Cancun, Mexico: Relaxing Time & Exploring Vacation Recap


Since last year I’ve complained and nagged about us not taking a vacation. A real vacation, not road trips but a full-blown, pack your bags and find a dog sitter vacation. After graduating, packing, selling our house, moving to a tiny temporary apartment, building a house, moving AGAIN and unpacking, it was time for a true getaway.

Leslie Guzman4
Little Island Fun

We have spent a bit with the new house so we couldn’t take a full-blown vacation on a full-blown vacation budget. We are also taking another trip later this year. Shopping for flights I realized, that nothing was coming out as economical as I wanted. I couldn’t justify the prices of these flights and only stay one week. Husband loves Cancun and we have not been in a few years. I did the math and that made the most sense. I didn’t want it to be like the other times we have been, where we were complete tourists and doing all-inclusive. This time I wanted us to experience that part of Mexico.

That is how we ended up one week in Isla Mujeres and another week in Cancun.

I know, all you heard was two weeks in Cancun, why?! or you heard two weeks in Cancun, woohoo party!!! Isla Mujeres is considered part of Cancun but it really isn’t. It’s more relaxing and tranquil. I started us there because I knew my stubborn workaholic husband needed to disconnect and relax. Which by the way he was not ok with the two weeks vacation. I just didn’t give him a choice. I kept reminding him how much he loves Isla Mujeres. He actually calls it his paradise.

After a lot of research, reading so many good blogs and of course the most important Trip Advisor, I realized there was so much to see in Isla & Cancun. Things I haven’t seen on previous trips nor hubby. From when we started dating until now, we have become travel addicts to the extreme and big-time foodies. After my research, I knew this vacation could be the full-blown vacation we needed.

Leslie Guzman-1
©Leslie M. Guzmán This was the view from my seat

It was ugly and raining in all of Texas. Flooding all the bayous & rivers. Worst people were missing. It was horrible watching the news and each time hubby thanking God he purchased flood insurance. The day we flew out we were scared flights would be delayed or worst yet canceled. Our flight was delayed only 15 minutes. As I looked out the window before takeoff the rain started coming down. I snapped a picture that looks like we were escaping. Right after as we took off the rain and wind just became more intense. BYE BYE HOUSTON!!!

Arriving on a Wednesday instead of a Saturday was a-m-az-i-ng!!! Zoomed through the immigration line, no lines for the bus, and finally no line for the ferry to Isla Mujeres.


Leslie Guzman 6
©Leslie M. Guzmán A simple life

What is this island of women you speak of? It’s a 20 min ferry ride from Cancun. Many companies offer day trips for the people in Cancun. You should try it some time. It was once upon a time a fishermen’s island, now there is more diversification and tourism is a big trade now.

In island mode as soon as I stepped off the ferry. Walked a few steps and got one of the taxis for the ride to our little-secluded beach, Mia Reef. You literally have to cross a bridge to get to it. I love that part. It feels like a castle surrounded by gorgeous Corona commercial blue water and white sand.

Isla 02-405-1
©Leslie M. Guzmán Mia Reef Isla Mujeres

Let me tell you that relaxing a stressed-out workaholic husband was not easy. I had purchased three consecutive days of all-inclusive so he could drink and eat to his heart’s content. My husband aka Señor Foodie was not letting go even with food. Even though our hotel had some bad ass fish tacos!

Leslie Guzman 5
I had no problem relaxing

Day #4 of our vacation I took hubby on a long scenic walk through downtown Isla. I promised him laziness after our walk. Only beach and napping on his favorite beach bed. What I didn’t tell him was that I was going to give him a rum-filled coconut. I should have started with this trick on day one, it worked like a charm. He was the most relaxed I have seen him in so long. Now I know for our return trip to Isla Mujeres, one week is not enough. If it took me 4 days to relax him from our 8 days there.

Leslie Guzman 2
©Leslie M. Guzmán Sunset in Isla Mujeres

After that was the start of our real vacation…

I had a lot of suggestions from Trip Advisor on places to see and restaurants to eat. For those people who have not had the pleasure of visiting Isla Mujeres, keep in mind that Isla Mujeres is a place to relax, take long walks, snorkel, sightsee and enjoy. Not a party place, few bars, and no huge clubs.Which is perfect for the sometimes antisocial person I can be.

Isla 05-65
#1 Place to eat in Isla Mujeres, Mango Cafe
Isla 05-77
Anything stuffed is usually good, this was GREAT!

