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These 3 Mexican Caribbean Destinations Are Breaking Tourism Records This Winter

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Mexican Caribbean’s tourism scene, you’ve likely heard about major developments like the Tulum Airport inauguration and the upcoming Maya Train launch in December.

You’re also probably aware of the surge in popularity the Mexican Caribbean is currently witnessing.

With anticipation of a whopping 1,550,000 tourists for the winter season, lasting from December 21, 2023 to January 7th 2024, this will be a record-breaking winter for the Mexican Caribbean.

Playa Marlin in Cancun Hotel Zone, with crystal clear waters and resorts in the background

That’s a 2.9% increase from last year, according to Andrés Aguilar Becerrill, the subsecretary of Tourism in Quintana Roo.

“We expect an increase in visitors due to the promotion that has been carried out throughout the year; that’s why the highest number of visitors is expected in the last two weeks,” he added.

Bookings have been steadily rising since the beginning of December throughout several Mexican Caribbean hotspots. However, three destinations stand out in particular: Isla Mujeres, Costa Mujeres, and Cancun.

These destinations are already breaking records in terms of hotel occupancy rates, which are already reaching an average of 80% – surpassing 74% in 2022.

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Furthermore, in the coming weeks, these places may hit full capacity on certain days, driven by the arrival of international travelers, especially from the United States and Canada, along with a significant presence from the domestic market.

While the Secretary of Tourism’s promotional efforts have undoubtedly played a role in this remarkable achievement, there are more key reasons behind these three destinations breaking visitor number records.


The crown jewel of the Mexican Caribbean is no stranger to record-shattering.

Cancun Airport’s passenger numbers record set in March 2018 was broken again until 2022 for pandemic reasons, but now, this upward trend shows no signs of stopping.

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And as Cancun secures its position as the top international destination for American travelers for the sixth consecutive year, its reputation as a premier winter destination is not going anywhere anytime soon.

And why should it?

Boasting some of the most luxurious all-inclusives in Mexico, some of the most spectacular beaches, and some of the best nightlife and culinary offerings –  the choice is pretty much a no-brainer.

This is especially true for American and Canadian travelers who benefit from exceptional connectivity to Cancun, offering a delightful escape from the cold back home. 

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With direct flights available from over 44 US cities and counting, Cancun stands out as one of the most accessible winter destinations.

Isla Mujeres

Just a mere 25-minute ferry ride from mainland Cancun, Isla Mujeres, one of the most stunning destinations the Mexican Caribbean has to offer, awaits.

Isla Mujeres stands out for a number of reasons, the first being its pristine beaches. 

With exceptional, Blue-Flag-certified beaches like Playa Centro and Playa Norte, the latter recognized among some of the best in Mexico and even worldwide, Isla Mujeres promises a beach experience like none other.

Playa Norte beach on Isla Mujeres island near Cancun in Mexico.

Next, it’s the island’s countless tourist attractions. 

From underwater exploration at the MUSA subaquatic museum or the Manchones reef to a leisurely stroll down Calle Miguel Hidalgo, Isla Mujeres’ bustling main street adorned with restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, and live music – there’s not a dull moment to be had on this scenic island.

With its reputation as one of the safest spots in the Mexican Caribbean and even across all of Mexico, Isla Mujeres ensures that your safety is a top priority throughout your stay on the island.

Speaking of stays, Isla Mujeres also boasts a selection of exclusive boutique resorts and all-inclusives, a development that has allowed the island to evolve from a day-trip hotspot to one of the most sought-after destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.

View of the resorts at the North beach in Isla Mujeres, Cancun

Costa Mujeres

As exclusive as Isla Mujeres’ resorts can be, none quite rivals the sheer luxury offered by Costa Mujeres (AKA Playa Mujeres), the mainland counterpart of Isla Mujeres.

Designed as a luxury haven, this secluded region, situated just a 25-minute drive from the Cancun Hotel Zone, guarantees a Mexican Caribbean escape defined by unparalleled comfort and relaxation.

With 5-star all-inclusives like Atelier Playa Mujeres and Excellence Playa Mujeres, you couldn’t be blamed for not leaving the premises during your stay.

Aerial short of the ATELIER Playa Mujeres resort and golf course
Image courtesy of: ATELIER Playa Mujeres

However, there’s plenty to do at Costa Mujeres, whether it’s golfing at the Greg Norman-designed golf course, exploring the El Meco archeological zone, enjoying a variety of water sports, or enjoying a rejuvenating treatment at some of the region’s resorts ‘world-class spas.

So, if you’re looking for an unparalleled getaway this winter, these three Mexican Caribbean destinations stand out as the perfect choice. Considering their record-breaking figures right now, it seems more than a few travelers wholeheartedly agree.

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