Diving into the Mexican Caribbean

With tourism growing through 2018 in the Mexican Caribbean, 2019 is shaping up to be another strong year for the region. The Mexican Caribbean—featuring world-class tourism hot spots in the state of Quintana Roo like Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Holbox, Isla Mujeres and more—hosted more than 17 million visitors in 2017, and the numbers were even more impressive in 2018. From January to September 2018, the number of international tourists increased by 5.8%, confirming the continued popularity of these destinations.

As popularity grows, the region continues to refine its offerings, enhancing an already superlative slate of amenities and facilities with new direct flights from the United States, several new resorts that have recently opened or are preparing to debut in 2019, and a host of new attractions.

Safety also remains paramount, and to that end, it’s important to note that the state of Quintana Roo maintained its ranking of “Level 2” when the U.S. State Department updated its Travel Advisory in November. The Level 2 ranking is the same level as many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and others. And the region continues to proactively address safety with forward-thinking plans to modernize police and security services, invest in more than 1,000 cameras throughout the region, partner with members of the tourism industry to share international best practices and more.

A sampling of other highlights visitors can expect in 2019 includes several new hotels, such as the family-friendly all-inclusive Royalton Cancun; AMResorts’ family-friendly Sunscape Star Cancun, all-new Now Natura Riviera Cancun and Breathless Playa del Carmen; Paradisus Playa Mujeres north of Cancun; and the luxury eco-boutique hotel, La Casa de la Playa from Destination Xcaret.

For more details about these and other new developments, as well as information on the region’s most popular tourist appeals, up-and-coming destinations, family and weddings travel, and more, check out the new digital guide Selling the Mexican Caribbean in 2019 and start charting your course to record-breaking Mexican Caribbean sales in 2019.

Where Bohemian Meets Authentic Charm

Tucked halfway between popular Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the bohemian fishing village of Puerto Morelos is the perfect blend of authentic, small-town charm and exciting attractions. The region’s stunning natural environs, which range from mangroves and lush jungles to cenotes and reefs, offer an abundance of outdoor adventures and activities in a low-key authentic setting.

Some of the area’s biggest draws? On land, it’s the leaning lighthouse, a local landmark and iconic site for photos, while the colorful underwater treasures of the Morelos Reef National Park entice divers and snorkelers with perfectly shallow waters, low waves and an abundance of marine life.

Inland, travelers discover The Cenotes Route, a series of underground rivers and pools, and for an adrenaline rush, there’s Selvatica, an adventure park in the Mayan jungle with ziplines, a bungee swing, off road adventures and more. Those who stick closer to town have their pick of authentic crafts and handmade products, as well as excellent restaurants and bars.

Adventures Abound

From ziplining above the sea or diving into mysterious cenotes to exploring ancient Mayan ruins, trekking through the jungle or getting eye-to-eye with a whale shark or manatee, the Mexican Caribbean offers adventures for any taste. Click here for more great ideas.

FAMILY FUN

With vibrant natural beauty as well as family-friendly hotels with extensive children’s programs and adult-pleasing amenities, the Mexican Caribbean makes it easy for families to recharge, reconnect and create new memories together. Even getting to the Mexican Caribbean is easy, thanks to the abundance of flights that link Cancun International Airport with every major North American city.

Royalton Riviera Cancun

Resorts in the Mexican Caribbean have taken the concept of children’s clubs to the next level. At the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach and the Royalton Riviera Cancun, for example, children can splash around their own dedicated water park, while at the Grand at Moon Palace Cancun, bumper cars and bowling are lively diversions. At Generations Riviera Maya, children can sign up for Little Eko Chefs, and at Dreams Sands Cancun, the Explorer’s Club features a camping adventure on the beach. Even teens have special clubs and amenities, such as the Black and White Junior’s Club at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, and the opportunity to be a rock star at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun’s Music Lab.

Dreams Sands Cancun

Several hotels throughout the region also feature both family-friendly sections and adults-only sections ideal for multigen groups, such as Finest Playa Mujeres, Hyatt Ziva Cancun and the newly opened adults-only TRS Coral, which shares an entertainment village with the adjacent family-friendly Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa.

Outside of the resorts, the Mexican Caribbean is packed with excitement for all ages. Families delight in visiting the Mayan ruins scattered throughout the region, such as Tulum and Coba; diving into a range of water activities from sailing and pirate cruises to snorkeling and exploring cenotes; getting up close with wildlife at Dolphin Discovery, joining a sea turtle release program or snorkeling with the whale sharks; and letting loose at nearly a dozen area theme parks, featuring everything from Mayan dance performances to ziplining.

Tortuga Cenote

For more information about what's on in the Mexican Caribbean, check out the websites for Cancun and Riviera Maya. And keep your eyes open for ongoing updates, news, promotions and more in Travel Weekly and TravelAge West digital and print.

Cancun: Cancun.Travel/en/

Riviera Maya: RivieraMaya.com/en

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