In this article:
The South Side of Isla Mujeres
The Mayan Ruin at the point of the Island
The Break Down
Im currently on a bus, headed to Merida. But, before I continue with reviews and other trip reports I wanted to get down and dirty and talk about Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres is a cute, quaint little island off the coast of Cancun. Want to know how to get there, read my article here.
The island is composed of a major downtown area, thats where most of the hotels, stores, restaurants and things you need will be. I stayed in that area. I stayed in Hostel Poc Na.
The buildings were cute and there seemed to be very few resorts… I mean, they’re all on the beaches but its not like Cancun where you cant see the water because its giant resort after giant resort.
There’s a main street with shops and restaurants as far as the eye can see. I walked and looked at prices. This is the tourist area. Prices are inflated. A typical dinner or lunch will cost you about $200 pesos per dish, which is about 10 USD. However, if you walk one street over you will find other restaurants with a cheaper price. I had lunch at a cute little restaurant, Rubens, for a total of $115 (lunch) and $125 (dinner) pesos. Thats just over 5 and 6 USD respectively. It was delicious, cute, inexpensive and worth it. I recommend it. After lunch I bought some sun block at the local XPress Super.
I walked to the beach later that day which is on the north side of the island. The water is as clear as pool water. The sand is white and soft. The water is cool but not cold, which is unfortunate considering its so hot!
I swam in the beach for a couple of hours, took a chaise lounge and put my things on it. I really wasn’t prepared to get in the water but I had my speedos on. I did not have a towel. Just what was in my pocket and some sunblock.
Its beautiful out here. After my swim I wanted to lay out and air dry so I could walk back to my hostel. I pushed up the umbrella and immediately got shot down. I was told that I needed to rent the umbrella for $300 Pesos or $15 USD. I asked if any were free, the gentlemen informed me that none were. I said, no thanks and asked if they had towels for hire. for $60 Pesos or 3 USD, they would rent me a towel. I felt totally ripped off. Its all about making money off tourists. Whatever, I paid, got dry and walked back to my hostel.
The South Side:
The next day I rented a bicycle for $250 pesos (which was the cheapest mode of transportation). Thats about $13 USD give or take a few cents. You could rent golf carts, scooters and bikes.
I rented the bike and decided I would ride all the way to the other side of the island and back. Get some exercise, burn some calories and perhaps some brain cells from the heat. I quickly learned why I was the only one on a bicycle. It was so fucking hot… so hot it only took 20 min to soak through my t-shirt. The only street that takes you to the south side of the island is like an 3rd world express way. You share it with cars, trucks, 4×4’s, motorcycles, scooters, golf carts and other cyclists. Its mad chaos out there. But everyone swerves around you since you are the slowest. I was scared at first but considering everyone was swerving around me, I felt better. Death was not near. Really.
I rode around a small loop to see the lakes and decided it was too hot to care about a lake I couldn’t use anyway. I turned around and headed to the Mayan Ruin on the south side. I stopped along the way to take pictures of the beautiful walk ways, the zip-liners, the structures. It was all gorgeous! I could not believe it. The downfall?? It costs to be beautiful. If you wanted to enter any walkway it would cost you. I didn’t do it.
The Mayan Ruin at the point of the Island:
I kept riding towards my destination. The mayan ruin. It took me about an hour and a half to get to the mayan ruin because I stopped so much. Anyway, I took pictures of everything. It was $30 pesos or $3 USD to get into the “park.” Actually its more like an art gallery. They have lots of industrial sculptures before getting to the actual ruin.
Here is a tip: Many people payed the $3 USD to enter. However, $30 pesos is about $1.5 USD… DONT PAY WITH DOLLARS. Pay with pesos. Its cheaper.
I loved the ruin, its small. The size of a house. But, love is love. I walked around saw the sculptures and found a cave near the left walkway. It was beautiful. Although, I don’t know why I expected all of this to be free. Its all about making money off the tourists.
Let me break it down for you:
Its cute but its all about making money from tourists. You can do the entire island in a day. I was there for two, which was perfect for me.
$30 pesos for the mayan ruin is worth it… Find cheap food. Don’t pay for an umbrella ($300 pesos! I don’t think so.) I think its a rip off. If you can get away without paying it thats good.
Beaches are great. Its a cute one or two day trip. Splurge if you want. Its up to you.
Would I recommend it? I would say go for the day. Its cute but dont spend more than 2 days here.