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5 Things to Do Around Cancun

1.     Relax on the Beach

What would a trip to Mexico be without some quality rest and relaxation time on the beach? As soon as we arrived at our hotel, our first instinct was to put our suits on and hit the beach. The sands are as white as snow, the water crystal clear with the most beautiful blue reflection, the waves crashing up on shore – everything about the beaches here make you feel like you’re in a dream.

2.     Run

I personally love running. I have been competitively running ever since high school. When we were in Cancun, I was nearing the end of the training season for a marathon I was about to run in early October. So, one of the first things I did was look for a running path and luckily there is a path that follows the whole expanse of the “hotel zone” in Cancun and allowed me to have perfect, uninterrupted morning runs.

3.     Take the Ferry to Isla Mujeres

I would say one of the most memorable experiences I had while in Cancun was taking the ferry over to Isla Mujeres, which is an island just 20 minutes off the coast of Cancun. You board the ferry and are seated at the top so you can watch the coastline dissipate while have the warm, ocean air blow through your hair. When you are on the ferry, they have live entertainment like a singer, a saxophone player, etc. It was far more than just a ferry ride; it was a whole experience – one that I will remember for a long time to come.

4.     Rent a Golf Cart in Isla Mujeres

This had to be one of the most exhilarating experiences we had while on this trip. The island is hardly even three miles long. So, it is just big enough to not want to walk everywhere, but small enough that bringing a car to the island would be absolutely pointless. So, as soon as you get off of the ferry, you can rent a golf cart and drive through the streets of Isla Mujeres at your own pace, stopping wherever you please. We drove from one end to the next, stopping at beaches and restaurants all over the place and ended by pulling off over some cliffs and watching the most beautiful sunset over the coast.

5.     Take Photographs

Being a photographer, I usually try to find any opportunity I can to photograph this beautiful world that we live in. Thankfully, I didn’t have to look far once arriving in Cancun. From the white, sand beaches to the endless sunsets to the amazing people and culture; I was truly lucky. 

Hidden Gem

My favorite hidden gem that we found while we were in Cancun was most definitely Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is an island that translates to island of women. It is roughly thirteen kilometers off of the coast from Cancun, nestled in the Caribbean Sea. You can get there many different ways – we decided to take the ferry. After a short ferry ride with some truly excellent onboard entertainment, we arrived on the west coast of the island. After docking and walking onto shore, a few very kind golf cart salesmen greeted us. The big thing to do on Isla is to rent a golf cart to explore its three miles of coastline with the freedom to stop wherever you please.

After choosing our golf cart, we loaded in and took off. Going as slow as most golf carts go, we most definitely did not feel like we were in Fast and Furious, but the feeling of the warm ocean breeze blowing through our hair and the sun shining down on us gave us enough adrenaline to last us the day. Our first stop of the day was for the best brunch / lunch I have ever had which I will leave a surprise and talk about in the following couple of posts. Once our stomachs were full we headed to the cliffs on the east side of the island. Here we climbed around, hung out with the iguanas, and discovered an abandon ship that landed when a few people came over from Cuba a few years back. The sun was beating down pretty hard at this point, so we decided it was time to hit the ocean.

We headed to North Beach to lay our towels down and take a dip in the crystal clear water of the Caribbean. We waded in as the little fish surrounded our feet. After a couple hours of soaking in the salt-filled air and the warm, warm, sun we decided to talk a walk along the beach back to our golf cart to go get some dinner. We went to a recommended favorite, El Veradero. It quickly became my favorite too. Nestled along the channel that flows through the middle of the island, boats would dock alongside the patio to enjoy a night out.

The sun was beginning to fade so we quickly headed out to the cliffs to catch the sunset as the light slowly tucked beneath the horizon until the next day. With our hearts full of the beauty that this world possesses, we spent our last hour on the island walking through the town until taking the ferry home.

Local Favorites

Since we only had a few short days there, we spent most of our time on Isla Mujeres. So, when we stopped for brunch at Mango Cafe the morning we were there, we asked the owner, Polo, what he thought we should do. The first thing that came to mind for him were the amazing marquesitas that fill the streets of Isla. Marquesitas are a Yucatan, crepe-like dessert that can be filled with all sorts of sauces and fruits. Polo said one of his favorite things to do is walk around at night once the day traffic has died down and enjoy a nutella and banana marquesita.

So, we took Polo’s advice and did exactly what he said. We spent our evening, once the sun had set, walking the streets of Isla Mujeres, talking about how beautiful of a day we had in one of the most beautiful and memorable places we had ever been, all while eating one of the most delicious desserts.

Hometown Choice

Luckily, I was able to have an expert on the Cancun / Isla Mujeres areas with me while on this trip. Nikita had been to Cancun and Isla nearly eight times and knew the areas like the back of her hand. When trying to figure out what to do, she said we absolutely have to go to Mango Cafe. Mango Cafe, owned by Polo as described earlier, is this quaint, rustic little café on the corner of Av Payo Obispo that serves some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted. I had the most incredible coconut french toast and Nikita had West Indies chicken tacos that were to die for.

After enjoying our meal, Polo was kind enough to offer us free piña coladas and chat for a while. He told us a little about his life, why he opened Mango Café and what his favorite things to do in Isla were. I absolutely loved how personable Polo was. Nikita definitely knew what she was talking about when she recommended we go there. 

Brandon EckrothComment