Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Why Isla Mujeres?

This gorgeous Mexican Caribbean island is located 13 kilometers off the coast from Cancun.

It is known for its beautiful white sanded beaches, Playa Norte, for example, was voted one of the 10 best beaches in the world! https://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Beaches-cTop-g1

 

But there is far more to it.

 

Although just an 18 minute set over from Cancun the pace of the island is very different from other destinations on the mainland of the Caribbean Riviera. Isla Mujeres offers a laid back and safe environment, incredibly beautiful nature to explore, a creative and friendly local crowd and a huge list of activities to choose from.

For example numerous fantastic beach clubs, all kinds of water and boat activities in crystal blue waters and colorful reefs as well as a large variety of wellness, entertainment and delicious culinary options on land.

Please have a look at Taste of Isla for a great selection of places to go and things to do! The island has a lot to offer, it is worth having a look.

Things to do in the water

  • Snorkeling the beautiful reefs

  • Scuba diving

  • Swim with Whale Sharks

  • Wingdiving

  • Fishing

  • Sunset Cruises

  • Stand Up Paddleboarding

  • Visit the beautiful sanctuary Contoy

  • or just refresh yourself by dipping at one of the beautiful beaches of the island

Things to do on land

  • Go explore the island by foot, bicycle, moped or its famous golf carts

  • Relax at the beach

  • Visit the turtle farm Tortugranja

  • Visit the old property of the famous pirate Mundaca

  • Get up early and watch the sunrise at the most eastern point of Mexico in Punta Sur

  • Do good for the environment by joining the numerous plogging events

  • Do good for yourself with a relaxing massage, meditation or some yoga

  • Enjoy the local artist fair

  • Go on a day trip to Chichen Itza or the Cenotes on the mainland

  • Listen to incredible live music in the evenings

  • Choose out of the huge variety of restaurants

  • And after that get social at the legendary bars and parties the island has to offer

How to get to Isla Mujeres

There are various boats that will take you there.

From Cancun, you can get a ferry.

 They leave from Puerto Juarez (150 pesos one way), Gran Puerto Cancun (Puerto Juarez) or Playa Tortugas on the hotel zone.

In Punta Sam, you can get a car-ferry (60 pesos one way for pedestrians).

Puerto Juarez is quite close to downtown Cancun, but not within a walking distance. Puerto Juarez and Punta Sam can be reached by Colectivos starting opposite the ADO bus station in downtown within a few minutes for 12 pesos. 

Click here for Ultamar Ferry Routes and Timetables 

How to get to Isla Mujeres

Once you have arrived on the island

Isla Mujeres is a small island with a length of just 7 km (4.3 mi) and an area of 4.22 km². 

Getting around is easy.

For transportation, you have the choice between a taxi, golf cart, moped, bicycle or by foot.

 

The first news of Isla Mujeres dates back to 564-1516 AD when it was a Mayan providence called Ekab. During this time Isla Mujeres was not a human settlement but a sanctuary to Ixchel (goddess of weaving, happiness, the moon, abundance, medicine and fertility amongst others). In 1517 a Spanish expedition under the leadership of Francisco Fernandez de Cordoba discovered the island and found a sanctuary with a representation of Ixchel and a court of women, hence the name of Isla Mujeres was given. In 1850, more than 250 fishermen, pirates and Mayans running from the way of Castes established themselves in the village of Dolores, in Isla. 

Now Isla Mujeres has more than 13500 residents is mapped at 21 11 5 and longitude West 86 42 50, has an average temp of 80f or 27c with 60% humidity all year round. The Mexican government and its water department installed an undersea piping system, the first in the world in 1988, thus supplying a sufficient amount of clean drinking water to the island. Also a drainage and sewerage plant have allowed the waters around the island to remain free of contamination.

History

Ramón Bravo, one of Mexico’s most famous divers, is possibly best known for photographing Tiger Sharks sleeping on the ocean floor off Isla Mujeres (Island Women). The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and Jacques Cousteau visited the area to study the sleeping tigers, a phenomena thought to be caused by underwater freshwater rivers from the Yucatan. It is believed the tiger sharks use the fresh water to cleanse their bodies. Cousteau spent several weeks there to study the sharks and the migration of lobsters. Ramón Bravo established the headquarters for undersea explorations in the area near Akumal.

Ramon Bravo and Jaques Cousteau

NOW

 

“El Centro” or downtown is located at the North end of the island and is near North Beach. A beach claimed by Jacques Costeau to be one of the most beautiful beaches.

The main street called Hidalgo is filled with restaurants of many cultures with many different types of international cuisine. There are also numerous on North beach. The live music scene on the island is strong and abounds with world-class musicians and artists, with many restaurants supplying live music to drink and dance to. The actual island is only 7km long and a day can be passed hiring a bike, golf cart or moped and exploring the island. There are many things to see. Many arrive by boat to the island and there are numerous marinas and docks with full-service facilities. Also, many opportunities to score work on a boat and travel the Caribbean as many backpackers on the island tend to do. Isla Mujeres is the island for short vacation, family getaways and backpackers alike, all here for the sun and diving or for a more relaxing time of massages, yoga, and meditation. Isla Mujeres has something to appeal to something in everyone.

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