Isla Mujeres and the Avalon Reef Club, March, 2011

Created: March 12, 2011
Last Revised: October 22, 2023

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Isla Mujeres is an island that's about 3/4 of a mile wide and about 5 1/2 or so miles long. Here is a general map of the island. You will see that there are a lot of city streets up at the north end of the island, a sort-of empty middle and then several colonies on the south half. Each of these colonies is a small town. Many maps don't even show the colonies, only the main roads. I guess the tourist bureau folks don't want us golf-carting around in those local "bedroom community" areas. We go there anyway. I think the important thing is to drive carefully and be respectful of the people who live there.
Map of the whole Island of Isla Mujeres

Here is a map of the "downtown" part of Isla Mujeres. I have added in the location of the Avalon Reef Club and the bridge that services it up in the upper left hand corner. We have looked long and hard for a good map of Isla Mujeres and this is the best downtown map we have seen so far. If you click on it you will get an even larger version that is easier to read.
Small Map of Downtown Isla Mujeres

The Avalon Reef Club:

Here's the Avalon Reef Club as you approach the bridge at the edge of downtown.
Avalon Reef Club Entrance

The following 4 pictures were shot from high in the hotel.
Here's a view of the bridge from the hotel, looking back toward town.
Bridge to Avalon Reef Club, Club toward Town
Looking down from a terrace suite---
The pool, Kelly's Bar and Restaurant on the left with Beach and Ocean at the upper right.
Avalon Reef Club Hotel Pool and Beach
Beach, Ocean and the Villa area on the right
Avalon Reef Club Beach to Villas
Members Club and Villas
Avalon reef Club Members Bar and Villas

We have been staying at the Avalon Reef Club on the island of Isla Mujeres with member-friends for a week or two each year since about 2003. It's a nice place, but we have seen many changes over the years; some good and some not so good. Some of the good things:
-The food at the Reef club was great this year.
-The weather was fantastic; mid to high 80's every day.. We had 2 days with a little rain, but it really didn't get in the way.
-I'd say that the service in general was better than I have ever seen it.
-The place had gotten a little seedy after the latest big hurricane, Wilma, in 2005. But now it looks very nice, inside and out.

On the other hand:
-The beach has become severely eroded since hurricane Wilma hit.
Some examples of "Wilma" damage:
Hurricane Wilma A
Hurricane Wilma B
Hurricane Wilma C
Oh, back to the Beach erosion issue---- This beach erosion includes North Beach as well. The water in front of the main beach area at the Avalon Reef Club is very shallow. It would be great for wading, but since so much sand has been washed away, all you have is a rocky, uneven surface to walk on. Many people have taken to wearing beach shoes in the water to avoid the pain of stepping on a sharp rock and/or stubbing of toes. Look at the beach pictures, above. The tide is out and you can see heaps of rocks in the water. The Club has set up beach chairs on the hotel side, by the bridge to counter this problem, but there aren't any palapas there and you don't get that secluded feel.

-A mixed blessing for some, but the members' bar hours have been shortened. I think it's now open from 11 Am to 4 PM instead of 5PM as in the past.

-The latest thing that bugs me is the high cost of wifi on the Avalon Reef Club grounds and the lack of coverage in the villas outside of the main hotel. They charge $15.95 for one day and $55.00 for 5 days. It seems to me that they should be able to pay their whole phone bill on just my single connection.
By the way, there are several coffee shops and restaurant/bars around the island that have free wifi. There are still a number of internet-access cubby-holes (used to be called "internet cafe's, but they don't serve any food or drink), that charge a lot less than the Avalon Reef Club does, if you don't mind walking to town.

The island of Isla Mujeres:

The main shopping, eating and drinking section on Isla Mujeres is Hidalgo Street, which is in the center of the main town at the north end of the island where the boats from Cancun dock.
Hidalgo Av

When at the Avalon Reef Club, which is connected to the main island by a bridge that's a couple of hundred feet long,
we usually stay in the clustered villas that are out on the point, a short distance from the hotel. The other day one of our friends was wondering how far it was to walk from our room to "town". So, I paced off the distance from our villa, #1005, to about the middle of Hidalgo street.
It's about 3,100 feet or 6 tenths of a mile, one way. So, even if you didn't do any walking around while "downtown", you'd still get 1.2 miles worth of exercise on that 2-way excursion.

Many people do a lot of walking around in Isls Mujeres and we do, too. As you know, the island is long and skinny and the main town is at the north end. To the south and east are the "Colonies", or suburbs, as we might call them.
We often rent a golf cart for a day or two or three so we can check out the rest of the island. Golf carts rent for about $60 per 24 hour day, or about $10 less for a 9 to 5 rental.
There is room to park a large number of golf carts at the Avalon Reef Club and you can see them parked all over the island. Renting one Is the "Thing to Do".

That's all for now, but check out the "Mexican Vacation" link on the navigation bar at the top of this page for a lot more about our travels in the area.
Thanks for looking.