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4 Reasons Why This Small Island Near Cancun Is Surging In Popularity This Winter

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Cancun may be currently leading booking trends in Mexico, but it is not the only vacation hotspot South of the border that Americans have a professed love for.

It is part of the wider Mexican Caribbean, famous for its white-sand beaches, ancient Mayan heritage, and beautiful idyllic islands, and one of them, Isla Mujeres, is stealing the show as one of the fastest-recovering destinations in the country.

An aerial view of Isla Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico

Now predicted to have hosted 6 million tourists by the time 2023 wraps up, Mujeres is up there with Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, and even the mighty Cancun, three of its biggest competitors on the mainland, as one of the busiest resort zones in the region.

In sum, Americans are flocking to this paradise island for their sunny getaways, but why exactly is it so trendy?

Here are 4 reasons:

Beautiful Nature

Cabana Beds In Isla Mujeres, A Mexican Caribbean Island, Mexico

Perhaps the main reason behind Mujeres' soaring popularity is that its natural beauty is the island's biggest attraction and an important part of what makes it such an integral part of the Mexican Caribbean.

A mostly flat island municipality surrounded by the turquoise-blue sea, it is home to an impressive biodiversity, as most of the 4.3 mile-long, 2,130 ft-wide territory is still forested, owing it to Mujeres' status as a protected reserve.

This means it is one of a handful of municipalities in the Mexican Caribbean where nature is almost perfectly preserved and tourism is limited due to the smaller concentration of hotels, as well as the nature of their business, which differs from the mainland's mega resorts.

Aerial view of Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Now that a greater number of Americans are seeking utter relaxation when traveling abroad, and being able to escape the crowds has become important to them, Mujeres' boutique guesthouses and its unruffled beaches are making it an increasingly popular alternative.

More Peaceful Than Cancun

Isla Mujeres is a small municipality home to just over 22,000 people, and though the population density is relatively high – after all, it occupies a tiny island – it feels a lot more peaceful and exclusive than the Mayan mainland.

A Happy Looking Woman Relaxing On A Hammock In A Beach In Mexico, Unspecified Location

Though cars are not exactly forbidden from being ferried over to the island, unlike Holbox, you are unlikely to see as many of them as you would in Cancun or Tulum, as a majority of tourists, and even some residents choose to get around with golf carts instead, reducing traffic pollution.

On top of that, Mujeres is not exactly known for having a riotous nightlife, or a wide range of entertainment options other than Mayan heritage sites and quaint beaches, making it less attractive to bachelorette party organizers and jungle ravegoers.

Instead, it is the go-to spot for couples on a romantic break, or simply vacationers hoping to get away from the hustle and bustle of the major resort zones, without all the background noise you'd get in Cancun.

Aerial View Of The Resort Zone In Isla Mujeres, An Island Off The Mainland Riviera Maya, Mexican Caribbean, Mexico

It Is Easy To Get To

The reason why Mujeres is such a trendy holiday island is that it is easier to reach than most offshore destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.

Unlike Holbox, 133 kilometers away from Cancun, or Cozumel, 113 kilometers, Isla Mujeres lies just opposite of the city's development zone, a mere 19 kilometers from the shore, and it can easily be visited from the mainland.

As Cancun International is still the main entry point for visitors headed straight to Isla Mujeres, due to the proximity, transfer times are pretty short, especially in the high season, when there can be ferries every half-hour linking Cancun to the paradisaical island.

Aerial View Of Isla Mujeres In The Mexican Caribbean, Riviera Maya, Mexico

The main company operating on this route is Ultramar, and they have an impressive rnage of facilities at the port, including Oxxo (Mexico's 7/Eleven), food stalls, a bar, and a convenience store where you can stack up on your vacation essentials, such as sunscreen and beach bags.

A one-way ticket costs 160 Mexican pesos, while the round-trip costs 300 pesos, between $9.30 and $17.44.

Generally, if you have booked a private transfer directly from Cancun Airport, the ferry price will typically already have been included in transfer rate.

Yacht In Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres Is Safer

The Mexican Caribbean is an incredibly safe destination already, with long stretches of beach that are constantly policed, and streets that are surveilled by cameras, but every now then, as customary with any major global destination, reports of pickpocketing or robberies make headlines.

These are insignificant, as the occurrence is so low it is not a common concern for tourists, but if the odd assault against an American visitor months ago in a remote part of Cancun still haunts your vacation dreams, perhaps you should know Isla Mujeres is even safer.

The Mexican Marina Patrolling The Beach In Isla Mujeres, An Island Off The Coast Of Cancun, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico

With a small population spread across a compact territory, the municipality/ protected reserve has very low rates of crime, as it does not suffer from the same rapid urbanization practices observed on the mainland.

Though you would be wise to not let your guard down – as in not leaving items unattended and maintaining a high level of situational awareness in public beaches – you are extremely unlikely to get mugged, or be a victim of any form of violence during your stay.

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