Isla Mujeres, three miles of paradise

Inhabited by the Maya, admired by the Spanish conquistadors and attacked by pirates, this island is filled with exciting tales and is a destination no traveler should miss.

 

It is located eight miles from the Yucatán Peninsula, in the Caribbean Sea. The main street, Rueda Medina Avenue, runs the three miles of the island’s length.

Isla Mujeres has three beaches: Paraíso Beach, Lancheros Beach and Indios Beach. All three offer thrilling water activities.

Don’t miss El Garrafón nature park, before you get to Punta Sur and named for the reef awaiting just a few meters from the coast. The view of the Caribbean Sea is spectacular, and the calm water is great for snorkeling.

Further in on the island, the Mundaca Hacienda is worth a visit. Built by Spaniard Fermín Mundaca, he dedicated it to Martiniana Gómez Pantoja, a beautiful woman he had fallen in love with and who never requited.

See outdoor art at the Punta Sur Sculpture Park, with works by 23 Mexican and international artists. Very nearby is the lighthouse –El Faro–, and most interesting of all: the temple of Ixchel, goddess of fertility and the moon.

If ecology concerns you, be sure and go to La Tortugranja. Literally the turtlefarm, it is a place that protects sea turtles. Visitors can follow their entire process: from when they’re tiny eggs until the exciting moment when they take to the sea.

 

 

And in the Underwater Art Museum, you can discover a unique relationship between art and nature. Here, some 500 marine concrete sculptures lend themselves to coral growth and have turned into a refuge for marine life, with two galleries: Manchones and Punta Nizuc.

But beyond its attractions, Isla Mujeres is a place to relax and enjoy.You can spend evenings in a bar, talking with locals and other tourists, and try the delicious Tikin-Xic-style grilled fish, with annatto and white wine sauce, served with rice, peppers and red onion.

Whether you’re into sports, ecotourism or are simply a lover of life, Islas Mujeres is your destination: small in size yet huge in possibilities for fun.

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