Interesting Facts about Isla Mujeres
1. Isla Mujeres is a small island, approximately 8 miles from Cancun.
The island is roughly 5 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, at it's widest point.
2. Isla Mujeres means "women island". It is believed that the Spanish, who arrived on the island in the 16th century, named the island "Isla Mujeres" because of all the cult images of goddesses they found on the island.
3. Even though there is an airstrip on the island, there no commercial flights. The only way to get to the island is by taking a ferry or boat.
Ferries to and from the island operate regularly, with ports in both Puerto Juarez (small town just outside of downtown Cancun) and Cancun's hotel zone.
Fun Fact: Golf carts, mopeds, and bicycles are the main forms of transportation, on Isla Mujeres, although there are cars and taxis. Most tourists prefer to rent golf carts, however. It's not uncommon to see caravans of tourist-filled golf carts cruising around the island, during the day.
5. A small Mayan temple is located on the southern tip of the island.
6. Isla Mujeres was not a village inhabited by Mayans. Instead, it was a sanctuary dedicated to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of love and fertility.
7. The island was a religious center for the Mayans during the 10th-12 centuries.
8. Interesting Fact: The island was formed by ocean currents depositing sediment in one area. This is why the island's topography is mostly flat and there is an abundance of sand.
9. One of the island's most popular attractions is a private home which is shaped like a giant conch shell. The home is not open to the public, but tourists often stop to photograph the unique structure.
10. Each Summer, whale sharks migrate to the warm waters near Isla Mujeres. Whale sharks pose no real threat to humans so you can safely swim near them. During the Summer months, tours to swim with whale sharks, in their natural habitat, are available.
11. The island is home to sea turtles and, each Summer, the turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Isla Mujeres. There is a Turtle Farm on the island that, aside from breeding turtles & caring for ailing turtles, collects the turtle eggs and protects them until they hatch. At that time, the facility's staff & volunteers help the tiny turtles make their way safely into the ocean. The Turtle Farm is open to the public and is one of the island's "must-see" attractions.
12. The newest, and most unique, attraction in Cancun & Isla Mujeres is the Underwater Museum. The museum has 100s of sculptures that have been placed underwater so coral will grow on them. The sculptures are beautiful and make for interesting snorkeling and diving trips. There are 3 locations for the museum. Two are off the coast of Cancun, and the third location is off the western coast of Isla Mujeres. Snorkeling tours to the Underwater Museum can be booked with Aqua World Cancun, or several other local tour operators.
Things to See in Isla Mujeres
Avalon Reef Club Isla Mujeres