Mexico – Cancún and Isla Mujeres

MEXICO! Ah, I’m so happy to be here, it’s my 23rd country!

I’ve always thought of Mexico as a country that is ideal for everyone to visit because it offers a wide variety of tourist destinations. With 32 states, Mexico is known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches, diverse landscape of mountains, desserts and jungles. There are also many ancient ruins and cenotes which I hope to visit.

Cancún

We stayed in Cancún for 7 days (23rd to 30th of September). Cancún is popular for its large resorts and nightlife scene. There are two main areas in Cancún: El Centro (the center) and Zona Hotelera (the hotel zone). Each of these areas offer plenty of activities to do, depending on your budget, of course.

The Hotel Zone: If you enjoy luxury travel then this part of the city is for you, it is where most tourists stay. There are many museums, restaurants and nightclubs, all located within minutes of one another.

As much as I am highly interested in architecture, it is not pleasing to see all the tall hotel buildings right next to the shore and the lack of vegetation. Don’t you imagine being surrounded by palm trees when you think of yourself at the beach? Well, non of that in the Hotel Zone!

Hotel Zone, Cancún.
snapseed-113
Hotel Zone, Cancún.
Hotel Zone, Cancún.

The Center: We stayed downtown in an area called “Real Tikal” for the duration of our stay, at a cost of 200 MXN (R150) pppn! Yes, I was very excited to learn that Cancún is low budget friendly! I believe that you only experience the true sense of a place by either living with the locals or in an area where the locals stay. We were fortunate enough to stay with a friendly Mexican man named Homberto, who advised us on nearby Mexican restaurants, activities and bus routes.

Real Tikal – Downtown Cancún.
Downtown Cancún.
Downtown Cancún.

It seems like Mexican homes are typically painted in a palette of vibrant colours, with the boundary walls decorated with bright flowers. As a person who enjoys wearing bright coloured clothing and daring prints, I walked these streets with a big smile on my face. This certainly is the place for me!

Downtown Cancún.
Downtown Cancún.

In the center of the city is Market 28 which is a really fun way to get the real Mexican market experience! The city’s top market offers a colourful maze of souvenir stands, jewelry and henna tattoos. I was very sad I couldn’t buy many souvenirs because I hardly have any space left in my backpack. Even though I wouldn’t say I over-packed, I urgently need to give away some clothes!

Mexican Cuisine

Taco’s – Our first meal in Mexico.

Did you know that Mexican food is very healthy, since it has the perfect blend of all food groups between carbs and proteins? Mexican cuisine is hot and spicy and is popular worldwide, with the taco being the most common.

We ate at small local restaurants on the streets of the city. By saying “¿Mi gustaria un taco con pollo, por favor?” you’ll get one chicken taco. Prices can vary but one taco is roughly 10 – 20 MXN (R8 – R15) typically with a beef, pork or chicken filling. There are some vendors that offer different fillings like tripe/haggis and sausage, to name a few.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres, meaning “Island of Women” is a Caribbean island situated 13km off the coast of Cancún. On September 28th we took a ferry from Port Juarez which was 300 MXN (R229) pp for a return ticket and in just 20 minutes we arrived in paradise!

Isla Mujeres.
A fisherman in Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres.

The unspoiled beaches (with many palm trees) and magical sunset make this a great getaway from Cancún. We spent our day snorkeling, sipping on cocktails and exploring the island. After sunset, we took the ferry back to Cancún.

Isla Mujeres.
Sunset at Isla Mujeres.

First impressions of Mexico

  • Wow! It is extremely hot and humid here and I just can’t get used to it. I think I shower at least 3 times a day! Yes, I know I’m from Africa but the sun here is different, I promise! Haha!
  • The people are very welcoming and friendly. I feel safe everywhere I go.
  • My Spanish is improving and I now know greetings, ordering at restaurants and asking for directions to a certain place (supermarket, beach or hotel).
Isla Mujeres.

During our time in Cancún we went on another exciting day trip which needs a whole blog post on its own, LOL! I will be writing about this world class destination next.

Thank you for reading and I hope you’re enjoying travelling with me!

Dineo Zonke.

6 Replies to “Mexico – Cancún and Isla Mujeres”

    1. I’m amazed by how beautiful it is and it makes me so happy to hear that you’re enjoying my posts 😊 Thank you for your feedback, it really means a lot to me! I can’t wait to share more of Mexico with you!

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