Thursday, July 13, 2017

3 Days in Isla Mujeres

A few weeks ago for my birthday, I went on a trip to Mexico with Dan, my mom, and sister.  I've actually never been to Mexico (even though it's a quick and cheap plane ride away and I minored in Spanish), so I put it on my 30x30 bucket list.  What better way to cross that off than to do it on my 27th birthday?  I'll be recapping my trip in two parts, for the two different areas we visited.

The first part of our trip was to a tiny island off the coast of Cancun, called Isla Mujeres (or Women Island).  To get here, we took an Ultramar ferry from Puerto Juarez, about 30 minutes from the airport.  There were seats on top of the boat (where we sat and got to listen to a live singer/guitar player) or inside the cabin.  The ride over took about 30 minutes, and we were surrounded by the beautiful Caribbean Sea.


Once we got on the island, we were able to rent a golf cart (which, along with motorcycles, is the main transportation we saw).  The island is really small, being only 4 miles long and less than a half mile wide.  There are two main roads that run down the entire length of the island, from the north (Playa Norte) to the south (Punta Sur).  Most of the touristy stuff is near Playa Norte, with a few cross streets and a pedestrian-only area, and the more residential area is in the south.

Most people come over to the island for day trips to visit the beautiful beaches, the Turtle Farm or Dolphin Discovery, snorkel in Garrafon National Reef, or enjoy the incredible views.  It was a great way to kick off our trip, and we had a lot of fun!  Something to note is that every where that we went accepted both USD and Pesos, but made their own conversion rate.  We always asked for the price in both currencies, then figured out which price was better.

Here are a few highlights from Isla Mujeres:


Sleep

The entire reason why I decided to go on this trip was because I saw the Seashell House on Airbnb (ps- you can save $40 on your trip by signing up with my link!).  One of my 30x30 bucket list items was to stay in an over-the-top, amazing house, and as soon as I saw this one I knew it was it.  


The house is located right by the south tip of the island, in a more residential area.  There are two houses (both shaped like shells) and a pool.  The bigger shell has a living room, kitchen (which was stocked with beer, wine, pop and water), two bathrooms, bedroom (with a super comfortable king bed) and balcony that overlooks the pool and Caribbean Sea.


The smaller shell has another king sized bed and bathroom.  Everything in both houses was seashell themed, and it really felt like I was stepping into a different world.




Eat

Maria's Kan-kin - Sea-side hotel with a great restaurant.  Great service (we got complimentary flan at the end of the meal) and fresh seafood.  We walked along the beach while we waited for our food and got to see an amazing sunset.


Mango Cafe - Really fun place that has a great breakfast, complete with a bottomless Mexican coffee bar.  I got the stuffed poblano chile which was HUGE and the perfect way to start the day.


Basto's Grill - Tiny restaurant that serves authentic Mexican food.  I got the tomato and cactus quesadilla- delicious!


Barlito - Cute little restaurant in the Marina Paraiso hotel.  They are known for their cinnamon rolls, which are stuffed with almonds and raisins.  The grounds are gorgeous (with lots of iguanas roaming around) and the food is delicious!


Chedraui - The largest grocery store on the island.  There's lots of parking, and they sell just about everything.  It almost felt like a Super Walmart!  


Explore

Punta Sur - The southern tip of the island.  For a small fee, you can explore the trails and walkways that wind all around the point, as well as a statue park.  The views make it worth it, and you can see "Cliff of the Dawn"- the most eastern point of Mexico.


Dolphin Discovery - Huge park that has dolphin, sea lion, manatee, sting ray and shark encounters.  If you don't want to do that, you can still enter for a small fee and have unlimited drinks, buffet, and relax by the pool for the entire day (this is what Dan and I did while my mom and sister did the encounter).  We somehow were given a private cabana to lock up our bags and have some privacy, which was amazing!


Playa Norte - One of the most picturesque places on the island.  Lots of vendors, music, restaurants and more in the area.  Gorgeous white sand beaches and crystal clear blue water.  We parked on Calle Vincente Guerrero (right by the Ixchel Beach Hotel).


Calle Miguel Hidalgo - Pedestrian street in the heart of town.  Find any souvenir you want and try out all the fun restaurants!  This is also right by the ferry, so we explored the area while we were waiting for our departing ferry to come.


Next up I'll be sharing what we did while we were in Cancun!


Have you ever been to Mexico?
What's your favorite part of traveling?

19 comments:

  1. My first trip to Mexico was also this summer. We went to the Yucatán.
    I love your seashell house. It's like you were living like Ariel from the Little mermaid!

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  2. What a fantastic trip. Thank you for the travelogue. I live vicariously through you and Dan.

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  3. Ohhhh this is making me want to go back! I love Mexico! Especially the east coast. The only thing I don't miss was the stress of having Callum there--Mexico isn't the best place to bring babies and toddlers (just my own opinion/preference).

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    1. Ok we will go on a trip and leave our hubbies behind to watch the kids and dog ;)

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  4. I can't believe you stayed in the seashell house! That's so awesome- I've definitely seen it before but had no idea it was in Mexico. It looks like such a fun first part of your trip.

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  5. Well thats just beautiful! Ill be heading to Mexico next year and cant wait!

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  6. I. LOVE. MEXICO. It is one of my happiest places. STUPID ZIKA KEEPING US AWAY

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  7. I love that house! Looks like an amazing trip! :)

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  8. I remember you posting the link to that seashell house ages ago! SO cool! I am SO glad it lived up to expectations!

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  9. oh my gosh i can't get over the seashell house. that is awesome! i have never been to mexico - maybe one day!

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    1. You definitely should go! I think you would both love it.

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  10. No WAY I've had that seashell house saved on my AirBnB for years! I think it was the first thing I favourited when I joined. I so want to go there! Was it as amazing as it looks?!

    I've never been to Mexico but I'm very keen to visit. It's a little far away now but one day!

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