WELCOME to

ISLA MUJERES


QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO

Author's note:
All material on this website is covered by copyrite, `02/05.
Copy, in whole, or in part, without express permission of the author is illegal.


A WORKER STARTS HIS DAY BY DIGGING HOLES FOR BEACH UMBRELLAS.
IN THE BACKGROUND A YOUNG COUPLE START THEIR NEW LIFE BY POSING FOR WEDDING PICTURES.

Author's note:
After Hurricane Wilma in `07 the above beach (Playa Norte) is only 1/2 as wide.

WELCOME TO ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO.
MAY YOUR VISIT TO MY WEB PAGE BE AS PLEASANT AS MY VISIT TO ISLA.

Author’s note: ALL PRICES ($), UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE PESOS.

NOTE: This story is full of pictures, just click on the highlighted words.

When I returned from Cozumel on Sat. `02 May 25th, I stopped in downtown Cancun to visit Cesar, the travel agent that who set up my trip to Xcaret. I was told that he no longer worked there, so I won't mention the name of the agency.

I walked back across the street, Ave. Tulum, and caught the bus to Puerto Juarez. There are large busses that charge $4 and there are smaller, VW vans, that charge $3. Just look on the windshield for the name Puerto Juarez. Either of them will drop you at the ferry terminal.

Puerto Juarez is not the only departure point for Isla [(Isla Mujeres) (Island of Women)]. One could go by plane, Isla hosts a runway in the center of the island, or you could go by car, there is a truck ferry that docks in Bahia de Isla Mujeres, (Isla Mujeres Bay) or you could go by tour boat, at least one leaves Playa Tortuga, in Cancun's Hotel Zone, every morning.

BLANCA BEATRIZ

THE BLANCA BEATRIZ SITS AT THE WHARF IN PUERTO JUAREZ
AWAITING PASSENGERS FOR ISLA MUJERES
CARIBBEAN MISS

THE EXPRESS BOAT COSTS TWICE THE FARE OF THE SLOWER ONE
BUT IS NEARLY THREE TIMES AS QUICK

I chose to go by the slower of the two public ferries. The faster one is twice the fare ($35) and takes about a third of the time to cross. As well as saving money I wanted the adventure of the old wooden boat, reminiscent of the boats going up the Amazon in the adventure movies. (The slow ferry is only $18.) I had taken a fast style ferry when I had gone to Cozumel. You are trapped inside under freezing air conditioning.

With high expectations I boarded the open structure of the slow ferry and enjoyed natures air conditioning, ocean breezes wafting through the cabin.

BLANCA BEATRIZ

THE BEATRIZ IS OPEN AND ONE CAN ENJOY A COOL BREEZE
AND VIEW THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN
ISLA MUJERES

THE BLANCA BEATRIZ ARRIVES AT THE MUELLE (PIER).
WIDE OPEN SIDES ALLOW EASY PICTURE TAKING

It was a pleasant experience to listen to the wood creak as the old boat rolled with the waves. You can hang your head out over the side and take pictures or gaze, down, through the crystal clear water. During the one hour trip (20 minutes on the fast ferry) there is nowhere that you can't see the bottom of the ocean, which should calm the fears of people who don't like to ride in boats.

As we approached Isla I tried to ask one of the crew members where I would find a cheap hotel. Between my poor Spanish and his poor English we were unable to communicate. When I disembarked onto the dock there was a gentleman, Sergio Barbudo, waiting for me, as the crew member from the boat had pointed me out to him.

ISLA MUJERES

APPROACHING THE FERRY TERMINAL ON ISLA MUJERES
DOES IT GET ANY MORE CARIBBEAN THAN THIS?
TO THE RIGHT IS THE LARGE BLUE CAR FERRY

Sergio approached me with a list of hotels that were half the usual rate. By this, I mean, that with his negotiating, he could get the room for 1/2 the price that is on the board behind the desk clerk.

Possibly you could get the price even lower if you were on your own and a good negotiator.

A short walk from the pier (Virtually everything is a short walk from the pier on Isla.), Sergio led me to the hotels. We were accompanied by two ladies from England whom I had met on the ferry. They, like me, were backpackers and looking for low priced accommodations.

The first hotel we looked at had no water running into the toilet or the sink, in the room I was shown. The two ladies fared a little better and decided to stay there as the room was large and they were expecting some more friends.

