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Ultimate Guide To The Mexican Caribbean’s Trendiest Beach Destinations For 2023

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Travel agencies widely predict Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean to be one of the most sought-after international destinations for U.S. travelers in 2023, a trend that has gone on for several years already. Travelers only have to venture a few hours north or south of Cancun to find some of the most stunning Caribbean destinations, complete with stunning white-sand beaches, quaint fishing villages, and a spectacular array of historical Mayan sites. In this article, we’ve gathered some of the trendiest destinations to include on your Mexican Caribbean itinerary for 2023. 

Caribbean beach in Cancun with palm trees and blue water

Holbox: Top Island Destination With Untouched Nature 

Holbox, located in northern Quintana Roo, is a small paradisiacal island that is home to a small community of residents and an abundance of tropical nature. From its pristine sargassum-free beaches – you can thank the island’s dunes and mangroves – to its turquoise lagoons, Holbox has earned a reputation as one of the best nature-based destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.

Woman holding Mexican flag in Holbox while enjoying beach

The tropical island has racked up several awards this year, and will likely do so in 2023 as well. Although Holbox can only be reached by ferry, doing so is easy, and takes just 25 minutes from the nearby port town of Chiquilá. Travelers can head to Holbox from Cancun for a beautiful day trip, or they can spend several days in the destinations. 

Puerto Morelos: The Next Top Beach Destination Near Cancun 

Located some 35 minutes south of Cancun, Puerto Morelos, a charming fishing village, is poised to become one of the trendiest seaside resort destinations in 2023. The town, known for its historical center and bustling beach clubs, is also home to a range of stunning accommodations and beautiful tropical waters – including freshwater cenotes.

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Puerto Morelos beach view with shops and boats

While Cancun is by far the most popular resort destination in the Mexican Caribbean, the city’s massive international airport is expected to welcome over 26 million travelers by the end of the year. With packed resorts and crowded beaches, tourists are increasingly seeking new beachside resort destinations, and for many, Puerto Morelos is turning out to be a suitable alternative. 

Cancun's Beautiful Caribbean Sea and Beaches Filled with Tourists.

Bacalar: Nature Wonders Sprinkled With Mayan History

Bacalar is making a name for itself thanks to its range of natural attractions which include plenty of natural wonders – including its colorful Ruta de Los Cenotes – as well as ancient Mayan ruins. Also known as a Pueblo Mágico, Bacalar is worth checking out, and even though travelers won’t find large white-sand beaches there, its turquoise freshwater cenotes provide an ideal setting for swimming and relaxation.

Aerial view of Bacalar's colorful lagoons

The town also offers travelers some unique accommodations and is famous for its bungalows which sit atop colorful lagoons. Visitors can opt for the likes of Mia Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa and other eco-venues, which provide villas and other spacious rooms for travelers to soak in the tropical views. 

Aerial view of Bacalar's colorful lagoons

Cozumel: Award-Winning Island Destination

While there are several popular islands in the Mexican Caribbean, few can compete with the all-around experience that Cozumel offers in terms of beaches, accommodations, and infrastructure. Much like Holbox, the stunning tropical island of Cozumel has been crowned as one of the best island destinations in North America. The island is easy to reach and is located just 45 minutes by ferry from Playa del Carmen, with departures 365 days a year. 

Horseback riding in Cozumel with white-sand beach

Cozumel’s award-winning beaches are less crowded than those of its mainland counterparts and are ideal for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. The Punta Sur Ecological Beach Park features excellent white-sand beaches, several lagoons, as well as top-rated diving sites belonging to the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park The island is also home to a small international airport, with direct flights from several U.S. cities, and is less crowded than Cancun’s packed airport. 

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