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Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

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Los Gatos, CA
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Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

I am traveling to this area from July 29 - Aug 6 with my fiance and his 18 year old daughter and 17 year old boyfriend. They are good kids, and three of us speak Spanish. We have a condo rented in Cancun from Aug. 1-6 and basically I am looking at options of where to stay somewhere for the first 3 nights. I am thinking a more mellow scene for the first part of the trip before we go to Crazy Cancun might be nice.

Since we wanted to do the dolphin thing and have heard the IM dolphin place is one of the best, I was thinking why not just stay on IM for the first three nights...? Is this a good idea? If so is Playa Norte really the best beach and area to stay? Is it a good beach for swimming and snorkeling? If not what is? Should we rent mopeds or golf carts to get around? I know golf carts are available, how much are mopeds, will the 17 and 18 year olds have a problem renting them?

I was thinking expore the island for one day. Do the dolphins, snorkeling, zip lines, etc. at Garrafon for another day, and a trip to the ruins one the last day returning directly to our condo in Cancun? Is this a good plan? I have never been to Cancun or Isla Mujeres before, is this a feasible plan? We would like a good balance of both vibes because from what I understand they are very different. Would the teens be bored out of their mind? Is it a good idea to use IM as a base for 3 days or should we just keep it all in Cancun...?

Bayfield, WI
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1. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

I would stay on Isla for a couple days versus doing daytrips from Cancun. Avoid the hassle and time going back and forth. We found Isla a relaxing place to be. Don't worry about entertaining the kids. This is Old Mexico and an opportunity to see how people live, work and play. And the sunsets are not to be missed.

The south end of the island is quiet but will require transportation, either a cart, moped or

taxi. We did the cart and enjoyed the flexibility. The kids can hop on the back as there is room for four. The rentals require a drivers license but not sure of age requirements.

The north end has much more activity with Playa Norte beach, shops and numerous places to eat and stay. All within easy walking distance. You can always rent a cart for a day and enjoy the south end and a trip around the island.

Do a search for lodging on this site as there are may options and very affordable as are most restaraunts.

We have never stayed in Cancun and it doesn't appeal to me. We found Isla is a charming place and we are coming back next April.

Florida
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2. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

Three days on Isla is a fine plan, but I would definitely do it with a golf cart not a moped. There are many moped accidents on the island, and you are putting your teens at risk if you give them that means of transportation. Besides, if the point is to tour and see the place, golf cart pace is far more conducive. The carts seat 4. Playa Norte is the best beach for calm water and easy soaking/swimming but not the best for snorkeling. You can snorkel for free near the bridge to Avalon Resort at the eastern end of Playa Norte, but it is not spectacular. The reefs are off the eastern and southern sides of the island and not easily accessible unless you do Garrafon Park or come across a no breeze day. An inexpensive snorkel boat tour can take you to the lighthouse area at the entrance to the harbor for a few hours. FYI your entrance fee to Garrafon Park includes free admission to Punta Sur, the southern cliff with the island's small Mayan ruin. Keep in mind it is a small island and everything is within a 15 minute taxi ride or a 30 minute golf cart ride, so I wouldn't worry too much about exactly where you stay, but your teens will probably prefer being on Playa Norte or in or near town for the freedom it will give them to wander on their own by foot. Give them a talk about your expectations re illegal drugs. They will probably be solicited as they stroll. Unless they are super-sensitive to the concept of captive, performing dolphins, they will LOVE the dolphin encounter. An unforgettable experience for most folks. Yes, Isla is simpler, more rustic, more pedestrian-friendly and more laid back than Cancun -- and definitely worth more than a day trip to really get into the relaxed vibe.

Seattle
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3. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

Hola! So far...so good(ditto & ditto). DON'T let them rent mopeds...if you like them! If you don't...than up their life insurance and...have at it!

There's lots of good places to stay, for more info. check out: www.islamujeres.info (lodging is usually one of the topics)

There's good snorkeling in the calm waters by the Avalon and also at Garrafon($3 each at El Garrafon Hotel, right next door) same reef. You can do the light house and El Farolito with a guide. Captain Tony does a combo Isla Contoy & El Farolito tour.

OH.....Your going the end of July...I would look at a Whale shark tour(it's only in the summer months).

Lot's to do on Isla, no one will get board. There's a good chance you'll want to come back half way through your stay in Cancun:-)

I would definitely pick up Mapchick's Cancun & Isla maps: www.cancunmaps.com

Please report back and let us know how it went? Have a blast and Happy Travels!

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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4. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

I agree with the others - stay on the North part of the island - you are close to the best beaches and all the restaurants. Just a quick correction: It is: www.cancunmap.com - or you can also read about them via www.mapchick.com for the very handy CANDO maps by the Mapchick and husband. :)

Los Gatos, CA
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5. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

Ok everyone, thanks so much. I have:

- No mopeds! (Danger Will Robinson, danger!!)

- Remind the kiddies to Just Say No! I am not worried- they are good kids. But in general I am not sure I like the idea of drugs being so readily available :(

- Golf Cart Rental

- Playa Norte is a good location to stay, but not the only option as everything is fairly close.

- This is a viable plan in general.

Thanks everyone, I plan to do some live posting from there (not too much- I am on vacation, but a couple of posts! Answer any burning questions people have, etc...) I will definitely keep everyone in the loop.

I am thinking that the Ixchel condos seem like a good place to stay. Am I way off base?

Also one last question, how is luggage handled on the ferry? Is having one large suitcase each and a carry on going to be a problem?

Los Gatos, CA
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6. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

I forgot to add, we like the flexibility and space that a condo has to offer...is this still a good choice on Isla?

Florida
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914 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

Ixchel condos are a good choice for a family visiting the island for the first time. Good location, although the condos are not super big. Another good choice for a family are the condos at Nautibeach. One less bathroom, but you save money over Ixchel. These are also right on Playa Norte.

Los Gatos, CA
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8. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

Ok I will try nautibeach too, you guys are so helpful, thanks!

We don't care too much about the size or bathrooms, mainly we just want everyone to have a REAL bed to sleep on and not a sofa bed...

9. Re: Is this a good idea...? Please Help IM and/or Cancun Experts

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