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Why This Island Near Cancun Is Breaking Tourist Records This Winter 

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As the Mexican Caribbean reaches its high season peak, several destinations are witnessing an extraordinary rise in visitor numbers.

Among these destinations is Isla Mujeres, a stunning island located just 15 minutes off the coast of Cancun. 

Tourists enjoying a sunny day at Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres

Recent data from the Quintana Roo Port Administration shows a daily influx of up to 23,000 visitors, smashing last year’s records.

Moreover, these record-breaking numbers are expected to climb even higher, exceeding last year’s figures and reaching an anticipated 30,000 tourists per day in the upcoming days.

And this surge isn’t limited to day visitors alone, as the island’s hotels are gearing up for full occupancy as well.

@whatsupjacquie Things to do in Isla Mujeres – Part 2. Check out playita La Joya, an absolute hidden gem. #islamujeres #traveltiktok #thingstodoinmexico #vacationguide #affordablevacation #islandlife ♬ Calma (Remix) – Pedro Capo X Farruko

So, what exactly sets Isla Mujeres apart, making it an irresistible winter destination for both day-trippers and overnight visitors?

Let’s find out.

Some Of Mexico’s Best Beaches

It’s safe to say that Isla Mujeres’ massive popularity among winter travelers has much to do with its exceptional beach offerings.

With spectacular coastlines such as Playa Centro and the iconic Playa Norte, recognized among the world’s best, Isla Mujeres is a true beach-lover paradise.

@nicolestraveldiary Another sunset location 📍☀️ Isla Mujeres Playa Norte beach is the best way to catch a sunset on the island. 🤙 #sunset #sunsetlover #hangloose #islandlife #island #islandliving #mexico #travel #centralamerica #trendingsong #travelvideos #travel #sunsetseries #islamujeres #islamujeresmexico #traveltiktok ♬ original sound – 🙂

Thanks to their shallow, crystal clear waters and lack of strong currents, these beaches are not only delightful but also quite safe, perfect for families with little children.

Their expansive nature also ensures that they never feel too crowded, even during high season.

Additionally, the local authorities go above and beyond to maintain the cleanliness and quality of these beaches, which has earned four of them the prestigious Blue Flag certification.

The best way to explore the island’s beautiful coastlines and other attractions such as the Temple of the Ixchel goddess ruins, is to rent a bike or a golf cart, which are readily available near the port.

December Festivities

Isla Mujeres is much more than a mere beach town, showcasing a rich cultural scene that truly comes alive during December festivities.

The island’s municipality plans fun Christmas and New Year’s activities, ensuring an enjoyable experience for visitors and residents.


Vacation On


The Caribbean Cultural Festival, for instance, unfolds from November to December, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy performances by musical ensembles hailing from diverse Latin American countries.

Taking place in the island’s main plaza, this vibrant celebration features Caribbean rhythms like reggae, merengue, salsa, and local folklore dances, promising nights of fun and excitement.

Yet Isla Mujeres’ grand December festivity is the New Year’s celebration, also hosted in the main Plaza. Here, tables adorned with decorations are set up, along with snacks and drinks provided by the municipality.

mexican band

The arrival of the new year is celebrated with fireworks, traditional dances, and a musical ensemble that plays until dawn.

During the celebration, some people even decide to go to Punta Sur, in the southern tip of the island, to welcome the first day of the year.

Endless Attractions

Finally, Isla Mujeres’ record-breaking visitor numbers can be explained, quite simply, by its myriad of tourist attractions.

The Manchones Reef and the Underwater Museum Of Art (MUSA) are absolute must-visit spots for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, while the Garrafon Park offers the chance to zipline over the beautiful Caribbean sea waters.

Cancun Underwater Museum MUSA

While by December the whale shark-watching season is unfortunately over, there are still several options for exploration available. You can embark on a catamaran tour to the island from Cancun or even take a boat to the secluded Contoy Island, a hidden paradise about 32 km from Isla Mujeres.

Back on dry land, the downtown of the island features an array of restaurants boasting a variety of specialties that range from local cuisine to international dishes, along with shops, art galleries, and much more.

In terms of accommodations, Isla Mujeres offers options for all kinds of travelers. Hotels in the southern tip provide an intimate setting with amenities like pools and spas, while those in the north are perfect for those seeking proximity to the lively downtown, restaurants, shops, and the beach.

Aerial View of Playa Mujeres and Isla Mujeres

So, with its combination of stunning beaches, lively cultural scene, and a collection of exceptional tourist attractions, it’s no wonder why Isla Mujeres keeps breaking tourist records.

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