Travel

Isla Mujeres Street Art

There is so much that I love about Mexico. To me, Mexico represents freedom. Freedom from my past, freedom from northern weather, from work and responsibilities. What I love the most is the local people and how they are free to express themselves so passionately. This passion is exploding everywhere. The scent and flavor of the spicy food, the intricate architecture and colorful clothing. Everything and everyone seems so alive and when I am there, I feel so alive too. In almost every Mexican town that I have visited, both large and small, the one aspect that always stands out the most is how the people make everything and anything a canvas. Graffiti is not only not breaking the law but it is an accepted, no an expected way of life. Each painting has a story. Some stories are historical and deep, about revolution or women’s rights while some stories are merely about brightening someones life. The following art is some of the very few works that stood out to me. One day, I would like to take a trip simply devoted to recording the priceless artwork I saw everywhere. Though many of the artists will never be credited for their work or life passion, their expressions are as priceless as any piece in any museum anywhere.

Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres House Art 2017

While their structures appear modest by any means, this seams to have no bearing on the feeling of richness they convey through the use of color and in the freedom of their design.

Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres House Art 2017
Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres House Art 2017

Here on Isla Mujeres ( Island of Women )  it only makes sense that many of the paintings revolve around not equality but the power of femininity. Some would argue that this feminine power is far greater than any masculine force. The Mayans believed this island to be the home of Ixchel, goddess of the moon, responsible for fertility, feminine health and happiness.

Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres Street Art, 2017
Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres Street Art 2017

If you look closely at the following Mosaic, you’ll see that the words to the left “Hittite Goddess” and to the lower left on the door …. of Mesopotamia. The sign reads “Feminine Rising”. It appears that the female form to the left of the door is giving birth. I did not notice all of this detail at the time. I really would like to return just to study this mosaic wall.

Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres Goddess Mosaic 2017

The Street Art found on Isla does not all revolve around the spiritual energy of women. Some murals seem to tell a more Caribbean story and some are just colorful, happy door ways.

Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres Street Art 2017
Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Isla Mujeres Street Art 2017
Isla House Art, Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Typical Door Way on Isla Mujeres

Pre-Columbian Street Art

Ruins on Isla Mujeres, Mayan Ruins, Mexico, isla Mujeres Mexico
Ruins on Isla Mujeres 2017

Street Art of all mediums can be appreciated!

Isla Mujeres, Isla Mujeres Street Art, Mexico, Mexico Street Art
Statue on Isla 2017

It was difficult for me to go through my pictures of Isla and narrow it down to these few images. I can see a coffee table photo book in my future containing only Street Art of Mexico. Just as every town and village has its own unique flavor in its’ cuisine they also have a unique identity to their paintings.  I envy the way that the people feel complete freedom in expressing themselves creatively on any surface that can be imagined as a canvas. Life is their canvas.

Mayan Inspiration, Sunrise on Isla

Sunrise on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Sunrise on Isla Mujeres

If you have any pictures you would like to share feel free to message me. I would love to see your favorites.

“>DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.

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Travel

Isla Mujeres by Talia Hannosh

There are moments in time where you really feel alive. You can feel your heartbeat, the air circulating through your lungs, the blood pumping through your veins. You can feel your thoughts escaping into the air and taking flight. It’s within these moments, that you can really feel what your purpose is, why you’re here on this planet. And quite simply- it’s overwhelmingly magical. I have felt this way a few select times in my life. The most recent and powerful, was when I was sitting atop a roof overlooking the ocean in Isla Mujeres, México.

Isla Mujeres is a magical island. The streets are always bustling with people, working, selling, shopping, breathing, living. Isla Mujeres is not one to shy away from color; the brightest structures I have ever seen were walking through the streets of this island. Street art is on every corner you turn, houses are painted coral, turquoise, yellow, orange. Just walking through the city made me appreciate the beautiful pigments life has to offer. The air is breezy and kissed by salt from the ocean. My senses were constantly being offered something new to see, feel, touch, smell, hear throughout my stay.

One morning I woke to orange light flooding over my face.

 

Isla sunrise 2  .jpg

Still tired from the day before, I opened my eyes slowly, only to be greeted by the most breath taking sight. The sun was slowly taking her time crawling in to the sky. Her light was vivid this particular morning, offering my eyes the most fiery sunrise I had ever seen before. I saw orange in away I had never experienced. The vibrant sky touched the ocean waves on the horizon line, and it was like the beautiful blue water and the rich bright sky were working together to bring out the best in one another. The smell of coffee was slowing creeping its way up the stairs, and just the slightest wif of it was enough to wake me up. I pulled the covers off of me, and walked down the cold cement stairs. I was greeted by my mother, which was no surprise, considering she and I were the only early risers in our family. After each pouring ourselves a strong cup of the magical energizing elixir that coffee is, I followed her up two flights of stairs and on to the roof top of our villa. The stairs to reach the roof were so narrow, we were forced to bend our backs forward just to ensure we wouldn’t hit our heads on the long cement bar above us.

