How I am falling (even further) in love with Mexico

4 Maestras de Ingles exploring La Riviera Maya

~ By Jo

I have travelled to Latin America three times now, and spent a considerable amount of time in the Yucatan Peninsula, however, this is my first time on Isla Mujeres, and I have quickly fallen (even further) in love with the area… exploring our little island home with new friends, and travelling together to the mainland on new adventures!

As well as the incredible opportunity to gain a valuable experience teaching English to children in the public schools of Isla Mujeres and helping with their education, and futures… one of the other major contributing factors when applying for my role as an English teacher on the island was my love for the Yucatan Peninsula… its people, nature, food and its wonderful beaches and views.

When I think about how long we have been in Mexico it’s amazing to think of how many wonderful, crazy and once in a lifetime experiences we have managed to fit in in such a short space of time. From partying and shopping in Playa del Carmen… to cycling our bicycles past huge trucks along Mexican highways in Tulum to beautiful clear water Cenotes… from taking over 70 children to see Finding Dory in Cancun… to swimming with the grand and majestic Whale Sharks off of the coast of Isla Mujeres.

We’re just 4 Maestras de Ingles exploring the Riviera Maya one beach… one ferry trip to the mainland… one dip in the ocean… one Cenote… and one amazing experience at a time!

As well as the many explorations and adventures we have had in our little island home we have also ventured over to the mainland via ferry, jumping on collectivos from Cancun to different locations (I’m sure I can count our mini trip to Walmart as exploring too, right?). Our first trip was just a couple of weeks into our lives in Mexico, when we travelled to Playa del Carmen for Jessica’s 21st birthday, stayed in a family run BnB in the jungle, shopped, and ate pizza at 2am. However, by far, one of the most memorable experiences travelling on the ferry has been during summer camp, when we took over 70 children across to Cancun to watch ‘Finding Dory’ at the cinema. This was an amazing experience in itself, filling the bottom of the ferry with excited first to sixth graders. With my second graders I played follow the leader on to and off of the buses. The children loved the film, popcorn and drinks (and so did we.)

During our two-week vacation after summer camp we hopped onto the ferry once again, to one of my favourite towns in the world, Tulum… with its beautiful long stretch of white beach leading to views of its Mayan Ruins. Its boho vibes and lazy beach days. We stayed in a cute house in the jungle, with a palapa roof, its shell and coral walls and resident noisy cat, Miguel… back to nature with no wifi and no air conditioning…. just us and the jungle. We hired bicycles and sketchily rode them along the highway, past massive trucks and coaches travelling towards Belize. We cycled to two Cenotes… Cenote Escondido and Cenote Cristal… here we became mermaids, jumping into the refreshing, clear water.

So as you can see, several times we have explored the mainland by jumping on the ferry from Isla, however, the most amazing experience I have had so far has come from being on a smaller boat. During our vacation time, we went on a Whale Shark trip and swam with the huge creatures off of the coast of Isla Mujeres. This was an incredible once in a lifetime experience… first seeing their fins surfacing out of the water, their heads coming up occasionally… and then jumping in two-by-two and we watched as the Whale Sharks swam at us with their huge wide open mouths, feeding on the plankton in the area… avoiding touching them, and narrowly being missed by their huge swinging tails.

So far we’ve had one big adventure, exploring new places, experiencing new things, and making new friends along way and it’s been absolutely amazing. Mexico, I love you!