Saying goodbye to hot and sunny Tulum, we caught a collectivo taxi up to Cancun and then another one to the ferry terminal. The ferry over to Isla Mujeres is a really beautiful ride over the bluest water we had ever seen. It is also cheap and only takes about 15 minutes. Once we arrived on the island we headed to Pocna Hostel, which is the best place to stay in Isla Mujeres. They have a great set up with a volleyball net and bar right on the beach, they also do live music most nights. We had heard great things about Isla Mujeres and were looking forward to it even more because we were meeting up with our friend Hamish who had been travelling in South America for a while. Our days on Isla Mujeres were spent playing volleyball and drinking tequila and mezcal (kind of a smoky version of tequila) on the beach, while catching amazing sunsets on North Beach in the evenings. Our nights were spent at the beach bar at Pocna Hostel with many a cocktail!
We were lucky that we arrived during whale shark season in Isla Mujeres, where hundreds of whale sharks gather a few kilometres from the shore. We had always wanted to swim with whale sharks and this finally came true! You have to book with a tour, and we shopped around and found that Pocna Hostel itself offered the best price. So out we went to find these gentle giants. When we arrived at the gathering point we were completely blown away, there were hundreds of enormous creatures everywhere. Only two people from each boat are allowed to jump in the water at a time. Andrew and I got to jump in quite often because half our boat got stricken with sea-sickness, we were the lucky ones! On one of the jumps into the ocean we turned around to see this massive mouth coming towards us, and quickly got out of the way. We were completely stunned with how huge these animals are. When you swim behind them you can even feel the force of their tail. We were also surprised at how fast they swam, it looks like they are so lazy in the water but their sheer size compared to us, meant that we were struggling to keep up. We loved it and it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
After swimming with the whale sharks we went for a quick snorkel near the reef and then we docked the boat near the shore of Isla Mujeres. Here we drank coronas and ate some fresh ceviche and the incredibly clear water was fabulous to swim in.
We loved our time on Isla Mujeres and will definitely be back one day!
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 3 days:
Budget = US$321(NZ$450)
Accommodation – US$57
Activities – US$130
Food/Drink – US$109.50
Travel (incl. Taxis) – US$30.50
Miscellaneous – US$30
Total spent – US$357 (NZ$500)
So we were US$36 (NZ$51) over budget, this is unsurprising given the amount of cocktails we consumed. No regrets though. Our budget was pretty high because Isla Mujeres is where a lot of American tourists come and therefore the prices are higher than other spots in Mexico.