We found Casa de los Suenos hotel and bar completely by accident – fairly hidden at the south end of the island, it is a little gem worth seeking out. The bar backs onto the calm waters between Isla Mujeres and Cancun, and a dock down at water level provides visitors with the use of kayaks and snorkels.
Though there are numerous great places to eat a hearty midday meal on Isla Mujeres, Barlito in particular stand out for us. It has a glowing reputation as the prime spot for freshly home-baked bread, super friendly staff and beautiful views.
Be left in no doubt that the way of life here lives up to its reputation – work hard (ish), play hard! For large crowds, dance anthems and free flowing alcohol, you belong in Cancun rather than here. However, that doesn’t mean that Isla Mujeres doesn’t have enough of a nightlife of its own. It’s easy to find Mariachi bands, salsa nights and street performers along the main beach and high street, but if you’re looking to really party, the general consensus is that Pocna hostel is the place to go.
Granted, we do not live in the heart of Mexico. There are plenty of tourists, we are forewarned of the spiciness of the food and we have certainly never witnessed any of the dangers that we were pre-warned of. But, we have met Mexicans who are from all over the country, learned conversational Spanish and have not only tasted all the local cuisines, but learned to cook them. We’ve embraced life on Isla Mujeres and here’s our favourite things about it:
1. The mariachi bands that play through the tiny streets attracting hoards of people
2. Waking up to Mexican music turned up so loud that the walls vibrate. Beats the standard alarm and definitely wake you up in a better mood Continue reading
As Isla Mujeres is only 7km long, there is little need for cars and golf buggies are without a doubt the easiest and most fun way for visitors to bound around.
It should cost around 550 Mexican pesos for 24 hours, but there are loads of places offering them so don’t be afraid to bargain.
Don’t forget, the laws of the road still apply – don’t drink and drive! We’ve seen several arrests and a couple of quite nasty accidents so be careful.
Charlotte & Sarah x
In Bangkok we had an infinite supply of swimming pool access and desperately craved a visit to the beach. In Isla Mujeres, surrounded by the most beautiful coastline we’d ever laid eyes on, we missed swimming our regular lengths and wanted somewhere to swim where we wouldn’t be bowled over by humongous waves!
Whilst not advertised as a public pool and belonging to Puerto Isla Mujeres Resort and Yacht Club, after asking the security staff we established that as long as you made use of the bar and restaurant, anyone is welcome. That could certainly be arranged…
The area of Caribbean Sea surrounding Isla Mujeres is protected as a national park and is arguably the most clear, turquoise-tinted water in the world. Travellers come from all over the world to venture below the surface and gain their diving qualifications. Continue reading
Stunning views of the beach? Check. Swings at the bar and hammocks in the corner? Check. Cheap beers? Check. You know where to find us.
The southern tip of Isla Mujeres is the most easterly point of Mexico, meaning those who rise early enough to catch dawn can be the first in the country to see the sun that day! Watching the sun rise along the horizon across the Caribbean Sea managed to turn our grumpy 5.30am frowns upside down.
Punta Sur is also worth a look; you can pay to access to the very bottom of the island, including the sculpture park and viewpoint. The sculptures, although bright and fun, are not the main attraction – visitors mostly come for the views of the bright sea and reefs, to watch the huge iguanas basking in the sun, and to hear the waves crash against the south headland.
Whilst tootling around the west side of Isla Mujeres on our hired golf cart, we noticed some signposts bearing illustrations of turtles, leading to a small island-size sea life centre tucked away from the main drag. A cheap 30 pesos (£1.50) allowed us to feed the turtles, learn the names of different varieties, and hold a range of sea creatures in the indoor aquarium section. Continue reading