Budget Traveling 101: Isla Mujeres
Last January we traveled to Isla Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Mexico and it opened my eyes. It was our first vacation with both kids and we decided to spend two days exploring, snorkeling and enjoying the mexico culture. This was the first stop on our 7 day vacation to mexico and after spending a day in Cancun it was nice to slow down and enjoy the sun.There are many activities to enjoy on the island ranging from snorkeling to zip lining but you can explore most of the island on a budget.
Playa Norte Beach
This is one of the most popular destinations for tourists on Isla Mujeres, we went to playa norte beach everyday and it was packed with people. One thing I noticed is that there are very few people walking the beach and peddling trinkets, which is a huge turn off for me. Snorkeling opportunities are pretty much non existent on the beach so I would recommend booking a catamaran if that is want you want to do. Playa Norte is pretty clean considering how big it is, no garbage or sea grass and the water is beautiful.
We picked Hotel Bahia because of the location. It is within walking distance to the shopping area and Playa Norte beach. Our hotel room was very clean with a great ocean view. The hotel staff were helpful and made our stay pleasurable. They do have a small pool in the hotel which is great if you are traveling with kids, it was clean and well maintained. The cost was right in our budget at $110 per night.
When we decided to travel with our kids we wanted to keep our costs down by not eating at restaurants three times a day. We planned to go grocery shopping at Chedraui Supermarket which is on the south side of the island. Chedraui was a 15-20min golf cart ride from our hotel and the prices were very inexpensive which helped us keep within budget. They have fresh fruit, clothes, alcohol and everything you need on vacation. Even after renting a golf cart it is still cheaper than eating out for two days.
Golf Cart Rentals
This is the #1 activity I recommend when you visit the island. Make sure you budget for renting a golf cart as it is an experience within itself. Renting is a stress free process and only takes a few minutes which allows you to explore the whole island for $50. Take the time to visit the south end of the island which is full of culture and breath taking views. For more information on renting golf carts on Isla Mujeres read our blog post here
There is no shortage on shopping on the island especially on Av. Juarez. It can be very busy and overwhelming at first but you will soon notice that many of the shops sell the same trinkets. The main thing to remember while shopping is to barter with everyone and never pay the listed price. Most of the prices are inflated and you can get many things for a fraction of the cost. I have had merchants actually chase me down the street to make a deal.
Have you traveled to Isla Mujeres and have a tip to save money? Let us know by leaving a comment.