Live like a local.
Submitted: November 15, 2011
Stayed: January 2013
We enjoyed living, mostly, as the locals do in the Salina Grande neighborhood. The apartment is nice for two, my husband could watch sports from the hammock in the living room while I read in the bedroom area. The lake offers a steady breeze and pretty view, especially of sunrise, and we enjoyed watching our neighbors walk, jog and rollerskate on the surrounding path. Everyone, taxi drivers, restaurant servers, beach vendors and store clerks, were happy to give us a free Spanish lesson as we struggled to convert our few memorized words into sentences. Isla restaurants are terrific. Elderly ladies on the sidewalk bundled us into a taxi with instructions to take us to Picus, where I had the best shrimp cocktail- Isla style w a side of habanero in lime juice. Three of our faves within walking distance of apartment: Esperanza tacos (most tender pork roast tacos- 2 of those w a bottled water for 30 pesos), Kash Kekan (carefull when ordering, those are KILOs of meat, not pounds), and Veradero (watch yachts glide into the lagoon for the evening while you sip a smooth mojito and listen to Cuban jazz.) In the north end, we revisited some old faves and discovered a new gem: Los Fueguitos Steak House, just next door to Secreto hotel. Terrific food, service and atmosphere for a date nite. Empanadas, bread w small appetizer, a shared, perfectly cooked New York Strip w potatos, 2 glasses of wine and gratuity for 430 pesos. Beach clubs- we found most of the Playa Norte clubs a bit noisy, and found ourselves settling at the Caribbean Queen several times to relax in the hammock. Their Coconut Shrimp was outstanding and big enough to share. Also enjoyed first visit to Playa Lanchero for the famous Tix&Chix- fun people watching as the boats from Cancun drop passengers to the private club next door. Shopping: small tienda next door is handy for water & snacks. A short walk to Chedraui supermarket for yogurt (apple version -very refreshing) fruit and coffee, is on a terrific corner for hailing a taxi. We returned to MN just as temps were dropping below-zero, and within hours felt all the lovely humidity of Isla evaporate. The five pounds I gained eating and napping are still with me. What a lovely vacation!
Tourists without a Car,
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