|This is the live webcam at North Beach / Playa Norte.|
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News from the Municipal Facebook site..... ( FB page link)
Last chance to take advantage of the 20% discount on property taxes on Monday 9a-1p at the Town Hall and the police station.
Isla Mujeres prepares to bring in 2019 with a great celebration
Thousands of national and foreign tourists are expected to participate in the annual end of year celebration in traditional island form, with music, laughter, and characteristic Caribbean flavor on the Town Square of this Pueblo Magico The general public is also invited to receive the first rays of the sun in 2019 in Isla Mujeres.
The entertainment on the Town Square will feature Mega Boom with vocalist Carlos Montalvo, formerly of the Angeles Azules, as well as Jemanuael and the Panas of Venezuela.
FB News Sites about Isla Mujeres
Ultramar increases its fleet and crossings to meet demand LINK
In response to the increased demand from the large number of foreign and domestic tourists who are coming to Isla Mujeres during this holiday period, Ultramar announced it is increasing its fleets and crossings, to avoid the long lines that have existed since Dec. 26th and are common at this time of year. On Monday, passenger traffic exceeded 25,000 tourists.
Therefore they have brought in the ferry "Piolin" which has a capacity for just over 400 people. They have arranged to have extra crossings with 5 boats on the route between Isla Mujeres and Puerto Juarez, instead of the usual two ferries. The extra boats are departing as needed, with some scheduled every 15 minutes.
It is noted that the Ultracarga ferry service (to Punta Sam) has a capacity for just over 400 passengers with its two large boats. The Ultramar ferries transport about 88 percent of the passengers coming to and from Isla Mujeres while the others travel on Naveganto and Marinsa.
More complaints against Telcel and Telmex in Isla Mujeres LINK
At the end of 2018, the Telcel and Telmex companies, both of the Carso, Carlos Slim, group, have not escaped the complaints of poor service in Isla Mujeres, concerning both internet and telephone service. For years, they have made promises about introducing Fiber Optics, which would significantly improve internet speed on the island, where the average speed is 4 megabytes, while in Cancun you can purchase up to 200 megabytes.
The large hotel chains that now exist in Isla Mujeres have joined this wave of complaints, since many of their guests depend on having internet service. The problem also exists in the neighborhood colonias. Those who pay for service of 5 megabytes just receive 1.5 and those who pay for 10 are just getting 3 or 4, at best.
"Ley de Hacienda" Finance Law debuts January 1st, 2019 LINK
This law was passed by the City Council on November 14th and will go into effect on January 1st, 2019, following approval by a majority vote of the State Congress, to continue the work of the current administration to meet the most pressing needs of the municipality. The main objective of this law is to strengthen municipal finances that are overwhelmed daily by demands and needs in the area of public works and services, social development and public assistance, education and ecology, among other issues.
Isla Mujeres Al Dia
Video saying Isla Mujeres is the perfect place to enjoy stand up paddle boards
Noti Isla Mujeres
Link to Por Esto's Isla Mujeres section
Click on Spanish headline for the original article & photos
Atestadas las playas de la isla
On Friday, the beaches were at their busiest so far this holiday season, and businesses are expecting good sales to continue for the last three days of the year. The loungers and sunbeds were occupied, as were hammocks and massage areas, and visitors on towels were on the other available areas. The lifeguards were on duty and making sure no one went past the buoy line, and the security forces of the three levels of government were on patrol. There was not very much sargasso.
Trash Transfer Facility still has accumulated trash
Estación de Transferencia, aún llena de basuraThis information has already been translated, noting that the Department of Public Services has removed about 7200 tons of trash from the Transfer Facility by transporting 60-65 tons daily to the landfill in the Continental Zone, and it is estimated that there are about 500 tons remaining to be removed. Before the second vehicle ferry company went into operation, there was limited space on the ferry to Punta Sam, which delayed the clearing out of the facility.
During the high season, trash production is increased by 30 percent. There are plans to have the facility cleaned out in 2019 and to maintain that.
