Beaches are child friendly, with whites sands and shallow water without big waves. Snorkeling can be learned safely, or more experienced swimmers can take any number of snorkeling or diving tours available. Hanging out on the beach and soaking up the sun is another option. There is a sea turtle hatching/raising/releasing facility that you can tour. There is a national park with an underwater snorkel trail. There are some Mayan ruins. There are some good bicycle touring roads around the island.
The whole island waited for the Cafe to open because everybody knows Lori and Polo are great cooks, catering to yachts, weddings and millionaires.
And now they're there in a cute little building right at the first corner when you bomb your little golf cart or scooter along the windward shore. Some go inside because it's really cute, some sit at the sidewalk tables, some grab a box lunch to munch as they tour the rest of Isla.
This is fresh, wholesome, natural food with exotic spices from their own Caribe-wide collection. The brunches from 8:30 to 2:30 Thurs-Sunday are very popular with locals and whatever visitors putt by,
An exciting menu ranging from Peanut Butter/Jelly Empadadas (who else has THAT?) to Gapacho and Yougrut and skilletpotatos with chorizo. Or how about a plain taco? Sorry, no plain tacos here: would you like West Indies Chicken in peanut sauce, Tempura fried Fish with Pear Salsa, Coxacan Mole with Chihuahua cheese, or something more exotic?
Favorite Dish: But the real event is the Monday night Tropical Barbecue, with the big canister fired up and fragrantly smoking outside.
A different menu every week at a flat price: Tequila glazed mango chicken, Jamaican Jerk Pork, Coconut Pineapple Kabobs, Brazilian Ancho Chile Roast.
And to drink? Organic Oaxaxa Coffee, Coconut Chai, Jamaican Ginger Beer, or fruit ades made from anything from lemon to watermelon.
This is not the cheapest chow on Isla, but it's about the same price as mediocre restaurants and the food is better than many of the expensive ones.
Up at the other place, with the appropriate name of Cool Ice Cream, there are also extras. The owner, a cute and charming Peruvian woman, is also an artist and they feature her custom jewelry and oils and prints by several Isla painters. No coffee or internet, but you can get both right across the street. And long distance telephone calls on either side.
But WHO CARES? This place has the greatest ice cream on this or any given island! She's an artist in cream, also, is what I'm saying. She makes it at home from all natural ingredients (and rolls her own sugar cones) and isn't afraid to experiment. They have, for instance, cinnamon ice cream. Also mango, banana, coconut, blackberry, as well as the usual Big Three.
The new location is great, sidewalk tables/umbrellas right amid all the restuarants, and in hearing of their acoustic music. If you're lucky the drummer boys with the amazing athletic firedancer and wizened flute player will come by.
People quickly learn that this is the sort of place you hit every night because it's always fun, cheerful, and TASTY!
Favorite Dish: NUTELLA!!!!!!!!!!!! This stuff is just nuts. A creamy vanilla base marbled with--not chocolate, no, no, no--but NUTELLA, the yummy hazelnut cream Nobody has ever not liked it. Some become addicts or even form cults of adoration.
Second place: Cafe Kahlua, a KAHLUA base sprinkled with ground-up espresso beans.
And, in case you're a hard case, try reisisting the BANANA SPLITS!!!!!!!!!!! made from three scoops of your choice.
This place makes you LONG to be fat.
Getting to Mujeres is simple and cheap. The city bus service to Puerto Juarez where the ferry leaves every hour all day, costs less than a dollar from anywhere in Cancun. The front window of the bus will indicate if it goes to Puerto Juarez. Taxis are cheap, too. The ferry costs $7 round trip and is fun in itself, taking less than half hour. Once on the island you can rent a bicycle or motor bike for getting around the more distant locations, but within the business area walking is easy, barefoot or sandals.
Coming off the ferry from Cancun, you are assaulted by many vendors asking if you want to go on their special snorkel trips. BE CAREFUL! Some are probably good, but you get what you pay for. My friends and I took a 'special rate' trip. Supposedly three stops for the afternoon for about 200 pesos / $20 US. We left on a very small boat with about 12 people on board, and headed to the first stop which was a crowded site with about 10 boats of snorklers. That was enjoyable, for the 30 minutes we were there. Then we loaded up for the next stop. Well....
We docked at a crowded pier full of boats just like ours. On one side of the beach you could pay to play with dolphins in a large penned area. Or get in the water with a small shark (which was lethargic from being held and not moving much). Down the beach on the other side of the pier was a naturalist site raising tortoises. Interesting, and not costly to get in (about 30 pesos). But the main attraction for everyone else was the restaurant at the base of the pier, where most went for drinks and late lunch. Over 2 hours later, while we waited around the pier, the boat captain rounded them up and took us back to catch the ferry to Cancun. So, one actual snorkling experience of 30 minutes in 4 hours time.
The far western point of the island has some good snorkeling, but can be dangerous. There is a rocky point that juts out into the sea where waves from the north crash and spray against. On the south side there are coral reefs with sea life of many kinds, including colorful fish species. One hazzard is the strong current that you have to fight on the way out to the farthest points. If you get very close the the rocks, a big wave can knock the mask off your face as it did me this week. This, along with the gulping of sea water, and being caught in the strong current can be a bit terrifying and heart throbbing, and potentially dangerous. It's not very deep here, but well over your head. Nobody is watching you, so you should not do this alone. Another potential hazzard is the occaisional motor boat that zips betweent the rocks in the strong current. They probably could not see a snorkeler with their bows high and splashing through the wave, and probably could not swirve in time even if the saw you. So although there are great rewards to snorkeling there, the risks are high.