This beautiful island, with its small friendly town and wonderful beaches lies about 10 miles north east of Cancun.
There are a number of cheap and regular ferries that go there so you combine the pleasure of a boat trip as
well as a visit to a pretty place that is packed with history. Isla Mujeres was actually a tourist destination long before the emergence of the Cancun
development. If you like a laid back and less frenetic holiday then maybe a stay on the island may well fit your idea of a great holiday
The island gained its name (English Translation: Island of Women) because the Spanish found a great many carved images of women on the island.
These carvings were the product of the Mayan worship of the goddess Ixchel. The Mayans built a temple to the Goddess Ixchel at the South-eastern
most tip of the island and within this temple they incorporated an observatory. Ixchel was the Mayan Goddess of the Moon and childbirth and was closely
associated with the sophisicated Mayan astronomical readings taken here and elsewhere. The remnants of this temple are still there. It is at what is essentially
the most eastern tip of Mexico.
The small town (Isla Town) at the northern end of the island is a wonderful labyrinth of narrow streets. Many of the traders are silver merchants and the
island has a reputation for good quality silver jewellery. Just beyond the town is North Beach (Playa Del Nort) a beautiful expanse of golden sand that fades into the port as you walk south.
On the island you can hire golf arts or scooters to get about though arguably the Taxis are cheaper. Cheapest of all is the
ramshackle bus service that allows you to ride from one end of the Island to nearly the other for a few pennies. It is however
somewhat irregular. Of course you can always walk.
The path to the Temple of Ixchel on the southern tip of the Isla Mujeres leads you through a field populated
with many modern art exhibits. In fact the entrance fee to this area is used to maintain these exhibits rather than maintain the Temple of Ixchel.