This year, the Mexican Caribbean has once again proven that it's one of the most stunning travel destinations in the world. As TripAdvisor revealed its Travelers' Choice 2013 Awards in February, it came as no surprise that two of our local beaches placed in the Top 25 Beaches in the World.

Any guesses as to which beaches earned a spot on the coveted list?

Playa Norte

Playa Norte (North Beach) is a personal favorite of mine, located on the northern tip of the island of Isla Mujeres. Just a 5-minute walk from the ferry dock, Playa Norte is a popular spot for sun worshipers and yachts. Any day of the week, you can find tourists, locals and boats all up and down the coast. This beach also has a few casual restaurants and bars with palapa roofs, as well as some beautiful hotels, massage cabanas and of course endless palm trees.

But the highlight of Playa Norte? Its calm, waveless, crystal clear water that looks just like a sparkling pool. You can walk into the ocean and stray far from the beach, and the water will still only come up to your chest. Paradise, right?

Akumal

Pictures don't do justice to the breathtaking beauty of Akumal Bay. This white sand beach boasts an amazing location in the Riviera Maya, about halfway between Playa del Carmen and the Mayan ruins of Tulum.

 

Even though the Riviera Maya has too many incredible beaches to count, Akumal still has a reputation as one of the best in the area. Not only does it have calm, clear water and soft sand covered in palm trees… it's also famous for its wildlife. During a day snorkeling in Akumal Bay, you're sure to spot a few sea turtles and possibly even a few rays or some tropical fish.

Congratulations, Mexico!

 Laura Winfree

Originally from Virginia, Laura Winfree moved south of the border in 2005 to major in tourism at La Salle University Cancun. Today, she works as a copy writer for a local travel agency in addition to freelance blogging, writing and translating. Laura writes about her life as an expat in Mexico at http://gringationcancun.com and http://www.facebook.com/gringationcancun. Nightclubs and weekly beach trips are her favorite part of living in Cancun!

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