Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Mexico & Central America
Reload this Page >

Confused about Isla Mujeres or should we stick with Zhuateneo

Confused about Isla Mujeres or should we stick with Zhuateneo

Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:26 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 140
Confused about Isla Mujeres or should we stick with Zhuateneo

Guys, can anyone tell me if there's a beach on Isla Mujeres that's perfect for a young toddler? I'm confused since reading at Isla-mujeres.net that the beaches on the caribbean side of the island are not great for swimming because of strong undertows.

I need a beach that's calm, clear and good for wadding in with the little one...beautiful sand is a must!

For those who have been to Isla, should we consider someplace else? Can you recommend good beaches for us.

For those who have been to Zhuateneo, are there beaches fitting our requirements since Zhua is on the pacific coast?

We are looking to travel late May - early June from NY.

Gracias!
andreaac is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:47 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres is very very calm, so it would be perfect for a toddler. However, in terms of a town to visit, I preferred Zihuatanejo over Isla Mujeres. Playa Ropa in Zihuatanejo was also very nice for swimming when I visited there - unlike Ixtapa, the waves didn't seem to be a problem.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:59 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 140
Thanks Susan,

Care to elaborate as to why you prefer Zihuatanejo over Isla? Thanks
andreaac is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:43 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
I found the town more interesting. It's bigger than Isla Mujeres, and although there are a lot of tourists, it's not just geared to tourism. (That would be Ixtapa.) There was some good shopping in Zihuatanejo, better selection of restaurants, that kind of thing. Now, the last time I was in Zihuatanejo was 1999. I've to Isla Mujeres a couple of times, the last time being 2002. Playa Norte is a very good beach for children though, so it may be what you want.

Where are you coming from? That might also influence your decision. For us, it's only 3 1/2 hours to Cancun and probably 5 hours to Zihuatanejo. Mind you, you then have the ferry ride to Isla Mujeres.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:55 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,777
Except for the nice beach, I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time on Isla. I didn't find it very charming or friendly, like some do...
Little_Man is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 11:17 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 140
Thank you, thank you. Did I ever say you guys are the best! I think we will stick to Zihua.

Susan, we are travelling from NY. I will concentrate on finding a good airfare deal to Zihua instead.

Anyone care to throw out some recommendations for a good place to stay w/ a toddler. We need a nice place (not costly) with a kitchen/kitchennette). It doesn't have to be directly on the beach. Could be on a hill close to the beach. Thanks.
andreaac is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 11:28 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 317
I think you made a great choice with Zihua. I've been three times and love it, and it is now an annual trip. La Ropa is a perfect beach for children, it's in a bay so you're more protected from rough waves.
The sand is nice on La Ropa, but not the powdered sugar sand of the Caribbean -- you said beautiful sand is a must so keep that in mind.
Tansy is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:19 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 621
Hmmm.

Having been to *BOTH* Zihua and Isla, I'd say that Isla Mujeres is, without question, the better beach -- especially with a toddler. And if it's "beautiful sand" that's a must, I'd think that right then and there, Isla Mujeres would win by a landslide.

Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres is very wide with the soft, powdery sand that the Caribbean coast is famous for, together with crystal clear turqoise waters so brilliant it almost seems unreal. Zihua is nice, but the beaches *DO NOT* compare...

Take a look at some of pics and you'll see where I'm coming from:
http://www.tiogringo.com/isla.html
http://www.tiogringo.com/ixtapa.html

(And by the way, the Caribbean side of Isla Mujeres is *not* Playa Norte.)

