Fall is one of the best times to visit Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. With fewer crowds, travelers can enjoy empty beaches, lower nightly rates, and sargassum-free shores.
Unlike summer and winter, which both see millions of travelers flock to the sun-drenched region, fall sees occupancy rates dip well below 60%, making it the ideal time to avoid the crowds.
With that in mind, here are the top places in the Mexican Caribbean to visit in the fall before occupancy rates start climbing toward the winter.
These Sunny Hotspots Have The Lowest Occupancy Rates Right Now
Hotel occupancy rates are one of the most important factors that influence how busy a certain location is. Expressed as a percentage, it refers to the number of occupied rooms in hotels and resorts in the Mexican Caribbean.
This summer, countless resort hotspots in Quintana Roo reported occupancy rates of nearly 100%, meaning that few, if any, rooms were available.
While that’s great news for the local travel industry, it translated to eye-watering nightly rates and packed beaches.
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Compared to the record-breaking summer, October is a much quieter time to enjoy everything the Mexican Caribbean has to offer – and without the crowds.
According to the latest occupancy rate statistics published by the Secretariat for Tourism, only around 59% of all hotel rooms are currently booked in the Mexican Caribbean. Although that’s still more than half of all rooms, it’s one of the lowest figures reported so far this year.
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For travelers, the upshot is that they can look forward to plenty of space on their favorite beaches, quiet archeological sites, and lower nightly rates for accommodations.
The latest report shows that the Grand Costa Maya is currently the best place to avoid the crowds. The cruise ship hotspot is reporting an occupancy rate of just 45%, a far cry from the record-shattering travel frenzy that the coastal region saw during the summer.
The Costa Maya encompasses a number of popular hotspots, including Mahahual and Bacalar, known for their rich natural beauty and stunning Mayan history.
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Another hotspot that is reporting below-average occupancy rates is Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and a major destination for culture and historical travel. With only 51% of all rooms sold out, travelers are likely to find plenty of peace and quiet in this otherwise hugely popular destination.
Meanwhile, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos also reported occupancy rates of between 52 and 56%, putting them just below the regional average. Travelers are encouraged to enjoy those destinations while they still can, as in just over a month, millions of tourists will flood the region to escape frigid northern temperatures.
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That’s why the shoulder season – which runs from September to mid-November – has become one of the trendiest periods to visit the Mexican Caribbean for those traveling on a budget. Digital nomads, which represent a growing number of travelers in the sunny region, are also flocking to areas like Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum.
On the other hand, Cancun and Tulum both saw an average occupancy rate of over 60% during September, meaning travelers can expect slightly more crowded beaches and even lines to see some of the most popular Mayan sites in those locations.
Even so, those numbers pale in comparison to the record-shattering summer and winter seasons, which typically see an average occupancy of over 90%.
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