A day visiting Isla Mujeres

Thursday, November 20, 2008

As a premier member at Royal Solaris, one day offers two tour options. We had to choose between visiting Chichen Itza or choosing one of several option on the island of Isla Mujeres. We choose to visit Isla Mujeres and swim with the dolphins. (Note: full photo set on SmugMug)

The trip out to the island was pretty and I snapped a couple of shots from the boat. The ride was great, super staff and once again free beverages of all types.

Our arrival at the island let us walk past the dolphin & shark areas, giving us a little preview of what was to come. No, we didn't plan to swim with the sharks..LOL! We met with the instructor/guide for our group and then went over to get our life vests. You can tell from the photo that mine is a bit on the large size...and I expected it to rise to my ears when in the water. LOL!

We learned a lot about dolphins in general and got to meet "our" dolphin, DaVinci. We each got to pet him several times, top and bottom. We got to kiss him, have him kiss us and dance with him. We weren't allowed to take pictures but we did buy two of the ones they took. If we had brought kids the video at $29 would have been well worth the price. It was nicely done!

We then went on to enjoy a delicious buffet included in our tour before finding out that we could get a ride into the market area. The other option would have been to rent a golf cart for $15 and done a riding tour of the entire island. I wanted to experience the market area so we opted for that this time. The Dolphin Discovery resort area is quite nice...many people come for the day to swim, sun & participate in the various activities.

The ride to the market was on the same boat that brought us to the island. We were given our departure deadline and we all headed off. Most were doing the golf cart tour, we opted to walk. There were a lot of shops, few tourists and plenty of hawking, trying to get us to buy. Our first stop was Senor Frog's store, a few pics and two t-shirts purchased.

We then walked a bit....noticing the main means of transportation was scooters, closely followed by golf carts. A truck went by and I had to snap a shot, showing that not all words translate the same. LOL! We came across some fishermen repairing their nets and we sat for a bit, enjoying the breeze from the beach.

We'd seen enough of the general market area and wandered towards the other side of the island in search of the handmade goods market. Here we started to see some of the devastation from hurricanes past as well as a view of how the locals lived and the impact (and contrast) that tourism brings.

We made it back to the boat for the ride back to Dolphin Discovery to pick up all the others. On the ride back to Royal Solaris the kids seemed to still have energy while the parents were sagging a bit. LOL! But some Tequila Shooters & Slammers seemed to pick up their spirits. (Note: while I did try a lot of new foods, I still opted out of trying some tequila. Next trip....maybe....LOL!) All in all, it was an amazing day, one neither of us will soon forget.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu


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