During our winter family vacation, we booked a trip and traveled to Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. Everything about it looked amazing, and as a bonus, we had credit to use toward excursions. After reading flyers, we decided to venture to Tulum for a half-day tour, as well as a full-day trip on Isla Mujeres. It was a new place to discover, so why not?
We woke up early and boarded the shuttle at 7am to head to Cancún, which was about an hour and a half away, to board a ferry to the island. After boarding, we took a seat for our 30 minute ride to Isla Mujeres. It was my son’s first time on a boat, so he took a little adjusting to it as we powered on. However, looking over the sides at the clear, blue water was breathtaking and calming.
We headed toward Garrafon Natural Reef Park, not really knowing what to expect. As soon as we docked, we noticed the breathtaking beauty of the island. The Caribbean Sea was a clear, beautiful shade of aquamarine and the air was serene and relaxing. It was paradise and I was surprised that I didn’t hear more people talking about it before.
We ended up getting the VIP package, which included unlimited food and drinks, along with access to a private pool, jacuzzis, and an adult-only area. The food was mainly buffet style, however they cooked make-to-order chicken and steak, which was delectable.
After lunch, we explored the island and relaxed while waiting for the ferry to the town, which was on the other side of the island. There was a playground, hammocks, bars, zip lining, pools, snorkeling, kayaking, and places to relax all over, so there was plenty of things to do to keep us occupied. They also had strollers to rent, in case you have a little one and want to take a stroll. Yet, just looking into the water was peaceful enough.
Once the boat arrived, we boarded and headed toward the town. In the middle of the island, there is a dolphin excursion, however young kids are limited on what they can do, so we skipped it. The town was a cultural experience, with various food options, souvenirs, and shops. People mainly got around on golf carts or motorcycles, although there were some vehicles.
One of our goals in Mexico was to find Kinder Surprise Eggs, which are illegal in the US due to the hidden toy inside the chocolate candy. My son is obsessed with watching unboxing videos on YouTube and they frequently unbox the chocolate eggs. We scoured each store for their chocolates, so when we came across a couple of boxes, we bought several eggs to open and eat while we were still in Mexico (you can get fined if you try to sneak the chocolate egg in the US). The chocolate was amazing and the smile on his face was priceless!
After we spent an hour or so in the downtown area, we hopped on the boat to go back to the hotel. By the time we got back to the hotel, it was around 8pm, so it was a long day of relaxation and adventure, however it was well worth it…every second of it. If you ever travel to the Yucatán Peninsula, I highly recommend spending a day on Isla Mujeres.