Isla de Mujeres is a small island off the coast of Cancun, about 80 kilometers away. The island was dedicated the Maya goddess of childbirth, Ixchel and was names after the many statues of goddesses found there. It is popular for day trips, especially for tourists from Cancun and its surrounding areas. The island is small and very condensed. During the day, it is overflowing with tourists. Really, I made a little game out of listening to how many different languages I can point out. But once the ferries stop running, it is more peaceful than the mainland.
The ferries travel between the island and the mainland about every hour or so. the ride takes approximately 45 minutes and costs about $10. There’s also some pre-arranged trips that include a boat ride with drinks and snacks, a stay on a private beach and some guided sight seeing, which costs about $25 per person for the whole day.
The most popular beach is Playa Norte (North Beach). it is located a short walk from the commercial harbor. To be honest, I did not come across any other tourist friendly beaches but I also did not spend much time exploring all the island had to offer. this beach, however, was truly beautiful so I didn’t even mind.
The rest of the town has that very old, lived-in feeling. most of the houses are old and falling apart, really there’s also plenty of balconies that are makeshift apartment studios. That’s not really surprising though- the average daily income there is about $9 and comes mostly from fisheries and tourism.
The cobblestone streets are really narrow. The island is really small and was build mostly with pedestrians in mind. Most of the transportation consists of mopeds and golf carts. But with the amount of foot traffic, those may not even be worth the rental fees.
Isla Mujeres is also famous for its underwater museum. The MUSA (Museo Subaquatico de Arte) is about 8 meters under water and features a little over 500 life size sculptures meant to represent human interaction with the ecosystem. Tickets for this can be purchased either online or at the booths along the mainland coast. Its about $50 for a two hour snorkel tour wit all the equipment included.