There are many reasons why visitors to Isla Mujeres might fall in love with the island. Its small town charm, friendliness, natural beauty, and the opportunity to experience the pulse of a real community and its people. But there is a single hook that catches people first - the beach.
With your first view of the magnificent turquoise waters and powdery, white sand of Playa Norte you won't be able to resist the urge to park under a palm tree to enjoy the Corona commercial inspired beach scene you've been longing for.
There are beach clubs, bars and restaurants to suit any style along the beach. There is a fee for the use of chairs and umbrellas in most locations, so if that doesn't appeal, just settle on a blanket or towel wherever you like. The entire beach is available for public use.
I like to start my day in a quiet location. The beach near the Na Balam
hotel is perfect.
Crystal clear water
If you would like to do more people watching, choose a location somewhere near the docks, where there is always a buzz of boating activity among fishermen and the tour companies. This is also the first stretch of beach reached by anyone coming off the ferry from Cancun so it tends to be a little busier than spots farther along.
By mid-morning I'm always ready for a snack. I love these peanuts with a squeeze of fresh lime.
Maria Lopez sells her delicious peanuts on Playa Norte
When lunch rolls around you will have a multitude of options to choose from. Fresh ceviche brought directly to your beach chair at the Sunset Grill;
nachos at the swing bar at Buho's
; or one of my favourite meals of the trip, the tasty house salad with a Dos Equis Ambar at Na Balam's beach restaurant, Zazil-Ha.
You're bound to do some souvenir shopping during your time on Isla. Why not check out what's on offer from the beach vendors? All prices are negotiable, and you may find the perfect little beach dress or bag this way. If you aren't interested in making a purchase, a simple "No gracias" will be accepted without difficulty.
Perhaps you need a little break from the sun sometime during the day. What more relaxing option than a massage within earshot of the crashing waves?
And the big finale, the perfect to end your perfect beach day is watching the sunset at Chi Chi n' Charlie's
with one of bartender, Ramiro's fabulous margaritas in hand.
Life on Isla really is a beach, huh?