Isla Mujeres is one of the best destinations in the state of Quintana Roo. Not only we say so, a few months ago TripAdvisor posted the Travellers' Choice awards to the 25 best beaches in the world and on that list you can find one of the beaches on Isla Mujeres, Playa Norte.
Whether this is your first time visiting the island or you've been coming for years, we want to let you in on the isleños fav places to eat, relax and adventure.
Besides the beaches, Isla Mujeres has many other attractions. As the island is only 7 km long, it's comfortable, practical and super fun to get around by bicycle, moped or golf cart, which can be rented hourly or daily.
These means of transportation will allow you to reach all its attractions in just a few minutes.
1. VISIT TORTUGRANJA
If turtles have been saved from extinction it's due to the conservation work of organizations. Among the things to do in Isla Mujeres you can visit one of them, the Tortugranja (turtle farm).
The turtles lay their eggs on the island's beaches between May and September. The people at the Tortugranja, supported by volunteers, collect the eggs before predators, especially humans, arrive.
The eggs are laid to fertilize until the baby turtles hatch. Then, after reaching the appropriate age, they are taken to the sea and released into the wild.
2. VISIT PUNTA SUR
Punta Sur is the highest place in Yucatan despite being only 20 meters above sea level, which is why it was chosen to erect the temple of the main Mayan goddess.
The name of the island is due to the numerous feminine images of the figure of the goddess that the Spaniards found when they arrived there. That is why they named it Isla Mujeres (Women Island).
The ruins of the temple of Ix Chel are located in an archaeological site near Garrafon Park, in Punta Sur, a platform where it is believed there was a lighthouse to guide the Mayan boats through the dangerous reefs.
3. VISIT CONTOY
Isla Contoy National Park is 32 km west of Isla Mujeres, near the meeting point of the waters of the Caribbean and the gulf. The national park includes Isla Contoy which is 230 hectares and 5 salt lagoons. In its reef system there are 31 species of soft and hard corals, as well as many other flora and fauna.
The only access to Isla Contoy National Park is by sea from Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Depending on the type of transportation and departure point, the boats take between 1 and 2 hours to reach the park.
4. CABO CATOCHE, SNORKELING AND SCUBA DIVING
One of the things to do in Isla Mujeres is to visit the Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA). A unique experience that you won't find in any other country.
The MUSA has 3 divisions: Manchones, Punta Nizuc and Punta Sam. All of them add up to 500 monumental works made of marine concrete that you will admire while snorkeling, diving or through glass-bottom boats.
Catoche is a Mexican cape belonging to the municipality of Isla Mujeres, the northernmost corner of the Yucatan Peninsula. It marks the junction of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico with those of the Caribbean Sea.
This was the first place in continental Mexico set foot on by the Spaniards in 1517, led by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, making it a site of historical relevance.
The Mayans welcomed the Spaniards with the expression "in ca wotoch", which means "this is my house". The conquistadors baptized the cape as Catoche because of the phonetic resemblance.
5. GET TO KNOW HACIENDA MUNDACA
A Basque pirate and slave trader named Fermín Mundaca arrived on Isla Mujeres fleeing from the British around 1860. He settled there with the wealth he accumulated from his human trade activities and built a beautiful hacienda that still bears his name.
The work was in honor of La Trigueña, a beautiful islander with whom he fell madly in love without being reciprocated. This unfulfilled love served to build a beautiful property with arches, wells and flowery gardens, abandoned after the pirate's death.
The hacienda was recovered as a tourist attraction including its main access arch with the inscription, "La entrada de la Trigueña", which Mundaca's beloved native seems never to have crossed.