March 2016 marked the one year anniversary of #MiaOnTheGo! In 2015, I celebrated the Big 50 in grand style with a 3 week tour of Italy. This year, the Big 51 was celebrated on a lovely Cheoy Lee Sailboat named Lady, docked at Marina Paraiso in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. My good friend and Social Media Manager, Dawn Swick-Renshaw, joined me as well! Also known as my “Twinsie”, Dawn’s birthday is two days after mine & we are the same age so it seemed fitting that we celebrate together in Mexico.
The trip to Cancun was a quick plane ride from Denver (Southwest has great rates – just book early!). Although March can traditionally be kookoo crazy with the Spring Break crowd, Isla Mujeres seems exempt from that craycray. We took a shuttle from the airport (arranged by our boat captain) to the ferry at Puerto Juarez (about a 20 minute ride but that was a 5am so who knows what it’s like during the day!). The ferry ride is also about 20 minutes and costs 150 pesos (or about $8 – give or take).
ProTip – have pesos on hand – you can negotiate much better and tend to get a better price, especially on Isla Mujeres where it’s not as commercial.
About the Island Isla Mujeres is definitely a rustic island and not as flashy as the Cancun resorts but that’s exactly what I loved about it! Many things seemed to be preserved in time and you need to look past the run down feel to see the true beauty.
Boats for sale can be a tough task, especially if you have never considered buying one before. This is mainly because there are too many different types, makes, models, and sizes of boats out there to choose from. There is no way that you can test drive a boat and know if it is the right one just from looking at it. This is why it’s best to get a bit more information on the boats for sale that you’re interested in so that you can narrow down your choices so that you get to buy the right boat for you. Find some interesting deals at zeboats.
We headed right to Marina Paraiso where Lady the Boat was docked – a quick 7 minute cab ride. Here’s where the pesos come in handy because we got totally overcharged using a credit card (to the tune of about $80 but there’s nothing the bank could do). So, yeah, just have pesos!
Marina Paraiso is a quiet little hotel off the main road – once you enter the grounds, it’s a well kept oasis. It’s a modest hotel, nothing fancy – but everything you need is there: hotel, pool, restaurant, bar. BOOM – one stop shopping.
Lady The Boat, a 1963 Cheoy Lee sailboat is parked at the end of the dock – a prime parking spot! Owner Miles Ponder acquired sweet Lady in 2012 in Corpus Christi and has put a lot of time & effort into restoring her to her original beauty (which a few cosmetic upgrades, of course). The original teakwood is rich & lovely. Originally blue & white, she’s now a sleek black.
For those who want to rent her, she’ll mainly stay docked but it’s actually quite nice to have such a lovely house boat to call home. One of the perks of the location is full use of the Marina Paraiso grounds include the pool, showers, etc. Let’s face it – the bathrooms are are small on the boat so a full size shower is a welcome treat after a few days.
Lady has 4 bedrooms (including a master suite) and 3 bathrooms. The Kitchen, Living & Dining area is a lovely place to relax. We spent a ton of time on the back sitting area of the boat – sunrise & sunset are equally as beautiful in that spot.
Protip – rent a golf cart! We didn’t but met friends who did so we got around quite nicely.
At times I had to pry myself away from the boat and resort and get out to see the rest of the island. The north end is definitely more commercial & the main town area is bustling. Driving around the island is wonderful
Protip – just go grocery shopping! Everything you need is at the centrally located Chedrai Market – look for street signs. It’s fairly new and has everything…. including booze (winning)