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This Paradise Island In Mexico Has One Of The Best Beaches In The World

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The Mexican Caribbean is known not only for being home to award-winning luxurious resorts and a fascinating ancient Mayan heritage but also for islands of outstanding natural beauty, with one in particular, Isla Mujeres, leading booking trends this season.

There are many reasons why tourists flock to the ‘Isla', but the main attraction is definitely the unspoiled reserves, and more specifically, this paradisaical beach that's made it to TripAdvisor's list of the 25 best in the world.

View Of North Beach, Playa Norte In Isla Mujeres Seen From The Caribbean Sea, Quintana Roo, Mexico

A pristine sandy stretch bounded by the turquoise-colored ocean, Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres is considered the best beach in the Mexican Caribbean:

Why Are Nomads Flocking Into Isla Mujeres?

Located just off the mainland, a short 30-minute ferry ride away from Cancun, Isla Mujeres has been a popular destination for Americans for years due to its wild nature, casual vibes, and traditional island cuisine.

It is a small island municipality with a population of around 13,000 inhabitants. It is dotted with charming seaside settlements and enjoys lower levels of urbanization compared to the mainland, so it can feel less chaotic and arguably a lot safer.

palm tree on isla mujeres beach

Isla Mujeres is deemed one of the safest destinations in Mexico, with a lower crime rate and petty theft as the main issue facing tourists, but other than the quaintness and high levels of safety, it is a literal paradise on Earth and a tropical haven lapped by soft, white sands.

There are many gorgeous spots to consider if you've set out to find the most beautiful beach in town, but the indisputable winner, as anyone who has explored Isla Mujeres extensively will be able to attest, is Playa Norte, or ‘North Beach'.

Why Playa Norte Is The Best Beach In The Mexican Caribbean

Beautiful Turquoise Water In Playa Norte, A Beach In The Northern End Of Isla Mujeres, Off The Mayan Riviera, On The Caribbean Coast Of Mexico, Latin America

As the name suggests, it is located on the northern tip of the island, and it's best known for its thin sands, sandwiched between a row of tall palms and impossibly clear teal waters, which owe their unique tonality to the surrounding reef.

The water is warm year-round and shallow, making this a family-friendly location, and there are also a number of beach bars and restaurants in the nearby Guerrero Avenue, where visitors can sample some delicious seafood, the island's specialty, and find reasonably-priced drinks.

seafood and wine on a table in Malaga, Spain

Water-based activities are common, too.

From snorkeling in the neighboring reef to paddleboarding and kayaking, there are a number of activities tourists spending the day or even staying overnight in Playa Norte can choose from.

It is one of three beaches on the island to have earned the coveted Blue Flag certification from authorities, which recognizes the efforts of local management to keep the area clean and safe for visitors, and it's the equivalent to a badge of excellence for beaches.

Isla Mujeres Sign, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Perhaps it's no surprise this beach currently as the 24th best beach in the entire world on TripAdvisor, based solely on user reviews during the preceding year: it's essentially a permanent feature on the list at this point, and the highest-ranking Mexican Caribbean beach at that.

The only other Mexican beach to feature on the list is La Balandra, in La Paz, over on the Pacific side, and based on Playa Norte's rave reviews, with 8,256 impressions accumulated so far on TripAdvisor at the time of writing, it is one of Mexico's best-loved swimming spots.

An aerial view of Isla Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico

It is variously described by TripAdvisor members as ‘nicest beach on the island‘, ‘beautiful' and ‘fabulous', with one Kansas visitor in particular claiming one ‘short' day is not nearly enough time, serving as encouragement to others to plan a longer sojourn in Isla Mujeres.

What Are The Most Common Complaints Among Tourists?

Complaints are mostly restricted to crowding and inflated prices in some restaurants and bars, though the general consensus seems that it is not so much that the tourist experience is compromised.

People walking along Isla Mujeres beach in the Mexican Caribbean

Playa Norte is no wild, tourist-free beach, but it can feel a lot more relaxed compared to Cancun's resort-packed riviera, not to mention that, during sargassum season, it remains largely unaffected while other parts of Quintana Roo are struggling with the phenomenon.

That is because of its privileged, north-facing location, in a zone where currents do not typically carry sargassum, and cleaning efforts by local workers help maintain the waters crystal-clear and the sands their natural, virgin-white self.

Hut And Exotic Scenery At Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico

All in all, it's nothing short of spectacular, and Isla Mujeres as a whole should not be underestimated as a stand-alone destination, either, when it hosts a number of five-star hotels, snorkeling and scuba diving centers, marine preserves, and even Mayan ruins.

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