Chad had high hopes for this island: he was hoping it was going to be just like the name and have lots of women but fortunately for me there were men there too
A quick taxi ride from the bus station (50MXN) to Puerto Jarez then a fast ferry (70MXN each) had us arriving on Isla Mujeres to be greeted by brilliant white sand and clear turquoise waters I left Chad under a tree on the beach whilst I searched for a suitable hotel for us to stay in. I looked at a few, some of which were seriously overpriced, but luckily I spotted Hotel Cabanas Maria del Mar right on the best beach on the island, Playa Norte. They had a special deal on their modern rooms (490MXN) which had a king size bed, fridge, cable tv (excellent since becoming addicted to ‘The New Adventures of the Old Christine’), breakfast, free water and a hammock on our terrace…. perfect
We quickly settled into a routine of breakfast on the beach, swim, snorkel, sunbake and lots of chilling out The water was so calm, clear and shallow that I was able to use my rubber ring
every day There were lots of fish in the water with us and it was great to watch them as they were very cheeky and kept nibbling on our feet !
There were heaps of restaurants to chose from and we enjoyed free drinks with our meals which most restaurants seemed to do as it is the low season. Chad rekindled his love of Mojitos and I had a few glasses of red wine… hic For anyone visiting, stop by Qubanos, a great little Cuban restaurant, for a wonderful lunch and speak to the owner, Vivian, for up to date restaurant recommendations.
We managed to drag ourselves away from the beach and hired a golf cart and set off (slowly as the cart’s fastest speed was 30 km ph) for a day of exploring the island. Chad did really well as everyone drives on the right hand side of the road! Our first stop was the Turtle Sanctuary (30MXN) which is a centre dedicated to preserving Caribbean sea turtles and educating the public about them. There are six species of sea turtles that nest on Isla Mujeres. An adult green turtle, the most popular species, measures
1 to 1.5m in length and would you believe it, can weigh as much as 200 kgs! We wandered around and checked out the indoor and outdoor turtle pool areas where the turtles paddle around. They are separated by age, from newly hatched up to 1 year. There is even an area where the eggs are buried ! The centre also captures turtles at sea, brings them to enclosed compounds to encourage them to mate, and later frees them to nest on Isla Mujeres after they have been tagged.
We drove to the end of the island and climbed up the lighthouse which had a breathtaking view! It was great fun driving around the island and I even had a go at driving the cart! I was a bit scared as I haven’t driven for years but it only had two pedals so wasn’t too difficult Hmmm, I wonder if I can get one for driving around the Manly area
The week seemed to fly by and all too soon we had to leave and start heading back towards Mexico City. Isla Mujeres had been recommended to us by friends and we would agree with them
that it is a must visit destination if you are in Mexico and in need of some ‘R&R‘!
Our next destination is a brief stop in Cancun. We can’t come all this way and not take a look - it would be rude not to!
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