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Isla Mujeres

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Trip List by travelerNewYork

Visiting Isla Mujeres for the Day

25 Jul 2011  Frequent visitor and passionate lover of Isla
4.0 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

There are a lot of things to do and see on Isla, even if you’re only here for the day. The following are only suggestions; sometimes the best time you’ll have is if you simply wing it on your own without any specific plans. But it’s always nice to know about options, so the following should provide several.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Isla Mujeres
  • Category: Perfect day
  • Traveler type: Culture, Shopping, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Seniors, Budget travellers
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. RENT A GOLF CART

    You can rent from any one of the numerous places offering them. Prices are pretty much fixed, with hourly rates around 180 pesos (150 in low season) and 500 pesos for 9 – 5 (400 or 450 in off season). Some recommended places are Ciro’s, Prisma, El Sol, and Gomar. You will need a valid license, which you leave with them for the duration of your rental.

  • 2. VISIT THE TURTLE FARM
    Tortugranja (Turtle Farm), Isla Mujeres

    Head out of Centro, going South on Rueda Medina. When you get to the circle with Palace Resorts, instead of driving past it further South, hang a right get to the Tortugranja.

  • 3. SEE THE FLOATING BOTTLE ISLAND
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62X0E5Eveso

    Richie Sowa's amazing Floating Island is built entirely of plastic bottles. Suggested donation for a visit is 50 pesos. Not only is it amazing but very educational, and the perfect way of introducing children to the idea of recycling.

  • 4. HAVE A ZEN EXPERIENCE
    http://www.zamabeach.com/

    If you want to have lunch and enjoy a beautiful, Zen-like beach club, stop in at Zama's Beach Club Gorgeous pool, nice beach with loungers and umbrellas, lockers, bathrooms and showers are provided. They do expect you to spend about 20 dollars a person in order to use the facilities but if you were planning on lunch anyway, then it's beautiful place at which to have it. If you're only staying for a drink or lunch, there is no minimum.

  • 5. LUNCH ALONG THE WAY

    If you did not eat at Zama's there are a few other places along the way. The first one you'll pass is Casa del Tikinxik at Playa Lancheros. It Is another beach club at which to enjoy their signature dish, tikinxik (lots of different spelling for this one), which is fish in achiote sauce grilled on an open fire. Another option is The Joint, a small restaurant on the left side of the road, across from the Garrafon de Castilla Beach Club.

  • 6. SNORKELING
    Garrafon de Castilla, Isla Mujeres

    Snorkel and hang out for a while at Garrafon de Castilla beach club, admission price is 50 pesos and entitles you to the use of the beach club: loungers, umbrellas, and dressing room with showers. Snorkel and fins are 60 pesos and you can rent a locker for around 25 pesos. They too have a restaurant and are open 9:00 – 5:00

  • 7. SCALPTURES, RUINS, AND DRAMATIC WALKS

    Stop at Punta Sur. This is a must stop for the dramatic walk along the cliffs down to the water. There is a 30 peso admission fee to the sculpture garden, a small ruin of a temple to Ixchel, and the walking paths which will take you down to the water. There is also a restaurant with stunning views, Acantilado, where you can have lunch (the shrimp tacos are highly recommended by visitors) or a drink, both alcoholic and non. Their limonade is wonderful.

  • 8. SEE THE SHELL HOUSE BY THE SEA
    http://unusual-architecture.com/conch-shell-house-isla-mujeres-mexico/

    Return along the Caribbean side, passing the famous Shell House along the way on your left. It's an architectural wonder, and probably one of the most visited houses on Isla. More dramatic photo ops as you’re driving. A detour on the side streets into the various Colonias, or neighborhoods, is highly recommended. You’ll get an idea of and appreciation for the locals’ life on Isla.

  • 9. CRAYON HOUSE OF CRAZY COLORS

    Check out the colorfully painted house dubbed the Crayola House by an Isla regular. It is on Ave. Josefa Ortega de Dominguez, and it will delight children of all ages, even grown up ones.

  • 10. BACK IN CENTRO: SHOPPING AND/OR LUNCH

    Return to Centro and turn in your golf cart, then depending on what you've done on your tour, either do some shopping, have lunch, hit the beaches, or all of the above. For shopping, aside from the little shops lining Hidalgo and its side streets, two places are worth checking out. One is the market right by the Poc Na Hostel on Matamoros, at the end near the water. Lots of interesting handicrafts, clothes, etc. The other is the municipal market on Guerrero, and while it's predominantly a food market, it's interesting to wander around and look at the colorful display of fruits and vegetables. The four little loncherias outside serve excellent, home-made food for very little money.

  • 11. BEACH CLUBS AND SWING BARS

    A couple of popular beach clubs/bars are Caribbean Queen, Chi Chi Charlie's, The Sunset Grill on Playa Norte, and Bujo's, also on Playa Norte. At the Caribbean Queen loungers and umbrellas are free if you eat and drink there. If you have not yet had lunch, here is a good place to do it. Sunset Grill will subtract the cost of loungers from your food bill, while Bujo's will charge for them regardless of how much you eat or drink. At Bujo's chair and umbrealla are 50 pesos each.

  • 12. STAYING ON FOR DINNER

    If you're staying on Isla for dinner, which is highly recommended, first have a drink at one of the beach bars from which you can watch the sunset then select one of the excellent restaurants, deciding whether you want people watching, toes-in-the-sand beachy-bohemian, or a pretty garden. Almost any of the casual restaurants lining Rueda Medina close to the ferry will have excellent fresh seafood and the prices are reasonable: Miramar, Brisas Grill, Minino's, Picus, and Velazquez, just to name a few. On the beach there's the Sunset Grill with an extensive menu and romantic setting. In town there is Olivia with a pretty, romantic garden serving outstanding food with a Middle Eastern touch, and El Patio, also with a lovely garden. For people watching that can't be beat, have dinner at Rolandi, Amigo's, Lola Valentina, or Sancoccho, all on Hidalgo. Often there are street performers, such as Gregorio, who not only has a beautiful voice but is very entertaining. Other forms of entertainment may be drummers, fire dancers, or acrobats, all of whom deserve a generous tip for making your dinner that much more enjoyable.

  • 13. MUSIC AND DANCING

    If after dinner you are in the mood for some music and/or dancing head to Fayne's on Hidalgo, Miguel's Moonlight on Abasolo, or La Terrazza upstairs on Hidalgo across from Barlito's. If you like conversation and tequila along with your music, visit Adelita Tequila bar next to Fayne's. Terrific selection of tequilas, many available for tasting. And there is music from Fayne's next door.

  • 14. HEADING HOME

    Finally you’re ready to head back to the ferry, most likely promising yourself that the next time you’ll stay longer than for a day :) Double check on the last ferry back to the mainland. Various sites list it at 11:30 or 12:00, even 12:30.