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What to expect Christmas week?

Hi All,

We are lucky enough to be spending Christmas week this year on Isla Mujeres.

For those that have been before, what are some things that we can expect to be unlike previous trips?

For example: We usually travel in the low season, therefore I presume it will be busier?

Are there many closures, seasonal or otherwise?

Is a cart going to be a hot commodity?

Weather trends? Cooler evenings?

Any public activities, celebrations?

All info is greatly appreciated!


Saskatoon, Canada
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for Riviera Maya
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1. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

What to expect? Wall to wall people on the beach....crowds....lineups at restaurants. Carts I imagine could be scarce to rent.

Weather can be iffy that time of year....it might be perfect but it could rain, it likely will be windy, it may be cooler, not only evenings but days too. Anything is possible.

Disclaimer- we have only been to Isla in August and in November- but we have been several other places in Mexico over Xmas- New Years, and crowds are the norm. It is the second busiest week for Mexicans to vacation in the entire year. And islands can feel crowded more easily than some other places.

I don't want to be a downer....some people thrive on crowds and excitement and love to people watch during the very high season weeks, and some don't. We avoid Easter and Xmas in Mexico tourist towns as much as possible, but to each their own!

Side note- my mom and stepfather did relief work up in Inuvik for a spell. Nice place! :)

Victoria, Canada
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2. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

I've been to Isla once over Christmas, but not through to New Years. We were there for a wedding and we didn't look for any festivities, so I cannot comment on that. (This year I'll be there for Christmas and New Year's, too! Yay!! )

Yes, it will be busier than low season, it's one of the busiest times of year on the island. Golf cart rentals will be busy. I usually rent from Ciro's and you probably want to get there about 9 a.m. to get a cart. Although the rental agencies will be busier, you won't find it impossible to rent a cart, there are quite a few companies on the island with decent carts.

Almost everything will be open, because the island is busy, it's money making time for the businesses there.

I think you will find the weather cooler, especially at night. I would pack a light sweater or jacket just in case. As a matter of fact, I'm probably taking a light leather jacket, because I seem to get acclimated very quickly and feel chilled when the weather cools down just a bit and a breeze comes up.

I loved being on Isla over Christmas, it was the most relaxing Christmas I have ever had. Our family were just doing small gifts on Christmas Day. So a couple of days before Christmas, I asked my favourite beach vendor, Cecilia, to spread her wares on a lounger and I did my Christmas 'shopping'. I called it my Mexican Mall! :)

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3. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

I will be there over Christmas and I must say I hesitated a bit.... I am not too fond of very crowded places and was afraid Isla would be too busy. However, I have been on the island during the 2 second busiest times, Easter and Carnival and neither did we find a bother. We always seemed to be able to do whatever we had planned anyways. See you on the island!

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

I always go over Christmas and New Years because that's what works out with my kids holidays.

It's very festive with decorations.

The beaches on Isla are more crowded but it's not Playa del carmen. Very manageable.

Lots of big groups of family. So lots of big tables set up at restaurants.

Some restaurants are closed Christmas Day. But many catering to Gringos and others will be open.

For the last two years (that's all my mind can remember) the weather has been lovely. Warm days and cooler nights. I do not recall wind or rain! Bring a sweater or sweatshirt. Even a pashmina.

Last year golf carts did sell out, at least at the 10 or more locations I looked at. I pre booked one this year for that reason. I still got one last year but had to wait a day.

The crowds get thicker toward NYE weekend. So if you are there that's the busiest weekend.

It's always a good time on Isla!

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5. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

Thanks for the info!

Manitoba Canada
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6. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

We have spent three Christmas weeks on Isla with last year visiting over the Easter holiday and there were a way more people during the Easter holiday. I remember thinking that Christmas was a much better time to be there as the crowds were less. We have never been bothered by the crowds at Christmas and I am not a big crowd lover. There were a lot more Mexican families coming to the island during Easter. And it was the first time we've taken the ferry that almost all passengers were Mexican with standing room only.

Golf carts can be an issue during the holiday - the early bird gets the cart!

There are many restaurants that stay open Christmas day so we've never found it to be a problem finding somewhere we wanted to eat.

We haven't experienced very cool weather while there - maybe coming from -20C is a factor! I'm guessing that possibly you will feel the same ! ;) Wind possibly, but there is always one spot you can go to to get out of the wind. Evenings can be cool for some but I don't think in 6 visits I've ever worn a sweater or jacket.

We also love Isla at Christmas. It is a very special place at a special time of year. If possible you should also experience NYE - at least once. Enjoy Isla and maybe we'll see you there for a cerveza.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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7. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

I arrived a day after Christmas one year with our kids - and we were there for almost 2 weeks, through the New Years. We loved all the decorations - everything is open and busy. It was a bit tougher as a family with 5 looking for dinner, but we managed fine. Some place you will need reservations, especially on New Year's Eve. While it was crowded, it was so festive that it was fun and you could always find some quieter places. Great time to visit Isla Contoy with Capt Tony too. Have fun!! :)

Edited: 08 October 2013, 23:50
8. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

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9. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

We spent Xmas and new years on Isla last year, It was great. Crowded beaches? Well kind of. Most other places in the Caribbean the family mule is assigned the job of going down to the beach with stealth and indifference, to decorate a multitude of beach chairs with towels, thus championing territory for the family . Isla is kind of different. Nobody gets to the beach early(by Caribbean standards) A lot of people just don't care, get to the beach and toss your towel down. your good. If you want a lounger pay the $20 at a beach club and then eat and drink it away for the day. Better yet rent a cart or take a cab and head to one of the many beach clubs (we really liked Zama) elsewhere on the island. We didn't find much competition for space at these places.

Cart rental was no problem at 8:00 a.m. Not so much at 11:00.

Always found a place to eat without waiting. There are a few restaurants that you will have to make reservations at. After a few days at the advise of my 10 year old son we began dining at more than one restaurant for supper. The only way we found to try all the good stuff in 2 weeks. Caveat emptor; Xmas day and new years day many of the restaurants were closed or short staffed. We waited forever and kinda didn't get what we ordered NYD but really not so bad. Didn't seem to fit the vibe to complain or not tip.

New years eve was brilliant in the square. Too much fun. And also explains closed or short staffed restaurants. One regret that night though was we didn't go to the end of the world party at Punta Sur.

Check accuweather.com/en/… for an

idea about weather. By comparison Inuvik 6 feet of ice on the lake, Isla 6 ice cubes in your rum. I would guess about 1-2 hours of daylight compared to 12 on Isla. We found the odd cooler day refreshing and made us do other things than just lay on the beach.


Edited: 09 October 2013, 05:05
Des Moines, Iowa
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for Isla Mujeres
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10. Re: What to expect Christmas week?

If you are lucky enough to be there NYE, it is the best! Take a nap in the afternoon, because the party in the square lasts all night long! Great food stands everywhere, live music, dancing and the highlight for me is going out to Punta Sur to watch the sunrise, it is a local tradition! First sunrise of the new year, awesome!

It will be much busier over Christmas with tourists from everywhere, families from all over Mexico coming to spend holidays with family on Isla. I love all of the decorations.

Like others have said, be at the golf cart rental when they open and you shouldn't have any problems getting a cart.