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Isla mujeres, the Paradise of the Riviera Maya

Cancun is a great destination, besides being a city with an indisputable beauty it is a strategic point to visit dream places that are relatively close.

Islands, without doubt, have a unique charm. It can be the fact that you can see the sea from any point or that in this case, are little towns that just started to develop but do not yet have the infrastructure of large cities, this makes them perfect places to escape from routine and rest, they are places with an atmosphere of tranquility and where you can have contact with nature.

This time we are talking about the closest Island to Cancun and one of the most beautiful in the Southeast of Mexico, Isla Mujeres.

This Island is the perfect destination for a backpacking trip or a romantic getaway. Its atmosphere is very calm and less glamorous than Cancún´s, perfect to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Mexican Caribbean.

stone sculpture on the riviera maya de cancun

Isla Mujeres was discovered by the Spanish in the year 1517. In pre-Hispanic times the island was consecrated to Ixchel, Mayan goddess of the Moon, love and fertility, which received offerings with feminine forms that believers deposited on the Island beaches.

When the Spanish conquerors arrived and observed the figures, they named it Isla Mujeres (Woman Island).

Now we can see why the Mayans dedicated this beautiful island to one of the most important goddesses of their culture, because the island is definitely worthy of gods.

young man watching crafts handcrafted fabrics in cancun

Located in the Caribbean Sea, it is a destination known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear sea, the most popular beach and favorite for bathers is Punta Norte, where you can find restaurants, bars and hotels to enjoy a delicious meal while your feet touches the soft sand.

In the center of the town, you can buy all kinds of crafts from the region, such as decorative objects, clothing and accessories.

You can also taste endless culinary specialties such as Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, fine cuts, among others as well as delicious ice cream parlors, coffee shops and bakeries to not leave with the desire of a dessert.

Tikin-xic fish dish on green leaf, typical food of Isla Mujeres and Cancun

Tikin-xic fish is an island specialty that is offered in several places and it's extremely delicious. It is fish seasoned with spices from the region that give it a characteristic red tone, and then roasted over the embers.

At night the island has a really good atmosphere, in the center you will find bars with live music ideal for that special dinner. Afterwards, you can't miss the Qubano live salsa band to dance salsa all night in the light of the stars.

restaurant bar on island women at night

On the other hand in Punta Sur you will find the remains of a Mayan temple and the beaches with the most beautiful views, although they are not exactly for swimming since they are rocky cliffs.

For those of us who enjoy nature, at Punta Sur you can enjoy a sea turtle sanctuary, the kids will surely love it.

Transporting from one place to another on the island will not be a problem since Isla Mujeres is very small, only one kilometer wide and 7 kilometers long, and although you can comfortably travel in cars and taxis, it is more interesting and fun to do it in a golf cart, motorcycle or bicycle, which are available for rent everywhere.

View of the outdoor sculptural museum on Isla Mujeres

As if all this was not enough to delight the tourists visiting the island, the underwater world is equally or more fascinating and that is because a big part of the Mesoamerican reef is in this area so diving and snorkeling lovers travel to Isla Mujeres with the objective of venturing into the underwater depths and enjoying the enormous amount of fish of different colors that inhabit this fascinating environment.

Isla Mujeres is right in front of Cancun, only twenty minutes by ferry.

The boat can be taken from two ports in the city, one is at kilometer 4 of the hotel zone on a bridge known as Calinda (if your hotel is in the hotel zone, that one is convenient for you) and the other is located in the center of the city in Puerto Juarez.

Turtle swimming on isla mujeres reefs

If you plan to visit the Riviera Maya soon, definitely Isla Mujeres should be on your list of destinations to visit, in this Caribbean paradise you will enjoy from the moment you get off the ship until your return home and surely being there you will swear to come back at another time because as it says on a Chavela Vargas song

"One always returns to the old places where he loved life".

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