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More on Isla

Let me qualify something I said yesterday about Isla being a little rough around the edges. I was referring specifically to the area around North Beach, the primary tourist area. There were plenty of small hotels and rental apartments, but only a couple of newer Hi-Rise Condo type accomodations (which were quite pricey when I was scouting for a place to stay).Most of the Buildings were old,but in good shape. The Main Square was a 1/4 blk from our Rental and was just across from a Super Market and an Internet Cafe. The Square is home to the Catholic Church and was nicely decorated for the Holiday. I hear that it was the sight of a great NY's Eve Party on 12/31 - the day that we left.

Our apartment was immaculate and included midweek housekeeping with a linen change. We were 1/2 blk. from Ave. Hidalgo which is the main drag ,lined with restaurants,bars,shopping and cafes. There were several restaurants on side streets only two of which we tried (need a reason to return!).I am told that the Southern end of the Island is quite beautiful/scenic and I would like to explore there on another trip. We explored the South Central part of the island a bit when we wnt to the Dolphin Park and Turtle Sanctuary one day and to a private Beach Club another day. There seems to be several luxury rentals and hotels in this less congested area, though we did not see any restaurants or shops in this area. Cabs are plentiful and I doubt that a Taxi to Downtown would be more than $5 - $6.00.
Many people rent Golf Carts to travel around the island. We did this for 24 hours (about $65.00). It was fun, but a little nervewracking (for me) to share the road with trucks,buses,cabs, etc. (there are no seatbelts).I wouldn't do this again for 24 hrs. You don't need it in town,cabs are cheap & plentiful, and there was no way that I would be on the road after dark in a Golf Cart!

Though I can't quite put my finger on it, Isla is different from any other Carribbean Island I have visited. There were many tourists,but it didn't feel like a tourist trap.There are clearly poor people, but not as much poverty as I have seen on other islands. It is a real place where real people live. It is old and small with its' own distinct charm/character - though certainly not charming in the way of those small Villages and Towns that I love so much in Tuscany!

I did not take any pictures of the apartment, but it was exactly as it appeared on the website for Cande's Apartments

The Town Square on Christmas Eve

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Restaurants and Shops on Ave. Hildago
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The View from our Roof DeckIMG_0906.JPG

Our Block going towards the Beach
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Comments (10)

Love those Xmas decorations. And what a great view from the roof deck!

I would have been VERY wary about riding around in the golf carts too. :)

This makes me want to go somewhere warm and tropical (snow in the forecast for NC tonight!).

Anne:

"It is a real place where real people live. It is old and small with its' own distinct charm/character..."

That sounds so wonderful! Perhaps I need to visit this area to get my initial taste of Mexico. Your descriptions certainly make it sound enticing!

Looks like a cute town. And I hear you about not wanting to be in a golf cart at night.

Barb Cabot:

Sheri these are such great posts filled with wonderful descriptions and helpful hints. I would love to experience this area of the world. Enjoying all this info and wonderful photos.

sandrac:

This looks like a wonderful place to escape winter!

This looks great. I love the turquoise and other bright colors.

Great pictures. Reminds me a little of parts of Belize and parts of Costa Rica.
Glad you enjoyed it so much.

sheri:

Annie, it was a little weird being away over XMAS. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The kids had mixed feelings- missed spending XMAS with their cousins.

Anne,it was a perfect spot for a family vacation with older kids (mine were 18 & 21). Enough nightlife and and things to do to keep them busy without the chaos of places like Cancun.We had absolutely no worries about safety.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

Leslie Woodbridge:

Sheri...I love that pic from OUR roof deck! Oh I miss it soooooooooo...I hope you can make it back to Isla in December 2010, we won't be going back until May 2011...I literally think about this place almost everyday, how lovely the people are, how lovely the food is and count me in as another beach girl...I adore the beach. It is truly the most relaxing place we have ever been...ok back to work..talk soon Lesfaye!

Love the photo of the square on Christmas Eve. I would not want to be in that golf cart either.

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