I was just getting ready for my June trip and found this report. It is more than a year old - but for a newbie, interested in the south end - it may be a different vision of the experience.
Ron, Rexanne, George and Debrah arrived on Isla from Halifax Nova Scotia on the 6th of March for the first time on the island. Happy to get there -- happy to have Cancun Valet pick us up right on time - happy to see the beautiful turqoise water of the Caribbean from that speed yellow ferry and happy to be deposited at Villas Punta Sur in the southend by taxi -- all before noon that day!
Our 2-bedroom apartment was spacious, clean, lots of sitting area, breezy and everything we needed at a good price to boot!
My first impression was remembering the smells, nobody writes about the smell...it's so alive, lots of stuff growing and decaying...life is evident all around you - then the music - I forgot that wherever you are...there is music! My senses are just...well not really OVER whelmed, since it was just perfect but whelmed in a really good way!
We spent one week there, swimming in the pool, walking over to Garrefon Castilla for a quick swim with the fishies, eating breakfast, lunch and early supper at El Pueblito - pleased everytime with everything there! Our other favorite was Picus...we like fish -- looking at them and eating them... At Pueblito we didn't notice any flies as mentioned elsewhere?!?
We were blown away (almost literally...) by the walkway around Punta Sur - the waves crashing in on the rocks - it just blows the cobwebs out your brain (and any other exposed orifices actually...) It's got to be one of my favourite places ever.
We went uptown a few times - shopping at San Francisco and Mirtitas - we found everything we needed. We walked through North Beach only once - not our cup of tea, too many people, too many bars - but yeh, just around the corner when you hit Sergios and kept going, it did feel better. I don't go to Mexico to hang out with tourists so ...we liked the south end better. Our apartment and the area was so nice we were very comfy hanging out there.
We met some great people - Gloria who worked at Villas and also is one of the bead ladies...she'd talk a mile a minute to me about lots of stuff and somehow....I just knew what she was saying...even though really...I don't speak Spanish...A woman across the street bakes the best bread on the island, and even makes carrot cake!
The islanders are sooooo gracious, in the face of all of us gringos everywhere. The ubiquitous golf carts - I was going to rent one on International Women's Day to show off our bilingual banner but after seeing how many there were - I just couldn't do it. So we trudged up and down the road, looking at every garden, talking to as many neighbours as possible, seeing different plants along side the road, old abandoned houses, etc.
We also took the bus many times. There is so much to see! There is so much to learn. The guys walked into the Colonia many mornings - to the market and bought tortillas made on the great old machine cranking them out, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, fresh juice.
The colonia is interesting - so much action, people, stores, kids, dogs...Villas Punta Sur was a great place for us - the pool is good, the gardens nice, the hammocks well appreciated! We went to Holbox for 5 days (another story and well worth telling) - two words -- Posada Mawimbi (well three words actually) Posada Mawimbi (Wonderful)
The last two nights we went back to Mujeres and stayed at Mar Y Sol and it was like coming home - that funky place - has everything you need - quiet, the water right there!! You can walk to alot of interesting places and you can easily jump on the bus if you need. We loved it. Great balcony! Which
brings me to the snake!!!! O.K. - so we were walking down to Playa Lancheros our last full day for our last lunch (actually...I may as well admit...my last ceviche which was probably my 12th ceviche of the trip - I tried so many ceviches that I feel a little guilty about the shrimp population decline...) and we were walking along the water and the beach, around a few coves, heading past Ramon Brava's (sp? - famous underwater explorer) beautiful house, Lancheros was in sight and almost stumbled on what seems to me to be the biggest frigging snake in the WORLD! Luckily enough before my heart totally gave us....we realized it was dead...but it was magnificant...well as magnificant as you can be with no head...It was very huge and beautifully patterned and after consultation with anybody we could drag there - determined it was, in fact, a boa - hey, no one told me there were Boa's there?!?
Anyways - Isla is a great place, the natural world still dominates, while there certainly are alot of other northamericanos...Mexicans still are in charge! There are no chain restaurants! No one hassled us to buy anything unless we put ourselves in the path on Hidalgo...the people are friendly, interesting, have a lively culture, are hard working and have lots to teach us - I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity - and thanks to all contributors on the board for sharing your stories -- Debrah (I can't speak for the rest of the crew...they may have their own stories to tell)
ENJOY ISLA AND ENJOY MAKING YOUR OWN MEMORIES!! I think it is especially perfect place for 1st timers to Mexico or for someone who has only been to resorts and wants more of a real Mexican experience but isn't really ready to hit the road!