Isla Mujeres, Mexico

After a few months in South America and enduring Patagonia’s mid-winter while our friends and family were enjoying a record breaking UK heatwave, it was time to head north, over the equator and into the tropics.  After a challenging 30 hour plane journey with tedious and lengthy transfers we finally arrived in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico!

I was very excited to travel back to one of the first countries I had independently spent time travelling around (around 15 years ago!) and Ryan was excited to be visiting for the first time…. and also celebrating his birthday, just a day after arriving in Cancun!

The main draw for us in Cancun was staying in the downtown area and eating in the famous local markets there – and they didn’t disappoint.

Once we were satisfied with our first taste of Mexican food we caught the ferry over to Isla Mujeres to celebrate Ryan’s birthday!

Isla Mujeres in a small Caribbean island just a few miles off the coast of Cancun.  It got is name in the 16th century when the island was first ‘discovered’ to find a small colony of women living there to serve the goddess of the moon, fertility and happiness called “Ixchel”.  The Ixchel ruins can still be see at the extreme southern tip of the island.  It is a laid back holiday island, away from the hustle and bustle of cancun, where the pace of life is slow and the main attraction is snorkelling and perfect white sand beaches.

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Ixchel ruins at Punta Sur

For us one of the main reasons for coming to the island was to have easy access to the seasonal opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks off the coast of the island… a perfect birthday present for Ryan!  However, the universe had other ideas, and the day after we arrived so did hurricane Earl…

Here is the view from our balcony with and without Earl…!

Sadly this meant the port was shut and no whale shark tours were running, however, despite a few short bursts of bad weather we still managed to have plenty of beach time so all was not lost!

We had a lovely evening out on Ryan’s birthday with some tasty fresh seafood and several (huge!) margaritas…. including a watermelon and jalapeno chile margarita and a mango and habanero chile margarita – yikes!

We spent the next day exploring the island on a scooter.  Starting by visiting a snorkelling spot, with some resident iguanas on the beach…

…visiting a turtle sanctuary…

…and exploring down to Punta Sur at the far end of the island…

The rest of the time we just ambled around the island, swimming in the warm ocean, enjoying the food (and margaritas!) and exploring the north end of the island.

Who knows…we still may be able to squeeze in seeing the whale sharks at the end of our Mexico trip – if the weather behaves itself!  Fingers crossed…

For now it was time to pack our bags, catch the ferry back to the mainland and head across the peninsula to the colonial city (and food paradise) of Merida.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Isla Mujeres, Mexico

  1. Just a little correction, Mexico is NOT Central America. Mexico is part of North America; Central America begins at the southern Mexican border, and encompasses Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and points south to Panama.

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