MY ROOM

COMPUTER IS SET UP AND READY TO GO.
A PLAIN AND SIMPLE ROOM BUT INEXPENSIVE AND SUFFICIENT FOR MY NEEDS

NOT ALL HOTEL ROOMS OFFER SEATS AND LIDS ON THE TOILETS.
IF THIS IS IMPORTANT TO YOU, ASK TO SEE THE ROOM BEFORE YOU REGISTER

One thing I noticed in the rooms, the beds were very wide. Not necessarily longer for tall people but wide enough for four or more.

Sergio then took me for another short walk, through the center of town, to El Caracol. I chose to stay at this hotel. Their prices were the same as the first hotel but they agreed to give me a reduced rate, $140, if I took it for six nights.

POSADA CARACOL

FRESH DRINK VENDORS.
THE HOTEL HAS RECEIVED ITS FIRST COAT OF NEW PAINT
EL TEQUILA

NOT EXACTLY CONDUCIVE TO A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP
EL TEQUILA, NEXT DOOR TO THE `COSMIC COSAS', OFFERS LIVE BANDS ON THE WEEKENDS.
IN THE NEXT BLOCK, FRENCH CUISINE

THE SECOND COAT OF PAINT IS APPLIED WITH THE `RAG ON' METHOD
THE TILES ON THE STREET HELP TO INCREASE THE NOISE OF PASSING TRAFFIC

El Caracol is a lovely hotel with hot water, a seat on the toilet, pleasant management, and a water cooler in the lobby. While I was there they were busy repainting inside and out. One drawback, my room was at the front of the building and I had to endure the noises of the street, trucks bringing supplies early in the morning and a night club with live bands late at night, or early in the morning, depending on your sense of timing. Which of course is followed by the loud partiers wending their way home after bar closing time. Which in turn is followed by the band loading their equipment onto their bus.

SEA FRIENDS

SEA FRIENDS DIVE SHOP AND SEA DOO RENTALS
Above and below the water with Sea Friends
AV. VINCENTE GUERRERO

THIS STREET ENDS ON PLAYA CARIBE

After checking into the hotel I quickly; dumped my bag on the bed, changed from shorts to swim trunks, and headed for the beach. Due South for 1/2 a block and due West for 3 blocks and I was in the water. Stopping momentarily at the Sea Friends dive shop to see if it was a public beach. Most of the streets in Isla end on a beach. You may have to walk between tables to get to the water. The tables belong to the businesses but the beach is public.

I also queried the man at the shop as to rates for diving. I took a two tank dive with them later in the week.

The water around Isla is salty and warm. At a depth of forty feet I didn't need so much as a T-shirt for warmth.

There is very little current along the south side of the island and if you lie back and close your eyes you will slowly roll over the gentle swells and casually drift along the shore to the Western point.

The main beach in Isla, Playa Caribe, stretches West from the ferry dock, paralleling the main street, Av. Rueda Medina, across the front of the charter boat piers, and under the local fishing boats that have been pulled ashore.

PLAYA CARIBE

WEST OF DOWNTOWN, PRISTINE SANDS ATTRACT VISITORS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.
IN THE CENTER, THE PIER FOR THE TOUR BOATS FROM CANCUN
PLAYA NORTE

ONE OF THE EMPLOYEES FROM `SEA FRIENDS'
CLEANS THEIR SECTION OF NORTH BEACH
THE BEACH STRETCHES TO A ROCK WALL
WHICH IS DIFFICULT TO NAVIGATE AROUND
ON THE HORIZON, THE EARLY MORNING SUN
HIGHLIGHTS THE HOTELS ON THE BEACH IN CANCUN

Then the long open public beach passes the tour boat pier where tourists come from Cancun and spend the day on the beach.

It was entertaining to watch the sailors from the tour boat, `Caribbean Queen', with a long rope, bring water out of the ocean so that the returning tourists could wash the sand from their feet before boarding the boat.

The beach then curves North around the hotels.

At this point one of the hotels is built right to the waters edge and it is impossible to walk around the rock wall without getting your feet wet if the tide is in.

PLAYA NORTE

LOOKING TOWARDS CALETA ZAZIL-HA
ON THE HORIZON: TO THE LEFT, THE REEF;
TO THE RIGHT, THE AVALON RESORT ON ISLOTE EL YUNQUE

FAR FROM THE SHORE THE WATER IS STILL QUITE SHALLOW
THIS COUPLE FROM SONORA, MEXICO ARE NOT STANDING UP.
ON THE HORIZON THE MAINLAND OF MEXICO.
THE BUILDINGS ARE ACTUALLY PART OF ISLA MUJERES, MUNICIPALLY SPEAKING

Playa Norte (North Beach) goes in front of all the businesses and here one has to walk out quite a ways before the water gets deep. The waves are slightly higher but there is less current.

