Just across from the hustle and bustle of Cancun, lies the small, serene island called Isla Mujeres (Island of Women). Isla Mujeres is a fishing village and though recently discovered by tourists still retains it's charm and tranquil atmosphere. The streets have been paved in brick, and many original Caribbean-style clapboard houses remain, adding a colorful and authentic reminder of the island's past.
Located just eight miles across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, is Isla Mujeres, only 5 miles long ( 7.5 Km) and half a mile wide (650 m). The downtown area consists of just four by six blocks.
The closest International Airport is Cancun. From there take an airport van to Puerto Juárez (15 minutes north of downtown Cancun). Then jump on an express boat to cross Bahia de Mujeres. The crossing takes about 15 minutes.
The Island of Women. A theory for the origination of this island's name is the possibility that this may have been the place where 17th-century pirates stashed their women for safekeeping as they headed out to plunder and pillage. Or does the name date back to the time of the Maya, who possibly considered it a sanctuary for sacred virgins? A legacy of stony statues of women and shrines to Ixchel, their fertility goddess, was discovery by Spanish conquistadors upon their arrival.
Here, white sand beaches boarder turquoise waters under blue skies, as colorful fishing boats dot the horizon. The average temperature is 80 degrees Farenheit and 60% humidity.
Trips to the Isla Contoy bird sanctuary are popular, as are the excellent diving, fishing, and snorkeling sites. In the evenings most people find the slow, relaxing pace an island highlight. It is then that the island is bathed in a cool breeze, perfect for casual open-air dining.
Most people pack it in as early as 9 or 10 pm when most of the businesses close. Restless night owls, however, will find action at a few bars on Playa Norte that stay open late.