New tax could generate 100 million pesos
Nuevo impuesto arrojaría 100 mdpFor tourists who stay overnight in hotel rooms, the new Ley de Hacienda/Finance Law "Tourist Tax" for environmental sanitation will be 30 percent of the UMA (Unit of Measurement and Update) per night per room, according to Article 56 of the 2019 Treasury Act of Isla Mujeres. In 2019, the UMA (aka Minimum Daily Wage) will be 84.22 pesos, so 30% is 25 pesos. (~$1.35usd). (Previous articles said this only applies to hotels with >100 rooms, located mostly on the mainland)
According to Article 55 of the 2019 Treasury Act, this fee must be paid by users of rooms in hotels, guest houses, inns, hostels, and motels. "In the case of visitors who do not stay in any establishment referred to in the previous paragraph, payment must be made through the maritime transport operator of passengers with routes within the territorial scope of the municipality." (Previous articles, including in Por Esto, have said that this fee on transportation is 20% of the UMA, which would be 17 pesos (~90c).)
About 5 million visitors pass thru the two terminals of APIQRoo (State Port Authority) (This statistic counts each tourist twice...departing the Puerto Juarez Terminal, and departing the Isla Mujeres terminal.) If 5 million one-way tickets are charged a 25 peso tax, that would generate over one million pesos. (If they are charged a 17 peso tax, that would be 85 million pesos. If the 17 pesos applies to a round trip ticket, it would be 42.5 million pesos.)
The current annual City Budget is 333.2 million pesos, and this will represent a significant increase, after it goes into effect for the Fiscal Year 2019. Collection of the fee "will begin once the trust is established for its official administration, which must be formed within a period not exceeding 30 calendar days after its validity and it will be governed by a technical committee ".
There have been concerns expressed by some members of the business community that this could reduce the number of visitors in the upcoming year.
Preparations for the traditional New Year's dance
Preparan tradicional baile de Año NuevoSee translation in City Section above & information in Events section below.
|View from the rooms.|
MaraVilla Caribe Bed & Beach Three rentals with large glass doors overlooking our white sand beach and the beautiful Caribbean sea, with kitchenettes & fast WIFI. In the coastal neighborhood of Bachilleres, among upscale villas & boutique hotelitos, convenient to downtown or the colonias, yet separate. Quiet & Private.
|Kitchen in a large studio. (Sur & Norte are identical)|
|Kitchenette in small room, Medio. There's a table & chairs across from it & a double bed.|
|A large slider opens from each of the 3 rooms onto the patio where each has a table & chairs, hammock & clotheslines. The BBQ is behind the pole, and the outdoor shower is outa the pic at left.|
|Large studio (Norte), I'm standing in the kitchen. A queen & single bed.|
Free amenities such as hammocks,bikes, BBQ grills, safes, portable beach chairs & beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers. Breathtaking panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & our backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea. Upstairs room also available. Downtown is ~ a mile away; if you don't feel like walking, flag a $2 taxi. Parking. You can enjoy the music & crowds downtown, then come home our quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres where you'll sleep to the sounds of the sea.. $275/$325/$425 wk $40/50/$65nt Monthly Discounts
|Large studio (Sur) with Queen & Single bed. Slider door & view are behind me.|
Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. Within ten minutes walk are a variety of restaurants including Mango Cafe, Brisas, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery , Chedraui. Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at hotelito Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores and small local restaurants. It takes 20-30 minutes to walk downtown.```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
Regarding the reservations for New Year's Eve tables, in previous years, this is how it worked:
1. There are a limited number available to the general public.
2. They are sold in person, usually at the Town Hall, usually by the DIF social service agency. (There is a table outside for Property Tax payments. The DIF may or may not also have a table outside during the sales.)
3. The announcement of their availability is made when they become available, or with short advance notice.
4. You can watch for it on the City & DIF Facebook sites, and if I see the announcement before all the tables are gone, I'll share it here & on my FB news site.
5. Above are links to four Isla Mujeres FB news sites in Spanish, who may share the announcement.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean
Jan. 21 7:17
Jan. 22 8:24
Jan. 23 9:29
Jan. 24 10:30
Jan. 25 11:30
Painting by Pamela Haase
Sunset ~6:17 to ~6:37p
January Events (& end of Dec)
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events
Plogging events to clean up the island are held on Saturdays LINK and here's the Accion Isla LINK
Friday, Dec. 28 Dia de los Santos Innocentes A day of practical jokes, similar to "April Fool's Day"
Saturday, Dec. 29 Plogging volunteers cleanup 8a-10a. Meeting location TBA. Gloves & equipment supplied. (See link above)
Sunday, Dec. 30 Noches Magicas performances on the Town Square at 8p featuring dance troupes & singers.
