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10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?

Chicago, Illinois
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7 posts
31 reviews
44 helpful votes
10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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Hi. I’m thinking of escaping the cold in Chicago going someplace warm in January for a week and a half. I’m wondering if I should spend the entire trip on Isla or split time between there and Cancun. I spent a week in Cancun about 15 years ago and did a day trip to Isla (wish I had spent more time). I’ve since been to Playa Del Carmen a few times. I’m thinking I would try Isla for at least a few days if not the entire trip. I’m just wondering if you think a week and a half would be too long.

I’m obviously looking for quality beach and pool time, as well as maybe some snorkeling and maybe trying some other activities like paddle boarding and kayaking, and exploring the area. I’m not interested in going clubbing, but definitely want some nightlife. I’m looking for open-air bars and restaurants as opposed to crowded indoor spaces. I’m a single guy in my late 40s, vaccinated and boosted, but still trying to be careful. Along those lines, how are people on Isla and the mainland when it comes to masking? What are the rules and how strictly are they followed?

20 replies to this topic
San Miguel de...
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1,160 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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I can understand the need to escape the cold but wonder why the only place you would think of a one of your destinations would be Cancun. I would not choose playa del Carmen in any case but I think you may be surprised what you find in Cancun after 15 years absence. Many other good options you could choose such as Puerto Morelos, Akumal, etc.

Personally, I could stay the the full length of time on IM with no problem but some may want a change of pace.

Chicago, Illinois
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31 reviews
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2. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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I have looked at other places. Many were out of my price range or the flight options weren’t great — or both. I’m also trying to keep the flight within about 4 1/2 hours so that rules out, say, Hawaii. Also, I’m not sure what you mean by being surprised by what I’d find in Cancun.

Malmo, Sweden
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401 posts
50 reviews
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3. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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I think Nacho was talking about splitting Mujeres with Cancun, not flying to Cancun.

There are other places than Cancun (except those Nacho suggested). Maybe Holbox would interest you? Or maybe a little bit too quiet?

Edited: November 29, 2021, 7:57 pm
Glastonbury...
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for Isla Mujeres
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1,881 posts
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4. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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We stay on Isla for 2 weeks, 3 times a year and never get bored. Sometimes we will do a looong day trip to Valladolid and / or some cenotes. We DO spend time volunteering somewhere each trip. There is ALWAYS a group or two organizing something that gives back to the island and really feels good.

This next trip we are going to Isla for a week, then checking out of hotel and going to Merida / Progeso for two nights then back to Isla for 6 more days.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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20 reviews
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5. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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If I was traveling solo I think Merida for 4 days, the rest in Isla. But I would not hesitate to go slow and immerse in only Isla either.

Enjoy!

Cancun, Mexico
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for Cancun, Isla Mujeres
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11,919 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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If you're looking for some nightlife then you'll find that more in Cancun than in places like Holbox, Puerto Morelos etc.

Isla is a early island meaning most things close by midnight. No clubs but lots of places to have a drink and listen to some great live music. Playa Norte is consistently rated one of the top beaches in Mexico. Some hotels have pools although you won't find big resorts like you do in Cancun so while they're nice I'm not sure I'd call any of the pools great.

I think splitting your trip would be perfect. You get a bit more nightlife here in Cancun You get a bit more relaxation on Isla with your choice of places to eat and drink outside.

15 years since you've been in Cancun? It's definitely changed. More built up. But the beaches are still great and pools are just waiting for you.

Yucatan Peninsula...
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for Yucatan Peninsula, Chetumal, Mahahual
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7. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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If you liked Cancun during your previous trips), then it's probably a good idea to do a split.

If you have an early flight from Cancun, put Cancun at the end of the trip so you're closer to the airport.

Yakima, Washington
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1,081 posts
22 reviews
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8. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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When we plan our Isla trips we do a minimum of 10 days... More if we can. Its laid back and has a chill vibe. You will find lots of open air bars and resturants to choose from or hop around... not much for clubbing at all but You will for sure find quality beach time and pool time on Isla... IDK that id split my trip between Isla and Cancun... Cancun does not apeal to me. But i would consider splitting with another location a short drive from Cancun IF i was dead set on not spending the whole time on the island.

Saint Thomas, Canada
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90 reviews
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9. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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We did a split a couple years ago. We did 6 nights in Cancun and 3 night on Isla. I would definitely spend more time on Isla next time. And I agree with putting Cancun at the end depending on your flight time.

Oakville, Canada
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1,220 posts
10. Re: 10 nights on Isla Mujeres or split trip with Cancun?
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If you like to snorkel, then a couple of nights in Puerto Morelos might be nice. DH finds Puerto Morelos boring after a night or two but he doesnt snorkel open water. There's a food tour in the pueblo that's on my bucket list. You could also do a day trip from Isla to snorkel the reef there. Interestingly DH can stay 3 to 4 weeks on Isla very happily.

The other combo that might appeal is Merida and Isla.

And of course you can do Cancun and Isla.

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