Isla Mujeres Holidays
Isla Mujeres Overview
Peaceful holidays: Although just 13km north of Cancun, Isla Mujeres holidays are a world away from that raucous resort to the south. Funnily enough, the island is so small and isolated; you can even choose to hire golf carts to tour Isla Mujeres during your holidays!
Natural beauty: As with many holidays on the Mayan Riviera, Isla Mujeres holidays 2012 have all the beauty of Caribbean holidays with the additional facilities of a slightly more developed destination. Both of the main beaches in Isla Mujeres, Playa Sol and Playa Norte, are beautiful white shorelines leading into shallow sapphire waters.
Attractions in Isla Mujeres
Punta Sur: Actually rather like two attractions in one, this site of Mayan ruins is also home to a small sculpture park. Being placed in a scenic setting looking out to the sea, the ruins take on a majestic air, and the symbolism of the sculptures becomes even more powerful. Unfortunately the ruins (a temple dedicated to the goddess of fertility) have been further reduced to rubble due to the severe hurricane Mexico suffered in 2005. The site is still well worth a visit on your holidays in Isla Mujeres, if only to take pictures of the many iguanas and immerse yourself in the stunning natural landscape.
Hacienda Mundaca: As much a botanical park as it is a structural sight, this 19th century Hacienda was built by a Caribbean pirate named Fermin Mundaca. And on top of the lush gardens, youíll see monkeys, crocodiles and exotic birds all within the Haciendaís grounds.
Activities in Isla Mujeres
Turtle Farm: This government funded farm is a wonderful experience during Isla Mujeres holidays, especially as itís a conservation project that contributes towards saving endangered sea turtles. You can see lots of turtles at different ages, sometimes including white albino turtles, and if youíre lucky, you may be at the farm on a day when some of the turtles are released back into the sea.
La Noruega Art Gallery: This small art gallery is well worth a look to get a flavour of the local culture on Mexico holidays. The gallery often displays works from native artists, and youíll even have the opportunity to buy locally made jewellery and paintings.
Garafon Park: Primarily an underwater nature park, this fantastic site on the south of Isla Mujeres is thriving with vibrant corals that make for fascinating snorkelling and diving. Itís a great place to go during your holidays as within the surrounding natural park youíre also encouraged to engage in other activities such as mountain biking, hiking and even riding a zip line over the sea.
Beaches in Isla Mujeres
Playa Norte: North Beach, or Playa Norte as itís known in Mexico, is certainly the best beach on Isla Mujeres holidays. The main draw is the powder soft white sands which lead into shallow, whirlpool warm waters. Being the most popular beach also means thereís plenty of access to chilled bars and charming restaurants which line the coast.
Playa Sol: The neighbouring beach to Playa Norte, Playa Sol is on the most north western tip of Isla Mujeres, making it consequently one of the most western points in Mexico. Itís the location of choice to watch the burnt orange sunset melting into the sea on balmy evenings Ė a blissful sight on holidays in Mexico. The beach is also a little less busy than Playa Norte, although the water is a little bit deeper and wilder so itís not as suitable for children.
Restaurants in Isla Mujeres
Qubano: Wander in the thatched entrance and youíll be transported to a world of colour with local Mexican art lighting up the walls and rustic wooden tables and chairs. And the food is just as exciting, with fresh flavorous dishes like Toston sandwiches (toasted cheese covered bread with succulent fillings), creamy Hungarian potatoes and ultra refreshing watermelon juice.
La Cazuela M&J: Isla Mujeres holidays seem to specialise in rustic restaurants serving simple, unfussy food cooked perfectly. The main speciality at La Cazuela is largely crepes, with lots of interesting fillings like spicy tomato, prawns and creamy mushrooms.
Asia Caribe: In an interesting fusion of Asian and Caribbean cultures (hence the name) Asia Caribe combines the best ingredients of Mexico, like lime, chilli and pineapple to create Oriental classics such as Thai Tom Yum soup and sticky pork ribs.
Nightlife in Isla Mujeres
Beachside bars: Isla Mujeres holidays have a surprisingly varied selection of bars. Look out for La Adelita, a tequila bar with over 150 different types of tequila for a true taste of Mexico during your holidays. Om Bar has beer on tap at each table so you can top up to your heartís content. And while weíre on the subject of beer, be sure to try the Michelada Ė beer mixed with fresh lime juice for an amazingly refreshing alcoholic drink. If you want to stay out a little later, head to Nitrox Club for lively partying until the early hours.
Shopping in Isla Mujeres
Handicrafts shops and stalls: On Isla Mujeres holidays the emphasis is on relaxing and getting away from it all, so you wonít find many huge shopping malls here. In the main town you can browse freely through the stalls selling standard souvenir fare aimed at tourists. Itís worth noting that prices are generally cheaper here than on Cancun holidays, and youíll also be hassled less than in that major resort. There are still a few items worth looking out for too, particularly the handmade hammocks, decorative bracelets and intricate ceramics.