So, while there was some navigating of the chaos due to canceled flights and last-minute changes due to weather and Boeing Max 900 issues— we made it to Mexico for a week and returned. We needed the sun-soaked beaches and underwater adventures to recharge our batteries and kick-off 2024 properly.
Our choice this adventure was the small 4 mile long and barely 1500 feet wide island of Isla Mujeres located just off the coast from Cancun Mexico, but it felt a world away from the Cancun craziness. We chose to stay in a couple locations and not one was a resort or fancy place including one hostel. We traveled and packed like college students with only backpacks and no checked luggage and like most on the island rented a golf cart for 2 days.
The beaches did not disappoint It's like time just stops, and you're living in a snapshot of paradise. We snorkeled a lot, saw some colorful fish, and basically turned into beach bums—sand, sun, surf, and the occasional siesta.
Some water highlights:
We also had a territorial sergeant major fish bite us when stepping on a wooden stair on a dock.
While snorkeling at Garrafon de Castilla on the Garrafon reef, I used some fish food and stuck it behind my girlfriend in her swimsuit. This resulted in a tornado of hungry fish enveloping her in a fish fight for food. It was a lot of fun for all involved.
While swimming on the reef, we learned of the fun reef marine life named, Fire Coral. Both of us got stung and developed rashes after encountering it.
The beaches at Playa Norte are indeed in the top 10 of the world. The only asterisk would be make sure to enjoy the beach early before the day trippers on the ferry and boats arrive and crowd the beach.
Let's talk food. Amazing tacos and ceviche so fresh that practically swam onto my plate. For breakfast there were several amazing small places, but one was top in my book and that was Cafe Mango which had a stuffed poblano pepper stuffed with eggs, green chilies, and bacon.
We also found a gem with epic Mexican tacos in old town Cancun named
We found a great sushi restaurant named Sumara set in the jungle outdoor under a large lit tree that was also a nightclub bar with a DJ.
We also enjoyed some treats like fruit bars (love the pistachio, fresh-cut mango sprinkled with Tajin spicy seasoning, churros, and those marquesitas <drool>. Marquesitas were new to me, but imagine a waffle cone batter cooked on a cast iron crepe pan over fin then filling with Nutella, bananas, or as we found caramel, condensed milk and sprinkled with cotija cheese. They are sweet n savory, and addicting.
Both if us ate safely and watched where we got water but had minor issues. Not sure what Montezuma has against us. Maybe that cranky blue mangrove crab or large iguana placed a curse on us.
I'd do it all over again. Maybe next time with a bit more caution on the food front—or not. Who am I kidding? Bring on the tacos and tequila; I'll deal with that guy Montezuma later. Here's to adventures, the unexpected twists, and the stories that come with them.
Mexico, you've been a blast, minor tummy troubles and all.
Until next time!