Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres 2015-Arrival Day


A successful arrival in Cancun means navigating through the airport, meeting the shuttle and being dropped of at the ferry terminal as soon as possible. On this day we touched down at 11:20 and caught the 1 pm ferry.


Although tired and pretty pasty looking, we were happy travelers. The ferry ride over is always the most exciting time of the journey for me.


I love the comings and goings of the Isla ferries. Sometimes I make the crossing, just because.


It is this particular sight that I am enthralled with-the impossible turquoise of the sea.

Although we have made the trek down the airport strip dragging our luggage on previous occasions, on this day we grabbed a cab and dropped off our bags at Luna d’ Miel. As always, everything was in perfect order in anticipation of our arrival. Isabel has trained her small staff well and the little hotel is always a pleasure to stay at.


We then headed right back into Centro to purchase boneless ribs from Tino’s (Blog post), milk for coffee, manchego cheese, lime mayo, cervesas and wine. We considered ourselves all set. It was busy in Centro.


But the lovely islanders were not too busy to welcome us back to their paradise.


One of the many things that I love about staying at Luna D’ Miel is our vantage for sunset. We wondered if it might possibly be a nice evening for one.





We were not disappointed! The sunset was spectacular and we were reminded anew of the beauty of the island.


D had brought a very bad head cold with him, so we intentionally laid low that first evening. Our cozy bedroom invited us home.

I have recently been in touch with Isabel the owner and manager of Luna d’ Miel. She still has openings for the 2015-2016 season. Contact her at this address

Kath’s quote: “She would be half a planet away, floating in a turquoise sea, dancing by moonlight to flamenco guitar.” -Janet Fitch

heart reflection

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Tino’s aka “The Rib Man”, Isla Mujeres



September is upon us and although it does not feel as if summer is not coming to an end any time soon (there was a heat warning today), I am settling into a new routine. I am so excited to begin my numerous posts about the restaurants of Isla Mujeres, commencing with this long time favourite of ours, which happened to be the first place we got food during our most last jaunt in spring of 2015.

Over the years we have enjoyed Tino’s on numerous occasions and I even have a blog post entitled: “Pigging Out in Isla Mujeres” written by Sister#3.

We were barely off the ferry, when we hightailed it to Tino’s for a mess of ribs. Actually we now order the boneless pork slabs that Tino barbeques on an open flame each weekend. When you see this smiling oinker above and the fence below, you know that you’ve arrived at the right place.



Travellers, gringos and locals alike line up for a half or full kilo of ribs-bone in or out and grilled chicken.


Here is the man himself: cheerfully and methodically portioning out the orders and taking care of the grill himself. He’s been known to sing and dance back there on occasion too. And oh my goodness, can he cook up some good ribs!

Kath’s quote: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” ― George Bernard Shaw

glass hearts.jpg

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Tikin Xic


At the request of another Islaholic, here is the recipe for Barbeque Fish. It was provided by Patsi Hendricks of Villa Amistad in the cookbook entitled Cocina Islena-a fundraising initiative for PEACE Isla Mujeres.

In the Yucatan, this very typical way to serve fresh fish dates back to the very early Maya.  On Isla, it is served at many beach restaurants, as well as other restaurants that serve local food. Tikin Xic (pronounced teek-in-sheek) is usually cooked on an outdoor wood grill. In Mexico the fish is served with the head, tail and spine intact!

1 grouper or equally firm fleshed fish, about 2 1/2 pounds cleaned, head, tail and spine removed, split down the middle to lie flat
3 ounces (1 package) achiote paste
1/3 cup bitter orange juice, or: mix sweet orange juice (3 oranges) and white vinegar half and half
1 small poblano or green pepper, seeded and cut into rings
1 guajillo chili, seeded and sliced into thin strips lengthwise (any mild chili could substitute)
1 medium tomato, sliced into thin rounds
1 small purple onion, sliced into rings
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
4 ounces beer
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 banana leaf, softened over a flame (if this is unavailable use foil)

Wash the grouper, pat it dry with paper towels and salt and pepper it. Mix the achiote paste and bitter orange juice, spread the mixture over the fish, and let it marinate for 3 hours.

Place the fish on the softened banana leaf and arrange the bell pepper, chili, tomato and onion slices on the fish; sprinkle with oregano, olive oil and beer.

