1 day in Cancun, 3 days in Isla Mujeres, Mexico Caribé

Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres

This past April, I traveled to the island gem of Isla Mujeres. To get to the Island, you will take a ferry from Cancun. Its 13 miles away from the mainland (Cancun). This is great because you can experience both places. I had originally planned for a stay in Playa del Carmen but I had to change our location almost last minute due to the unprecedented sargassum blooms affecting most of the Caribbean. I began googling which places were not affected by these swaths of seaweed. After all if you are going to spend hard earned money on a dreamy beach vacation, you want to plan and research to make sure you will get what you pay and worked so hard for, right? Behold, the beautiful Island of Isla Mujeres. No sargassum seaweed. Clear jewel toned water, white sands, and relaxation.

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres
Captured sunset on Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

I once saw a show segment on the travel channel about this island. Visions of Isla Mujeres soon returned to my mind. The pictures from the Travel channel and Google would soon be reality when our April trip came around. The people, the food, the coffee and the clear waters are something out of a dream. Rent a golf cart as your island vehicle and explore the island from Playa Norté to Punta Sur! You are sure to find fun, happiness, wellbeing, oh and some gooooood tequila! On the island there are beautiful Mexican people and culture, happy world travelers from all over tasting fine tequilas, piña coladas, Mexican beer and the yummy street foods! Word of advice: For authentic dishes and flavor, I recommend to observe and ask around to the locals about where to eat. This will help to ensure an authentic flavor experience.

Many places here cater to tourist taste palates and sometimes authenticity is sacrificed by the eateries that want to accommodate to the tourist taste palate here, in my opinion. The best food I had on this trip was actually in beautiful Cancun. We had tacos Al Pastor and good Mexican beer. The Al Pastor meat with the fresh pineapple slice, salsas, and fresh tortillas were delicious. We also had some fish tacos at an Acapulco style place. The freshness and flavor there was perfection. The cheese used in the food here is on another level too! Similar to Oaxacan style but from a golden cow or something. Amazing and melty!

Cancun is both Urban and Island vibes. You can easily find yourself in the “hood”. Not going to sugar coat that. We stayed in Cancun just for when we arrived late at night from our late arriving flight. We stayed overnight and half a day and actually felt very safe but we did hear some stories on the news that kept us on our toes street wise. We just exercised our regular good common sense we use when we travel to our own cities here in the states. No big difference and of course be kind and respectful as a guest in a new place.

Our stay in Cancun was short because we wanted to get to our beautiful place in Isla. While in Cancun, we made sure to visit El Meco Mayan Archeological ruins – Amazing and not overrun with tourists. This is great if you really want to feel the energy here and take great photos without a bunch of people photobombing. It is a short taxi ride from anywhere you are in Cancun. It’s absolutely beautiful and you will see many iguanas bobbing their heads as if dancing to some rhythm only they can hear. Haha, it is actually their way of warning you “Hey man, this is my home!” The males are territorial so they do this a lot but it cool to see. I keep a respectful distance. It is their home, afterall. Ok enough words, here are some pictures!

Ultramar Ferry Terminal, Puerto Juarez, Cancun.
It costs about $26 USD (about 550 pesos) per person for a round trip ticket we would use again on the day we retuned to go head home. Highly recommend!

We stayed at the all inclusive Privilige Aluxes Resort at Playa Norté beach. I highly recommend to stay here! Resort grounds, services, amenities, staff, service, rooms, food was excellent. You mere feet from the beach! Coffee on your balcony overlooking paradise. All inclusive is offered, however we chose all inclusive “breakfast only” because we wanted to explore the food in town for lunches and dinners. It worked out perfect and slightly less expensive this way. We don’t like to stay in one place for all meals. We like to explore!

Privilege Aluxes also boasts it own private beach lounging area on Playa Norte. You can take advantage of the private beach lounges and drink service, head over to those clear waters. Your room, to the lounges, to dreamy turquoise waves all just steps in between each other.

Playa Norté is clear, bright blue water, soft white sands, caribé music, beachgoers dancing and sipping tropical drinks, people in love, friends living it up, and families too. There were lots of families which I appreciated. Although we went at the height of spring break season, it was much more calmer than Cancun’s college Spring Break vibes. Cancun is for the party. Isla Mujeres is so much more chill but still carefree and can easily turn into a fiesta! We had a little taste of Cancun before we arrived in Isla. Isla was just what I was looking for but Cancun needs to have a trip of its own. For sure on my list to go back for!

Punta Sur – The southern tip of the island

Here it is very rocky but rivals the northern point justly with its vibrant green mossy steep rock cliffs and sandy bluffs. This landscape against the jewel blue waters makes you want to jump in, but I advise not unless you are on a boat with an experienced snorkel or dive team. The tides are rough and sharp rocks. There was one group of fishermen who dare to walk out into the water pools. They were wearing hard hats and thick rubber boots and even then I thought they were crazy brave. I have healthy respect for the ocean’s force and temperament. Lucky for us tourists, there is walking trail that winds around the cliffs of Punta Sur. This was my favorite part of the trip!

The Tortugranja! (Turtle Farm)

One of the places that was a must for us was the turtle farm and sanctuary. This place is a safe haven for endangered sea-turtles and different types of land dwelling turtles!

The way to see the island is by golf cart. There are several cart rentals on the island. We got our golf cart rental for 24 hours and it ran us about 1100 pesos (61 USD). It included a full tank of gas. The tank allowed us to travel around the entire island twice! There is no Uber or Lyft on the island so if you want to see it all, do this! You will not be disappointed.

Random cool pictures on our island adventures!

A Volkswagen bus transformed into a taco truck! #eatlikelocals
The night sky illuminated by the full moon. So pretty!

After a night of good drinking and music at Lola Valentina, an adventurous search for coffee! We found it at ‘Cafecito’

Cool mural across the street from Cafecito

We found this bar and grill ‘The Joint’, nestled among the trees and stands for fresh coconut water near Punta Sur. Here we found live music, sangria, and good eats!

Our 16 hours in Cancun and 3 days in Isla Mujeres was the perfect getaway and I wish I could relive it! There is so much to do on the island. I plan to visit again and spend more time in Cancun too. This is a great place for families but a perfect getaway couples. I could even imagine a chill girls trip here would be so much fun. Well, I could post more but then it would be a spoiler and too long of a post. SO, I encourage everyone who loves some chill slow-paced dreamy island vibes to visit this beautiful paradise!


Marissa aka Sunny-soul!

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