Mexico Island Destinations
Sunsets and Small-Town Life on Mexico’s Caribbean Islands
Warm, salt-kissed breezes. Endless palm trees. Lime-soaked shrimp ceviches. A cold bottle of Dos Equis. Small towns filled with open-air eateries. Quiet sunsets viewed from white sand beaches. The islands surrounding the Riviera Maya just might be the ideal choice if you’re the kind of traveler who loves to explore and be close to the local community; their small size means that you’ll have numerous beaches, restaurants, bars, and adventures within just a few minutes (or walking distance!) of your vacation rental accommodations.
The Swoon-Worthy Coastlines of Isla Mujeres
Translating to “The Island of Women”, Isla Mujeres has what just might be the most wonderful beach in the entire Yucatan Peninsula: North Beach. Often ranked as one of the world’s best beaches, North Beach has clear and shallow water, along with numerous beach clubs and heavenly sunsets. When you’re not lounging on soft white sands, you can spend the day exploring the island’s gorgeous cliff-lined southern coasts and the colorful town filled with shops. Isla Mujeres has also earned a stellar reputation for its foodie-friendly restaurant scene, with options for every budget along the island’s main roads, in town, and especially along the famous Avenida Hidalgo pedestrian street.
Boho Beaches on Holbox
The little tropical island of Holbox has a secluded location at the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, a spot where local island charm blends with hippie traveler style: think brightly-colored hammocks, beach loungers made of weather-beaten wood, golf cart taxis, and the soft glow of lantern light after dark. The town is only a few blocks square, filled with seafood restaurants, colorful Caribbean-style street art, and the occasional boho-chic open-air bar. Our favorite time to visit Holbox is in the summertime, when tours are available to swim with migrating whale sharks or wade through bioluminescent water on moonless nights. Holbox is also famous for its picture-perfect sunsets, so make sure to head to the beach before dinner each night.
Dive into Cozumel’s Coral Reefs
The massive island of Cozumel has so much to discover, from the markets and plazas of town to the jungles at its center and the wild beauty of its southern beaches. However, it’s the water surrounding the island that has made Cozumel a favorite location for divers and snorkelers. Cozumel is also one of Mexico’s top cruise ship destinations, which means you’ll find endless daytime activities like nature-adventure parks, snorkel tours, and dive tours. Our favorites: snorkeling at El Cielo (named “The Sky” in Spanish for all of its starfish) and diving among the nearby coral reefs.
Getting to Islands in the Riviera Maya
Each of these islands is a short ferry ride from the mainland, but all located in different parts of northern Quintana Roo state. Isla Mujeres can be reached by 20-minute ferry from Cancun, at the Puerto Juarez ferry or El Embarcadero (Hotel Zone). Holbox is a bit harder to reach but well worth the trip, requiring a two-hour drive or bus ride to the small town of Chiquila, followed by a 30-minute ferry ride. Cozumel sits just off the coast of Playa del Carmen, with a 40-minute ferry ride leaving from the dock by Parque Fundadores.
Stay Close By
Isla Holbox| 8 Beds | 4 Bath
This Holbox beachfront villa rental is all about the view, privacy and living the island life. This spectacular beachfront rental is a short golf cart ride into the town center, and easily accessed from the mainland by boat.
Isla Holbox| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 Bath
Is your mind filled with dreams of Caribbean Island life? Holbox Dream is a beachfront hotel that captures the essence of a laid-back beach vacation and the tranquility of a tropical Island. Spacious bright rooms offer the perfect place to relax and slip into a stress-free life.
Isla Mujeres| 1-2 Bed | 1 Bath
The clean lines and soft tones of contemporary tropical design await you at this Isla Mujeres hotel, set on the main drag of downtown. Here, you’ll be a two-minute walk from the ferry terminal and walking distance from the island’s best beaches and dining.
Isla Holbox| 1 to 2 Beds | 1 Bath
The winner of the Travelers’ Choice® 2013 award by Trip Advisor users, Hotel Mawimbi consists of 2 lovely bungalows and 9 air-conditioned hotel rooms. Hotel Mawimbi is a one of a kind gem, carefully tucked away on the white-sand Caribbean island
Isla Mujeres| 1-2 Bed | 2 Bath
A boutique hotel and beach club set right on the famous North Beach! Na Balam is filled with palapa roofs, vibrant tropical gardens, and indoor-outdoor spaces with surprising Maya-Mexican design elements.