Aerial view of a tropical port with two cruise ships docked and several boats navigating nearby, with clear turquoise waters and a coastline in the background under a cloudy sky.

“Discover the Secret of Mexico’s Day-Trip Islands!”

Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, two popular island destinations in Mexico, are renowned for their stunning natural landscapes and diverse tourist attractions. However, despite their popularity, these islands often experience lower than expected hotel occupancy rates.

In the first quarter of the year, data from the Quintana Roo Integral Port Administration (Apiqroo) portal recorded 955,499 passengers traveling between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, and 1,580,031 passengers traveling between Isla Mujeres and Cancun.

Interestingly, many tourists visiting these islands only spend a few hours there before returning to the mainland. This pattern is evident in the long lines that form at the maritime terminals of Isla Mujeres and Playa del Carmen, particularly in the afternoon when tourists head back to the hotel zone of Cancun or the docks of Puerto Juarez.

In Isla Mujeres, also known as a Magic Town, the peak season for hotels is around the turn of the year, with high demand necessitating reservations months, or even a year, in advance. During holiday seasons such as Easter, summer, and end of the year, Isla Mujeres sees occupancy rates above 80%. However, outside of these periods, occupancy rates can drop to around 70% or lower.

Looking ahead, a 15% to 18% increase in cruise ship arrivals to Mexico is projected for 2024. Cozumel and Mahahual are expected to be the primary ports of call, according to the Mexican Association for the Attention of Touristic Cruises (Amepact).