So after 4 perfect days in paradise, I jumped on a bus and headed up to Cancun, to get on the 20 minute ferry over to Isla Mujures, a small fishing village just 7 km long and 650m wide. Situated just off the coast, in the bluest waters I have ever seen, Isla is really a town for tourists, and very different to Tulum’s laid back vibe, but still a lot of fun.
I arrived to my guest house just before sun down, and wandering around with my suitcase, failing to find the office came upon a table of around 15 people of varying nationalities. They instructed me to sit down and then plied me with tequila for the next 5 hours - I didn’t head up to my room until well after midnight. Now that’s a Mexican welcome! Turns out one of the guys was the owner of the place I was staying and the others various guests and locals.
Breakfast looking towards Cancun.
Casa Bonita was situated on the West side of the island, with its own private little beach which I had to myself every day. Being on the West, it caught the most spectacular sunsets.
The sun went down around 6pm every night, and so quickly. It really was amazing to watch.
Days spent on Playa Norte, only ever having to get up to take a dip in the sea, as continuous Corona’s and fish tacos would be brought right to the sun lounger.
The Soggy Peso bar - they are famous for their BBQs on a Sunday and I can see why. BBQ ribs, corn bread and margaritas. What’s not to love?
Apart from these guys stealing chicken bones…
Later that night dinner at the fishing collective - locals bringing in their fresh catch to be cooked and served. Could not get any fresher than that. And again, a glorious sunset and that beautiful light just before the sun goes down where everything just glows.
And makes even the most sunburnt look not so bad.
The town of Isla (if it can be called that) is tiny, but bustling in the evening along the main drag with lively bars and restaurants. Moving off the main street, you would walk past what looked like a front room with a few table and chairs - families would open up their homes as ‘restaurants’.
It was rather sleepy during the day. I guess everyone having their siestas and sleeping off the tequila from the night before.
See you again soon Isla!
Finally I’ve managed to get together all my photos (taken on 2 different Iphones, an Ipad and a camera - I seriously need to consolidate devices). Looking back it appears there is a fairly common theme: many, many sunsets (well they were spectacular), one or two sunrises (surprisingly I was up for a few), the beach and booze.
My first stop, Tulum, staying in a beach cabana at Playa Esperanza. I had to pinch myself waking up the first morning to this view from my balcony, waking up to the sounds of the waves not just 15 metres from my bed.
I’d then walk along the beach to huevos rancheros, a swim on the way back. Note the sand on the ‘floor’ of the restaurant. I didn’t wear shoes for 5 days.
Back to the cabana…
Then a busy afternoon in a hammock…
With necessary refreshments. No need to move, the lovely locals would bring it to me….
The view from in front of Playa Esperanza, looking south.
Then fish tacos for lunch - once again, no shoes required. This was the restaurant/bar area. About 10 metres from my cabana and the beach. Handy.
Fish tacos! And Corona. And chilis which I was warned about but stupidly didn’t heed their warnings. They completely blew my mouth off. And of course didn’t listen the second time when they put them in front of me, mentioning ‘piquante’.
The sun set behind the resort, but the colours were still spectacular. A warm wash like a Monet watercolour, giving everything a glow.
There was a spot down the end of the beach with a great view back towards the ruins. They did amazing frozen margaritas.
Which is probably responsible for this slightly embarrassing selfie:
One day I took a trip in to Tulum town, which is really a bit of a one horse town, but authentic and some great places to eat.
I managed to avoid buying any tourist tat. Well, almost any - I couldn’t resist those beautiful blankets. And was quite proud of myself to actually barter down the guy, until I realised I had saved myself a whole 50p.
About 1km north of where I was staying was the spectacular Tulum Mayan Ruins, dating back to the 13th century. Those Mayans sure knew a thing or two about location: the ruins sit on the edge of the cliff over looking the Caribbean sea, facing the sunrise each morning.
Doing the tourist thing.
The views were mindblowing. And iguanas EVERYWHERE enjoying the sun. Every now and then you’d hear a ‘thud’ and it was one of them dozing off on a wall and falling off.
Then a short (yet very hot) walk back to Playa, with a couple of stops on the way for swims.
Next stop: Isla Mujures.