Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico 11/12 - maggiekelstrom

Isla Mujeres, the first stop on my 26 day vacation, is a beautiful little island about 30 minutes by ferry from Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is about 5 miles long and one half mile wide...and even narrower in my first hotel, which faced the bay right near the ferry terminal and the fishing boats, had the option of two water views...the Bay (Bahia Mujeres) or the Caribbean. (I had no view...)

Both places I stayed were in the north area, walking distance to the main village, which is a compact area of streets with restaurants and shops...the tourist area. The streets there are made of bricks and stones and the buildings are very colorful. There are very few cars...mostly taxis, and rental golf carts. I am not sure what the rule is, but there is a car ferry that goes to the island, so I imagine the locals can keep a car there if they want. It seems that most tooled around on scooters or carts. You can rent a cart or scooter for an hour or the day...or hire someone to drive you around the island for an hour, which is what I did

Every half hour or so the foot ferry drops off tourists...mostly day trippers who are staying in Cancun, starting around 10am, but by evening most are gone so the nights are very quiet.

There are many great restaurants and some are run by expats from the US. Coral reefs are abundant, snorkeling boats go out from the ferry every day, and the water has many beautiful shades of blue and turquoise. I have never seen water quite this vivid before, not even in Hawaii. The beaches at Playa Norte, where my second hotel is located, has the finest white sand I have ever seen...and that along with with the color of the water...and the sunset view...gorgeous!

I walked everywhere every day...but I wish now that I had rented my own cart to check out the island better as I missed a lot, like the Ixchel tempel at the most southeastern point, and also the Garafon area where the spectacular snorkeling is. small as it is, I still missed things to see and do on this island, which means that I have to go back!

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