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Why These 3 Mexican Caribbean Hotspots Are Trending With Winter Travelers This Year

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It’s been more than a month since the end of the winter holidays, yet the high season in the Mexican Caribbean remains strong.

Hotel occupancy rates soared over 90% towards the end of the holiday period in several destinations across the region, effectively breaking tourist record figures.

View from the balcony on the hotel resort with palm trees, pools and the lagoon in the background, Cancun

However, three hotspots in particular are still welcoming significant numbers of visitors: Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres.

During the first weekend of February, these three destinations witnessed impressive hotel occupancy rates, all above 80%. 

Cancun leads the pack at 81.3%, with over 39,000 rooms in use. Puerto Morelos is close behind at 83%, and the highly popular Costa Mujeres, the mainland part of Isla Mujeres, has a whopping 88.6% occupancy rate.

These high numbers are partly because of the long weekend starting on February 5th, bringing in local travelers to celebrate Mexican Constitution Day. 

@nicolestraveldiary 📍Puerto Morelos Escape from the hotel zones and immerse yourself into a small fisherman town near Cancun, Quintana Roo. 🐠 🪸Home to the second largest barrier reef in the world! I recommend booking an excusion in the town center for snorkling to experience all of the beauty up close. This city has many restaurants with fresh locally caught seafood. As well as relaxing beaches, with a beautiful and clear ocean! Find many AI resorts in this area, we stayed at El Cid. Send this to someone you want to plan your next trip to Mexico with! 🇲🇽 #puertomorelos #quintanaroo #allinclusiveresort #cancun #tulum #holboxmexico #bestbeaches #worldtraveler #mexicovacation #travelideas #nontouristyplaces ♬ original sound – LOUD LUXURY

But it’s not just a short-term thing, as the Hotel Association expects the occupancy to stay between 78% and 84% for the rest of the winter season, lasting until March 21.

So, what is this about these destinations that travelers love so much, and are these signs of 2024 being yet another record-breaking year in tourism for the Mexican Caribbean?

Let’s find out.


The reasons behind Cancun’s massive popularity among tourists are not exactly mysterious. 

After all, its world-famous beaches and excellent year-round weather speak for themselves, and the destination has earned a well-deserved reputation for hosting some of the best all-inclusive in Mexico and the Caribbean.

The fact that it enjoys exceptional connectivity with the U.S., with direct flights from over 40 cities, has also made it a favorite for countless American travelers who flock to its sunny shores each year.

@ciaragibsonn Paradise 🥥🏝️#cancun #cancunmexico #liveaquacancun @Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancún ♬ sonido original – YAMBIIR

While Cancun has been a popular tourist hotspot for years, it has experienced unprecedented growth in post-pandemic times, breaking tourism records year after year. 

And with new developments like the Maya Train Project – which will connect Cancun Airport with dozens of destinations across the Yucatan Peninsula – upscale all-inclusives, massive luxury shopping malls, and more, this trend is unlikely to change in 2024.

Puerto Morelos

Sitting in the shadows of tourism giants like Cancun and Playa del Carmen for decades, this small fishing town, located about 25 minutes from Cancun Airport, was largely overlooked by travelers visiting the region.

But in recent years, Puerto Morelos has finally gotten the recognition it deserves, becoming one of the Riviera Maya’s leading community and adventure tourism hotspots.

@tanja.johnson Mexico hits differently 🤩 #tiktoktravel #travelmexico #puertomorelos #traveltheworld #traveltiktok #fy #drone_cam #vacationmode #carribean ♬ Levitating – Dua Lipa

These travel trends skyrocketed in popularity since the end of the pandemic as more and more people crave experiences that connect them with nature, promote sustainability, and help the local communities.

In terms of nature, Puerto Morelos features gorgeous beaches that never feel crowded, beautiful coral reefs you can easily reach from the shore, and dozens of refreshing cenotes.

There’s no shortage of adventure tours, many operated by locals, that offer activities such as snorkeling, horseback riding, ziplining in cenotes, and exploring ancient Mayan archaeological sites.

Despite its growing popularity, the picturesque town has kept its beach town vibe – a refreshing alternative for tourists seeking a more authentic and laid-back experience away from the crowds.

Puerto Morelos aerial

Still, those who prefer the classic Mexican Caribbean luxury all-inclusive option won’t be disappointed here either, as the region surrounding the town offers plenty of choices like the excellent Excellence Riviera Cancun or the Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa.

Costa Mujeres

While this region is actually part of the Isla Mujeres municipality, it’s not part of the island, but located on the mainland, about 20 minutes north of Cancun.

This technicality hasn’t prevented Costa Mujeres from becoming one of the leading tourist hotspots not only in the Mexican Caribbean but in the whole of Mexico, boasting the highest average occupancy rates nationwide throughout 2023. 


But when you take a look at what this region has to offer tourists, it all starts to make sense.

Beyond its stunning Mexican Caribbean beaches, Costa Mujeres offers a collection of some of the Mexican Caribbean’s most lavish all-inclusive resorts. 

Several of these resorts, including the Catalonia Grand Costa Mujeres, the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, and ATELIER Playa Mujeres, have earned prestigious awards despite their relatively short existence, evidence of their impressive features and world-class hospitality.

Recent additions to this exclusive roster include the Secrets Playa Blanca adults-only and the new SHA Wellness Resort, the first of its kind in Mexico.

infinity pool and chairs at Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres resort in Cancun.

These recent developments will only cement Costa Mujeres’ status as the leading luxury destination in Mexico, a success that’s likely to continue well into 2024.

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