As Mexico enters its shoulder season, some of the country’s biggest hotspots, like Cancun and Los Cabos, are experiencing a notable decline in visitors and occupancy rates.
However, there’s one tiny island situated less than an hour away from Cancun that’s currently defying all expectations by drawing thousands of tourists and maintaining sky-high occupancy rates even as the weather gets cooler.
Isla Mujeres is a quiet, naturally blessed island that boasts great prices and a laid-back atmosphere for those who want to experience Mexico beyond its party scene and flashy beaches.
Successful Tourism Promotion
Such a small, lesser-known destination outperforming some of the country’s biggest hotspots isn’t something that happens by coincidence.
Tourism authorities in the area have put consistent effort into making Isla Mujeres a destination visitors want to experience all year long.
After the area was titled “Magical Town” in 2015, local officials became even more determined to invest in certain attractions so that tourists can have something to look forward to even when they’re not on the beach.
Just last year, the island was set to undergo a full “facelift”.
Luminaires, sculptures, and new paintings were added to the island’s most famous boardwalk, 140 buildings were painted (along with 20 new murals), and several events and fairs were set to take place outside of peak season.
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Moreover, one of the area’s most iconic attractions, The Caribbean Malecon, was just reopened to the public this past month, turning even more curious eyes toward Isla Mujeres.
Chances are that the island will follow the trajectory of other Mexican hotspots and experience a decline in visitors come October.
However, the fact that it was able to sustain such high occupancy rates thus far speaks volumes about the success of the tourism promotion undertaken by local authorities, who can now expect another record-breaking high season this winter.
Make no mistake: Isla Mujeres boasts some of Mexico’s most stunning, untouched beaches. As such, it would be easy for local tourism authorities to market the island as a seasonal party destination, similar to Tulum, and call it a day.
Instead, they have chosen to capitalize on the area’s rich historical, natural, and cultural significance by creating a laid-back atmosphere that can be enjoyed all year long.
As temperatures start to cool down, party fever tends to subside.
Tourists can prioritize a calm day at the beach or visit a cultural attraction instead of the rush they can get dancing in a Cancun club until 4:00 in the morning.
For most of us, getting to see world-renowned beaches like Playa Norte or visiting the Mayan ruins at the Temple of The Goddess Ixchel comprises the ideal fall vacation.
If you still want to bask under the Mexican sun, don’t worry.
Temperatures on Isla Mujeres range between 75.2°F and 89.6°F (24°C and 32°C) in September, so you can still come back home showcasing that fresh tan.
Affordable Accommodation And Entertainment
Another advantage that lesser-known destinations like Isla Mujeres boast over bigger hotspots is affordable pricing.
Not only does the area boast a variety of options when it comes to accommodation, but most of them are pretty cheap, too.
With hotel fees starting at $25 per night and averaging well below $100, you’re sure to get your dream Mexico vacation without breaking the bank.
Activities and attractions are pretty reasonably priced, too.
You can go dolphin diving for under $100, on a sunset cruise for under $50, or, better yet, visit Playa Norte, the island’s most famous beach, completely free of charge.
It’s also remarkably easy to get in and out of the island, with ferry rides being available to tourists all day long.
The trip from Cancun takes no more than 15 minutes, and ticket prices are very reasonable, ranging between $11 and $17 per adult.
By now, it’s probably a bit easier to understand how this tiny island has managed to outperform Mexico’s most popular destinations when it comes to tourist retention this fall season.
Warm weather, affordable prices, a laid-back atmosphere, and a rich cultural scene are the four pillars of an excellent autumnal getaway, and Isla Mujeres checks all the boxes.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com