From Cancun a half hour ferry delivers you to Isla Mujeres — the Island of Women.
Friends had raved about a beach paradise there. But that was decades ago. I was sure it was long since ruined.
I was surprised how laid back was my reception. Not a single taxi driver or hotel tout approached me on arrival.
I went directly to Pac Na, billed as the Club Med of Mexican hostels. This is their ocean front beach volleyball bar.
Tents are pitched in quiet sandy courtyards.
I wedged my Hubba under a coconut palm.
The best of many good coffee shops was just down the street.
Hurricane Wilma did a fair bit of damage to the island. Here the sea wall is being reinforced in advance of the next big blow.
The main draw of Isla Mujeres for me was snorkeling.
This was the best snorkelling area from town. About 2 blocks walk from the hostel.
Under the docks fish congregate, protected from diving sea birds.
The water was superb even in February. Warm and crystal clear. No wetsuit needed, I thought, though many did wear one.
I had not seen this particular angel pose before.
Many are disappointed by the modest main plaza. And the remarkably simple cathedral.
I quite liked the plaza. Colourful, clean, simple. I ate tacos there in the evening from street venders.
Look at the pipes on that playground trestle.
The Hemmingway bar is a classic. He was not there when I popped in.
I booked a bike tour through the hostel. Excellent and inexpensive.
The highlight was the sea turtle farm.
Eggs are protected, harvested, hatched and the turtles are kept here until almost 3-years-old. When they are released they then stand an excellent chance of survival.
We marvelled at the lovely starburst shell patterns.
The bike tour finished with a sunset visit to the far south point of the island. A sculpture garden is installed there.
A nice setting, I thought.
This is the furthest east point of land in Mexico. It sees the sun first.
We walked down to reach the very edge of Mexico.