|North end of Isla|
You stop, and chat, negotiate a price, and follow then him to the rental company's office. What now?
The island is only eight kilometers long and less than a kilometer wide. (For our metric-challenged friends that is five miles long and half a mile wide.) You could zip around the entire island in less than an hour and be back at the rental place before lunch. What fun is there in that?
|Indio's Cart Rentals new colours|
|Fun rentals from Ciro's|
|The Mia Reef at North Beach|
North beach is as the name suggests at the northern tip of the island, with white sandy beaches made famous by the Corona commercials and Trip Adviser's surveys rating it one of the Top Ten Best Beaches in the World.
North beach is glorious on a sunny day, with numerous places to rent a beach lounger and be served good food and cold drinks. But hey, you have wheels, it's time to see the rest of the island.
|North-western side of Isla Mujeres|
|Entrance to Barlito's at Marina Paraiso|
Back on the road again: turn right and continue on your adventure. Eventually you'll pass the big orange grocery store – Chedraui. Follow the main stream of traffic veering slightly to the right as you drive under the overhead warning lights for the pedestrian crosswalks and traffic congestion. If you notice a line up of impatient drivers behind you let them pass or you might be startled by drivers overtaking you with little or no visibility on Devil's Corner. Remember what we said about passing being a national sport in Mexico?
|The Joint at Punta Sur|
|Great colours at Punta Sur|
At the round-about across from the Isla Mujeres Palace Hotel you have a choice; you can make a sharp right and visit Dolphin Discovery to swim with the dolphins for the balance of the day or keep driving south to see the rest of Isla Mujeres. Heading south the next refreshment stop is at The Joint, a relaxing shady spot hidden in a jungle of trees and flowers.
Then a few feet further along you will see a perfect “Ah!” location. It is a wide spot on the right side of the road where the gorgeous blues of the Caribbean are displayed for your visual enjoyment. It's a perfect location to stop for a photograph, and a homemade ice cream cone purchased from the mobile vendor.
A little further on at the extreme southern tip of the island, Punta Sur, is a small collection of stores and the stunning views from the Ancantilado restaurant. For an entrance fee of thirty pesos you can wander the park, and depending on the time of year you might see giant sea turtles mating in the surf.
Whew! You are half way around the island now. Don't forget to use the baños before leaving this area! The perimeter road on the eastern side of the island is primarily private residences, not restaurants and bars.
|Don't get distracted by the view!|
When leaving Punta Sur, turn right, keeping the ocean on the passenger's side of the vehicle. Along the eastern coast line are a number of beautiful homes. This road will lead you down a slight hill, past the smelly but unfortunately necessary garbage dump, the newer cemetery, and the settlement of Guadalupana.
The beautiful ocean vistas have been know to distract drivers leading to collisions with motorcycles, other golf carts and assorted vehicles. Be careful! Drivers doing u-turns in this area have been seriously injured and have injured other people.
|Famous sign at Villa la Bella|
Remain on the perimeter road, passing the Colegio de Bachilleres (high school) and the airport for the Naval base. At the corner of the airport if you turn left, then take the next right, driving in front of the Naval base, you will be back in the area where you first disembarked from the passenger ferries. Or if you drive straight ahead, behind the Naval base, you will arrive at the Palacio Municipal (City Hall) where a few more golf cart rental companies have their offices.
|Our friends Edie and Gary with their 1957 Chevy golf cart|
Well done! You made it – time for a sunset celebration.
And don't forget to collect your identification that you left with the golf cart office. It's a real nuisance to come back for forgotten items, although it could be an excuse for a return trip.
It could be opportunity to explore the individual, local neighbourhoods and really get lost in paradise.
Lynda & Lawrie