Steve sitting on the Malecon wall facing the windward side of Isla Mujeres – photo JRD, edited SFD
Visiting Isla Mujeres is as easy as 1-2-3. The island is located a short distance from Cancun, and typically takes 20 to 30-minutes by water taxi. The first step is to travel to Cancun (on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the State of Quintana Roo). In our case we traveled by First Class ADO bus from Ciudad de Merida in the State of Yucatan (a trip of approximately 4-hours). Bus fare $300 MXN/$23 USD pp. After reaching Cancun, by whatever means, take a local taxi (Taxi fare $70 MXN/$5.40 USD = $2.70 USD pp) to Puerto Juarez to catch a water taxi to the island (they depart every hour, and there are three different companies providing the service). Depending on weather and water conditions the trip can take from 20 to 45-minutes (in our case it was approximately 30-minutes). Water taxi fare $65 MXN/$2.50 USD pp. Arriving at the dock, we headed to Hotel Marcianto in the center of town (El Pueblo). We only paid $370 MXN/$28 USD = $14 USD pp per night. For $14 USD pp per night we received: A very clean room with two beds, hot water, refrigerator, television, ceiling fan and oscillating fan. The room was cleaned every day, and fresh towels were included on a daily basis.
My philosophy on travel: I personally don’t enjoy the resort experience. When I had money I would do it from time to time, but I never really cared for it all that much (and Joel shares my philosophy … which is a good thing). Resorts want you to spend all of your time (and money) at their resort—they want you to eat at their restaurants, drink at their bars and shop at their souvenir boutiques. It’s ungodly expensive to stay at a resort, and you miss out on really cool local stuff. And resorts ruin whatever pristine area they develop. The developers have spoiled Hawaii, the coastal strips in Costa Rica (Guanacaste and Jaco Beach), Phuket in Thailand and even Vietnam. I was disappointed to find the developers busy destroying the world class beaches in Nha Trang and China Beach on my last visit to Vietnam in 2008. If you want to see first hand the travesty of development, you need look no further than Cancun here in Mexico—and Playa del Carmen and Cozumel are well on their way too. Anyway, that’s why I like to stay in these little local hotels (not too many gringos to be found), and eat at the local establishments (not at the resort). You can see by the prices I listed above that you really can travel on a shoestring—and it’s more fun. I’ll climb off my soapbox now. SFD
Below, I am adding a whole hodgepodge of photos. All images were captured with my Canon EOS 5D Mk2 camera and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lenses. Click on individual images to enlarge for better viewing: