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Why This Island In Mexico Is One Of The Trendiest Destinations To Visit This Winter

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It's no secret Mexico is poised for a huge surge in tourism this winter.

America's favorite destination, it is highly sought-after for its pristine Caribbean coastline, world-class hospitality industry, and great getaway deals, but while a majority of vacationers flock to Cancun, Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, and the like, other sunny spots are often bypassed altogether.

Aerial View Of A Nature Reserve In Cozumel, An Island Off The Riviera Maya In The Mexican Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America

That used to be the case with Cozumel, an up-and-coming resort island often overshadowed by Cancun's glitzy Hotel Zone, famous for having a more laid-back atmosphere, yet that was far from being the average visitor's number one pick sojourning in the Mexican Caribbean.

That is changing, as Cozumel is cementing its status as one of the region's trendiest tropical islands:

What Is So Special About Cozumel?

Cozumel has historically been a cruise ship port of call for most cruise lines operating in the Mexican Caribbean, as it is the largest island measuring 48 km, as well as a largely undeveloped offshore gem best known for its wild nature and unruffled white-sand beaches.

woman walking on a beach in Cozumel, Mexico

In recent years, however, it's rising in popularity as a stand-alone destination amidst Northern Quintana Roo's inflated prices and overcrowding, Cancun's over-development, and Cozumel authorities' own efforts to attract guests.

Cozumel visitors are mostly looking for a quieter oasis where they escape the hustle and bustle of the Mayan Riviera, and enjoy the reclusiveness associated with being on an island without sacrificing comfort and forfeiting the whole Mexican Caribbean experience.

Alcoholic Drink Resting By The Poolside At A Luxury Resort In The Mexican Caribbean, Mexico

It is home to a plethora of luxurious resorts and boutique hotels, offering access to private beaches and state-of-the-art facilities, quaint beachfront towns that have, for the most part, retained their indigenous Mayan character, and verdant parks.

Cozumel Is Somewhere You Go For Kicking It Back And Basking In The Caribbean Sun

Seeing that it is mostly flat, the terrain is quite easy to explore, and tourists often rent golf carts to get around the main resort strip and largest settlements, thus reducing car traffic and making Cozumel a lot more peaceful and greener than the average Mexican resort zone.

Colorful Cozumel Sign In Front Of Cruise Port In Cozumel Island, Mexican Caribbean, Mexico

Overall, Cozumel can feel less crowded and much more exclusive than other Caribbean municipalities, as only 80,000 or so people are habitual residents, mostly concentrated in the compact, charming capital of San Miguel, and development is strictly overseen by national authorities.

The island itself is surrounded by coral reef, and it belongs to the Cozumel Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-protected site rich in terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

In fact, it is part of the wider Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest in the world.

Aerial View El Cozumeleño Beach Resort In Cozumel, Mexican Caribbean, Mexico

With a spike in interest for relaxing, ‘do-nothing' vacations, and a growing number of travelers placing nature at the top of their priority list when going abroad, it's a no-brainer Cozumel is turning into one of Mexico's trendiest holiday spots.

Increased Flight Connectivity

Flight connectivity has increased, too, with Delta having re-launched flights to the island from a key U.S. hub after a three-year hiatus.

Cruise Port arriving To Port In Cozumel, Mexican Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America

From December 16, 2023 to April 8, 2024, passengers flying from Minneapolis/St. Paul will finally regain their nonstop link to Cozumel with three weekly flights for the inaugural phase.

For this route, the carrier has deployed their 160-seat Boeing 737-800.

Overall, flight connectivity between the U.S. and Cozumel has never been as strong as in 2023, with all of the following Stateside hubs hosting nonstop flights this winter:

American Airlines

  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Miami

American Eagle

  • Austin (ending January 6, 2024)
  • Philadelphia

Delta Air Lines

  • Atlanta
  • Minneapolis/St Paul

Frontier Airlines

  • Chicago O'Hare
  • Denver
  • Orlando

Southwest Airlines

  • Houston-Hobby
  • Austin
  • Denver

Sun Country Airlines

  • Houston-Intercontinental
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago O'Hare
  • Denver
  • Newark
Traveler Holding USA Passport At Airport

Cozumel Is Perfectly Safe For Tourists

Last but not least, Cozumel is an incredibly safe tourist destination.

Seeing it is an island with a much smaller population, it is not plagued by urbanization issues other major Mexican urban centers face, and security is tight, particularly around resorts.

Though the population currently stands at 88,000, as many as 33,000 cameras have been put in place to increase surveillance in critical areas, especially tourist attractions, and more police have also been deployed to keep visitors and locals alike safe.

Learn more about Cozumel and other fast-growing destinations in the Mexican Caribbean here.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


delta flights restarting to cozumel