To visit Isla Mujeres, is to visit the most idyllic spot in the Caribbean, favored not only for the wonderful weather and stunning views, but also for the hospitable atmosphere experienced from the moment the ferry comes into dock.
As soon as you get off the boat and walk down the main street, you'll experience the warmth of the locals who will greet you kindly with a smile.
The island was so named by Spanish conquerors because of the many clay figurines of females discovered when they came ashore here centuries ago. Isla Mujeres is located off the coast of Cancun, separated from the mainland by a small 7-mile strait, and even though it is incredibly close to this busy city, life on the island remains peaceful and slow-paced.
The boat ride takes just 20 minutes from Puerto Juarez in Cancun to the main dock on the island. Once there, you can choose to either walk around, or alternatively rent a golf cart or bicycle and explore all the attractions this five mile long island has to offer.
Nature is certainly bountiful on and surrounding the island, including a stunning ocean scenery full of colorful coral reefs and teeming with friendly tropical fish; a paradise for both snorkelers and scuba divers. And the gorgeous beaches are the perfect vantage point for the most beautiful sunsets you've ever seen.
Isla Mujeres became popular in the 50's, before tourist developers even envisioned Cancun or Cozumel would become the world-class resorts they are today. Ever since those early days several hotels, shops, restaurants, and bars have been operating successfully on the island and have continued to be modernized over the years.
Isla's best beaches are on the northern most tip of the island, near the downtown area, and the pristine sea that surrounds them is as calm as a giant swimming pool. To the south lies the Garrafon National Park amidst the archaeological ruins of the Temple of the Goddess Ixchel. Also close by are the Sculpture Park, an open-air gallery, as well as breathtaking natural attractions, such as panoramic cliff views, and bountiful coral reefs teeming with marine life, ideal for snorkeling. For the more experienced, and certified divers are the reefs of Punta Norte and Manchones to the south, as well as the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, and the sites of two sunken ships, the Ultrafreeze and a naval craft.
Also worth visiting are the Turtle Protection Center, committed to the preservation of this endangered species, and the remains of the famous pirate Fermin Antonio de Mundaca's estate. Mundaca, who was a dreaded Spanish buccaneer and slave trader, plundered the Caribbean for years until he eventually decided to settle here, and according to legend, he later fell madly in love with a Mayan Indian girl, who rejected him and left him heartbroken and depressed for the rest of his life.