Wrap the banana leaf or foil around the fish and place it in an oblong baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Can be grilled. Be careful to not overcook the fish. If using a smaller amount of fish, shorten the cooking time.

Serves 6.

Kath’s quote: That outdoor grilling is a manly pursuit has long been beyond question. If this wasn’t firmly understood, you’d never get grown men to put on those aprons with pictures of dancing wienies and things on the front…”-William Geist


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Isla Mujeres 2014 Trip Report-Departure Day



We had left enough supplies in our kitchen to have one last breakfast around the dipping pool of Luna d’Miel.


The morning began with an overcast sky so that we did not get to enjoy our last sunrise.



But we still love to spend the mornings right by the ocean at Luna D’Miel.  We can never get enough of the crystal waters washing in over the coral and sand.


Soon the clouds cleared away and we began one of our departure day traditions-pictures together to show our smiles and suntans.


My handsome guy, poolside.


Sister #3 and Dona come around so that we could give them the rest of our groceries.


This has been our neighbour for two years in a row. She is a master sea glass collector and is just returning from her morning scavenge.

Alas, we had not planned well enough to have any coffee left to brew it in in our apartment, so we both ventured into town for the paper (usually D goes on a solo mission) and coffee.

We decided to go to Due Torri-the new Italian restaurant that we had seen from the street across from the new ferry terminal. We were skeptical at first because the look from the outside was not like anything else on Isla.  But we immediately met the owner who took so much pride in getting us our Americano and decaf coffees.  We heard the story that he had lived ½ his life in Bologna and the other half in Chappas Mexico.  You, my readers, know that when I am not running on and on about Mexico, it is true for Italy. My two favourite culinary places in the world, together under one roof.

So I convinced D to go back for our last lunch on the island.   D made his way to Roca Mar to let J2 know that we were in town, to find that The Wee One was still in the swimming pool.  In the mean time I had ordered a caprese salad to share and a lobster linguine.


The salad was delicate and the enormous slice of buffalo cheese, beautifully creamy.  The chef had attempted to find tomatoes to slice into wheels the same size as the cheese.  As a result the smaller roma tomatoes that are typically found and use on Isla were not utilized.  These were slightly under ripe which surprised me but they made a tasty plateau for the savoury cheese, basil and oil.


With the salad came a mini baguette served with a delicious pesto butter that we heard the waiter describe to another patron as parsley butter.  She (the other patron, that is) was from north England near Scotland and had just arrived on the ferry. The coffee that was served to her was so delicious that she decided to stay for lunch.  There were also two Israeli girls at a corner table looking for a close, clean, inexpensive hotel.  I recommended Pariso and they seemed pleased.  Conversing with the international guests will be no challenge for the owner who is fluent in Italian, French and Spanish. He indicates that he writes English well, but is still rusty with verbalizing his thoughts.


When our shared pasta arrived we were delighted with the subtle tomato sauce and texture of what we guessed were freshly made noodles. The deal of a lobster tail crowning our plate was slightly diminished by its chewiness.  But then as we discussed the texture, we realized that we were mistakenly comparing it to fresh north Atlantic lobster which we are more accustomed to where the meat is tender and sweet.  The lagosta served in this meal was closer to a cousin of Canadian lobster.


We had discussed buying tortas at Poc Chuc or Pitas from Pita Amore to take to eat at the airport later in the day, but in the end we ordered a pizza with white sauce, parma, pescuitto and arugula.  I must have looked funny boarding the ferry.  But when we were spending time in the Cancun terminal waiting for our plane departure, we had made surrounding persons pretty jealous by our shared pie.  In fact, one guy came over and asked us where we had purchased it (i.e. which vendor in the food court).  He was disappointed to hear our answer: Isla Mujeres.  The hand made crust was deliciously tender. The arugula, sauce, cheese and ham combination-perfect.


D was sad to be leaving the island but whenever Poppa has the Wee One in his arms, he cannot help but beam!


One last shot of Glamma V with the Wee One.


The last of our many Isla traditions is to meet  arriving and departing ferries with a welcome beer.  After we used the opener, we tossed it over the ferry edge, where a staff member obliged us by catching it and delivering it back to V who by this time had been joined by Dona and Sister #3.


