Cancun - Isla Mujeres
Discover Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is just off the coast from Cancun, yet this small Caribbean retreat has a unique culture and relaxed feel that is very different from its glamorous neighbor.
How to Get There
Many boats depart from Cancun everyday. It’s a 25-minute boat ride and Garrafón Reef Park offers tour packages that include your roundtrip ferry tickets.
Things to Do
Isla Mujeres has pristine white sand beaches that melt into clear turquoise waters. The island is completely walkable and dotted with fabulous views, architectural gems, and traditional village scenes. There are many things to do, like scuba diving along the coral reef, swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, and sport fishing or sailing. Many also come to sit in the sun, shop for artisan jewelry, visit the turtle farm, hike the cliffside trails, and rest at the island’s luxurious resorts.
Lodging and Dining
Lodging on Isla Mujeres ranges from small boutique hotels and beachside resorts to cozy accommodations off the beaten path. Great sunsets can be seen from downtown, where small wood houses painted in bright candy colors line the paved streets. The island’s thriving food scene includes excellent regional and international cuisines. And the evening bar scene is lively and entertaining.
Mayan explorers, Spanish conquistadors, and pirates have all sought out the stunning beaches of Isla Mujeres. The Maya were the first to discover this island, turning it into a sanctuary devoted to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, fertility, healing, and the feminine forces of nature. This is why the Spaniards named it Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women) when they discovered it. Pirates came next, including the legendary Captain Lafitte and Mundaca the Pirate, whose hacienda can still be visited next to Garrafón Park. All of these cultural influences can still be seen today as the island honors its legendary past just as much as it embraces its status as a modern, world-class travel destination.
This luxurious jewel on the Mayan Riviera is a major destination for travelers seeking sunshine, picture-perfect beaches, cultural attractions, exciting nightlife, water sports of all kinds, great golf, fishing, and a taste of Pre-Columbian history. The awe-inspiring relics of Chichen Itza and Tulum are both an easy day trip from Isla Mujeres and Cancun. For divers, Cancun provides easy access to the underwater springs of the Cave of the Sleepy Sharks, an underwater sight made famous by Jacques Cousteau and his crew. For those interested in traditional sports, there are bullfights to attend, and for those interested in dance, Mexico’s famed Ballet Folklórico performs in Cancun. This immensely popular place truly has something for everyone.
Next to Isla Mujeres, people can tour Isla Contoy, a virgin island and bird sanctuary located where the Great Mayan Reef begins. The Great Mayan Reef is the second largest coral barrier reef in the world.
This is quiet, beautiful island sits northwest of Cancun and is considered a best-kept secret by many travelers. An oasis for birds and sea life, Isla Holbox is where you go to see pink flamingos, pelicans, manta rays, and whale sharks. While many come for the fishing and diving tours, the island also draws visitors who want to get away from the crowds and experience a leisurely lifestyle among Isla Holbox locals.
Another excellent vacation spot perfect for adventurous divers and those seeking sunshine and beach action. Cozumel’s see-through blue waters offer clear views of tropical fish and the Great Mayan Reef with its submerged limestone caverns, tunnels, and rare black coral. There’s also great shopping, horseback riding, windsurfing, and sailing. Travelers can access San Gervasio to see Cozumel’s ancient Mayan temple; this is the most popular tour available on this gorgeous island.