I never wanted to travel to Mexico, I had heard all the stories about Montezuma’s revenge (the stomach disruption). Being a food lover and unable to resist trying new tastes, it just seemed the unlikely place to go.
We had traveled extensively to the Caribbean and were looking for new horizons, something quaint, but yet busy enough to not get bored.
I came across an Isla Mujeres travel board http://www.isla-mujeres.net/home.htm and a discussion forum on the Internet.
All the chitchat sounded like our kind of place and it definitely was.
Isla Mujeres - the island of women is located just off Cancun. A one time sleepy little fishing village, now alive with tourism. It is a 20-minute ferry ride to and from the island via the Puerto Juarez ferry landing.
They have a tremendous ferry service, with ferries leaving approximately every 20 mins. One way cost is $3.50 US per person. Many tourists from Cancun make the trip to enjoy a day on the island.
When landing on the island, there are plenty of wanting helpers to carry your bags to a taxi, or to your hotel if it is located near by. Usual charge is $1.00 per bag but you are free to pay any reasonable amount. The people of Isla are courteous and friendly.
When you come off the ferry dock there are three ways to go, to the left, right, or straight ahead. Turn left and follow the street to the very end (a short walk), you are at the popular north beach. Turn right and keep going you will leave the main business section and headed to the south end of the island approx. 5 miles (very scenic). Bus it or taxi both very cheap.
Travel straight ahead from the ferry dock and you are headed to the main downtown area. Two blocks down straight ahead is Hidalgo the center for shopping and exploring new restaurants. A strip - we frequent often, great dining experiences for people watchers. Walk 4 blocks and you have reached the Caribbean Sea.
Whether wandering the streets, the beaches, or the waterfront, never did we feel uncomfortable. The people are extremely friendly and helpful.
There is a loyal tourist base in Isla, once visited; it is almost impossible to not want to return.
Don’t expect to find Hi-Rise hotels and all-inclusive resorts. Avalon Hotel on the northerly tip being the exception. There are many reasonable accommodations and excellent restaurants to choose from. Every type of eating establishment exists, from a hole in the wall, to fine dining on a beach.
Our bookings have been with Mornings in Mexico http://www.morningsinmexico.com/ run by a lovely lady who is extremely efficient at returning all communicates promptly. She could be a representative for the Allstate commercial, the one that says, "you are in good hands with Allstate". Honest, reliable and highly recommended.
There are a couple of other property rental agencies, Isla Beckons http://www.islabeckons.com/ and Lost Oasis http://www.lostoasis.net/ that are no doubt excellent also according to the chitchat of the Internet.
Best investment for our vacation was a map of Isla Mujeres, they have to be purchased before you leave home and worth every penny. Don’t leave home with out one. There is so much to see and do and the map is a great aid at finding the way around. They can be purchased on line by contacting Map Chick at http://www.mapchick.com/ .
There are many ways to get around the island. You can rent golf carts, scooters, bicyles, take the public transit for 30 cents or a taxi 1to 5 US. dollars, but most of it can easily been seen by hoofing it.
Sitting on a beach under a palm tree sipping a cold refreshment, lounging in a hammock reading a book, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, and dining under the stars, are tonics for the winter blues. Although, winter is not necessary to enjoy a trip to Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres is the island of Isla-holics, those, who return year after year to their little corner of paradise and as many times a year as they can afford to get away.
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