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Just got back. My review.

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New York City, New...
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Just got back. My review.

Hello. We just spent 5 days on the island and had a wonderful time. We are already planning a winter trip back.

We rented a house ...Casa Amarilla http://casaamarillaislamujeres.com/ all the way on the southern tip of the island. The house is beautiful and everything about it including the staff were wonderful. We had two golf carts.,,there were six of us..so we had no problem getting around the place.

We ate almost all of our meals out, so we hit all the recommended spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I found everyone to be extremely nice where ever we went. I did not find the vendors to be "pushy", and I'm sorry others did. I did have a vendor on the main shopping area ask if I wanted to buy "smoke" which I took to mean pot. Very odd and kind of funny. We politely declined.

I personally would avoid the "snorkel park" whose name escapes me at the moment. This is the worst kind of tourist trap and I hate these kind of places. IMHO.

We went on a snorkel trip and whale shark trip with Sea Hawk dive shop who I would totally recommend. Super nice people and a super experience.

Two things I want to mention.

There are a LOT of dogs and cats wandering around which saddened us. Also, there is so much trash on the sides of the roads. Plastic cups, plastic bags and plastic containers. This is the worst possible thing to be let loose in the ocean, or really anywhere. I wish there was some sort of effort on the islands part to curb this or at least try and keep it in check. This no way impacted my experience its just an observation from a concerned environmentally aware person.

All in all a great trip.

Edited: 29 July 2013, 14:47
Raleigh
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1. Re: Just got back. My review.

Thanks for the review!

Our first trip is in October and I have been stalking this site for reviews and suggestions.

Glad you had a good time.

Stillwater...
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2. Re: Just got back. My review.

On our first trip to IM about 9-10 years ago, one of the things we noticed too was all the trash in the greenery along the side of the roads. I too wondered if there could be an effort to try to keep this clean. It hasn't changed since then. It's one of the few "uglies" on the paradise we have come to love.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Just got back. My review.

Yeah the trash thing is very sad. It's one of my big "pet peeves"

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Just got back. My review.

Just wanted to add we ate at, Mango Cafe, Olivia, Qubano, Casa Rolandi and Bistro Francais. All were delicious.

Edited: 29 July 2013, 16:16
Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Just got back. My review.

Glad you enjoyed yourself and are planning a return trip! Garrafon Park is not our cup of tea, either, but I can understand that for people with kids, who want to make a day of it using the pool, eating the buffet, doing the zip lines, etc. it can be a fun day. Some things are designed with other peoples' interests in mind and that's fine.

We hope to get a dive in with Sea Hawk--I met Ariel and Bonnie last year and was quite impressed with them.

Ontario
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6. Re: Just got back. My review.

Thanks for the trip report! Nice place! Bistro Francais..YUM! Makes my lunch look really appalling lol... As for the cats and dogs..that's hard for me as well but thankfully there are programs who try to help the animals (and there’s programs for the adult/kids as well). :-)

Boston...
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7. Re: Just got back. My review.

I'm glad to hear you had a great time and are already talking about a return trip. Isla has a way of doing that to people. Isn't the whale shark tour an amazing day. i've been out with Seahawk dives on the tour in the past and they do a good job. I think where they really shine is on Scuba trips. Ariel and Bonnie are awesome people and I have loved every minute of diving with them. I'm also not a big fan of Garrafon Reef Park, but as DMartin pointed out they have a target market in mind and I am not it. For families or people who want the AI treatment the reef park is a good deal, but I'm much more of a low key guy who likes to do things at my own pace. For that Garrafon de Castilla just to the north of the reef park is exactly what i look for. It shares the same reef as the park, but does not have the all inclusive mentality. $5.00 puts you in the water there and the rest is up to you.

I've often looked at the roadside trash and wished it was not there. Then I wonder who is actually putting the trash there. Is the local population or tourists who are escaping to a beautiful destination and then just trash it up.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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8. Re: Just got back. My review.

The state government instituted a plan to teach people on the island the value of recycling about eight months ago. Almost every weekend about 500 families line up in the park in LaGloria to swap plastic, cardboard and glass for food items like beans, rice, tuna, etc. It has been a huge success in many ways. The schools here teach kids about recycling and about the problems created by littering. There are many clean-up days here involving kids and adults. Like spending a weekend clearing cigarette butts from the North Beach-thousands and thousands of them. Or choosing a section of road and cleaning along the sides. It's a process of education and finding ways to effectuate a change in old habits.

Lafayette, Indiana
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9. Re: Just got back. My review.

That's awesome, maddams! I'm glad to hear there are some programs in place. Although IM is nothing compared to the trash we saw in Puerto Rico. One time we were there we overlapped with a big, holiday weekend and the following Monday we went out snorkeling and went past this cute, little island whose shores were just piled (and when I say piled I mean piled) with trash, trash bags, stuff everywhere. The Puerto Rican friends we were with were so mad at that lack of respect for everything. All of that ends up washing back into the waters. So I'm glad Mexico is better in that respect and continuing to improve. On another note, when we were just there twice I picked up big, plastic bags in the water that had blown over from 2 tourists that were sunbathing and they made zero effort to go get them. That and other cans and glasses floating along. I hate seeing trash in the water.

Edited: 29 July 2013, 19:29
ohio
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10. Re: Just got back. My review.

" there is so much trash on the sides of the roads. Plastic cups, plastic bags and plastic containers" mmmm.... I have been researching Isla as a day trip in December to see if we might want to spend a few days there on our 2014 trip. This conversation painted a bad picture in my mind, is it that bad?