At the Northern tip there is no current and you can float in one spot forever. Also at the Northern tip, you have to walk West for a long way before it gets deep, or you can walk East into Caleta Zazil-Ha (Zazil-Ha Cove). Here the water is quite shallow and very warm.

CALETA ZAZIL-HA

ZIZIL-HA COVE
IN THE BACKGROUND, ANVIL ISLAND AND THE AVALON RESORT FOR WHICH
THE SALESMEN WERE NOTORIOUS FOR BADGERING YOU TO BUY A TIME SHARE.
IF YOU GO, BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM
SAND WORM?

THE WATER IS CRYSTAL CLEAR BUT LOOKS CLOUDY
BECAUSE MY CAMERA IS IN AN UNDERWATER CASE

In Caleta Zazil-Ha you will find a small bridge that connects Isla to Islote El Yunque (Anvil Island) which is the home of the Avalon Resort. The bridge splits the beach and the cove. On the East side of the bridge the water is known as Bano del Rey (Bathtub of the King) and the beach is called Playa del Secrecto (Secret Beach).

The entire cove is a natural wading pool enjoyed by local families, in the evenings and on weekends.

ANISETO

ANISETO IS AN AVALON SALESMAN, BUT NOT PUSHY

IN SHALLOW WATER, ACTUALLY TOO SHALLOW FOR SNORKELLING,
I WOULD FIND THESE FELLOWS FOLLOWING ME

Islote el Yunque extends North into a rock reef and makes a natural breakwater, reducing the large waves of the Mar Caribe (Caribbean Sea) to gentle swells. Because of the constant pounding of the Atlantic surf the reef is not a recommended place to swim but I did some snorkeling along the Southern side of the rocks towards the Eastern end.

After my swim I had a well deserved siesta and then walked across the street to `IslaAnimals' formerly `Amigos de los Animales' the local SPCA and the Cosmic Cosas used book store where I checked my E mail, using their internet services.

For the next hour I traversed every street and avenue in the downtown section, observing restaurants, scooter rentals, and souvenir shops, and comparing prices, in the grocery store with those of Cozumel and Cancun. The fact that all products have to be ferried to the Island has not increased the prices overly much.

COSMIC COSAS

THE `COSMIC COSAS' BOOK STORE OPEN IN THE EVENING.
HERE YOU CAN; BUY, OR DONATE, A BOOK,
SEND AN E MAIL HOME, OR ADOPT A PET.
I HAD, WHEN I LEFT HOME, SEVERAL BOOKS TO DONATE.
HOWEVER THEY GOT READ, AND LEFT,
ALONG THE WAY, TO LIGHTEN MY PACK
EL CENTRO

SATURDAY NIGHT VENDORS AWAIT THE EVENING CROWDS

IN THE BACK GROUND, EL CENTRO
SATURDAY NIGHT

ON THE SOUTH EDGE OF EL CENTRO,
TO THE EAST OF THE BASKETBALL COURT

It was Saturday night and, as per usual, when in Mexico, I toured El Centro, taking pictures and sampling the fare of various vendors. Supper was not as tasty as other El Centros I have been to but it was a pleasant evening, watching the inevitable basketball game and observing the full moon that lit the plaza.

Before going to Mexico, on this trip, I had received, from Dan & Ginny, a copy of their `Travel Tips', in which it was suggested that people should not rent scooters as the streets of Isla are very narrow and crowded. Plus the fact that the island is very small and easily accessible by foot or golf cart.

In a way I took this as a challenge. Being a professional driver I felt sure I could handle a little scooter without being a burden to other users of the streets.

Sat. evening, my first night in Isla I saw a perfect example of why Dan & Ginny say, "Don't rent scooters, walk".

Miguel Hidalgo is the main avenue of the restaurant district. On any given night, as most visitors like to dine at dusk, the street is filled with shoppers, dinners, displays, and tables.

On this particular night, there was a young lady, entertaining the diners by juggling flaming torches.

LADY JUGGLER

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE DINERS
Av. MIGUEL HIDALGO

IN THE FOREGROUND, METAL BARRIERS PREVENT VEHICLES
FROM ENTERING THE MAIN SHOPPING AND DINNING AREA
LOWER LEFT, IN THE SHADE, A DOCTOR RELAXES
BETWEEN PATIENTS
DOCTOR'S OFFICE

HIDDEN BETWEEN TWO SOUVENIR SHOPS
THIS DOCTOR'S OFFICE IS OPEN 24 / 7
MEDICAL CLINIC

NEAR THE CENTER OF TOWN

At the end of each block, each street, in the downtown area, has pipe barricades that can be removed during the day so the merchants can get supplies to their establishments. If common sense doesn't tell one that they shouldn't take a vehicle through the crowds these barricades should be sufficient to tell motorists that vehicles are not allowed on these streets.

