3 Best Sights in Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres

Playa Norte

Playa Norte Fodor's choice

North Beach is easy to find: simply head north on any of the north–south streets in town until you hit it. The turquoise sea is as calm as a lake here, though developers have built along most of the coast. The small cove between Mia Reef Resort and the Caribbean is the nicest section. Relatively shallow, the water flows directly from the open sea, so it's clean and good for snorkeling; tour guides often lure the fish with food. A food or drink purchase from the Playa Norte Beach Club gives you access to beach beds and changing facilities at Privilege Aluxes Resort. Alternately, you can enjoy a libation at one of the palapa bars where wooden swings take the place of bar stools; Buho's is especially popular, as MX$100 lounge chairs and MX$200 beach beds come with a free drink ticket. At Sunset Grill, lounge chairs, umbrellas, towels, toilets, and showers are included when you spend MX$300 on food or drink. Amenities: food and drink; parking; showers; toilets. Best for: snorkeling; sunset; swimming; walking.

El Cementerio

Playa Norte

Isla's cemetery is on Avenida López Mateos, the road that runs parallel to Playa Norte. Many of the century-old gravestones are covered with carved angels and flowers, with the most elaborate and beautiful marking the graves of children. Hidden among them is the tomb of the notorious Fermín Mundaca de Marechaja, a 19th-century slave trader—often billed more glamorously as a pirate—who carved his own skull-and-crossbones gravestone with the ominous epitaph: "As you are, I once was; as I am, so shall you be." Ironically, his remains actually lie in Mérida, where he died. The monument is tough to find, so ask a local to point out the marker.

El Malecón

Playa Norte

To enjoy the drama of Isla's western shore while soaking up some rays, stroll along this 1½-km-long (1-mile-long) boardwalk. It runs from the Ultramar pier to Playa Norte and has several benches and lookout points. Check out El Monumento del Marlin Azul y la Barracuda (Blue Marlin and Barracuda Monument) along the way.

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