Those of you thinking about going somewhere warm and sunny this winter have the perfect excuse to bask on the white-sanded beaches of the Mexican Caribbean, a region that’s currently breaking all-time tourism records.
The premise of a beachy vacation on one of the most coveted places on Earth is all fun and games until you realize that you have to make one tough choice – where, exactly, do you go?
To help you make that decision, Cancun Sun recently reported on three of the best Mexican Caribbean islands to visit this winter, and since each of them boasts a unique type of charm, you’ll have to read until the end to figure out which one of them best suits your upcoming holiday plans.
Just off the eastern coast of the Yucatàn Peninsula, you’ll find Isla Cozumel, long known as a diver’s paradise but only recently recognized as the well-rounded travel destination it is.
While there’s a lot to love about the small island, the fact that it’s surrounded by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world, is probably one of the main reasons why water sports and nature enthusiasts alike are flocking to it in never-seen-before numbers.
However, those with a knack for exploring Cozumel’s vivid underwater world are far from the only ones making the island one of the trendiest Mexican destinations this winter.
Beachgoers are drawn to Playa Palancar and Playa Mia like a moth to a flame, whereas San Miguel, the region’s main town, exudes the type of laid-back charm and colorful markets that’ll leave even the biggest skeptics feeling like they’ve actually enjoyed a sliver of that authentic Mexican life.
Throughout your travels here, a visit to the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio is a must – there’s no better place to explore the fascinating past of the culture and traditions modern-day tourists get to partake in now.
Holbox, a place that just a couple of years ago was considered an off-the-beaten-path destination reserved for locals and avid surfers, is quickly coming into the limelight as one of Mexico’s fastest-growing beach destinations.
Luckily for those seeking some peace and quiet this winter, though, the tiny island still has that tranquil atmosphere and untouched beauty it became famous for in the first place.
That’s partly thanks to the fact that Holbox is a designated Biosphere Reserve, with conscious efforts being made to preserve its delicate ecosystems that are currently among the most unique not only in Mexico but beyond.
Accessible by ferry from the town of Chiquilá, the island’s relaxed atmosphere is further complemented by the absence of cars since transportation here mostly involves golf carts and bicycles
If you were to capture one single image to describe the essence of Holbox, it would probably be one of its pristine, turquoise-water beaches – think Punta Mosquito or Punta Coco.
What really sets the island apart from other destinations of its kind, though, is its gorgeous bioluminescent waters, which come alive during the night mostly between June and September, while less-frequent episodes of the phenomenon can be witnessed in the preceding and succeeding months as well.
Found just a 30-minute ferry ride away from Cancun, Isla Mujeres promises visitors the laid-back atmosphere, calm beaches, and untouched views that its wildly popular counterpart often lacks.
Though the island is just 1.6 mi² (4.2) km², some of its beaches, like Playa Norte and Playa Lancheros, have reached a level of international fame and allure that even some of the world’s biggest destinations can’t compete with.
Here, travelers can bask in the powdery white sands and dive, snorkel, and explore the rich underwater world to their heart’s content.
The island's southern tip is home to Punta Sur, a natural park with some of the most breathtaking sea views, a sculpture garden, and the remains of a Mayan temple dedicated to Ixchel – in short, a must-see for everyone exploring the stunning Mexican hotspot this winter.
Moreover, this is yet another place where getting around by car isn’t the norm, so book that golf cart rental early to get a chance to explore the quaint streets, vibrant markets, and lively town center in comfort and style.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
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