Have fun!
Mark
TioGringo is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2004, 07:07 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3
the north end of isla is perfect for a toddle it is like swimming on a giant sandbar it does not get deep until you walk very far out. also a major means of transportation on the island is rented golf carts what toddler wouldnt love cruising around on his own golf cart for the day i was there xmas 2003 any questions just email me youll love it there
mary5250 is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2004, 02:54 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,183
I agree that Playa Norte on Isla would be better for children. That beach is what dreams and postcards are made of. Zhua is also a wonderul destination to consider, but maybe not as nice for the kids. As others have stated, the sand isn't as beautiful. Both destinations are well worth a visit.
LA_FadeAway is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2004, 05:11 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 189
My gosh, this is a no brainer
Isla Mujeres hands down
visit isla-mujeres.net and check out the photos by clicking on the left tool bar.
I have nothing against Z but the beach at IM is so superior and we find the IM locals to be very nice.
dmotl is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2004, 12:53 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 140
Boy, talk about confusing! Some say Isla, others say Zihua.

I will do further research and make my final decision by March. If the beach on Isla (Playa Norte)is that good, than maybe it would make more sense for us coming from NY with the little one.

Currently I am agonizing between both those locations and Grenada....decisions, decisions, decisions.

Thanks again
andreaac is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2004, 01:02 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,177
dmotl is correct the beach is better and nicer at Isla Mujeres.

Torguiose water and white sand beach in IM and brown sand and Pacific Ocean in Zihua.
Been to both and both are nice BUT you want a nice beach..so it is IM.

Percy
Percy is online now  
Old Jan 27th, 2004, 02:12 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
Just returned from Grenada last week and we were on Isla Mujeres last month. Parts of Grand Anse Beach on Grenada would be way too rough for a toddler. Seems the waves have been rougher than usual the past couple of months. The beach at Morne Rouge, however, was very beautiful, and very calm.

As stated here previously, the beach at Playa Norte is beautiful. Calm and clear. Stays shallow a long ways out.

Isla Mujeres is smaller than the southern part of Grenada, where most of the hotels and restaurants are, so it's easier getting around. Food costs on Isla were much less. We're used to walking to most places, had to take cabs and buses a lot more in Grenada.

Grenada was drop dead gorgeous. Very green and very hilly. Probably harder to navigate with a toddler than Mexico.

Jean
JeanH is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2004, 10:10 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1
Hi all,

Any word on snorkeling from Isla Mujeres/Playa Norte? We're not too serious about it, but looking for somewhere not too busy, and trying to keep our costs down ... free activities are always good!
Schmoopdawg is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2004, 10:58 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,183
There is a park at one end of Isla that has snorkeling. I believe it was called La Garison or something like that. It may be a safe bet with kids.
LA_FadeAway is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2004, 08:13 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
There is snorkeling from shore on the south end of Isla Mujeres. One place is the large and relatively expensive Garrafon Park, I think it's around $15.00 admission. I don't remember if that includes your snorkel equipment. Next door is a smaller area affiliated with the Garrafon Hotel. Only $3.00 to enter and is truly right next door. Lounge chairs, a small restuaruant/bar and easy access into the water. Although the reef is gone, they have placed submerged concrete objects which act as an artificial reef. We saw lots and lots of fish. Across the street is El Pueblito restaurant, where we had absolutely wonderful chicken enchiladas for $3.00. Jean
JeanH is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2004, 06:44 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 189
OK I will stick my neck out and say that Isla is the least expensive island in the Carribean. You guys can argue with me if you want.
Visit isla-mujers.net for tons of info

You can also snorkle off Norte beach from the left or right of the Avalon hotel along the rock reef for free.
The local cooperative does a great 4-5 hour snorkle tour for $16 that includes a great shore lunch of Mayan
Tik-N-Chic fish.

My wife and I have spent over a year of our lives on IM--two weeks at a time cause we are middle class and have to work.

We have a 26 page brochure which we have made up to assist the first time visitor to the island.

We send it out free via e-mail upon request.

just e-mail us at
[email protected]
dmotl is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mothradave
Mexico & Central America
6
Jun 19th, 2006 06:22 AM
tlegray
Mexico & Central America
11
May 24th, 2006 05:36 PM
margieco
Mexico & Central America
6
Feb 23rd, 2005 07:19 PM
cruisecouple
Mexico & Central America
7
Oct 23rd, 2003 05:42 PM
Randy
Mexico & Central America
4
Oct 4th, 2002 05:01 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO