Mexico - Isla Mujeres
While I obviously adore Europe, I also enjoy a good beach trip. I find the beach to be the perfect unwind and am able to really unplug. When in Europe or a bigger city in the States, I am busy sightseeing and out and about most of the day. I don't find these trips to be relaxing persée, or maybe just relaxing in a different way.
I've tried several beaches, mostly in Mexico and keep coming back to Isla Mujeres. It's the perfect island, in my opinion of course. It is a tiny island, population twelve thousand, and is off of the coast of Cancun in the Caribbean. It is easy to get to as you fly into Cancun then take a twenty minute ferry ride to the island.
The beaches are gorgeous with white sand and the water is crystal clear. The people are so nice, inviting and lovely. For such a small island, I am impressed by all of the amazing restaurants!! See list below for my suggestions.
There isn't a lot to do on the island but just enough to keep you busy if you want or just lay on the beach all day if you like. You can rent golf carts and drive all around the island which is quite fun. Playa Norte is known for its beaches and there is a little city center on this side of the island. Here you will find the resorts, hotels and a lot of great restaurants. The entire island has lodging and restaurants sporadically placed but the centro has everything you need including a very cute piazza.
On the other side of the island are some more resorts and many beautiful houses that you can rent. In addition, there is Parque Garrafón where you can snorkel, zip line, kayak and swim. Punta Sur is a park with sculptures, a path you can walk along and beautiful views. You can visit Tortugranja, a turtle aquarium and The Dolphin Discovery.
In the center of the island there is a pretty chapel that is worth stopping by for a picture or two, Guadalupe Chapel. In this part of the island is another little town. Make sure to get a fresh coconut from a vendor on the street to enjoy on your ride, so refreshing!
I've done everything on the island I would like and have tried many of the restaurants. I like to sit on the beach most of the day, read a book or magazine, listen to music and enjoy the water when it gets really hot outside, it is like calm bath water I could stay in all day. You can always get some sort of great lunch or snack while laying on the beach as well. If you are not at a resort where the chairs and palapa come with your room, you can rent a chair and umbrella for about twelve dollars a day.
Every time I leave Isla Mujeres I look forward to my next visit. I think one day it may become too touristy, but for now, it is calm and peaceful.
Best Isla Mujeres Restaurants:
Olivia - If you only take one of these options it should be this one. Amazing Mediterranean food, the spanakopita is the best I've ever had. Make sure to make a reservation for dinner.
Mama Rosa - Great Italian food, spectacular affogato.
Rolandis Pizzeria - Fire roasted pizza that is delicious.
Loncheria San Martin - Great Mexican food, amazing horchata.
Loncheria Alexia y Geovanny - Great Mexican food, amazing bean tostadas.
Creperia Chez Tibu - Cute little crepe stand, if you see it, make sure to stop by.
Lola Valentina - Fresh ingredients and many vegetarian options
Qubano - Cuban Style food