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Isla Mujeres

This tiny island (five miles long and half a mile wide) is known as the Island of Women. Isla Mujeres is a 25-minute ferry ride from downtown Cancun and despite its popularity with day-trippers from the mainland has retained its laid-back atmosphere. The preferred activity here is lounging on the beach with drink in hand and the perfect place to do this is at Playa Norte where the sea is a calm as a lake and waist deep for the first 35 meters (100 yards). It’s also the perfect place to watch the sunset. Playa Paraíso and Playa Lancheros on the western shore are also pleasant spots for swimming and sunning. At the southern most point of the island is Garrafón Marine Park where you can snorkel along some of the famous coral reefs. The eastern side of the island has spectacular wind-swept beaches.

Dining on Isla is a treat with menus that offer a variety of fresh fish, lobster, shrimp, and conch along with great pizza, steaks, sandwiches and hamburgers. Shopping is equally as fun – you can wander through the cobbled streets of downtown looking at the shops selling everything from t-shirts to Mexican crafts. Isla is well known for its finely crafted jewelry created by local artisans. Ferries run from downtown Cancun (Puerto Juarez) For more information check out our www.visitislamujeres.com.

Isla Cozumel

Cozumel has the distinction of being the largest island in Mexico as well as the largest cruise ship port. It’s an exciting combination of casual sophistication that offers the perfect recipe for a great vacation. Located 19 kilometers off the coast and two hours south of Cancun, Cozumel is a flat island with an interior covered by dense jungle, and marshy lagoons. On the western side are white sandy beaches with calm waters where you can snorkel, sail, windsurf or scuba dive. Eastern side beaches are deserted stretches of sand with dramatic rock formations and powerful surfs – a favorite place to surf or boogie board. Since so much of Cozumel is undeveloped there is lots of wildlife on land and in the ocean. It’s most famous attraction is the magnificent coral reef that surrounds the island drawing hundreds of divers from around the world. But that’s not all it has to offer. Cozumel's restaurants have an international cuisine that rivals Cancun, especially the seafood (lobster, king crab, grouper and red snapper) with a Mediterranean accent. Shopping is an even bigger industry than diving for Cozumel due to the cruise ships. Prices are higher here than inland but the variety is excellent including folk art, gold and silver jewelry, pottery, painted balsa-wood animals, blown glass and handcrafted textiles. It’s hard to explore the whole island in one day, but fortunately there are a number of excellent luxury resorts and hotels should you decide to spend the night. For more information visit our www.visitcozumel.com page.

Isla Holbox

There is no better place to get away from it all than on Isla Holbox. This small island (25 km/16 mi long) rests at the tip of Quintana Roo, just north of Cancun and offers a kind of romance and tranquility that is rare these days. The small village has no paved roads and the gregarious residents get around on electric golf carts. On the gulf side of the island are long stretches of sand, where the birds gather to bask in the sun. It’s a beachcomber’s paradise – the sands are strewn with hundreds of seashells. Afternoon breezes from the Gulf of Mexico ensure that the island remains cool. Hotels are charming but few fall into the luxury category as compared to Cancun.But with that breeze, glorious sunrises and sunsets, serenity and calm, fresh seafood and cold beer, swinging in a hammock under a palapa roof may be all that you need. To get there from Cancun, take Highway 180 (almost to Chemax), after the checkpoint station, turn north to Kantunilkin road. Follow this road north to the village of Chiquilá where the road ends. Here you can catch a ferry or a water taxi to Isla Holbox. Times vary but there are usually five crossings per day. Ferries cost $1.50, water taxis $15. Total travel time from Cancun, including ferry crossing is approximately 4 hours.

 
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