As we quickly approach the conclusion of 2020, a year that sadly slowed down many of our travel adventures (thanks, COVID), I can’t help but think of my past trips. In my last blog post, I wrote about my time in Cancun and how one part of my journey needed to be saved to share until later. That part is a small island off the coast of Cancun called Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres was a small piece of our Cancun trip that made the most significant impact. If you are looking for a relaxing time away from the big city tourist attractions, I’ll say this magical piece of land is the perfect place for you. Although we were only on this island for a day, it left an impression that will last a lifetime.
Sprint to the Ferry
Getting to the island is easy. Multiple ferries dock at several ports in Cancun that make it easy to travel to and from this destination. We took the Ultramar ferry, which was about $20USD and runs every 2 hours. If you plan on doing this one, make sure you give yourself enough time to get there, buy a ticket, and get in line. The lines are long, and 2 hours is a long time to wait for the next pick up! Also, keep in mind that the last ferry will leave Cancun around 2-3 pm and the last to get back to Cancun leaves the island around 6 pm. We made sure to set a timer to ensure we didn’t miss our ride home.
Upon arrival, we noticed that there were golf carts everywhere! Turns out, golf carts, scooters/mopeds, and cycles are the preferred form of transportation on Isla Mujeres. You will find places to rent golf carts as soon as you get off the boat. We went with Joaquin Golf Carts and Scooter rentals and paid around $70 for the whole day. I couldn’t find a website for them, but all the rental spots have the same reviews and similar pricing. When choosing a place to rent, I say just go with your intuition and choose the one you are drawn to.
The day we decided to go to Isla Mujeres had to be the hottest day of the trip, so riding around in a golf cart was great because we could let the wind from the ride cool us off a bit. Take plenty of water with you while you are out there; your body will thank you. While we allowed the wind to blow dry our sweat, we took in the views from the road. This place was beautiful! The blue water, the natural cliffs, the wild cacti, and iguanas minding their own business, it was all amazing to take in.
If you love shopping, especially at small local shops, this is an excellent place for you. There are many small businesses and restaurants with great souvenirs and even better food. Everything is cheap and affordable, and the people are friendly.
I also noticed that many of the residents are ex-pats (people living outside of their native countries). We met many Americans who decided to move to the island, learn Spanish, and start a business. It was a lot of fun getting to know them and hearing their stories.
The last thing we decided to do while here was spend the rest of our day at the beach. The beach was pretty packed, but it wasn’t too hard to find a spot. The water was nice and cool, and the waves were calm enough to swim. The beach was probably my favorite part of the trip, and it is perhaps why I don’t have many pictures from it! I seriously unplugged and took in the present moment.
I have one piece of advice about leaving the island…don’t go on the last ferry out! I say head to the isle super early in the morning and leave while people are still enjoying the day. There are definitely peak times for the ferry, and we were in the mix of it. Unfortunately, we got a late start and paid for it by waiting in line to get back to Cancun for what felt like 50 hours. Next time, I will definitely either start my day earlier or just book a hotel in Isla Mujeres for the night (or maybe my whole time).
Isla Mujeres was a dream. One of the many reasons I love to travel is because traveling makes me present. You leave behind whatever you have going on at home, and you can easily focus on the present moment. You learn to enjoy life for everything that it is, you connect with different types of people, and you learn to appreciate everything you have, even during moments of stress. The more I travel, the more I realize that I can practice being present even when I am not on vacation. I can go on a local hike, maybe even step out in my backyard, and create my own adventures.
This year has not been easy for many of us; life isn’t easy. However, it has taught me to be grateful for what I do have and release fear and worries about what will or won’t happen. To take things day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. Thinking about my time on Isla Mujeres reminds me of what it feels like to just BE.
I still have many adventures to write about (far and near), so if you are not yet subscribed to this blog, I suggest you do that now! That way, you won’t miss new posts from yours truly!!!
Until next time…XO – Kat