Clear waters, tall palm trees and the sounds of salsa music playing in the background. When many people think of Mexico, they immediately think of Cancun, but in this case, it’s Isla Mujeres, which translates to the “Island of Women.” I spent some time on this Mexican island, whose name comes from the temple of Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility. Only 20 minutes from Cancun by ferry, the island offers many stunning views thanks to its gorgeous turquoise waters. It is also the first spot where you can see the sun rise in Mexico.
Visiting another country means a different culture, food, environment and people. I had the opportunity to stay with family while I was visiting, which meant I would be staying in a pueblito, or village.
That meant that I was able to eat a ton of Mexican food both cooked by my grandmother and from little street carts off the side of the road. From the crunchy chicken tacos to the constant 32 ounces of ice cold horchata, my stomach was always full.
Aside from the delicious food, the places I saw and discovered on the island were some of my favorite moments from my trip, and locales that you, too, might enjoy.
Parque De Los Sueños
This translates to the “Dream Park,” and that describes it perfectly. When you first enter the park, you are immediately greeted by a beautiful waterfront view, with a long wooden boardwalk that extends over the bright blue water. This park offers free entry with plenty of activities to participate in, including snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking and a trampoline in the water.
My favorite activity was snorkeling, as you can see various vividly colored fish swimming around you underwater. When you get hungry, the fun part about the dining experience is the swim-up bar and live music throughout the day. Parque De Los Sueños is perfect for families, as both kids and parents can find enjoyment.
Being at the tip of the island early in the morning before the sun even rises, was one of the most precious sights I have ever seen in my life. The bright yellow, vivid orange and light pink hues radiated across the sky. I even saw a few dolphins swim past in the ocean. This scene looked like something straight out of a movie. In addition to that marvelous view, Punta Sur also offers a couple of souvenir shops and food carts and for a small fee, you can see the sculptures and access a trail overlooking the cliff for even more amazing views.
Although I did this activity two years ago, it is definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and a must-do activity for first time visitors to the island. As you are hugging, kissing and being pushed by dolphins, you realize how intelligent these creatures truly are. As you go through this experience, employees at the center take videos and photos capturing the experience, so you can keep these memories forever with you.
Located downtown, this area is compact and full of shops and various places to eat. From markets and cafés to food carts and street vendors, you will most definitely find a souvenir to be able to bring back home. Also, even though it is Mexico, there is a wide range of flavors this area offers, including authentic Mexican cuisine. Avenue Medina can get a little busy, but a golf cart or scooter rental is a great way to get around this place. Take in the traditional town square and visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception. In addition, El Centro is located by many beaches, including Playa Norte.