Isla Mujeres Mexico
Isla Mujeres (Isle of Women) is located just eight miles across from the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, Mexico. Just 5 miles long and ½ mile wide at its widest point, Isla Mujeres is one of the most, exotic, relaxing, places earth. The only worries here are the ones concerned with it losing its cool by becoming too much of a tourist destination and less the icon of peace and tranquility that it has always been, and was meant to be.
It wasn’t so long ago that all Isla Mujeres had to offer was an undisturbed white-sand beach abutting tranquil, turquoise waters, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with only hot sunny days and starry black nights to blanket anyone visiting there.
Isla Mujeres is the place to go if you want to escape the hustle of Cancun and relax on a small tropical island. While Isla Mujeres doesn't have the same Euro-cafe chic as Playa del Carmen, it does attract a lot of the same international hipsters that made Playa del Carmen a destination with a cosmopolitan flavor. It has much in common with many of the smaller islands in the Caribbean, the most important ingredient being an easy going attitude that has yet to be perverted by shopping malls and discotheques.
Isla Mujeres was once a fishing village, but now it’s every tourist’s dream destination. Today, the island has much to offer anyone looking for a tropical vacation in paradise. Beach lovers will enjoy their time in the sun, and to accommodate the many tourist’s interests in water activities and tropical explorations, many attractions are available, promising a complete tropical experience that will be remembered for a very long time. The Island is so small that it's easy to find your way around. There's shopping where you disembark from the ferry, the best beach is on the North side of the island.
Attractions and Things to Do on Isla Mujeres
Punta Sur, Mayan Temple and Sculpture Garden - Home to an ancient Pre-Columbian Mayan temple honoring Ixchel the Goddess of the Moon and a sculpture garden interpreting the spirit of the legendary Mayan civilization using modern shapes and hues. The exhibit was created for Isla Mujeres in 2001 by 23 artists and sculptors from around the world, including Mexico’s famous sculptor Jose Luis Cueva. Punta Sur also has a small "Caribbean village" and a lighthouse.
The Turtle Farm - Giant sea turtles lay their eggs in the soft sand of Isla Mujeres every May through September. Federally protected, sea turtle eggs are placed in pens to keep them safe from predators. Once hatched, turtles are placed in tanks and later released into their natural habitat by the local schoolchildren.
Hacienda Mundaca – Built by Fermin Mundaca around 1858 after he retired from pirating, the hacienda originally covered 40% of the island and was surrounded by magnificent gardens including the solar clock garden called "The Rose of the Winds". The legendary Mundaca dedicated his hacienda to a beautiful local woman, 37 years his junior, but when she married another man closer to her own age, Mundaca slowly went insane and died, alone in Merida. An empty tomb in the Isla Mujeres cemetery awaits his return. Here visitors can see a haunting message of sorts meant for his love and carved by his own hands that reads, "As you are, I was. As I am, you will be".
The Beaches of Isla Mujeres – The tranquil turquoise waters and silky white sand beaches on the north and west sides of Isla Mujeres are ideal for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling. Playa Norte on the north side is considered one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Here visitors can rent kayaks, snorkeling gear, beach lounge chairs and umbrellas. Several palapa restaurant/bars have waiters, who will bring refreshments directly to your spot on the beach. Secluded west-side beaches also feature shark pens where visitors can swim with the sharks. Garrafón de Castilla - Charges admission, which includes use of beach chairs. Swim and snorkel gear, lockers and towels, are available for an additional fee. Features a Nurse Shark pen where visitors can swim with the sharks, and good snorkeling areas.
The very strong current on the Caribbean side make the eastern shore too dangerous for swimming. Visitors should heed the posted swim warnings at all locations.
The Underwater Sculpture Museum – the world’s largest underwater museum. Jason deCaires Taylor is the founder and artistic director of MUSA - Museo Subacuático de Arte/Underwater Museum of Art. In collaboration with marine biologists and other experts, the most incredible sculptures, many representing Mayan people, were designed to become artificial reefs and are constructed from special materials which promote marine life. All sculptures can be visited by snorkeling or scuba diving. It’s truly a most unique and amazing site that visitors shouldn’t not miss.
Isla Contoy – a small idyllic island about an hour boat ride from Isla Mujeres. A National park and bird sanctuary. Trips usually include a snorkeling stop, a fruit brunch, lunch in the Contoy lagoon, followed by snorkeling in the lagoon, and the return trip might include barracuda hand line fishing.
Destination and Island Tours – Visitors can choose from a variety of tours to other islands or destinations including those along the Riviera Maya.