While I was trying to get into position to take pictures of the juggler, two dipsticks on a scooter decided they should be able to use the street.

Squeezing through the pipe barricades the dim-bulbs wound their way amongst the tables, narrowly missing me, passed close in front of the juggler, and continued their way amongst the crowd to the next street.

The harassed juggler managed, somehow, to back out of the center of the street, between the tables behind her, and then back into the street again. Not only did she not drop her torches but she was able to make room for the door-knobs on the scooter without burning them or any of the audience.

I wish now that I had gotten her name so I could tell you who to hire next time you need a juggler. She is good. And poised. Though, probably seething on the inside, she never once voiced a complaint against the two dough-heads on the scooter.

Before leaving Canada I read horror stories of the over aggressive Avalon salesmen. In Isla I learned that it is easy to avoid them. Simply walk on the other side of the street, if they are busy. If they are not busy they will call to you, just wave and carry on.

If traffic is light they will cross the street to get to you. If they are coming up behind you, just ignore them and keep walking. After all how you are to know it is you they are calling, they might be calling the person behind you. Just don't turn around to check.

This applies to any salesman, selling anything. They will use various calls to get your attention. As I was wearing a T-shirt from Canada they would call, "Hey Canada.

If the salesman is in front of you it would be very impolite to ignore them. But just say, no thanks. Even if they try to open a conversation, with, "What part of Canada are you from?", brush it aside with a, "No, senor, Gracias".

Every street in every town in Mexico has salesmen, just move along with pleasant, no thank yous. Once they get you started on a conversation it is hard to get away. It is easier not to let it get started.

The Avalon salesmen are now like any other salesmen. They are not allowed to wander all over town. To my knowledge they only have three locations. There is a kiosk on the corner of El Centro. That would be the corner of Av. Benito Juarez and Francisco I. Madero. Another is at the corner of Av. Carlos Lazo and Adolfo Lopez Mateos, just South of the convention center.

Av. RUEDA MEDINA

LOOKING NORTH FROM THE FERRY TERMINAL
CONVENTION CENTER

IT IS HARD TO MISS THIS KIOSK ON THE WAY TO THE BEACH

And of course there is the foot of the bridge that goes over to Anvil Island where the Avalon is located. There I met Aniseto. Not pushy, but very pleasant. We had a very nice conversation and I extracted as much information from him as he did from me.

After that, whenever I met another salesman I would just say I had made an appointment with Aniseto. They would back off after that, rather than compromise a fellow salesman's possible sale.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Unlike dealers on Cozumel who expect you to bring your scooter back with a full tank of fuel the rental companies on Isla include the fuel in the price.

Prices range from $150 to $200 per day. With a bit of negotiating I got a $200 unit for $170. I don't remember whether or not I bought insurance but I did pay the extra for the helmet. And was happy I did as later I saw a police officer stopping scooter riders who were not wearing helmets, particularly if they were female.

One thing I forgot to do was a circle-check for damage and scratches. The salesman assured me it was a new bike but it was obvious that it wasn't. When I returned the worker asked me if I had fallen. When I said `no' he wanted me to come and see the scratch. I refused saying that I never put any scratches on it. After a short discussion with his boss the subject was dropped.

Whether the scratch was there before I left or not I don't know. I do know that I neither dropped the bike nor ran into anything. I also know that despite Dan & Ginny's fears, I, as a beginning bike rider, did not unduly disturb nor hinder other users of the streets.

After all, between Cuba and Cozumel, by the time I reached Isla, I had a whole ten hours of scooter driving experience under my belt. But as a professional driver I have forty years of city and highway experience and know the rules of courtesy and safety.

SCENES ALONG THE WEST COAST OF ISLA MUJERES

ROOF ORNAMENT

I'VE HEARD OF HOOD ORNAMENTS, BUT!
THE PASSENGER OF THIS PICKUP TRUCK WANTS A BETTER VIEW

THIS TREE SEEMS CONFUSED
AS TO WHICH DIRECTION IT SHOULD GROW
ZONE DE HOTEL

THE RESORTS IN THE HOTEL ZONE OF CANCUN
GARRAFON PARQUE NATURAL

A TOUR BOAT PICKS UP PASSENGERS FROM GARRAFON
ALONG THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF THE ISLAND
MAXIMUM CAPACITY

A BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO?
PUNTA SUR

PUNTA SUR FARO
THE LIGHTHOUSE ON THE SOUTH POINT
MAD VAC

THE LITTLE RED DOT, TO THE RIGHT OF THE MAN'S LEFT LEG,
IS A `MADE IN CANADA' STICKER.
I'VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A MACHINE IN CANADA

IT IS USED TO PICK UP BOTTLES,
AND OTHER TRASH, ALONG THE STREETS

By noon I had traversed every street, avenida, and alley on the island and after my siesta I covered some of them again.

