A Day in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Over Labor Day we celebrated Kelly’s bachelorette in Cancun and I had no intention of posting any of that trip on Blank Canvas. I assumed it would be the usual – enjoy the pools, bars and beaches at our all-inclusive – and for the most part, it was. And, by the way, it was fantastic. However, one of the days we took a ferry to Isla Mujeres and had quite the island adventure that was more than worthy of sharing.

Roughly 30 minutes by ferry from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is only a little more than four miles long and has a more local feel, while maintaining a safe tourism attraction and feel. Translation – local enough but still safe.

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When you step on to the island, you’ll need a golf cart, one of the main modes of transportation. Renting at about $40 a day each, this is a good investment to see the island and rentals are located right across from the ferry. We rented three and putted around from stop to stop.

Many of the bars are open air and sit right on the beach or across the street, so it’s easy to stop and go as you please. We made our first stop for a frozen concoction and then went on to Fenix Restaurant and Beach Club for lunch where I had some of the best ceviche I’ve ever had. I ordered the mixed ceviche, with octopus, shrimp and fish. The views were fantastic and since we only had the afternoon before catching the 5 p.m. ferry back, we had to tear ourselves away.

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On to the next stop, we unintentionally took the long way around the island but were happy to see the more quiet and equally beautiful coastline. We arrived at Villa La Bella, a quaint private B&B that opens the patio and beach walk-up to public guests. Nestled up on a cliff overlooking the water, the charm here, aside from the views, was the cottage-style atmosphere with swings instead of barstools. Plus, the Piña Coladas were topped with fresh coconut shavings.

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The three stops were all we had time for, but not before we had driven the entire island. One side is clearly more populated, with public beaches and open-air restaurant and bars, while the other end is more reserved for condos, resorts and private residences. Again, this is definitely an island that I would recommend visiting for a day or for your entire trip, as an alternative to the more popular Cancun.

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