Isla Mujeres Tours, Trips & History
Isla Mujeres is an island located 7 kilometers east of the city of Cancun in the Quintana Roo state of the Mexican Peninsula of Yucatan.
The island itself is known for its turquoise waters and white sand beaches. The famous Playa Norte has been voted as one of the best beaches in the world.
Check out our article on How To Get to Isla Mujeres!
The southern part of the island is home to the Mayan temple of the goddess of fertility “Ixchel”. This goodness has a close connection with the name of the island, which translated into English means “Island of Women”.
Ixchel is venerated as the goddess of fertility as well as midwifery, health and medicine. The Mayans had the belief that Ixchel needed to receive the first rays of sunlight every day. This would make the earth and soil fertile in the Mayan World.
The Mayans built temple dedicated to Ixchel on the cliffs at the southern tip of the island. In fact, temple sits on the most eastern part of the island. So here, you will be able to see the first rays of sunlight in the Mayan Territory and actually the first sunlight to touch Mexico as a whole.
Another unique feature of Punta Sur (“south point” in English), is the ability to you see Mating Turtles. Every year in May, numbers of turtles from all around the Caribbean congregate to, well, you know, mate! It is a spectacular natural event that you can watch from the shore or even underwater, just ask for our special Turtle Drift Dive!
Island of Pirates & Merchants
History reveals that after the arrival of Spanish merchant ships to the Yucatan, Spaniards used the tranquil waters of island to rest and prepare for their long journeys.
With the time, some merchants settled on the Island and started to build little haciendas, large home estates.
One of the most incredible stories is the case of Fermin Mundaca de Marechega. He was a Spanish pirate in the business of illegal slave trading. After years of fighting with the British he came as a refuge to the island in 1860 and settled on the south part of the island.
At one point, Pirata Mundaca’s hacienda occupied up to 40% of the total territory of Isla Mujeres. He founded the Hacienda Vista Alegre and organized the agriculture and animal husbandry in the island and so consolidating the first population of Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres was also a strategic point in the trade of raw Gum Tree, in those days an important good used to build and seal merchant ships.
A light house in the south of the island was used to aid navigation, despite that, there still remains on the ocean floor of old merchant ships and even galleons.
Interesting Cuisine & Souvenirs
The Island is distinguished for its exquisite gastronomy based in seafood. Local dishes like the famous Tikinxic, is one of the most popular. Enjoy the local production of handicrafts and artesania while walking along the pedestrian Hidalgo Street.
Being an Island, Isla Mujeres main visitor attractions are the water activities! From boat rides, snorkel trips, fishing trips, Isla Mujeres has it all!
Boat rides around the island to observe the southern cliffs and view sunset are among our favorite activities. Check our Private Yachts and Boats Tours page if you are interested in chartering a trip!
One thing is sure, you cannot miss Punta Sur Cliffs. The site at the south end of the Island, where the views of the bay there are amazing!
Visiting Isla Mujeres National Marine Park
Isla Mujeres holds one of the most beautiful National Marine Parks – Manchones Reef. The abundance of life within the reef is remarkable.
Schools of grunts and snappers flood the reef in a river of color and life. Vibrant corals and crystal clear waters make this site the perfect choice to go Snorkeling.
The Underwater Museum MUSA is and unique submarine installation of art at 25 feet or 10 meters. MUSA is part of a reef restoration effort, created after the devastation of hurricane Wilma in 2005.
Whale Shark Adventure
During the summer, one of our favorite activities is swimming with giant Whale Sharks. People come all around the world to experience our Whale Shark Snorkeling Trip. In this tour, you will encounter and snorkel with the biggest fish in the world!.
This giant animal can grow up to 40 ft and live up to 100 years! All while eating only the smallest plankton particles of the ocean.
Learning about Whale Shark habits and their environment, taking pictures and swimming with the Whale Sharks is an experience that you can’t miss!