming across the Yucatan Peninsula. 

While there are some absolutely irresistible options for visitors in the three hotspots mentioned above, it is important to be fully aware of the pros and cons of choosing vacation rentals over the hotel resort option. 

To begin with, always use a secure platform like Airbnb.

This app lists incredible options for everyone and is vetted meticulously before allowing rentals to be posted on it. 

User of Airbnb app

You have the chance to read reviews of properties and those who own them, as well as converse with them to ask specific questions and get a feel for the home away from home. 

The app also has around-the-clock customer service and troubleshooting, meaning it’s pretty difficult to go wrong. 

As Merida, Tulum, and Isla Mujeres all continue to grow in popularity, more and more vacation rentals are becoming available in them, meaning more unique stays in locations that are often situated away from the busy tourist hotel zones that are not to some people’s taste.

One downside to the app is the hidden fees, which sometimes are left out of sight until the payment page at the end of the transaction. 

vacation rental in Mexico with blue outdoor walls and a palm tree

Hidden fees can include things like cleaning fees, late check-in or check-out fees, and even charges for damages incurred during your stay. 

Apart from that, Airbnb is an amazing alternative for your next vacation, and these three areas in the Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan should definitely be next on your list. 

Why Merida?

A cultural hub for the entire Yucatan Peninsula, Merida offers a completely different experience from places like Cancun and Tulum, which are usually more targeted toward beachgoers. 

From breathtaking architecture to mouthwatering cuisine, Mexican culture is alive and well here in the official safest city in Latin America. 

Complete with colonial buildings and cobblestone streets, Merida misses out on the feeling of mass tourism and overcrowded hotel zones like its neighbours. 

Restaurants in Merida offer unique cuisine that is specific only to Merida itself, where you can try snack food botanas,  panuchas filled with slow-roasted pork and lomotis de Valladolid.

Tacos In Merida

Each restaurant offers something completely different, meaning you will eat a new meal practically every day and still have food that you haven’t tried by the time you leave. 

Merida is also situated near some impressive Mayan ruins like the infamous Chichen Itza and Uxmal, for any historical lovers looking for something different in Mexico beyond just beaches and oceans. 

With some of the best museums in the region, where you can learn everything about the Mayan civilization that existed over 1,500 years ago to the Spanish colonial period, you are sure to leave Merida feeling more cultured than ever.

Why Tulum?

Now with its brand-new International Airport, Tulum is set to become one of the most popular destinations in the Mexican Caribbean. 

Near everything from Unesco World Heritage sites to modern cities, world-class watersports, and some of the region’s most decadent hotels, it is certainly a destination that won’t leave you bored or without fun things to see and do.

Tulum is most known for its iconic Mayan Ruins, which sit above a cliff overlooking the ocean and date back over 1,500 years. 

Tulum's famous archeological site and sea

This archeological site will leave you awestruck, giving you a glimpse into an ancient world that is still so well preserved, as well as being located on one of the most breathtaking beaches and shorelines in the whole of the region.

Tulum also has some incredible natural beauty, with its cenotes being a must-see activity on anybody’s list.

These water-filled caves or sinkholes provide the perfect opportunity to dive and swim in freshwater in areas that were believed to have been the gateway to the underworld by the ancient Mayans.

Places like Dos Ojos will allow you to swim in some of the clearest waters you have ever had and take brilliant pictures for your social media.

Cenote Dos Ojos in Quintana Roo, Mexico. People swimming and snorkeling in clear water. This cenote is located close to Tulum in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico.

In terms of food and drink, its all about the real Yucutean dishes that you want to try.

While there are options for you to eat more American-influenced Tex-Mex food along the Riviera Maya, keep an eye out for slow-cooked, marinated meat dishes like Conchita (pulled pork) and relleno negro (shredded turkey stew), which can be found in various beach bars and pop-up street vendors.

Grilled dorado (dolphin fish or mahi mahi) and seafood tacos are also a must!

Now known for being a trendy, boho-chic destination, Tulum is for those interested in all things health and wellness, offering healthy food options, yoga classes, and luxury spa amenities practically everywhere you turn. 

Why Isla Mujeres?

A short fifteen-minute ferry ride from Cancun, this tropical oasis differs completely from the busy tourist hotspots in the Mexican Caribbean. 

The natural beauty of this island is worth the visit alone, and the pace of life dials down to the peace and tranquil vibe that so many want from their vacation.

Gorgeous hotel options lie on pristine, sugary-white sandy beaches, overlooking crystal clear waters that are perfect for cooling down in under the hot Mexican sun. 

MUSA sculptures with reef life in Isla Mujeres

A paradise for outdoor adventurers, you can swim, paddleboard, dive, and explore all that is on offer along the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world.

Isla Mujeres is also home to the MUSA, the Underwater Museum of Art, which has over 500 life-size sculptures on the sea bed for people to see and explore and was introduced to the island as a way to promote more coral life on the reef. 

This place is exactly what you see on postcards – golden shorelines, bluest of blue waters, and palm trees everywhere. 

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