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Old 05-22-2014   #1 (permalink)
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Isla Mujeres-Oct. 2014 here we come!

Getting very excited! Wish our trip wasn't so far away. Just wanted to see my trip counter.

Looking forward to a getaway just me and my husband. We did a trip last Oct. to Disney with our 2 girls (ages 9 and 5). We had a ton of fun, but the vacation was anything but relaxing. My husband and I decided we needed a Mexico beach vacation just the 2 of us. We have been to Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Loved both, but have always wanted to try Isla Mujeres. Looking forward to hanging out on the beach, golf carting around the island, conquering my fear of heights by zip lining across the beautiful water, and enjoying good food and many adult drinks!

Currently we are booked to stay at Hotel Plaza Almendros. We decided on a budget place in town. Wanted to be close to North Beach and close to the action.
I am still checking deals at Privilege Aluxes, but unless we get a REALLY good deal, we rather not do AI. Watching the Thursday deals closely!
I know you can do non AI there, but prices still aren't good enough to justify it yet.
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Old 05-22-2014   #2 (permalink)
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Check out the castle rooms at Cabanas Maria del Mar. We stayed there last year and really liked it. There are plenty of cheap eats around. The market has numerous little places with cheap and EXCELLENT breakfast and is a short walk from the hotel. North Beach is right there. We took a cooler with our own beer and would go up to the room and make drinks. No problem. Beautiful beach but not too much else to do. I want to go back NOW but my wife got a little bored.

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Old 05-23-2014   #3 (permalink)
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We're headed to Isla in July, staying at Privileges Aluxes. Not normally AI people either, but it seemed worth the add on price just for lunches and drinks on the beach. I know we'll explore the island and hopefully make to Playa for a day. It won't be Mexico if I don't make it to the Luna Blue for a couple of drinks.
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Old 05-24-2014   #4 (permalink)
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Check out the castle rooms at Cabanas Maria del Mar. We stayed there last year and really liked it. There are plenty of cheap eats around. The market has numerous little places with cheap and EXCELLENT breakfast and is a short walk from the hotel. North Beach is right there. We took a cooler with our own beer and would go up to the room and make drinks. No problem. Beautiful beach but not too much else to do. I want to go back NOW but my wife got a little bored.

Dono
We've been to Isla Mujeres on a day trip, snorkeling on the reef, walking through town, some beach time etc. But we got bored there in 10 hours. What is there to do on this island I am missing? You are isolated to the island. It has 1 good beach.
Playa seem to have so many more options and is way cheaper and close to a lot of attractions just minutes away. Plenty of secluded beaches down the coast. Eco parks, 100's of restaurants and bars to choose from.

If seclusion and less people is the answer, I get it. But if you do that for a day or 3, maybe at the end of a 10 day vacation it could work. Otherwise, vacation for ME is getting out and about, and doing stuff while having fun.
That's just me. Thanks for the education in advance
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Old 05-24-2014   #5 (permalink)
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seclusion and less people is the answer. Actually..I have a high stress, fast paced job and to sit on a beautiful beach all day and do nothing and relax makes me real happy. There are various bars and restaurants to walk to, walking and talking with my wife, cruising around the island on a golf cart, reading, meditating etc. theres really plenty to do as long as you don't require hoards of others to do it with. I love the seclusion; my wife needs more to do.

Dono

Last edited by DONO; 05-24-2014 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 05-24-2014   #6 (permalink)
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Old 05-25-2014   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with DONO. I like a bit of seclusion and to get away from crowds and on Isla it is easy and quick to do, but you can also get in some action if you choose.
We did 3 days in February and loved it.
This March we are renting a house with friends for a week.
What is there to do?
Well Playa Norte of course is a spectacular beach, but there is also the previously mentioned carting around the island where you can stop at the turtle sanctuary, visit a couple funky island bars, get out and walk Punta Sur, and tour around the neighborhoods. There is Garrafon Park for zip lines or snorkeling, or a day trip to Isla Contoy. There are many great places to eat both on Hildago as well as off the beaten path, some really good entertainment at night, and some cool little places along the water to eat, drink and listen to tunes.
It really has a different vibe to it IMO.
We chose a house on the ocean with a roof top patio where we can just hang with friends and watch both sunrise and some of the most spectacular sunsets you will see.
We still love Playa and will continue to make it a part of our trips (both this coming December and February) but we have visited most places around PDC, many more than once.
Just need a change.
Isla is a nice happy medium, for us anyways.

Last edited by canadiense loco; 05-25-2014 at 10:56 PM..
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Old 05-25-2014   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with DONO. I like a bit of seclusion and to get away from crowds and on Isla it is easy and quick to do, but you can also get in some action if you choose.
We did 3 days in February and loved it.
This March we are renting a house with friends for a week.
What is there to do?
Well Playa Norte of course is a spectacular beach, but there is also the previously mentioned carting around the island where you can stop at the turtle sanctuary, visit a couple funky island bars, get out and walk Punta Sur, and tour around the neighborhoods. There is Garrafon Park for zip lines or snorkeling, or a day trip to Isla Contoy. There are many great places to eat both on Hildago as well as off the beaten path, some really good entertainment at night, and some cool little places along the water to eat, drink and listen to tunes.
It really has a different vibe to it IMO.
We chose a house on the ocean with a roof top patio where we can just hang with friends and watch both sunrise and some of the most spectacular sunsets you will see.
We still love Playa and will continue to make it a part of our trips but we have visited most places around PDC, many more than once.
Just need a change.
Now if you want sleepy for a week try Puerto Morelos. We did for a week and it was great during the day but too sleepy at night for us. Isla is a nice happy medium, for us anyways.
Thanks Scott, Pam and I are still liking the "stuff" to do at any time of day in Playa. We also plan a lot of excursions along the coast. We still haven't been everywhere yet. We do stay 15 days, but we are thinking about a couple days in Tulum or Akumal at the end of our trip. Maybe we have to give Isla another try. Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-26-2014   #9 (permalink)
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We spent a week on Isla twice and there was more than enough to do for us...I could quite happily spend a month there!

