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Isla Mujeres is an island just eight miles off the coast of Cancun. It has beautiful beaches and cliffs, great spots for snorkeling, vibrant nightlife, historical sites and Mayan ruins. All of this makes for an ideal day trip from Cancun.
Long before the first arrival of the Spaniards in 1517, the island was already consecrated by the Mayans to Ixchel, the goddess of the moon and fertility. It was a place of pilgrimage for women who visited the island in their symbolic passage from girl to woman. Offerings in female forms were also made to the goddess, which gave her the name Isla Mujeres.
Relax on the beach
Among the things to do in Isla Mujeres, North Beach should be at the top of your list. It is a dream beach that stretches for more than half a mile of soft white sand and blue, warm and even waters. Along North Beach, you will see coconut palms, hundreds of umbrellas and sun loungers, where you can sunbathe, find shade and enjoy the sea with its beautiful shades of turquoise blue. There are bars, restaurants and hotels located at the foot of the beach, which offer drinks and meals, so that you never miss a cocktail, an ice cold beer or a delicious snack.
Playa Lancheros is another charming beach with crystal clear turquoise blue waters and one of the most popular on the island. Its smooth white sand and palm trees provide shade for a moment from the blazing Caribbean sun.
Garrafon Park is a spectacular eco-park located at the southern tip of Isla Mujeres, off the mainland coast of Quintana Roo. Its name is due to Garrafon reefs, an underwater space with beautiful and varied biodiversity. The park is ideal for snorkeling as the reef waters are shallow and full of multicolored life. Other fun activities include excursions, ziplining over the sea, kayaking, and swimming with dolphins.
Among the most impressive excursions is the one that takes place along the cliffs of Punta South, with access to a sculpture garden, a lighthouse and the temple dedicated to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of love and fertility. The Garrafon park also offers a temazcal experience and a panoramic swimming pool surrounded by deckchairs and hammocks to relax.
MUSA – Museum of Underwater Art
One of the most popular attractions in Isla Mujeres is visiting the Underwater Art Museum (MUSA). The MUSA has 3 spaces: Manchones, Pointe Nizuc and Sam Point. The set totals 500 monumental works in marine concrete that you will admire while snorkeling, diving or through glass-bottomed boats. A unique experience that you will hardly find in another country.
Visit a turtle farm
Of the eight species of sea turtles in the world, Mexico has seven. One of the country’s main spawning grounds for sea turtles is in the Riviera Maya. Turtle eggs are a gourmet delicacy, but their reckless consumption threatens the preservation of the species. The turtles were saved from extinction thanks to the organizations’ preservation work, and in Isla Mujeres you can visit the Tortugranja farm and turtle sanctuary. This amazing place is supported by volunteers, who collect the eggs before the predators arrive. The eggs are laid for fertilization until the baby sea turtles are born. Then, after having reached the right age, they are taken to sea to make their fauna.
Cross the island by golf cart
Isla Mujeres is the perfect size to cover it in a golf cart. You can go from one end to the other and come back in about two hours. There is a main road along each shore, so you can just follow the loop without going back. Don’t get lost, and your rental store will provide you with a map of the island for your visit. The town of Isla Mujeres combines the architecture of Caribbean lines with more modern building styles, all mixed in residential buildings, shops and other establishments. The cobblestone streets of downtown are lined with craft shops, beachwear, and restaurants.
If you want a fun day trip that includes great restaurants, gorgeous beaches, and unique things to do on a Caribbean island, then Isla Mujeres is for you. Book your visit to this spectacular Mexican destination.
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