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Karibische Strände auf Isla Mujeres, Bild: Elzbieta Sekowska / shutterstock

Island paradise Isla Mujeres in Mexico

Sweet idleness, miles of white powdered sugar beach – Isla Mujeres in Mexico knows how to inspire as a paradisiacal holiday mecca for those seeking peace and quiet. Lie down in a hammock and relax under shady palm trees. But the small island off the coast of the popular destination of Cancún has more to offer than sun, beach and sea: you can look forward to exploring the crystal-clear waters in a diving suit or by golf cart, the most popular means of transport on the island.

Isla Mujeres at a glance

Isla Mujeres
Aerial view of Isla Mujeres, Image: Darren Tierney / shutterstock

Just 15 minutes by boat from the exclusive resort of Cancún, your dream destination awaits. There are no huge shopping malls, noisy events and other attractions here – and that’s exactly the wonderful thing about the island. The upstream, so-called “Island of Women” owes its name to the Mayan women. In order to worship the fertility goddess Ixchel, they made pilgrimages to the island at regular intervals many centuries ago. In the 16th century, the Spaniard Francisco Hernández de Córdoba discovered not only Isla Mujeres itself, but also the clay figures created in honor of Ixchel.

Although your holiday destination is perfect for those seeking relaxation, active guests also get their money’s worth. Can’t sit still? Try your hand at deep-sea fishing and swim with dolphins. Sports enthusiasts can try their hand at windsurfing and learn at one of the sailing schools. The center of this charming gem is called Downtown and attracts visitors with colorful hustle and bustle and colorful architecture. After a day at the lively, almost 300-meter-long Playa Norte with shallow water and soft sand, those who like to go out are drawn to rustic taverns in the evening hours.

Off to the golf cart: Island exploration on land

Your soul screams for adventure? Rent a golf cart from one of the numerous local rentals. Start in the tranquil village in the north of Isla Mujeres and steer the vehicle along the east coast. On your side, a wide variety of shades of green form striking contrasts to the blue of the sea.

Once you arrive at the southernmost point of the island in the idyllic village of Punta Sur, you will be greeted by a wide view of the bay and the sea on site. The trip is rounded off by a long walk along the plant-lined promenade along the cliffs. In Punta Sur, travelers visit the ruins of a temple built by the Mayans. It was once built in honor of Ixchel, the moon goddess of fertility.

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Things to do and attractions

MUSA Underwater Museum

Golf Car Isla Mujeres
Exploring the island by golf cart, Image: Belikova Oksana / shutterstock

The first stop for gifted divers is usually the underwater art museum, built in 2009 or sunken off the coast of Isla Mujeres. Take part in a guided dive and dive or snorkel along countless sculptures on a total of 420 square meters. This relieves natural reefs.

Boat

If you prefer to spend the day at the turquoise water, book a day trip on a fishing boat. Sail to the uninhabited Isla Contoy and swim on a quiet sandy beach that few travelers are afraid of. Over 150 colorful species of birds from the tropics cavort on Isla Contoy, making it the ideal destination for animal lovers. In addition, there is the possibility to explore the waters off the coast with a catamaran. Whether authentic with local locals or classic with a tour group: The luxurious cruises with catamarans are unforgettable and a wonderful memory.

Garrafon Natural Reef Park

Attention adventurers and adrenaline junkies! The Garrafon Natural Reef Park is one of the most exciting tips on the entire island. Rent a kayak and sail across the Caribbean Sea in a paddle boat with your loved ones. Underwater, you will glide through the depths – together with experienced diving instructors and equipped with excellent equipment – and admire the colorful wildlife and natural reefs. Action lovers swing on zip lines and whizz across the picturesque Caribbean backdrop. Afterwards, there is a bar with a well-stocked cocktail menu and a pool framed by sun loungers.

Whale watching

If guests plan their stay between mid-May and mid-September, they should not miss this formative event. At this time, dozens of whale sharks are in the region. Some providers make it possible for you to swim and even snorkel with the gentle giants, which can be up to 12m long.

Extra tips for your holiday

During the day, the Mercado Municipal on Avenida Vicente Guerrero proves to be an inexpensive tip. If you are on a budget, you will find a huge range of tacos, various breakfast variations, sandwiches and numerous other culinary delicacies. Vegetarians are not neglected. In general, you will find many restaurants and places to stop for refreshments throughout the island, which are traditionally run by locals and guarantee an authentic culinary experience.

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Once the sun has set, stroll through the narrow streets of El Centro and stock up on Mexican street food in front of the public Palaccio Municipal. Locals in small stalls fill the air with wonderful scents of empanadas, tostadas and sweet temptations, so that your stomach rumbles as you pass by. For the equivalent of less than 5€ euros, you can secure an absolutely versatile and authentic dinner. How about tenderly grilled lobsters from the region, for example?

To buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home, head to the Mercado de Artesainias art market on Avenida Carlos Lazos downtown. Once a week, every Saturday, there is also dancing on the central square “Zócola”. Join the locals and celebrate fiestas with music and dancing.

Information about Isla Mujeres

  1. Location and accessibility: Isla Mujeres is located about 13 kilometers from the coast of Cancún and can be reached by ferry from there. The crossing takes about 20 minutes.
  2. Beaches: The island is known for its beautiful beaches of white sand and crystal clear waters. Popular beaches include Playa Norte, often referred to as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as Playa Sol and Playa Lancheros.
  3. Diving and snorkeling: The waters around Isla Mujeres offer great opportunities for diving and snorkeling. There are a variety of coral reefs and marine life to explore, including colorful fish, turtles, and even the occasional manta ray.
  4. History and Culture: The name “Isla Mujeres” means “Island of Women” and may have come from the statues of female figures found by the Maya when they discovered the island. The island also has a rich history as a haven for pirates in the 17. and 18th century.
  5. Tourism: Isla Mujeres is a popular destination for tourists who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Cancun. The island offers a relaxed atmosphere, excellent beaches, water sports activities and a variety of restaurants and shops.

The climate on Isla Mujeres

 

Weather in Isla Mujeres
Month Average maximum temperature (°C) Average low temperature (°C) Precipitation (mm)
January 28 20 83
February 28 21 50
March 29 22 39
April 30 23 32
May 31 24 89
June 32 25 183
July 32 25 121
August 32 25 140
September 32 24 188
October 31 24 204
November 29 22 88
December 28 21 86