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Isla Mujeres Attractions Things to Do

Come Admire the Painted Ladies of Centro!

Wander the streets of El Centro—Isla Mujeres’s vivacious downtown—and your eyes will be swimming in color.

Color in terms of the handicrafts, clothing, and other wares for sale, color in terms of the friendly personalities you’ll encounter at the shops and bars and restaurants, color in terms of the sunset show offshore our island is so justly celebrated for.

The Razzle and Dazzle of Downtown

But probably the most immediately eye-catching color in evidence will dazzle you from the very walls and roofs of the downtown. El Centro comes scattered with some absolutely gorgeous wooden homes that are painted just about as exuberantly as a building can be.

Over at her “Notes From Paradise” blog about life on Isla Mujeres, Lynda Lock celebrates these structures as the “Painted Ladies of Isla,” rounding up a few beloved standouts—among them La Tablitas (aka Hemingway’s Grill) at the intersection of Matamoros and Guerro avenues. Many of these tried-and-true structures date back to the 1920s and ‘30s, though in their handsome hues they look anything but antiquated. Without question they’re fundamental parts of the El Centro cityscape: “grand dames” of the streets, as Lock puts it.

Whether it’s a Painted Lady open to the public such as La Tablitas or it’s simply a private home to admire from the outside, these flashy exteriors—splashed as they are with bold yellows, oranges, reds, blues, and pinks—summon a whole lot of Caribbean spirit. They’re an El Centro attraction unto themselves, without a doubt, but they also serve as a tropically tinted backdrop for all the fun on tap here: souvenir shopping, happy-hour hopping, culinary safari-going, and beelining for gleaming Playa Norte for sand-between-your-toes R&R and front-row seats to one of the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever have the Privilege (so to speak) of clapping your eyes on.

Take a Walking Tour of the Painted Ladies at Privilege Aluxes

Speaking of, Privilege Aluxes sits right on the doorstep of El Centro, meaning those fetching Painted Ladies—not to mention all the varied downtown entertainment and services—are at your fingertips when you stay with us at our world-class resort. (Incidentally, if you want to learn more about El Centro’s appeal, check out our blog post about the neighborhood.)

Come stay with us on the transcendent shores of Isla Mujeres, and bring along your camera (or at least that smartphone) for a walking tour of the isle’s magically multicolored infrastructure! You’ll love getting to know the Painted Ladies of El Centro firsthand…