Isla Mujeres translates to ‘Island of Women,’ given the ancient sculptures that paid tribute to Maya goddess Ixchel. Today, modern sculptures are still present throughout this beautiful island.[/caption]
A lot of tourists visiting Cancun ask, ‘Where is Isla Mujeres?’ That’s probably because they’ve heard about an amazing little island with a big history and incredible seaside adventures nearby.
Just a ferry boat ride northeast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres provides an ideal setting for relaxing at a place with a magical town feel. The white sands and gentle waters of North Beach, for example, are perfect for snorkeling or even just chilling out with a drink in hand as you view the sun setting.
Additionally, many more exciting excursions are available, such as diving and deep sea fishing. In fact, the fishing expeditions from Cancun sail past Isla Mujeres to the wide Caribbean Sea for some of the biggest catches around.
And, if you’re looking for the majestic sailfish, you’d have to go where Isla Mujeres is to find this mythical sea creature when it migrates to the Mexican Caribbean from December to March.
A laid-back attitude is all you need to bring to this charming island.
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So…Where is Isla Mujeres, Exactly?
First of all, you should know that Isla Mujeres is the easternmost point not only in the Yucatan Peninsula, but in all the Mexican territories. Hence, it’s the first place where the sun shines its rays over Mexico.
Isla Mujeres is only about 5 miles from Cancun’s shore. You can see the island when you stand on the edge of Puerto Juarez and its Playa El Niño beach.
Setting your sights toward the eastern horizon, Isla Mujeres will twinkle with mystery, inviting you explore what lies across the ocean. But, how will you get there?
A beautiful white-sand beach with peaceful waters await at Isla Mujeres after a short ferry ride from Cancun.
Take the Isla Mujeres Ferry from Cancun
Most noteworthy, there’s the Ultramar ferry to Isla Mujeres that leaves from several points in Cancun. The most popular is Puerto Juarez, just north of Cancun, as the distance is covered in less than 20 minutes.
Yet, three other Isla Mujeres ferry departures are available from Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Look for Ultramar’s signature yellow and blue boats taking off from Playa Tortugas, El Embarcadero and Playa Caracol.
The reason Ultramar is the best way to travel to Isla Mujeres is because of the comfort and cutting-edge technology available on the boats. As a result, you’ll have a smooth and efficient ride to get you ready to relax at the ‘Island of Women.’
Ultramar is the most comfortable ferry ride you can take to arrive to Isla Mujeres in style.
Learn about Isla Mujeres’ History
Isla Mujeres was once a Maya settlement in the province of Ekab. It had temples and statues dedicated to the goddess of fertility and happiness, Ixchel. This was all about 1,000 years before the Europeans began to settle in the Americas.
In addition, the island has been used as a salt mine by the original Maya settlers.
When the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, the conquerors found many statues of the goddess Ixchel throughout the island. And because of these female figures, they named it the ‘Island of Women’ — Isla Mujeres.
Right after you get off the ferry, Isla Mujeres will greet you with the warmth of a simpler era, a place where it feels like you can step back in time.
Things To Do in Isla Mujeres
Once you’re at this peaceful place, you’ll have plenty of possible activities. You can rent a golf cart or a bike and traverse Isla Mujeres from its northern point all the way south to Playa Lancheros.
You can also also visit a turtle farm, explore Garrafon natural park, and even check out the 10th annual Whale Shark Festival in Isla Mujeres if you’re here from July 20 to 23, 2017. When visiting Cancun to swim with the whale sharks, you’ll undoubtedly have to sail on Isla Mujeres’ waters
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Especially relevant, if you’re up for diving also, you should visit MUSA, the underwater museum, and its special gallery at Isla Mujeres. These statues are pivotal in helping preserve the second largest coral reef in the world, and what better place to explore art and nature than at the beautiful ‘Island of Women.’