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
Origin of the name Isla Mujeres
There are several versions about the origin of the name of Isla Mujeres. Francisco López de Gómara narrates that when Francisco Hernández de Córdoba docked in the island he found a small enclosure that contained idols with feminine characteristics, which originated that it was called Punta Mujeres.
A history of pirates.
Isla Mujeres served as a refuge for pirates who raided the coastal cities of the Caribbean where they obtained supplies. The calm waters of Makax lagoon gave shelter and shelter to famous pirates such as Jean Lafitte and Henry Morgan. Glamorous locals claim that there said pirates buried part of their treasures.
The last famous pirate who lived on the island was Fermín Mundaca, who fell in love with a young Iugareña woman known as “La Trigueña”, who ignored her love requests. With the intention of winning the young woman’s love, Mundaca had an elegant hacienda built that he planned to share with “La Trígueña”; this one, nevertheless, did not accede. Today the mansion, known as Hacienda Mundaca, is in ruins and is visited by tourists attracted by the fame of the pirate. In the cemetery of the town is the tomb of this late buccaneer who died in the city of Merida, because of alcohol and sadness.
What to do on the island
Despite its small size (seven kilometers long by one wide); in Isla Mujeres you can do almost any marine activity.
Shopping: Touring the pleasant and narrow streets of the center of the island you will find beach clothing and handicrafts shops from almost all regions of the country, especially ceramics, carved wood, panama hats, woven carpets from Chiapas, híplles, textiles, hammocks, works on onyx and various souvenirs. Isla Mujeres is recognized worldwide for its fine jewelry; Here you can find precious stones, gold and silver items, local art and Mayan crafts.
Tour of the island
The rustic atmosphere of Isla Mujeres attracts large numbers of visitors. The center is in the northern part of the island and its small streets are ideal for quiet strolls. , … You will be able to visit the jewelries and shops of the typical crafts of the island or eat in one of its restaurants. From the center it takes a few minutes to reach the northern beaches; there is located Cocos Beach, also known as Playa Norte. Heading south you can visit Hacienda Mundaca; further on you will find the Garrafón Park and from there you can visit the lighthouse, at the southern end of the island. It is recommended to tour the island in a golf cart; although, thanks to its short extension, you can do it on motorcycles that are rented in the center or take a taxi. If you want to cross from the mainland to the island with your car, at Punta Sam the ferry will take you to it.
Sport fishing is another activity to develop in Isla Mujeres. The fishing spots are the same that are incursionan from Cancun: La Grieta and La Corrientada. In lsla Mujeres there are marinas and in the summer there are fishing tournaments. In April, the island is the headquarters of the “Amngos del Sol” International Boat Show, and sailboats from Florida are received with excitement.
In Puerto Juarez, you can get in touch with locals who offer transportation to the island, round trip, fish meal caught and prepared by them, a walk to the places of interest in the western part of the island and equipment to perform the Snorkeling at medical prices.
The visit to Garrafón guarantees many distractions: you can dive or snorkel to learn more about the underwater world, spend a day of rest in the hammock area, swim in the pool, enjoy the breathtaking view from the Revolving Scenic Tower, walk towards Punta South to visit the ruins of the Temple lxchel-a small Mayan shrine-and admire the splendid surroundings.
Under the initiative and call of the Mexican sculptor Sebastian was born this park in Punta Sur,
where national and international sculptors left their mark with their works. Manuel Felguérez, Eduardo Stein, José Luis Cuevas, Sebastián, Pedro Cervantes, Helen Escobedo, are just some