Along the East coast I saw some really distinct houses, but why anyone would want to live along there is beyond me. The winter storms must be an awesome sight and would certainly take a toll on even the best of constructed structures which I am sure those homes are not.

ROUND HOUSE

ON THE WEST SIDE OF CORREDOR PANORAMICO
SHELL HOUSE

DESIGNED TO LOOK LIKE A CONCH SHELL
THE `SHELL HOUSE' HAS BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT IN MANY PUBLICATIONS
THREE PEAS IN A POD

LIKE THREE GRANARIES, ON A FARMER'S FIELD, IN THE PRAIRIES
FRESH AIR

ALWAYS A BREEZE
THE NEAREST LAND IS CUBA

Invariably construction in Mexico uses a low grade cement and a poor quality sand which leads to an inferior concrete. In fact, on Isla, I believe, the sand they use is actually fine coral which tends to break down.

I first noticed this in Zihuatanejo, which had been built into a tourist town for Mexicans twenty years ago, and now has fallen into disrepair as the waves have destroyed what was once a lovely seawall.

Evidence of similar erosion is common throughout Isla, particularly along the East coast where structures are open to the prevailing winds. I believe, the Avalon hotel is a perfect example of this.

DETERIORATION

BECAUSE THE CONCRETE IS MADE FROM LOW-GRADE
CEMENT AND SAND IT DOES NOT WEATHER WELL
WEATHER FACTOR

BUILDINGS ON THE EAST COAST
ARE OPEN TO THE CONSTANT WIND AND WAVES

Near the South West corner of Colonia, the municipal district near the center of the island I noticed some large mud balls in the trees. I had seen similar forms near Zihuatanejo and had been told they were Iguana nests.

Parking my scooter I walked into the trees and took some pictures of them.

A short way down the road I met some policemen and asked them what the balls were. I am sure, to an onlooker, it must have looked comical with me making hand gestures and trying in my limited Spanish to explain what I wanted.

Several times I just gave up and tried to say Adios but by then the Policemen thought it was something serious and were determined to find out what I was talking about.

MUD BALLS

THESE MUD BALLS CAN BE FOUND ANYWHERE.
CLOSE TO THE GROUND, HIGH IN A TREE.
I FOUND ONE NEAR THE ROOF OF A HOUSE ON A WOODEN LADDER
TERMITES?

THE MAN MADE A SMALL HOLE IN THE TOP OF THIS
SO I COULD SEE THE LITTLE WHITE BUGS INSIDE

Eventually one gentleman climbed on the back of my scooter and, with the police vehicle following, we returned to the scene of the crime.

The man picked up a small rock and broke a small hole in the side of the ball and showed me little white crawlies which I thought he called hormiga, ants, but I believe were termites.

During my day of scooting I noticed a couple of small stores that had amusing signs in their windows. One sign said, `prices lower than Wal-mart', the other said `K-mart blue light specials'.

Though I am told that Cozumel is crime free I saw many houses with bars on the windows, and lots had broken glass atop the walls. However, not as many as Zihuatanejo, but more than I saw in Isla.

Keeping with my tradition, when travelling to a strange town, of eating in a different place each time, and finding little out of the way eateries, I discovered a small house in Colonia Miraflores.

This was so Mexico: a small menu on the wall outside the door to their home; a concrete patio with four tables and chairs; a thatched roof, and outrages prices, this last said with tongue in cheek.

PAPA Y BEBE

ROCKING THE LITTLE ONE TO SLEEP.
A WOMAN'S WORK IS NEVER DONE, UNTIL A MAN DOES IT
RESTAURANT IN COLONIA

EXCELLENT: AMBIENCE; FOOD; PRICES; AND SERVICE

I don't know its name, and I have no idea of the name of the street. It is on a corner and a bus route.

I tried something I had never had before, sopes, for which they wanted the outrageous price of $5. I had two and in keeping with my diet controlled myself from ordering more.

NINOS

TAKE MY PICTURE NEXT
ITALIAN CUISINE & GELATO

RISTORANTE ITALIANO ANGELO
ON Av. MIGUEL HIDALGO

For refreshment I ordered a Fanta Orange for I have discovered that in Mexico they still use the original recipe and not the watered down version that they sell in Canada.

