The Islands of Mexico
When you think of holidays in Mexico you may picture impressive pyramids, spicy fajitas and vibrant cities. Yes, Mexico has all of this, but away from the mainland there are crystal-clear waters teeming with sealife and golden sands to escape to.
Isla Mujeres (Spanish for Island of Women) is a tiny little island a few miles off the coast of Cancun. It is only 5 miles long, and with mopeds and golf buggies being the main form of transport on the island, you can expect to find some peace when you step off the boat here. Set in the Mexican Caribbean Sea and benefiting from tropical temperatures, fun in the sun is the main aim on this island. Haggle the best rental price for a moped, hit the road and you can circle the whole island in a day. Remember to stop off at prime points including the Turtle farm (a sanctuary for endangered turtles) or the Hacienda Mundaca, built by a 19th Century fellow called Fermín Antonio Mundaca de Marechaja, during his bid to win the heart of a local woman. If you’re ready for some beach lounging,head to North Beach,for a cooling dip in the ocean.
Step onto Isla Cozumel and you’ll soon discover a magical underwater world. The island can be reached by ferry from Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula in little over 30 minutes.As Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, expect to pack in lots of activities on your visit. This is the place to come for some spectacular diving and snorkelling. French explorer Jacques Cousteau discovered its deep water reefs in the 1960s and visitors have been flocking here ever since. There are plenty of reputable scuba diving instructors around the island who can sail you out to the best sites. So if you have a spare morning or afternoon, this experience is not to be missed. Colourful coral reefs, tropical fish and turtles await you.
You can avoid mass tourism and find your own pocket of paradise on Isla Holbox. There is a much slower pace of life here than on the other islands and villagers remain largely unaffected by tourism. The white-sandy beaches are lapped by turquoise waters and sunset brings a peaceful, intimate atmosphere in the evenings. This is a blissful Caribbean island where the streets are made of sand and the dish of the day is freshly-caught fish. Positioned where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea, Isla Holbox is separated from the mainland by Yalahao lagoon. Travel 30 minutes off the island by boat and you’ll soon be submerged in the spring’s clear, fresh waters. Expect to see flocks of flamingos, pelicans and other exotic birds which have made the lagoon their home.
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