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Isla Mujeres Ethnographic Field School students live at budget Hotel Ma' or Maria Elena, a small balconied hotel with pool overlooking the Bahia de Mujeres with stunning views of the Cancun skyline and Caribbean ocean.

Ma' Elena is located on the southern end of the island, in an area called Garrafón -- within walking distance of Parque Garrafón, Kin Ha Beach Club, snorkeling haven Garrafón de Castilla, the 'secret' beach at La Joya, Parque de los Sueños Water Park, The Joint Restaurant, Marias's Kan Kin Restaurant, Borracho Burro Restaurant, a SIXX bodega, and Capitan Dulce Beach Club -- and very close to the mid-island colonias (neighborhood) common student research areas.  The hotel is about 4 miles from the northern tip of the island, a short taxi or bike ride from Centro, Av. Hidalgo, and Playa Norte.

Rooms are basic, clean and quiet, and offer small balconies with incredible views of the Caribbean. Student rooms provide WiFi, cable TV, AC, a single bath with shower, and a mid-sized refrigerator.  The family-owned hotel is clean and safe, with a friendly staff.

Ma' Elena also features a large dipping pool available to students overlooking Garrafón, Bahia de Mujeres, and Cancun.

Bicycles can be bought or rented on the island. We also provide a 6 seat golf cart for daytime student use when possible.


Taxi fare to the Centro, Av. Hidalgo and Playa Norte areas, about four miles north, is approximately 80 pesos each way (per shared cab / $4USD).  Fare is approximately 50 pesos each way ($2.50) to the mid-island colonias, popular restaurants, and big box grocery store, Chedraui.

We suggest a budget of about $10 US a day if you wish to purchase food (fresh fish, vegetables, pasta, etc.) at Chedraui or Costco in Cancun to cook on the communal hot plate.  Students will enjoy meals out on the town as well, so they should plan appropriately for budgeting-spending money.. 

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