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These Are The 3 Busiest Destinations In The Mexican Caribbean Right Now

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The Mexican Caribbean is home to a collection of truly stunning destinations, from hidden gems like Bacalar and Akumal to world-renowned hotspots such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

However, three hotspots, in particular, have been recently gaining traction with travelers: Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres.

Cancun hotel zone beach on a sunny, tranquil day with clear skies

During the weekend of the first week of March, hotels at these destinations were almost fully booked – with all three of them reporting occupancy rates above 80% – according to data from the Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres Hotel Association.

What’s interesting is that such figures were typically only seen during the winter high season. 

But as the region’s popularity keeps skyrocketing, this rising trend is not likely to stop anytime soon, especially with the upcoming Easter and Spring Break holidays.

Cancun hotel during a starry night

Considering this, let’s explore what makes these three destinations a top choice for travelers right now.


The latest report ranked Cancun as the most popular destination in the region, with a whopping 86.4% of its more than 39,000 hotel rooms booked during the aforementioned time period.

Cancun’s status as the top Mexican Caribbean hotspot is unlikely to change soon, but exciting developments in the region this year could bring an interesting shift in the dynamics of its tourism landscape.

Beach palapas and sun lounger in Cancun public beach

First off, the Maya Train. Once the full 1,550 km route is fully operational, which is expected to happen by summer-end, Cancun tourists will enjoy seamless access to popular beach destinations, archeological sites, and off-path hidden gems across the Yucatan Peninsula.

Then there’s the Tulum International Airport, which will begin international operations by the end of the month. 

Not only will this development help alleviate some of the pressure from the busy Cancun Airport, but could also potentially bring down flight ticket prices.

Both airports will feature their own Maya Train stations, drastically improving accessibility.

Tulum International Airport Felipe Carrillo Puerto

This boost in regional connectivity is set to significantly increase demand for tourism in the Mexican Caribbean, and it’s only reasonable to assume that Cancun will be at the forefront.

Isla Mujeres

There are many reasons why travelers can’t get enough of this stunning island.

In addition to showcasing some of the most spectacular beaches in Mexico, it offers a selection of high-end resorts, plus countless exciting activities and tours.

Last weekend, Isla Mujeres also witnessed an increase in visitor numbers, closely following Cancun with an 85.9% hotel occupancy rate.

Aerial view of beautiful Playa Norte beach in Isla Mujeres

Interestingly enough, it’s not the island itself but its mainland counterpart, Costa Mujeres, who has been stealing the show in recent times, with hotel occupancy rates consistently hovering around 90% throughout 2023 and the first months of 2024.

The coastal region is the fastest-growing tourist destination in the country, set to add more than 12,000 hotel rooms to its current inventory of 9,000 by 2025.

Despite its newcomer status to the region, Costa Mujeres has earned a reputation as a prime luxury resort hotspot, and rightfully so.

All-inclusives like ATELIER Playa Mujeres and Excellence Costa Mujeres are some of the most lavish in the Mexican Caribbean.

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

Puerto Morelos

This rather unassuming fishing town has historically been largely overlooked by travelers visiting the Mexican Caribbean.

However, this has drastically changed in recent times, especially as travel trends shift towards a preference for authentic and nature-oriented experiences.

With its idyllic beaches, dozens of gorgeous cenotes, and coral reefs brimming with biodiversity, Puerto Morelos has everything nature and adventure lovers could wish for in a tourist hotspot.

Crystal Clear water in Puerto Morelos beach with boats ready for traveler adventures

And when you factor in the delicious seafood and lively local culture, it’s easy to see why it has become a traveler favorite in recent times.

While Puerto Morelos has significantly fewer hotels than its heavyweight tourism neighbors, its 84.7% occupancy rate across its 6,000 hotel rooms is clear evidence of its growing popularity among tourists.

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