But we like peaceful, laid back places, and detest overcrowded, noisy ones. Isla during high season would not appeal nearly as much, in fact, we like it quiet and we went in November and early August and it was perfect.

It's my approach that 'only boring people get bored'. Give me a great beach, good weather, my honey, and a good book, and I am happy. We don't go on vacations to meet people and party with strangers, we go to relax, recharge from our busy lives, and re-connect as a couple- Isla is the perfect place for that!
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Old 05-26-2014   #10 (permalink)
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We spent a week on Isla twice and there was more than enough to do for us...I could quite happily spend a month there!

But we like peaceful, laid back places, and detest overcrowded, noisy ones. Isla during high season would not appeal nearly as much, in fact, we like it quiet and we went in November and early August and it was perfect.

It's my approach that 'only boring people get bored'. Give me a great beach, good weather, my honey, and a good book, and I am happy. We don't go on vacations to meet people and party with strangers, we go to relax, recharge from our busy lives, and re-connect as a couple- Isla is the perfect place for that!
I wasn't trying to insult "your" Isla vacation Sitting around all day is for some, but not all. We like to be moving, going and having limitless options. We explore the Riviera Maya, by bus, cab or collectivo, but mostly walking.
We like excursions and Isla is just that, an island excursion with just a few things to do in our opinion. Once you've seen the 1 good beach, you've seen it. A couple decent bars or restaurants and a small shopping area. Again, once you see it, well you've seen it.

Getting bored by seeing the same thing over and over again doesn't make you boring It's the "been there, done that, got the low quality t-shirt" thing. Glad you like a week of the same ol, same ol...we just don't like that. That doesn't make YOU boring
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Old 05-26-2014   #11 (permalink)
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Oh, I wasn't insulted.

I don't care if others find Isla boring or not enough to do- if they do, they should definitely not go there, Playa is maybe more their speed.

For us, PDC is too large and busy now, but it is one of the most popular, if not THE most popular, destinations in Mexico for good reason.

Everyone vacations differently; to each their own. We have done the 'go go go' vacations, where we are out and about most days, climbing Chichen Izta, diving, fishing, rding colectivos up and down the coast, visiting cenotes, swimming with whale sharks. Those are fun, too.

Other times (like this year), real life is so crazy busy and scheduled that when we go on vacation, we just want peace and relaxation time. Whatever floats your boat.

We never used to do AIs (I was one of those annoying people who thought them boring and restrictive, and fancied I was more a 'traveller' as opposed to a mere 'tourist' by eschewing them ) but now I like them, just not every trip.
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Old 05-27-2014   #12 (permalink)
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"we go to relax, recharge from our busy lives, and re-connect as a couple" = perfect!
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Old 05-27-2014   #13 (permalink)
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We do like active vacations, however this past year we have experienced a lot more stress in our lives and after such an exhausting Disney trip last Oct., from what I can tell Isla is just what we need. We plan on tour the island on a golf cart one day and then maybe Gaffaron Park another. The other couple of days we have there will be spent on the beach. Playa does have a lot of offer, but sometimes you got to try something different.
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Old 05-27-2014   #14 (permalink)
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We do like active vacations, however this past year we have experienced a lot more stress in our lives and after such an exhausting Disney trip last Oct., from what I can tell Isla is just what we need. We plan on tour the island on a golf cart one day and then maybe Gaffaron Park another. The other couple of days we have there will be spent on the beach. Playa does have a lot of offer, but sometimes you got to try something different.

You will love it....we went once and then returned the next trip, too....it's a place that you can easily become addicted to!

And you really can be as lazy or as active as anywhere else...no worries. We did loads on Isla. Fishing, snorkel tour to Contoy, a couple days exploring with the golf carts, walking all over, swimming, etc.

The one drawback on Isla is the lack of any shore snorkeling. But you can snorkel with about 50 barracuda off the end of the pier by the Privilege Aluxes hotel if you want!

Garrafon Park is quite expensive for what you get, unless you want to do ziplining- I think about $USD 70 a person? But right next door is 'Garrafon de Castilla' which is only about 50 pesos entrance fee, and equally as good snorkeling.

It is too bad you won't be there for whale shark snorkeling though! That was soooo awesome. You will just have to go back next summer to do that.

A little budget hotel that gets a lot of raves is the Cabanas Maria del Mar, also the Posada del Mar. We stayed at the latter and it was good, but not on Playa Norte and across the street from the beach.
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Old 05-27-2014   #15 (permalink)
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I just had to chime in and say that after 6 trips to the Riviera Maya and 2 trips to Puerto Vallarta we finally booked a trip to Isla for Halloween weekend this year.

We're super excited to try it out and see how we like it compared to staying in downtown PDC.

Hope you have a great trip as well!
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