What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

An Adventurous Beach Day at Isla Blanca, Cancun

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Last weekend my friend was visiting from the U.S. (I have known her since 1st grade!) and I wanted do something new and special. We had never been to Isla Blanca, a virgin, off-the-beaten-path (really) beach to the north of Cancun, so I thought it would be the perfect time to check it out. Bebé brought a friend as well.

To get to Isla Blanca you basically drive north on Bonampak Avenue, the first street in downtown Cancun, and keep going until you literally can’t go any further.

It was an interesting drive, made up of new highway ( it’s super depressing, tons of new hotels are being built in the area north of Cancun, which is technically Isla Mujeres, even though it’s on the mainland) where you couldn’t even tell if you were on the correct side of the road to bumpy dirt tracks with huge holes in them, and everything in between. From downtown Cancun it probably took us 45 minutes to get to Isla Blanca.

There are a few signs before you get to the very end that offer beach access, but I recommend simply driving until you can’t drive anymore. You will literally run into a small sand “parking lot” where you can pay 35 pesos to park. It was almost full and the elderly man who was collecting money suggested we park in the other section (literally on the beach) by driving on a suspicious two track that looked like it went directly into the lagoon. I declined and we squeezed into the last available spot.

We brought everything we needed. A huge sheet, towels, food, water, sunblock, toys, rafts, beer (shhh… more about that later) because there isn’t much around. There is something that could loosely be called a “beach club” with mismatched, run-down tables, chairs, umbrellas and palapas, but we didn’t check if they sold food or anything else.

We walked about 50 yards past the “beach club” and set up camp. If the boys hadn’t been with us I would have walked further but after the ride, etc. they weren’t up for the walk.

We had left the umbrella in the car because it was kind of cloudy but we found a nice tree that could provide some shade.

day trip Cancun

“isla” means island, but Isla Blanca is more like a peninsula. On one side there is a beach facing the open ocean (above) and Isla Mujeres can be seen to the south, and on the other side a huge lagoon.

lagoon Isla Blanca Cancun

For a better idea of where and what Isla Blanca is, are are an aerial view and a map.

Map: buycancun.com

Right in front of our little camp, there was a huge, dead sea turtle. Heartbreaking. Hopefully it died of natural causes.

sea turtles Cancun

At one point it rained on us for about 15 minutes. Bebé was a little dismayed but when we pointed out that he was already wet anyway, he got over it!

Our things dried quickly in the sun and sea air, and we had a wonderful day. We played football, the boys played in the sand and we had lunch. The Caribbean was rough that day, but they had a blast “surfing” right on the shoreline.

Soon it was time to head home. I didn’t want to try to find my way home in the dark and the Caribbean was getting super rough. My friend took this time lapse video of the road back to civilization. This trip was actually about 30 minutes long.

 

I had heard that they put up roadblocks to check for drunk drivers on the one road that leaves Isla Blanca, but I figured they probably normally do that on Sundays when tons of locals go. However, there it was! My first alcoholmetro. Luckily they didn’t even test me. I think it was obvious we weren’t drunk and they saw the boys in the back seat (Bebé was totally passed out and his friend used his teddy bear to wave at the officer) but take note! I’m sure they are there every weekend. If you get busted (the level is VERY low, .04) they will take your car and take you to jail.
We will definitely visit Isla Blanca again. In fact it just might be my new place to take all visitors, as Isla Mujeres has gotten very crowded!

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