The restaurant was out of soft drinks but they sent the young boy across the street to the corner store. He came back with the news that the store was out as well. I said, "Coca", and he quickly dashed back across the street and got a bottle of Coke.

The Coke, I discovered, in Mexico is also made with the original recipe and tastes much better than the watered down crap that they try to pass off as `Classic Coke' in Canada.

I normally don't have a drink with lunch but having rediscovered the old tastes while in Cuba I continued to enjoy orange and coke while in Mexico.

For cena, supper, that night I had Penne at Ristorante Italiano Angelo on Ave. Hidalgo, the main tourist Street. Angelo, who is originally from Sardinia, Italy has been in Isla for six years and serves excellent Italian. Just before I left Isla he opened up an ice cream bar with genuine Italian gelato.

Other places on Isla where I enjoyed a meal.

(Pic. of mercado.)
THE MERCADO (MARKET) ON Av. VINCENTE GUERRERO

RECOMMENDED, by Lee
EATING ESTABLISHMENTS ON ISLA MUJERES

  • Quadrilles at the first stall, closest to Av. Vincente Gurrero, in the food fair at the mercado (market).
  • Tacos, $25, at the second food stall.
  • Torta Loca, egg and beef, etc. at El Poc Chuc, loncheria cocina economica. Corner of Benito Juarez and Abasolo.

    (Pic. of Poc Chuc, loncheria .)
    LUNCH WAS A BIT NOISY THIS DAY
    AS WORKERS WERE BUSY, UNDER THE STREET
    (Pic. of menu on wall.

    (Pic. of Taqueria Glenssy.)
    TAQUERIA GLENSSY

  • Burritas pollo con mirinda naranja, $31, at Taqueria Glenssy. Corner of Adolfo Lopez Mateos and Miguel Hidalgo.
  • Enchiladas, plus wine = $85, at Freddy's, Ave. Hidalgo (Towards Av. Adolfo Lopez Mateos). Freddy thought they would be too spicy for me, but, I like spicy.
  • Melines Chicken, $30, at Susanita Comida Economica. Av. Benito Juarez between Matomoros and Abasolo.
  • Two other places, I never knew their names, can«t find their pictures, on Av. Benito Juarez. (On the East side. Not the West, that is private residences.) Look for, small, two, and three, table restaurants. Good: food; prices, and service.

    (Pic. of machine making tortillas.)
    THIS SHOP, ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE MERCADO, MAKES TORTILLAS

  • With fries, $45, at Nauti Pete.
  • Many push carts around town, some say `hamburgers' but all just sell hot dogs.

    I never found a really good burger on Isla.

    + + + + + + + + + +

    I mentioned earlier, while deboating, okay, no such word. Well, we say `deplaneing' don't we? After disembarking from the Blanca Beatriz, I had noticed that the strap was separating from the bottom of my fin bag.

    While touring the Colonias on a scooter I had found a small mall< that wasn't open, being Sunday. I thought that might be the location of the shoe store Sergio had told me about.

    On Monday I caught the bus from downtown Isla, $3. The driver dropped me on the main road. A short walk, to the East, of a couple of blocks, took me to the mall.

    The mall is a circular building with small stores: vegetables; shoes; clothing; newspapers, around the outside, facing the parking lot, and more small shops, mostly meat shops, on the inside, facing an open courtyard. The small shops are similar to those found in Shanghai, China.

    CITY BUS

    THE BUS TO COLONIA IS ONLY $3
    INTERSECTION OF Av. ADOLFO LOPEZ MATEOS & RUEDA MEDINA
    STORE

    A STORE NEAR THE MERCADO IN COLONIA
    NOTE THE GARBAGE AWAITING COLLECTION
    ON A POLE (IN THE FOREGROUND) SO DOGS CAN'T GET IT
    MALL

    IT'S EASY TO FIND THE MALL
    IT'S RIGHT BESIDE THE BASKETBALL COURT

    MOSTLY MEAT MARKETS FACING THE COURTYARD

    With my spattering of Spanish, the use of my booktionary, and some sign language, I managed to show the proprietor of the shoe store what was wrong with my bag and how I would like it repaired. I suggested a piece of leather for reinforcing but he said he had some material that would work better.

    He suggested I come back in a couple of hours and I told him to take his time, I would come back the next day.

    While on the bus we had passed the little restaurant where I had had lunch the day before so I walked back through the streets of Colonia Miraflores and had a huarache for lunch.

    In the center of Isla Mujeres is two small lakes. After lunch I walked along the seawall of Salina Grande from one end of to the other.

