Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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On my first trip to Isla Mujeres I scrambled to catch the departing Blanca Biatriz, one of two older boats that ferries passengers from Puerto Juarez to the island. Its sister ship, the Sultana del Mar, features two Mexican musicians who sing and play trumpet and guitar, entertaining the passengers for tips.

The slower, more colorful, and less expensive passenger boats are a leisurely way to make the transition to the tranquility of the island. The local people, laughing and talking in melodic Spanish, pile on with their children and bundled possessions. The vessels chug along allowing you ample time to admire the beautiful azure waters of the Caribbean.

>>> Isla Mujeres, the "Isle of Women", lies off the Quintana Roo coast of Mexico. The popular Caribbean resort of Cancun can be seen in the distance.

There are a number of newer express boats that make the same crossing in half the time and at more than twice the cost of the older boats. Sealed behind a closed cabin window the ocean view is soon blotted out by the salt water spray against the glass and replaced with a blaring television to entertain you

<<< Average annual temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit make the island beaches of Isla Mujeres a popular tourist destination.


Once I settled into a small hotel along the malecon, I walked to North Beach. After the winter weather of early January in the US it felt good to swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean, lie on the cool white sand, feel the heat of the tropical sun, and admire the topless young ladies on holiday on the Isle of Women.

>>> Charter vessels and local fishing boats dock at Playa Lancheros on the southeastern coast of the small 8 kilometer long island of Isla.


Although there are a number a good Isla restaurants, Chen Huaye is my favorite on the island. Located on a side street just off the main plaza, it's an unpretentious place offering good food in a friendly atmosphere.

<<< The Blanca Beatriz, docked next to colorful fishing boats in the harbor, is one of several public ferries that carry passengers to Puerto Juarez and Cancun on the mainland.

The Yucatecan meals are simple, delicious and reasonably priced. One of the best is the combination platter, which is a great introduction to Chen Huaye's tasty tipico fare. They also serve refreshing agua frutas drinks and excellent flan for dessert. The people who run the restaurant are very pleasant and helpful which is another reason why the place seems to attract a
good mix of local patrons and international travelers.

More about Mexico - As a service to you, if you click on the linked items below, a window will open to for more information and the opportunity to purchase these and other selections.



Lonely Planet Mexico Travel Guide - Lonely Planet Mexico Travel Guide
Lonely Planet La Ruta Maya - by Tom Brosnahan, Nancy Keller
Lonely Planet Central America Guide - by Tom Brosnahan, Nancy Keller
Yucatan Peninsula Handbook
- Moon Publications
People's Guide To Mexico - Carl Franz
Time Among The Maya - Ronald Wright
The Old Patagonia Express - Paul Theroux


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Photography by Paul Picus. Copy by Paul Picus. Copyright © 1996-2009 Paul Picus

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