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These Stunning Islands Near Cancun Are Soaring In Popularity With Tourists

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The Mexican Caribbean’s popularity is soaring to new highs this year as more travelers than ever before flock to enjoy the region’s sun-kissed beaches and affordable luxury resorts.

But few destinations in the Mexican Caribbean are growing as fast as Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, two of the most popular islands in the region. 

Aerial view of the shore in cozumel with white sand

Offering plenty of sunshine, world-class beaches, and endless opportunities for outdoor exploration, these tropical hotspots are a must-see for travelers staying in and around Cancun.

With that in mind, here’s the latest on the remarkable popularity of these Caribbean hotspots and why travelers can’t get enough of them.

Cozumel Rises In Popularity After Being Declared Magical Town

Isla Mujeres Beach with beautiful white sand and blue skies

Cozumel is one of the trendiest destinations in the Mexican Caribbean this summer following the recent decision to declare the stunning island a Pueblo Magico (magical town). 

The unprecedented decision was taken after careful deliberation, as only certain destinations that meet stringent requirements can officially hold the prestigious title. Magical Towns have something unique about them; whether it’s their rich history or vibrant culture, they are a gateway into the heart of Mexico.

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@montanadarby Add this Mexican island to your bucket list! 📍Isla Mujeres, just 20 mins from Cancun in Mexico! #mexico #islamujeres #travel #backpacking #travelitinerary #islandlife ♬ Bad Habit – Steve Lacy

Cozumel officially became a ‘magical town’ on June 26th, joining three other destinations in the Mexican Caribbean with that distinction. The decision to declare the massive island a magical town has bolstered its popularity, with travel numbers climbing in the past several weeks as visitors flock to experience the island’s rich history and diverse landscapes. 

The number of travelers visiting Cozumel is up 11% compared to the time last year, which firmly places this heavenly island as one of the fastest-growing destinations in the region. 

@shemamamaps Travel with me while we try to make the most of a day in port in Cozumel Island, Mexico while traveling with kids on a cruise ship. #traveltiktok #tiktoktravel #cozumel #cozumelmexico #cozumelisland #travelwithkids #cruisingwithkids #travelwithme #comewithme ♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) – Ellen Once Again

Mostly known for its eco-adventure possibilities, Cozumel stands out as a nature lover’s paradise. Untouched beaches, lush rainforests, and one of the world’s largest coral reef systems are just several of the unique features to look forward to on your next island getaway. 

But Cozumel is also trending for its deep Mayan history and is home to several impressive ruins and archeological zones. The island used to be a place of pilgrimage for women desiring fertility, and travelers can find hundreds of temples, artifacts, and sculptures dedicated to different Mayan deities. 

Aerial view of a white sand beach in Cozumel with blue water

The most popular and well-known Mayan site in Cozumel is the San Gervasio archaeological zone, which houses several well-preserved ancient structures.

Isla Mujeres Remains A Safe Choice For Travelers 

Situated just 15 minutes from Cancun’s hotel zone, Isla Mujeres continues to be the top choice for countless travelers. The island has seen a steady rise in popularity on the back of enhanced security operations that have made the destination one of the safest in Mexico.

Aerial view of Isla Mujeres with buildings

Just like Cozumel, the island is one of four Magic Towns in the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, having held the prestigious distinction since 2015. 

According to the latest statistics, the number of visitors to Isla Mujeres has grown by nearly 9% this year compared to the same period last year. The tropical island – which measures just several square kilometers in size – has consistently reported one of the highest occupancy rates in the region, with nearly 90% of all resort rooms selling out this summer.

In addition to boasting several of the world’s top-rated white-sand beaches, Isla Mujeres is a hotspot for whale shark tours, which last until early September.

@activetourist Swimming with whale sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico📍catch a 15min ferry from Puerto Juarez in Cancun to Isla Mujeres. Make sure to check out Playa Norte, one of the best beaches in Mexico. From Isla Mujeres, organise an 85$ tour for a hour boat ride out to sea where you can jump in with snorkel gear to swim with the friendly whale sharks. Message me if you want the contact details of a tour organiser #islamujeres #whaleshark #cancun #traveltiktok #travelguide #bucketlist #travelspots #subhanallah ♬ talking to the moon – omgkirby

Isla Mujeres’ soaring popularity has been a double-edged sword for the local tourism industry, which has battled hours-long blackouts due to record-breaking demand this summer. New investments in the island’s aging energy infrastructure are expected to guarantee plentiful supply even amid the upcoming record-breaking winter season.

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