Isla Mujeres Description
Isla Mujeres is an ideal vacation choice, aside from its legends and history, the island processes great natural charm and spectacular scenery. It’s only 8 kilometers long and 1.5 km wide, you can sight-seer the entire island, including both leeward and windward coasts, on a bicycle, golf cart or motor scooter.
Downtown (Centro) is host to many fine boutiques and art and crafts stores and the restaurants offer a wide range of fine cuisine. You will see many brightly painted traditional Caribbean wooden houses and at night, locals and tourists stroll the street and relax in the town square and share the experience of life on Isla Mujeres.
A generous strip of the Great Mayan Reef, the longest system in the hemisphere, runs the length of the Isla Mujeres. Diving and snorkeling this gorgeous underwater world are favorite pastimes, as is sunbathing on Playa Norte, the island’s most popular beach. The water here is clear and shallow, making it the perfect water sports arena. A boat tour around these beautiful waters is a must for all visitors as is a trip to nearby Isla Contoy.
Isla Mujeres was visited hundreds of years ago by the ancient Maya, one of the greatest cultures the world has ever produced. They believed the island was sacred to the mother goddess Ixchel, and erected statues in her honor along the shore. These blatantly feminine figurines captured the imagination of Francisco Fernandez de Cordoba when he and his men arrived in 1517 and to him goes the credit for the islands provocative name, Island of Women.
In the centuries that followed, Pirates and adventurers of every kind landed on the islands velvet shores. One of them, Fermin Mundaca, fell hopelessly in love with a native girl and built her a wonderful hacienda. She turned him down flat, fleeing the island in the arms of her Mayan lover. Utterly dejected, Mundaca let the place go to ruin. It was later used as a Pirates hideout and is still standing today, a favorite tourist attraction