The sun was still warm and the ferry ride over, perfect (I had stayed downstairs for the trip over and had not enjoyed one of my favourite parts of making the visit).


We were met by our AGI host and everything else surrounding our departure was a breeze.

Kath’s quote: “Life itself is the proper binge.” -Julia Child


Love-that is all.



Isla Mujeres 2014 Trip Report-Day 11, Part 2


Autumn is officially upon us and although beautiful, I know what is on its way to the Canadian prairies.  To warm me up, I remembered that I still had a couple of Trip Reports to finish off.  

So, meanwhile back to my recounting of Day 11 on Isla…… If you recall, the gorgeous, clear day suddenly was interrupted with torrents of rain.  Since this was our last full day on Isla, we were undaunted and kept our plans for our progressive dinner in Centro.  This is often how we spend our last full day.  Not only were we trying to make every minute count but we were still trying to check every taste and locale off of our “must try” list.  So we donned our ponchos and headed out into the torrential rain.  The dollar store ponchos that we had packed from home worked well but not our leather shoes in the flooded streets. There was some intriguing action going on in Centro that day.  We walked by Hemingway’s which had closed messages taped all over it.  There were sniffer dogs and big burly guys with guns under their ponchos, helmets and masks.  It was like a scene from a movie, the likes of which we have never encountered back home in the centre of Canada.  But I was comforted that crime is appropriately dealt with on the island and that as long as we kept our own proverbial noses clean, we should never have to encounter such a scene. It was too early for dinner or even appetizers, so we made the rounds where our other family members were staying to say our good-byes.  Our first stop was my brother’s hotel Los Arcos right on Hidalgo.  They too have been coming to Isla for years and he and my beloved sister-in-law love being right in the heart of the action.  He pours an amazing rum and coke to which D gleefully accepted.  I imbibed in a glass of vino tinto and some chips and salsa (trying to be polite but knowing that I had hours of eating ahead).  Our second stop was on the south perimeter of the zocolo at Sister #3’s at Casa el Pio.  She too has her favourite spot where she has stayed, year after year.  More glasses of vino tinto were poured along with the island’s delicious potato chips and onion dip.


After we departed, our progressive dinner began in earnest with a stop at our favourite spot at Bally Hoo (I was the only one in our entourage who hadn’t been) for fish and chips and mango margaritas.





At our next stop at Roca Mar we sat on the covered balcony for shrimp ceviche and Sols.


J2’s Mom agreed to babysit the Wee One so that J2 could join us for the entrée course.

. day1121  

We loved everything about Abuelo’s including the brightly covered napkins that wrapped around the cervezas-a little touch that added some colour to the grey night.


J2 loved the pina coolada with fresh juices.


The place is teeny but welcoming and cozy.


We were amazed by the quality of the food that came out of the equally teeny kitchen.


D chose the whole red snapper and was blown away.


 J2 decided upon the seafood kabobs and was delighted that the fish was skewered with fresh whole strawberries.


Abuelo means grandfather and the restaurant is aptly run by three generations.  We had heard not only how fabulous the food was but that it was lovingly presented.  Everything we heard was absolutely right.   Complimentary chocolate flan was delivered to us all for dessert -even me who hadn’t ordered an entrée.  We can’t wait to go back to Abuelo’s. We carried on with more vino tinto at Don Cheapo’s.



We strolled up and down Hidalgo to help digest our supper and make room for another dessert!


Our niece had been to the island in the New Year and her favourite spot was Café Hidalgo.




Gorgeous crepes were lovingly created by a hippie lad who considered each plate a work of art.  J2 selected nutella, banana and real shredded coconut .  I chose the sugar and lime with strawberries and just whipped, cream.  We were so impressed with how homey the café was with books and games to help you pass a rainy day or if you were dining on your own.  Another spot that we will definitely go back to. By this time it was late, and if you recall, we had started the day hours ago in part one of this recounting.  J2 invited us to their balcony at Roca Mar to sip a Kahlua but in spite of our intent to fit extra minutes into our last full day, we had to admit that it was time to make the stroll home one last time.

Kath’s quote: “I am not a glutton — I am an explorer of food.”-Erma Bombeck


Love-that is all.

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »