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Fishing Boat in the Harbor at Isla Mujeres

Fishing BoatView All Sizes

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Picturesque Playa Norte, Isla MujeresView All Sizes

Clouds in the western sky over Cancun, taken from Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Spectacular Clouds over CancunView All Sizes

Harbor, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Harbor, Isla MujeresView All Sizes

JOURNAL : November 11, 2004

Que Bonita Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres > Quintana Roo > Mexico

Series Que Bonita Isla Mujeres

Located near the tip of the Yucatán peninsula just offshore from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a popular day trip for tourists. Vehicle and passenger ferries make frequent jaunts across the bay.

The atmosphere is relaxed, the food authentic and the beaches are excellent. Most everything is in walking distance and world-class shopping is right across the bay in Cancun where it belongs. Isla Mujeres is an ideal tropical vacation spot. Like much of tropical Mexico the weather cools down in the fall and the best time to come is from late October to January.

Liz near Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

Liz near Playa Norte

Stuff to Do

Surprisingly, for a small island it hosts quite a few fun activities, most of them involving the ocean or in proximity of it: sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and SCUBA diving, boat trips to nearby islands like Isla Contoy, or fishing, which is what many locals do. In town los mariscos son frescos y sabrosos. .

Along the main road and in the mercados is classic Mexican shopping for yummy food, necessities, local artistry, and the usual trinkets. Walk through and soak in the textured color and savory smells

Around the island are little features like El Garrafon, a natural reef park where you can snorkel with various sea critters, or a turtle farm we checked out. At night the mood is festive

Another great town is Sayulita, about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta.

Boats and Birds in the harbor of Isla Mujeres, Mexico

EmbarcaderoView All Sizes

Local Style

That picture there, with the colorful boat — it was originally about the pelicans roosting on top. They were funny to me then, all camped out on this bright boat. But they are difficult to see.

The photo was developed much later, and upon seeing it I reflected that it captured the cheerful spirit of Isla Mujeres, and of many Mexican seaside towns. This was our view while we were waiting for our meal. Just off-camera a fisherman drove his boat onto the beach and presented choice fish to the restaurant. The seafood is as fresh as it gets. I've traveled all over Mexico for the last 20 years and Isla Mujeres is one of my favorite places.

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