Washed by the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, Isla Mujeres is a small paradise located 13 kilometers off the coast of Cancun which has a national park, two archaeological sites, and 78 hotels from economy lodges to 5 star resorts and spas.
State: Quintana Roo
Altitude: 1 meters above sea level
Time Zone: Central Standard Time UTC-6
Population: 12,642 inhabitants (INEGI, 2010)
Area Code: 998
Once an ancient Mayan sanctuary dedicated to Ixchel the Mayan goddess of fertility, the moon and love, Isla Mujeres is now a tourist destination that offers visitors a hotel infrastructure worthy of a Caribbean paradise.
A range of accommodations can be found from economy lodges to 5 star hotels and resorts.
Isla Mujeres has a convention center, banks, international restaurants, beach clubs, marinas for private yachts, a Culture House, and various travel agencies. Among the main attractions include the archaeological site, El Meco, which is located on the coast across from the island. Its pyramid was considered a key point in the navigational system of the Post-classic period.
The Garrafón Natural Reef Park of Isla Mujeres is famous for its extraordinary coral reefs. It’s possible to snorkel or dive beneath the clear waters of the Caribbean and delight in its underwater beauty.
Moreover Isla Mujeres is an ideal destination to be with dolphins, manatees, sharks, manta rays, and sea lions.
Other natural beauties that are accessible by diving are El Farito, Isla Ché, and the Manchones Reefs, the area of sunken ships, and for experienced divers there is the La Cueva de los Tiburones Dormidos (Cave od the sleeping sharks).
Another experience not to be missed is a visit to Punta Park underwater museum, the largest underwater museum in the world composed of 400 submerged contemporary sculptures by the artist Jason deCayre Taylor.
One of the sculptures, the famous Cruz de la Bahía, is a bronze monument located 12 meters under the sea and is a tribute to the men and women who have lost their lives at sea.
Isla Mujeres is located in southeastern Mexico, in the northeastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the state of Quintana Roo.
Access to Isla Mujeres can be done in different ways: A 15 minute speedboat ride from Puerto Juarez, a 45 minute ferry ride from Punta Sam, A 35 minute boat ride from the Hotel Zone of Cancun, or a plane with a direct flight to Isla Mujeres.
Distance from Isla Mujeres to other destinations in Mexico
- Cancun, Quintana Roo: 13 km.
- Mérida, Yucatán: 330 km.
- Campeche, Campeche: 495 km.
- Villahermosa, Tabasco: 875 km.
- Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas: 1128 km.
- Veracruz, Veracruz: 1340 km.
- Oaxaca, Oaxaca: 1685 km.
- Mexico City, Federal District: 1630 km.
Isla Mujeres has a warm humid climate, with chances of rain throughout the year but mostly in the summer. November to May: Low of 17°C, maximum 34°C. June-October: Low 22°C, High 38°C. (Rainy season).
What to pack?
Being a beach destination it is recommended to pack a swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, sandals, light clothes such as shorts, tank tops, flip flops, and a hat.
In the rainy season it’s advisable to bring a light sweater due to the high winds.
To visit the archaeological sites and parks wear sneakers for comfort.
Activities and attractions in Isla Mujeres
Marina and Yacht Club Puerta Isla Mujeres.
Water sports: diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, sailing, boat rides.
Ecotourism activities. Swim with whale sharks (May to September).
Isla Mujeres Center, Beaches and Beach Clubs. Dolphin Discovery.
Garrafón Natural Reef Park. Manchones Reef. Turtle Farm. Hacienda Mundaca. Punta Sur.
Punta Park underwater museum (400 submerged sculptures).
Cruz de la Bahía Tour. El Farolito, (lighthouse).
El Meco Archaeological Site. Culture House. Convention Center.
Cave of the Sleeping Sharks (for experienced divers).
Feasts and Celebrations in Isla Mujeres
March 2: Anniversary of the discovery of Isla Mujeres.
April: Regatta de Sol a Sol from St. Petersburg to Isla Mujeres, International Billfish Tournament.
May: Regatta de Sol a Sol from New Orleans.
June 1: Navy Day.
July: World Environment Day on Isla Mujeres.
August 17: Anniversary of the Founding of Isla Mujeres.
September 15: Independence of Mexico.
October: Book Fair.
October 12: Columbus Day (Discovery of the New World).
November 1 and 2: Day of the Dead.
December 8: Feasts of the Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción, patroness of the island.
December 12: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.