When it comes to tourist attractions, the Mexican Caribbean has it all: breathtaking beaches, lavish all-inclusives, rich culture, and much more.
So, it’s no surprise that the number of tourists flocking to Cancun and the Riviera Maya keeps rising year after year.
And while several destinations in the Mexican Caribbean have experienced a significant uptick in visitor numbers, three destinations truly stand out: Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
Together, these destinations account for 80% of tourism in Quintana Roo, and they have witnessed remarkable growth in the state’s tourism sector, according to the Mexican Government Secretary of Tourism.
By analyzing metrics such as hotel occupation, reservations, and plane tickets, and more, the report gathered the fastest-growing destinations in terms of tourism compared to 2022.
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Cancun leads the way at 76%, followed by Playa del Carmen at 69.5% and Tulum at 64.9%.
So, let’s delve deeper into what makes these Mexican Caribbean destinations so trendy right now and explore the reasons behind their unprecedented tourism growth.
The undisputed Mexican Caribbean crown jewel, Cancun has been a favorite destination for travelers, particularly Americans, for several decades.
And Cancun’s popularity shows no signs of stopping. Not only does Cancun International Airport currently claim the title of the busiest airport in the broader Caribbean region, but it is also shattering visitor number records.
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In the first eight months of this year, Cancun welcomed over 6 million visitors, marking a remarkable 6.9% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
It’s clear that travelers can’t get enough of Cancun’s countless tourism offerings, which include world-class beaches, a wide range of accommodation options, and a legendary nightlife scene.
So, whether it’s families looking for a tranquil escape, couples seeking a romantic escapade, or solo travelers in search of exciting activities, Cancun has proven time and time again to be the perfect choice.
Playa del Carmen
If you happened to visit Playa del Carmen a couple of decades ago, you would never have imagined the impressive transformation it has undergone.
A former fishing town with little infrastructure, this destination has evolved into a highly popular tourist hotspot, best known for its lively ‘5th Avenue.’
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Here, you’ll find a selection of excellent local and international restaurants, energetic nightclubs, upscale boutique stores, arts and craft shops, and much more.
What’s more impressive is that, even after its transformation into a luxury hub, Playa del Carmen has managed to preserve its laid-back beach town ambiance, a refreshing alternative to Cancun’s bustling lifestyle.
While the town has struggled with security issues in the past, extensive efforts led by Quintana Roo governor Mara Lezama to enhance security and reduce crime have yielded impressive results.
Now, Playa del Carmen stands as one of the safest destinations in the Mexican Caribbean for tourists and one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the region.
Not unlike Playa del Carmen, Tulum was a relatively obscure beach town just a few years ago.
But with its stunning sandy beaches, numerous natural wonders, and archeological zones, it was only a matter of time before it started gaining recognition among travelers.
Today, Tulum stands as one of Mexico’s trendiest tourist hotspots, renowned for its cosmopolitan and bohemian atmosphere.
But what truly sets Tulum apart is its unwavering commitment to sustainability and the preservation of its natural wonders, which have earned it a reputation as one of the country’s leading ecotourism destinations.
This dedication to eco-friendliness doesn’t come at the expense of luxury, as boutique resorts such as Be Tulum and Copal Tulum offer a blend of nature and luxury seldom found in other Mexican Caribbean destinations.
Furthermore, Tulum is also emerging as one of the world’s top wellness destinations, showcasing numerous world-class spas and wellness centers – even being called the ‘World Capital of Yoga’ by Forbes.
And when you consider its lively nightlife and its growing reputation as an electronic music festival hub, it’s easy to see why Tulum’s skyrocketing popularity is not likely to slow down any time soon.
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