Las Palmas doesn't accept credit cards, how do I pay?
You'll find that almost nowhere on the island will they accept credit cards or anything besides cash. Most of our guests have an amount in cash set aside for their accommodations, and other larger vacation costs. An inexpensive money belt will do the trick to keep your cash safe. For the rest of your spending around the island, pesos are your best bet. It's very easy and convenient to withdraw at any of the ATMs around the downtown. Be sure to take out a larger amount as there is a transaction fee.
What about a safe for my passport, etc?
We have individual room safes in a few rooms. For the rooms that do not have individual room safes, we have a safe in our reception/office. Items are stored there, in a bag with your room # and name.
What about electricity for charging my phone, etc? Do I need any special converters?
Mexico has the same 120 volts power and wall outlets as the USA and Canada. If you are arriving from Europe or the East with electrical items that require power ranges from 220 to 240 volts, you will need a power/plug converter.
Will I find food that I like?
Isla Mujeres is rich with flavours from all over the world, literally... and all of this is found within short walks from our hotel. Anything and everything including fresh seafood, steak, pasta, vegan and vegetarian, fresh juices, Mediterranean, Italian, sushi, Chinese, modern and traditional Mexican, pub fare, sports bars, etc, etc... The amount of wonderful options, all within walking distance, is one of many reasons why people that come to Isla Mujeres come back, and often.
Is there a bank on the island?
Yes, there are several banks and they allow you to change USD cash into pesos or use your ATM card to withdraw cash. All the banks are within walking distance and we can point you in the right direction. Azteca Bank is right down the street from us and open 7 days a week and changes USD into pesos. You will need to show your passport and they do not have an ATM. ATMs are found at other banks which include the HSBC, across from the ferry, CIBanco right down Medina a couple of blocks and Banorte towards the ferry from the square. There are also several ATMs around the downtown in the Super Aki grocery store and at Chedraui, so lots to be found.
If you have a Paypal account, you can also set up a Xoom international transfer and pick up you Xoom pesos right down from us at the Electra. Ask us for the details as to how to set it up if you are interested.
How can I get in contact with home? Phone/Internet?
Many cell phone carriers work on the island now and many of our guests have phone access just like they do at home and some also tether to their phones for wi-fi. We also have free wireless internet at Las Palmas and it works in most areas of our hotel, but due to our concrete structure, does have some dry spots. Alternately, there are also many internet cafes on the island and one just down the block from us. For less than 20 pesos you can get an hour of time. For phoning internationally, you can get great calling cards from the grocery store to dial out from a regular pay phone. There are a number of pay phones right across from us. As well, a block down from us is Digame (talk to me) where you can make phone calls in a private stall for a reasonable price.
Where can I get laundry done on the island?
There are a number of Lavanderias (laundromats) around the island and they offer great service. It's by the kilo and very reasonably priced. They'll separate by colours if you like, and it all comes back folded neatly in a bag. They're very honest and reliable and count every item with you to make sure you get the same number back. There's a great lavanderia just down the block from us called Yahir.
How do I get around Isla Mujeres?
The north end of the island houses the downtown (centro) and is where North Beach (Playa Norte) is located. Everything is walking distance here: restaurants, pharmacy, groceries, music, drinks, beach, Las Palmas. There are great things to do around the rest of the island and renting a golf cart or moped are popular choices. Otherwise you can take a cab, rent bicycles or walk.
What about speaking Spanish?
Isla Mujeres has a very friendly and warm culture. It's very welcomed and polite to say 'Hola' or 'buenos días' as you pass people walking. Most of the establishments will have at least one person with some English. Many of the locals may want to practise their English with you! And there is some fun to trying out your Spanish, as everyone is quite forgiving. Things like menus and brochures will usually have an English side.
What if I have a medical emergency or need to see a doctor?
Mexico has a great medical system. You can choose to go to a private doctor and it's usually around 500 pesos for a visit. You can also go to the regular clinic at the hospital. Sometimes there's a wait, but for a doctor's consultation it's just 60 pesos. All of the doctors are highly trained and the facilities are up to date.
I have extra stuff that I plan to donate. Is it a good idea to bring it to the island?
Absolutely! If you have spare room in your suitcase to bring items from home, it would be greatly appreciated here on the island.
Families benefit from items including school supplies and household items, like a spare lamp for example. If you have used clothing in good condition, consider bringing some in your suitcase. Locals here love running shoes, and often have only one pair of sandals. So, any shoes that are are ‘gently used’ would be a real nice gift.
If this interests you and you have room in your suitcase, we recommend having a look around your home to see the things that you want to donate while feeling great about contributing to a community that has a little less. Many of our guests also love this because it serves to clean up their homes too. A win win!