A small Caribbean island in the state of Quintana Roo, Isla Mujeres is just 13 kilometres from Cancun yet feels a world’s away in ambience and lifestyle. Cherish the laid-back culture of Isla Mujeres, nicknamed the “Island of Women”, where you can spend hours snorkelling and scuba diving in vibrantly hued coral reefs.
Things to do in Isla Mujeres
Resorts and hotels congregate in the beach areas of Playa Norte on the northern edge of the island and Playa Lancheros on the southern side. The Tortugranja turtle farm on Sac Bajo harbours endangered species, while Dolphin Discovery offers a chance to swim with dolphins and various marine animals.
Garrafon National Park on the southern tip of Isla Mujeres contains a crumbling Mayan temple known as the Temple of the Goddess Ixchel, the goddess of fertility. You can explore the multi-coloured sculpture garden and outdoor gallery, or stroll over to Cliff of the Dawn for spectacular sea views.
Shopping on Isla Mujeres is all about indigenous art and crafts such as sea-glass jewellery, folk art, masks, Saltillo rugs, silver, onyx and “Day of the Dead” skeletons. Dining centres around fresh seafood at beachside restaurants serving local favourites such as marinated Tikinxic fish wrapped in banana leaves and baked in earthen ovens.
The most famous diving area in Isla Mujeres is the Caves of the Sleeping Sharks, while snorkelers congregate at Manchones and Lighthouse, two popular coral reef spots on the west side. With a few extra hours to spare, you can join a boating expedition to Isla Contoy, home to well over 100 bird species.
Getting around Isla Mujeres
After arriving on Isla Mujeres by boat or plane, many visitors get around on foot, golf cart, motor scooters or bicycles. A local bus provides limited service to main attractions, and hotels can order taxis for guests.