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This Is How To Beat The Crowds In Cancun With Massive Increase In Visitors Expected

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The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) announced in a recent study that Cancun is expected to see a 45% increase in visitors in the first 6 months of 2024.

While this is fantastic news for the destination’s economy, such a large increase in traveler numbers could also mean bigger crowds in Cancun.

Thankfully, Cancun is a lot more than just the Hotel Zone and Playa Delfines. So, for travelers heading to Cancun in the next 6 months, this is how you can beat the crowds.

A crowded cancun street at night outside the hard rock cafe

Don’t Avoid Downtown

The majority of travelers to Cancun spend all their time in the famous Hotel Zone, and while there is certainly nothing wrong with that, thanks to the huge number of bars, restaurants, and shopping opportunities in the area, the area is already super busy with current traveler numbers.

That’s why travelers who want to escape the crowds shouldn’t overlook downtown Cancun. Some of the destination’s best restaurants, most authentic local food, and wildest bars can be found downtown.

taqueria in cancun

Furthermore, travelers will notice a sometimes-shocking difference in prices downtown compared to the Hotel Zone. Everything from tacos to trinkets can be found there for a fraction of the price.

Pro Tip: Don’t be fooled by shiny and professional-looking signage in restaurants; the most sure-fire way to find the best food anywhere in Mexico is to follow the locals.

It’s not uncommon to see a swanky-looking taqueria almost empty while a humble taco stand in front of it struggles to keep up with demand due to popularity. That’s where the best of Mexican cuisine can be found!

Outdoor taco stand in Cancun's downtown area

Choose The Resort Wisely

It goes without saying that one of the biggest decisions a traveler will make when booking their Cancun vacation, is where to stay.

The sheer number of choices can feel daunting at first, but travelers can easily thin out the options if they are hoping to avoid the crowds by looking towards the smaller, but not less outstanding, resort areas that compete with the Hotel Zone.

Aerial View of the Cancun Hotel Zone

The two main contenders that are close enough to the attractions of Cancun to be reasonable choices are the Costa Mujeres and Puerto Morelos.

Both of these areas are growing fast in popularity with travelers for the superb balance they’ve struck between convenience to Cancun and more spacious development.

To put it simply, travelers can enjoy a much more relaxed and uncrowded vacation in these areas thanks to fewer resorts being packed together.

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

Take The Road Less Traveled

There are many bucket list experiences in Cancun and the surrounding areas that travelers will want to get ticked off, but when the crowds are big, it’s worth remembering some of the Mexican Caribbean’s best attractions aren’t the most famous ones.

Whether it’s nightclubs, Mayan ruins, or one-day island excursions, sometimes the best choice is to not follow the crowd.

A busy and crowded view of travelers at chichen itza

For example, Isla Mujeres, the beautiful island just a 15-minute ferry ride from the coast of Cancun, has turned into one of Mexico’s most consistently popular attractions. But it’s also super small and dealing with almost continuously full resorts.

The alternative to this is Cozumel, the beautiful and naturally rich island off the coast of Playa del Carmen to the south of Cancun.

While Isla Mujeres has many resorts and busy beaches, the island of Cozumel is home to a large nature reserve, a stunning colonial town called San Miguel de Cozumel, and a wealth of cultural and historical attractions.

Even when Cancun isn’t feeling crowded, travelers shouldn’t let a day trip to Cozumel pass them by.

Aerial View of the Island of Cozumel Surrounded by Aqua Blue Water

100 Yards Can Change Everything

If travelers are determined to have their vacation in the Hotel Zone, and that can’t be criticized considering how awesome the area is, escaping the crowds can sometimes be as easy as walking 100 yards in a new direction.

This is most true for the beaches, where an area can get crowded simply because the nearest resort has super-high occupancy on that particular day.

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