If you have ever been like me and looking to get away from the cold miserable winter or looking for beautiful beaches and water, you may have looked at the normal Mexican destinations. I am here to tell you that there is a place that is much more enjoyable and authentic than the normal Mexican destinations of Playa, Cancun, Cabo, or Cozumel.
A small island called Isla de Mujeres (Island of Women) is located about 40m outside of Cancun and offers a casual and authentic Mexican vacation. The island itself is about 1.7 sq. miles and is home to a population of just under 13,000. When visiting you will want to pick up a golf cart as that is the preferred method of getting around town. You will see locals using golf carts, scooters, and cars to get around but you can traverse the entire island on a golf cart very easily. One big draw of Isla Mujeres is the North Beach. You can come and experience the pristine water and beaches of North Beach at Isla Mujeres.
Another great draw of Isla Mujeres is the laid back nature of the island. You will not find any fast-food chains and only find two OXXO (a Mexican convenience store chain). Instead, you will find bars filled with locals and eateries with local Mexican food prepared by locals.
When visiting Isla Mujeres you will want to ensure that you bring Pesos. Credit Cards are accepted at very few places and the small shops you will want to visit are all cash only. Right, when you get off the ferry there is the national bank ATM that will give you Pesos for a very small fee that I would recommend you use over any currency exchange Kiosk.
There are plenty of local bars and places to enjoy yourself during your stay. Make sure to check out the local convenience stores who all offer cheap beer, drinks, and snacks. Occasionally outside of a shop, they will be making fully dressed Micheladas which are always great on a warm Mexican morning.
When looking for lodging I would recommend sticking to the local Airbnb listings. If you are going during the Summertime make sure you look for a house with air conditioning. If you are traveling during the peak winter months, you can get away with a home that has windows and fans, the weather is usually very enjoyable.
Isla Mujeres is a great destination to avoid the big Mexican tourist destinations and I can not recommend it enough to anyone looking to get out for a relaxing stress-free vacation.