Most accomodation on Isla ar on the northern part, most beaches are on the southern part. To reach them you can take a taxi, rent a scooter or a golf cart. Or you can stay in town and go to Playa Norte. The beach is very nice. White sand that never gets hot, many palm trees that provide shade, several beach bars to freshen up, calm sea to swim in. And in low season there wont be lots of crowds.
There are several other beaches near, but they all face the open sea and were closed all the time due to high waves.
When Spanish arriverd on this island and they found a Mayan temple and inside figures of Mayan goddesses, beliving to be representing ferility and moon godess Ixchel. And after these figures, the island got it's name.
Another, less probable, explanation is, that Spanish pirates kept their lovers on this island.
However, the Mayan temple can be visited, altough it was heavily damaged by a hurricane and there is not much to see. It stand on a very south point of the island.
To excuse the admission for the ruined ruins, an exhibiton of modern scolptures was set up.
The whole area can be seen well from the lighthouse in a nearby carribean village.
The FISHING VILLAGE of Isla Mujeres, situated a short five miles across the azure seas from Cancun, makes an excellent day trip.
Hans and I enjoyed the calm, relaxing atmosphere of this island paradise. Many locals and their families were also enjoying a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon with their families. Fishing nets were hung to dry.
The village is the place to indulge yourself with fresh seafood at the many thatched roofed restaurants right on the beach.
Favorite thing: Many tour companies offer CATAMARAN snorkeling tours to the Island. The itinerary usually includes the boat ride, snorkel gear and lunch & soft drinks. Friends at Tucancun went on a Catamaran Tour and had a great time. The boat went to the southern tip, Garrafon National Park to snorkel and then went to the northern tip, Playa Norte for some shopping.
Also on Isla Mujeres, located near the southern tip of the island, is EL GARRAFON NATIONAL PARK, an eco-park and snorkeler's paradise. The depth of the reef never exceeds 15 feet and teems with brightly colored fish. Snorkel gear is available for rent.
On land there is a turtle hatchery, dolphin enclosure, a small Mayan temple where the statues that gave the island its name were found, handicraft stores and spots to view the sunsets.
A conservation fee of $2.00 per person is charged.
Just five miles long and 1,300 feet wide, Isla Mujeres is a favorite among divers, snorkelers and vacationers who simply seek a tranquil break from the lively Cancun.
PLAYA NORTE, the beach that covers the northern end of the island is one of the Caribbean's finest and lures people from all over. Thatched roofed restaurants and beach bars, provide food and refreshments to the island's visitors.
Favorite thing: If you look closely, you may see an iguana here on the southern tip of the island. In this photo you can faintly see the modern art scupltures surrounding the tiny ruins. I am not completely convinced they add to the feel of the surroundings. The views from here are worth the trip, even if the ruins aren't the best in Mexico.
Isla Mujeres is a 5 mile island across the Bay of Women from cancun. There are plenty of things to do here, such as explore, play in the water, swim with dolphins, visit a turtle sanctuary, salsa dance;P, or build sand castles! You can still see the remains of an enormous estate, "Hacienda Mundaca" built by a lovesick pirate hoping to win the heart of a local girl. Entrance is 1usd to see the ruins and some local wildlife.
For sunbathing, windsurfing and swimming, get to the north beach, and for "pretty decent" snorkeling, El Garrafon National Park, on the island's southern tip is best. Park entry is around 10 usd.The bathrooms are clean and renting equipment, including towels, is easy. Or you can lie on the shady beach in a hammock listening to local musicians. We skipped this, but it seems like it may be a good family day.
Or you might want to check out Puerto Morelos which also has a coral reef that has been declared a national park, and a bit more intact. You can book a two-hour trip to the reef for around 20usd.
Fondest memory: Well, I am home. It's a cold winter....I think of just 2 weeks ago lying on the beach getting a massage...*sigh.
If you walk down the street toward the south beach, right as the road ends, walk a little bit and you will see a canopy and massage table. The cost is 25 usd for half an hour and it's great!
Favorite thing: From the ferry, there is a developed tourism park, with beaches, water sports, snorkelling, and just walking around the landscaped gardens with conveniences such as restaurants, shops, etc. nearby. It isn't a park with the "local people and custom" atmosphere at all (for that venture outside the park grounds towards the village), but a nice resort to relax and enjoy the water.
. . . there is nothing better than sitting in a beachfront restaurant or bar and enjoy the sunset.
Fondest memory: Island living is the BEST!
This is the welcoming commitee for the Mayan ruins on the southern tip of the island.
The temple that stood here was a dedication to the goddess of fertility, Ixchel . The entrance fee is 3 usd.
My favorite activity was just relaxing on on Playa Norte at Isla Mujeres
Fondest memory: Drinking margaritas on the beach with the songs of Jimmy Buffet coming from the bar.
Isla Mujeres is a small island just next to Cancún.
It's (I think) 7.5 km long and only between 100 - 1000 m wide. This picture is taken from one side to the other.