    SEAWALL ALONG THE WEST SIDE OF SALINA GRANDE


    SEAWALL & SALINA GRANDE

    A HOME MADE FROM AN OLD BOAT

    MANY HOMES USE THIS CORRUGATED MATERIAL FOR ROOFS,
    THIS WAS THE FIRST I SAW THAT USED IT FOR THE WALLS

    "HIGHER MAMA,
    I WANT TO BE IN THE PICTURE TOO"

    The next day I caught the bus to Colonial to pick up my dive bag. The shoe maker had done such a nice job that I gave him more than the $20 he asked for.

    During my outings I developed a sore toe. Forgetting the advice I had read on the Isla Mujeres Message Board, about the clinic and the Red Cross, I used the services of the 24 hr. doctor on Av. Miguel Hidalgo.

    It cost me $300 for a short exam during which the doctor told me I had a small cut under my toe that had become infected. The doctor gave me a prescription for Penicillin which cost me $110.

    As I had bought T-shirts for souvenirs in other towns I didn't want to buy another one in Isla. Several displays of bright beach towels reminded me of how shabby mine was becoming. After checking many stores, prices were usually $150, I found a nice design at the Mercado. Their price was only $120 and, with a bit of bargaining, I got a nice souvenir of Isla for $100.

    A friend of mine who plays guitar in a Philippine band, (see my Interview, `Sacred Mushrooms') had asked me to find him a shell choker that he could wear on stage.

    After searching in many stores I found three matching chokers, in three different sizes. I don't know the name of the store but it was in a little mall of similar souvenir shops on Av. Rueda Medina.

    They were asking $100 each for the chokers. Having absolutely no idea how big a choker should be, or the size of my friend's neck, I bought, after a bit of bargaining, all three for $200.

    The next time I went to see the band play, I gave one to each of the members and let them sort out which one fit.

    PICTURES OF ISLA MUJERES
    THESE PICS DIDNT GET USED IN MY STORY BUT,
    I WANTED TO SHOW THEM TO YOU.


    I FELL IN LOVE WITH ISLA
    I E MAILED MY FRIENDS BACK HOME, TOLD THEM I BOUGHT THIS PLACE.
    AFTER I GOT HOME I E MAILED THE REALTOR.
    IN MY WILDEST DREAMS I COULDNT AFFORD IT.
    IN THE BACK, THERE WAS A WOODEN LADDER LEANING AGAINST THE HOUSE
    NEAR THE TOP OF THE LADDER WAS A HUGE TERMITE NEST.

    CHICKLET TREES & A CIRCUS - OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE ISLAND

    (Pic. of chicklet tree.)

    THE WHITE TEARDROPS CONTAIN
    THE INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKLETS.

    A CIRCUS WAS SET UP
    CORNER OF Av. RUEDA MEDIAN &
    ADOLFO LOPEZ MATEOS

    WORKMEN

    (workers cutting trees & brush.)
    WORKERS CLEAR THE LOT
    NEXT TO THE CONVENTION CENTER

    THIS WORKER IS KEEPING HIS COMPADRE
    FROM FALLING INTO THE MANHOLE.
    (ALTHOUGH HE ALMOST LOST HIM
    WHEN A WELL FILLED BIKINI WALKED BY)
    (Pic. of small lizard.)
    ONE OF THE NATIVES OF MEXICO.

    EVEN IN PARADISE, VANADALISM
    (Pic. of small lizard.)
    POST OFFICE
    CORNER OF Av. VINCENTE GUERRERO Y ADOLFO LOPEZ MATEOS

    THE REEF IS BEHIND THE WHARF
    TO THE WEST OF ISLOTE EL YUNGUE
    (Pic. of small lizard.)
    MAR CARIBE (CARIBBEAN, OCEAN).
    LOOKING EAST ALONG Av. MATAMOROS
    FROM THE BALCONY OF POSADA CARACOL

    A BEAUTIFUL LADY,
    A FISHERMAN CASTING HIS NET,
    A SHARK, ETC.
    CORNER OF Av. RUEDA MEDIAN Y ADOLFO LOPEZ MATEOS

    Before I left Canada I was told to go to Isla first. I said I would save the best for the last. I was right. After Cancun, Cuba, & Cozumel, Isla is the best.

