Isla Mujeres

One short weekend was all it took for me to fall in love with this beautiful island off the coast of Cancun. Although it is only a 15 minute ferry ride away from the built-up zona hotelera of Cancun, Isla feels like a million miles away, with its relaxed, peaceful vibe, car-free streets and lack of big, modern development.

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This was the view approaching the island on the ferry.

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We rented a scooter to explore the island. Isla is tiny so you can get around the whole island in 30 minutes on the one road that sticks to the coast.

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The Punta Sur of the island is said to be where the sun first touches Mexico in the mornings. This part of the island is rocky and more wild, a contrast to the calm, still waters of the white sandy beaches in the Northern part.

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Also in the Punta Sur is this statue of the Mayan goddess Ixchel, who is described as ‘madam of the sea, goddess of the moon, patroness of weaving, guardian of childbirth, god’s mother and wife of Itzamna the creator’. What a woman!

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We made friends with the locals …

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And were lucky enough to visit the turtle sanctuary where we met some of the temporary residents. The centre collects the turtle eggs from the beaches to protect them from poachers, lets them hatch in a safe environment and then releases the babies back into the sea.

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We had a delicious lunch of pescado frito in this beautiful seaside restaurant

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Then swam in the Caribbean sea with pelicans and the distant view of the hotels of Cancun on the horizon

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My friend Joel built a sand-turtle and we enjoyed the Caribbean sunset before I reluctantly got the ferry and bus back to Mérida

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