And there we were. My soul and my mother’s, dancing in our bodies, overlooking the most magnificent view in what felt like the whole world. To our right was the powerful Caribbean Sea, and to our left, the waking city. Every glance and every turn, we were greeted by a different view. One of my favorite things about early mornings in Isla Mujeres, was that they were always the perfect temperature. Humidity had not gotten his chance to dominate the air yet, and all I could feel was the brackish and cooling ocean breeze. My mother and I would sit there together, enjoying one another’s company, for as long as our sleeping family would allow us, until finally, she had to go back downstairs to my waking siblings.

But this morning, I wanted to stay on the roof longer. So after my mother left, feeling particularly inspired, I grabbed my Luna Ukulele, and started strumming a variation of several different chords. I would play my ukulele, then I would write a line or two in my travel journal, and then I would appreciate the view and where I was. Soon enough I was singing, my vocals and ukulele vibrations being carried by wind and lost in the sea. An hour had passed, and then two, and still I didn’t notice. I was so engrossed in being there, just living and doing what I loved best. This memory will always be so special to me, because my soul had truly felt content. For a fragment of time, I was not worried about who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, I was just allowing myself to do what I had the most innate desire to do.

Soon the city became fully awake, and I was still sitting there with my legs criss-cross-applesauce, playing my ukulele and singing my heart out. People were walking along the boardwalk beneath me, looking around trying to find where the music was coming from, but I was so high up, I was invisible to them. So I kept playing, trying to hold back giggles watching the confused strangers attempting to locate the veiled musician. Soon I became curious to discover if anybody had stopped to listen, so I peered over the edge of the roof that overlooked a small alley. To my surprise, I saw a man who was lying on his back, with a back pack supporting his head, just staring up at the roof, beside him a little puppy companion. In shock and embarrassment, I quickly concealed myself again.

A few minutes later, my embarrassment had resided and transformed in to a feeling of flattery. The fact that this man had loved my music enough to just lay there to listen and simply be was such a powerful, uplifting experience. I had no idea how long he had been there, perhaps it was hours or maybe even just minutes, but that didn’t really matter to me. He wasn’t like the others, he didn’t care to unveil my identity, he just wanted to enjoy the music. Somehow my music had made him feel something powerful enough to stay there, right beneath me, and it was incredibly heartwarming. This complete stranger resonated with the feelings, thoughts, and emotion I poured in my songs.

Sitting on top of that roof, completing concealed, just singing and writing, has to be to most remarkable moment of my existence. I was so in tune with myself, and my thoughts, so aware that I was alive. It’s a powerful resolution, becoming aware that you are alive. Everything makes sense in moments like these. You are not worried of the future, you are not mourning of the past, you are just accepting of the present you are in.


 

DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.

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Gran Cenote, Mexico, Cenote, Cancun, Coba, Yucatan Peninsula
Travel

Six Cenotes Near Cancun to Add to Your Bucket List

 

This past August I was fortunate enough to visit the Cancun area with my family. This was by far one of my favorite vacations for many reasons. It was a 16 day trip with my husband and four of my six kids. The main purpose of this particular trip was to explore  some Mayan pyramids and ruins that we had not yet been too and to also visit some different cenotes.

If you are unfamiliar with the term Cenote, ( seh-no-teh ) it is basically a sink hole.  Because much of the ground in the Yucatan is limestone and porous, there are no major rivers and most of the fresh water runs underground. When the land above collapses, a sink hole, or cenote is formed. Cenotes are natural fresh water pools in which to swim and cool off.  Many people enjoy snorkeling in them as well. The types of fish you might see depends on weather that particular water way is connected to the ocean. These sink holes come in many different varieties.

GRAN CENOTE

Admission is 465$ P or about $25 U.S

When most people think of a Cenote they envision Gran Cenote in the Riviera Maya. While there is no denying that it is indeed gorgeous, it is also one of the top visited cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula so it is very, very crowded. If you are like me, you prefer a more laid back, no flippers in your face kind of fresh water swim. Yes, the cave you see below is at Gran Cenote and yes, it has resident bats. They don’t bite and they actually fly around so fast that you would think they are birds. Since Gran Cenote is close in proximity to the Coba Ruins, many find it a perfect place to stop and cool off on their way back to Cancun. There is no lunch facility on site so pack a snack or lunch. Lockers are available.

 

Gran Cenote Tulum, Gran Cenote, Cenote, Mayan Riviera, Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula
Gran Cenote Tulum

CRISTALINO

Admission is 150$ P or about $8 U.S

If you decide to by pass Gran Cenote altogether, there is a much more secluded, less crowded watering hole just north of Akumal. Cristalino is the same type of cenote as Gran but it happens to be my personal favorite as it was much less crowded. In fact, we had the whole place to ourselves for almost 2 hours.  It is truly a tropical paradise! There were tiny black fish that nibble on your feet and toes giving you the ultimate fish pedicure. In  fact – this same pedicure is offered in Playa Del Carmen at a fee of  $20.00 U.S per person.  This park has natural cliffs to jump off of, mangroves and caves to swim through. It is by far the closest I have been to heaven on earth! There is no lunch facility on site so pack a snack or lunch. Lockers are available.

Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Cenote, Akumal, Playa Del Carmen, Cristalino, Mangroves, snorkeling, Cancun
Cenote Cristalino
Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Akumal, Playa Del Carmen, Cancun, Cenote, Cristalino, Cliff jumping
Cenote Cristalino

CASA CENOTE or CENOTE MANATEE

Admission is 120$ P or about $6.50 U.S.

My second favorite was Casa Cenote or Cenote Manatee, located in Tankah. There are no longer manatees there however if you are very lucky, you may see the resident crocodile. Don’t worry, he stays in the back of the lagoon.  He is very shy and only about 4′ long. We were lucky enough to catch a quick glimpse of him before he slide in to the water and disappeared. This Cenote is very different from the first two in that the previous seemed to look like collapsed land. This body of water looks more like a lagoon but is cenote fed. It leads to the ocean in a very unique way,  via a cave that goes under the ground and road and empties out into the ocean.  For this reason many people practice their scuba diving here. They offer kayak rental as well. You can take the kayaks ( no need for a tour as it is do-able on your own ) all the way to the back of the lagoon. It is a narrow, prehistoric setting taking you back through the mangroves and low jungle. There are a two Restaurants across the street. Blue Sky ( love this place ) and the other one I believe was called Casa Cenote Restaurant. There is also a convenience store across the street where you can purchase snacks.

Casa Cenote - Cenote Manatee
Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Tankah, Casa Cenote, Cenote Manatee, Cenote, kayaking, Cancun
Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Tankah, Casa Cenote, Cenote Manatee, Cancun
Casa Cenote – Cenote Manatee

X’CANCHE or CENOTE AT EK BALAM

Admission is 150 Pesos or $8 U.S ( bike included )

X’Canche is an exotic cenote in the middle of the hanging vines of the jungle. You can visit after touring the ruins at Ek Balam. It is quite far back from the ruins so I don’t suggest walking if it is too hot. Bikes are included in the entrance fee or you can do as we did and rent a rickshaw. What I love about this site is that the same Mayan family has owned it for generations. The funds created by the ruins and the cenote entrance stay in this village and family. The stairs that lead down to this magical oasis are quite steep but it is truly worth the effort and the walk down, in itself, is breath-taking! At this site you can cliff jump and swing into the water from a rope.  The water itself is very dark and deep but in the middle of August, in the middle of the jungle, it was a refreshing treat. You will need to pack a lunch or snack as there are no eating facilities on site.

Ek Balam - X' canche, Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Ek Balam, X'Canche, Cenote, Cancun
Ek Balam – Cenote X canche
Ek Balam - X canche, Mexico, Ek Balam, X'Canche, Yucatan Peninsula, Mayan, Cancun
Ek Balam – Cenote X’ canche

YAL KU LAGOON

Admission is $260 Pesos or $14 U.S. ( snorkel gear extra )

Technically, this body of water is referred to as a lagoon but it is fed by fresh water cenotes that surface and lead out to the ocean. Because it is a mix of fresh and salt water        ( brackish ) the water appears somewhat oily the closer you get to the sea. There is a huge variety of fish and the snorkeling is phenomenal. We have found the best area in which to see the most fish is close to the entrance. Here you will find huge Parrotfish and schools of vibrant Blue Angel Fish. The closer you get to the mouth the sandier the bottom becomes. Here you may see rays, barracuda or if you are really lucky, the sea turtles that Akumal is famous for. Arriving before the hordes of tour buses get there is highly recommended. We have even rented a townhouse on the lagoon in order to have after hours access. There is a restaurant on site and a couple more with in walking distance. Lockers available.

Yal Ku Lagoon Akumal, Mexico
Yal Ku Lagoon Akumal, Mexico

BLACK CENOTE AT BACALAR

Admission was free but you need to access from the lake

Bacalar is a small town near the Belize border. It is about a four-hour drive from Cancun and is well worth the visit. Bacalar means lake of seven colors. It is a beautiful fresh water lake fed by underground springs. What is unique about Black Cenote is that it is located IN  Lake Bacalar and next to another cenote, Emeralda. Who would have thought it? A body of water inside a body of water! They are both next to Cenote Azul which can not be accessed from the lake. If you venture this far south you must take a tour of the lake through Amir AdvenTours at amiradventours.com. I can not sing their praises enough. Not only did they take us to this amazing cenote but they took us to a spot on the lake where we were able to take exfoliating mud baths. They also provided us with an amazing spread of fresh local fruit. The best Papaya and Mango I have ever eaten!

Click on the link below the pictures to see a clip of Black Cenote tour through Amir Adventours!

Bacalar - Black Cenote - Cenote Azul - Cenote Esmeralda

Bacalar, Lake Bacalar, Amir Adventours,
Bacalar, Mud Baths

Amir AdvenTours, Bacalar, Black Cenote

There you have it. I find that even writing this I am making plans to go back to all of the places we visited.  Our route from Cancun was 6 nights in Tankah, 2 nights at Bacalar, 4 nights at Akumal, and 4 nights on Isla Mujeres.

Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments below!

DISCLAIMER: My content may or may not contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may earn money which  enables me to make more creative content such as this.

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