    ADDENDUM

    `04 March 28

    (Front of hotel.)
    (Sign for hotel.)
    (Two dinner plates full of sea shells.)
    SEA SHELLS THAT SERENA COLLECTED AND
    A PIECE OF BLACK FAN CORAL THAT
    I FOUND WASHED UP ON THE BEACH

    (Front of apartments.)
    (Sign for apartments.)
    APARTAMENTOS TRINCHAN
    46 Av. CARLOS LAZO
    Ph. 52 1 99 81 66 69 67
    atrinchan@prodigy.net.mx

    (Interior - Kitchen.)
    (Interior - Living room.)
    1 WEEK - FAN, HOT WATER, & TV - P2100 - NO A/C
    (Gecko on wall beside light.)
    THE ROOM COMES
    WITH A
    MOSQUITO
    CATCHER
    (Gecko on wall.)
    A GECKO LIVES
    BEHIND THE LIGHT

    PUNTA SUR - SOUTH POINT

    We rented a golf car for the day and toured the island.

    At Punta Sur we watched people riding cables from a resort to the cliff, from the cliff to a post out in the water, then back to the resort.

    (Man hanging from wire over water.)
    ALMOST THERE, BUT IT'S UPHILL, NOW
    (Man hanging from wire over water.)
    THIS LADY SLOWED DOWN TOO SOON,
    THE MAN HAD TO COME OUT AND RESCUE HER
    (Serena driving a golf car.)
    SERENA DRIVING OUR GOLF CAR
    (Parking lot full of golf cars.)
    TWO MORE PARKING AREAS, OUT OF SIGHT, ALL FULL
    (Statue of lady giving birth.)
    MAYAN STATUE - LADY GIVING BIRTH
    (Interior - waves wash a rocky shore.)
    ONCE A SANDY BEACH, THE WAVES OF HURRICANE GILBERT TOOK THE SAND AWAY
    (large waves.)
    THIS SIDE OF THE ISLAND IS ALWAYS OPEN TO THE WAVES OF THE CARIBBEAN
    (An endless line of golf cars.)
    AN ENDLESS STREAM AND IT'S NOT RUSH HOUR

    PUNTA NORTE - NORTH POINT

    (Small bay, nice beach, rough waves.)
    JUST SOUTH OF PUNTA NORTE,
    UNDERTOW IS TOO STRONG FOR SWIMMING
    (Serena on rocks surrounded by big waves.)
    SERENA FOUND MANY SHELLS HERE AND
    NEVER GOT HIT BY A WAVE
    (Lagoon at Playa Norte.)
    FAMILY SWIMMING IN THIS LAGOON,
    THE ROCK REEF BREAKS THE WAVES
    (Lee snorkeling in lagoon.)
    BEAR (ME) SNORKELING
    (Underwater photo - fish.)
    NEAR THE ROCKS IN THE LAGOON
    (Underwater photo - fish.)
    VERY SHALLOW WATER
    (Underwater photo - fish.)
    THE WATER HERE IS WARM AND CALM
    (Underwater photo - fish.)
    (Underwater photo - fish.)
    (Underwater photo - fish.)
    (Underwater photo - fish.)
    DANCE, BALLERINA, DANCE
    (Underwater photo - fish , barracuda.)
    BARRACUDA

    END

    LATEST CURRENCY VALUES

  • (BoC logo.) BANK of CANADA Currency Converter

    WEATHER ACROSS
    MEXICO

    The WEATHER NETWORK
    (Weather. Com Logo.)
    El Canal Meteorolęgico

    El Tiempo en Mķxico

    TRAVEL TIPS:
    Bargaining, Cameras, Computers, Taxis, Tipping, Upset Stomach, Water.
    VACATION PACKAGES
    Australia, Caribbean, Cuba, Europe, Hawaii, Mekong River.

    RELATED WEB SITES

    (Villa Rolandi logo.)
    HOTEL VILLA ROLANDI

    Gourmet & Beach Club.
    (I Love My logo.)
    I LOVE MY ISLA MUJERES

    The Unofficial Isla Mujeres Site.
    (isla-mujeres.net logo.)
    ISLA MUJERES NET

    Travel tips for
    Isla Mujeres, Mexico
    (isla-mujeres.net logo.)
    ISLA MUJERES NET

    Travel tips for
    Isla Mujeres, Mexico
    (Same but has a
    musical opening
    - requires Java)

    « To the Top of This PAGE

    (Head shot.)
    LEIGH KIRKWOOD
    Travel Consultant
    CLICK HERE
    For all your; Adventures, Cruises, or Resorts
    « Go back To My MEXICO Page
    « Go back To My TRAVEL Page
    « Go back To My HOME Page
    SITE MAP
    search tips advanced search
    site search by
    free find logo
    Active Search Results
    Page Ranking Technology

    Search Engine

    Send me a comment (and I will add it to my Guest Book), or correction, or just say, "Hi"!
    (Mailbox)
    CONTACT FORM

    Thank you for visiting Lee's `ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO' Page.
    Please come back and visit again!