Mexico week 2 - Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Playa del Carmen
Mexico week 2
Our first week Mexico in Cancun is over and we take the ferry to Isla Mujeres for a few days. Afterwards, we enjoy a week at Playa del Carmen. Also a very well-known tourist area in Mexico. We also make a stop in beautiful Tulum. Do you want to know how it went? Read all about it here! We will even give you some tips for your next holiday!
The island Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a tiny island half an hour by boat from bustling Cancun. We chose to include Isla Mujeres in our itinerary because we really like islands and everyone recommends it. It also looked nice and quiet on pictures. The ideal getaway after busy Cancun!
After a tough (read: a lot of wind and high waves) trip on the Caribbean Sea, we arrived on Isla Mujeres. To our surprise, it was very busy and there were many tourists walking around. Maybe this was only around the harbour? We decided to take a taxi to our hotel as the GPS indicated that our destination was an 11-minute walk away. With our luggage, this seemed just a bit too far on foot at a temperature of 28 degrees. The taxi cost us 50 pesos for literally a one-minute ride. So we could easily have done this on foot. Thanks GPS…
Our hotel was really perfect. It was right on the beach and our room had an ocean view. This view was great to wake up to! The roof terrace of the hotel also gave a breathtaking view of the entire island. Because it is certainly not big. You can go all the way around it in one day in a golf cart. They rent these out all over Isla Mujeres. You will also find souvenir shops everywhere. They all sell almost the same thing. Every salesman talks to you in the street. This was not really what we had in mind when we came here.
Don’t get us wrong, Isla Mujeres is very beautiful, but much busier than people say. And that is not what we are looking for. We stayed there for a total of three days, which is certainly enough. We would therefore recommend staying only one to maximum three days there, unless of course you are staying in an all-inclusive resortand are not looking for culture. There is not much to see. However, we can recommend one particular restaurant – Cafe Mogagua. Be sure to try the pasta frutti di mare, which is finger-licking good. Without a doubt the best pasta we ever ate!
Mexico week 2
Playa del Carmen
After Isla Mujeres, we headed for Playa del Carmen. Although this is also on the coast, an hour’s drive from Cancun, we first had to take the ferry back to Cancun to take the bus to Playa del Carmen. A direct ferry from Isla Mujeres to Playa del Carmen would have been nice. Anyway, our journey went fine and we arrived at our destination earlier than expected.
As Cancun is the favourite travel destination of Americans, Playa del Carmen is for Europeans. In Mexico at least. Nevertheless, we saw many Americans here as well. But it is true that more Europeans come to Playa del Carmen, because in the first few days we already met a few Belgians. This in contrast to Cancun.
We stay in Playa del Carmen just outside the tourist centre. We booked our stay via AirBnB. We have our own studio attached to a house where a French couple lives. Location is perfect. A 5-minute bike ride from the beach and a 2-minute bike ride from a large shopping centre. Couldn’t be better!
Playa del Carmen is very touristy. The beach is beautiful but all the big hotels are there so it is crowded. Deserted beaches with swaying palm trees are not to be expected here. Think of masses of chairs and waiters walking back and forth with drinks for their hotel guests. Not very cosy.
Nevertheless, we really like the touristy boulevard of Playa del Carmen. You can stroll around among the many shops and restaurants. There is also some street entertainment, especially in the evening. Then Playa del Carmen comes to life. You can go out cheaply, but also very stylish and expensive. For example, you can book a table at the Cirque Du Soleil theatre. Here you get food, champagne and a Cirque du Soleil show during your dinner. We think this is a wonderful experience! It is a pity that the price tag (about 70 euros/person) stopped us.
Sigrid celebrated her birthday on March 13. Together we chose to visit the ruins of Tulum on this day, as this was always her dream. For only 70 pesos (3 euros) you can visit these ruins. And honestly, it is much more beautiful than Chichen Itza! There is more nature, the park is bigger and the view of the ocean is breathtaking. A great experience! Please note that taking beautiful photos can be very nerve-racking. Other tourists are constantly walking in your view.
We did not visit Tulum itself as the centre was too far from the ruins. Instead, we chose to finish Sigrid’s birthday in Playa del Carmen with a delicious dinner and cocktail afterwards with live music in the background. We have not known a better place to celebrate a birthday. It was a great day!
The largest water park
To end this fantastic week, we went to the biggest water park we ever saw, called Xcaret. Xcaret has everything that a water park should have, and all in the open air! How wonderful and fun this was, you will read here next week!