Monday, Dec.31 New Year's Eve celebration on the Town Square.(See article below)
Tuesday, Jan. 1 New Year's Day Many people observe the sunrise at Punta Sur. The NYE party continues until dawn, at least.
|Ultramar passenger ferries|
|The Mass schedule for Immaculate Conception (downtown), Sacred Heart in La Gloria, and the Capilla de Guadalupe in Salina Chica, as well as a Caribbean sunrise Mass.|
Saturday, Jan 5 Plogging volunteers cleanup 8a-10a. Meeting location TBA. Gloves & equipment supplied. (See link above)
Sunday, Jan. 6 Día de Reyes/ King's Day This day commemorates when the three kings or Magi visited Jesus & is the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas. Traditionally this is the day when Mexican children receive gifts. It is customary to eat Rosca de reyes, a sweet bread that represents King Herod's crown with figurines of baby Jesus hidden inside. Whoever finds the token in their piece is obligated to host a party on Candlemas Day (Dia de la Candelaria), Feb. 2, which usually includes tamales.
At 10am, at Ruben's Restaurant there will be a giveaway of toys and snacks for thousands of islander children, with los Tres Reyes in costume.. On the back street Guerrero, across from the Post Office & Mercado.
In the afternoon, there is usually an event at the el Pescador baseball field in front of Chedraui with entertainment, surprises, and raffles, hosted by the DIF social service agency.
Sunday, Jan. 6 Noches Magicas performances on the Town Square at 8p featuring dance troupes & singers.
Jan. 6 is also Día de la Enfermera/Nurse's Day in Mexico. This special day was established in 1931, when Dr. Jose Villagrana said nurses were like a "regalo de reyes"...a gift from the Magi. (International Nurse's Day is celebrated on May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale).
Thursday, Jan. 10 Artist Fair 4p-8p in front of the Casa de la Cultura on the back street Guerrero, at the cross street Abasolo.
Saturday, Jan 12 Plogging volunteers cleanup 8a-10a. Meeting location TBA. Gloves & equipment supplied. (See link above)
Sunday, Jan. 13 Noches Magicas performances on the Town Square at 8p featuring dance troupes & singers.
Thursday, Jan. 17 Artist Fair 4p-8p in front of the Casa de la Cultura on the back street Guerrero, at the cross street Abasolo.
Saturday, Jan 19 Plogging volunteers cleanup 8a-10a. Meeting location TBA. Gloves & equipment supplied. (See link above)
Sunday, Jan. 20 Noches Magicas performances on the Town Square at 8p featuring dance troupes & singers.
Sunday, Jan 20 Lunar Eclipse begins at 9:36 pm, Maximum at 12:12am (Jan 21) and ends at 2:48am.
Thursday, Jan. 24 Artist Fair 4p-8p in front of the Casa de la Cultura on the back street Guerrero, at the cross street Abasolo.
Saturday, Jan 26 Plogging volunteers cleanup 8a-10a. Meeting location TBA. Gloves & equipment supplied. (See link above)
Sunday, Jan. 27 Noches Magicas performances on the Town Square at 8p featuring dance troupes & singers.
Thursday, Jan. 31 Artist Fair 4p-8p in front of the Casa de la Cultura on the back street Guerrero, at the cross street Abasolo.
Celebrating New Year's in Isla Mujeres
To celebrate New Year's Eve, some families set up tables in the side streets with pinatas strung overhead, and dine on turkey stuffed with seasoned ground meat, while others crowd the Town Square for live music, dancing, and fireworks. Each neighborhood brings in the New Year with a bang, and the skies explode with color in all directions.
During the NYE countdown, there is a tradition of eating twelve uvas de buenas suerte (grapes of good luck), each representing a month, with a toast of champagne or cider. The party on the town square continues all night long. At the other end of the isle, people gather at Punta Sur to greet the first rays of the sun at the eastern-most point in Mexico.
Other customs include cleaning your house on New Year's Eve & sweeping out bad luck. Wearing red underwear could bring you love in the New Year, or your white undies may bring you peace, while yellow represents wealth. Those who hope to travel should grab an empty suitcase and carry it around the room or the block, and set it by the door. If you drop a shoe on New Year's morn and it lands "boca arriba" (face up) you will enjoy good luck in the upcoming year.
The old year is represented by a life sized character called El Viejo, The Old Man, who is later filled with fireworks and set ablaze. He may resemble a politician, and he is usually holding cigars & tequila.
Kids receive toys on Dia de los Reyes, January 6, when families, friends, and coworkers share rosca de reyes. King's cake, usually with hot chocolate. If you get the Baby Jesus,it means you'll be hosting a party & providing the tamales on Candlemas Day, Feb. 2.
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