First on our list and apparently on everyone else’s list was Polo’s Mango Cafe. This was on the day we were trying make it to church. After getting lost and getting to the wrong church and finding one of the churches locked we found Mango Cafe. The food we ate on our vacation should be on a post of its own, there is that much to say. Mango Cafe cannot be compared with the rest of the places we tried on the Island. We only ate once here but it was enough to judge. I will have to discuss more in-depth in another post.

We did a lot in Isla Mujeres but if I wrote down each thing we did this would have been a ten-page post. Anyone wanting a little R&R but wants to do some fun water activities and of course, EAT delicious food I highly recommend Isla Mujeres.


Leslie GUzman 3

It seems that everyone has been to Cancun, some have been several times. We are guilty of being there several times as a couple and with friends. It is such a quick trip from Houston and come on, the beaches!

Cancun makes Hubby HAPPY

You can’t really go wrong. The only thing is that most people only go and stay in the hotel maybe go to the clubs and call it a trip. There is so much to see in and out of Cancun it is ridiculous. From Cancun, you can take several days trips whether you plan and pay for an excursion or just hop on a bus and venture on your own. < this is so easy and cheaper to do by the way*

Hubby thought he had seen all there was to see in Cancun. Well, I was excited to show him all the impressive places that he had yet to explore.

©Leslie M. Guzmán Scorpion Temple, Cancun

This week went by a lot faster than our R&R week. I think that since we arrived in Cancun from Isla Mujeres we were on the move. We took a day trip to Playa del Carmen, next to Valladolid and to Ek Balam. Visited two small ruins in Cancun, the Scorpion temple, and El Rey. We have been to the ones that everyone tells you to go to, Chichen Itza and Tulum in the past. Sure they are a sight to see but no one ever tells you that there are some right there by your hotel. Especially if you are only there for a 3 day weekend you don’t have to travel far and waste an entire day. We visited the Mayan Museum which if you are history buffs like us, you will really enjoy this place.

El Rey Ruins in Cancun

Long story short hubby who had to get his arm twisted to take two weeks off did not want to come back home. He was complete beach bum by the end. Ready to stay and trying to figure out what he was going to do over there for a living, with his broken Spanish. It was a trip we both desperately needed. It gave the husband a reset he needed and gave me so much material to work on for my next project. Stay tuned!

Good Bye Sunrise, Cancun



Leslie M. Guzmán is a Guatemalan artist best known for her creative explorations of world cultures. Her works capture the untold stories of people, objects and the places from which they come.


  • travelsewhere

    I’m disappointed I missed Isla Mujeres when I visited Mexico last year as it looks wonderful from your photos. Certainly looks like a great place to relax and would be interesting to compare it with Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

  • Lisa (Simple Sojourner)

    This looks like a lot of fun, sunshine, and drinks at sunset. The ruins are always pretty cool to explore as well. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  • Leslie M. Guzman

    There is your reason to go back! I prefer Isla Mujeres over Cancun and Cancun over Playa del Carmen. It depends what you want. Isla Mujeres is still not that spoiled with too much tourism and you can walk the streets and get lost in it. If you want party and nightlife, Cancun or Playa del Carmen are a better fit.

  • feetdotravel

    I have never heard of Isla Mujeres so thank you for bringing this to my attention, and for the information of the temples around Cancun, this was most helpful! I have pinned this for future reference so thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Travel Lexx

    Looks beautiful and great that you managed to get a well-deserved break. All-inclusive/relaxing is something that doesn’t appeal to me when travelling but I think even I would sneak a half day on the beach here! Fantastic!

  • Garth

    Firstly great photos! stunning sunset. Been thinking about visiting Cancun, will definitely try Isla Mujeres. Thanks for sharing

  • By Land and Sea

    Isla Mujeres is such a lovely spot! And, I love the seashell house that is on the island! I see it on travel shows all the time now! So glad you enjoyed yourselves and your time away!

  • Anna Schlaht

    It sounds like both of you desperately needed a vacation! I’m glad you got to relax finally and enjoy your stay in Mexico. Beautiful photos too, by the way! We’ve never been to Mexico (we’re sticking to the Caribbean at the moment), but the pictures make us want to go right now! 🙂 Safe travels to your next destination!

  • Leslie M. Guzman

    I don’t blame you the Caribbean is beautiful as well. But Cancun is just as gorgeous and Isla Mujeres is still not as touristic that you can still feel the small island feel. Plus it’s a pretty cheap flight.Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: