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ISLA MUJERES ATTRACTIONS
Isla Mujeres is an eight-km long by one-half km wide island sitting six-km off the northeast coast of Cancun.
The tourist ferry dock unloads day visitors in front of the island's small main town. South of town the island's only road skirts the western coast past mangrove lagoons before looping northbound. The trip takes about 20 minutes. Mopeds and golf carts can be rented or you can take a taxi to get around.
Isla Mujeres first gained international attention for its outstanding diving conditions. Snorkeling sites are abundant and there are several dive shops on the island that lead divers to the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, and several popular reefs [La Banba, Manchones, Cuervones].
Parque Marino El Garrafon This popular beach and snorkeling site has been acquired by the company that operates Xcaret and Xel-Ha. There are restaurants, lockers, stores and the beach is kept in excellent condition.
Lighthouse and Mayan Ruins On the island's southern tip exists the remnants of a Mayan temple thought to once have possibly been a lighthouse for Mayan sailors. Today there is a modern lighthouse overlooking the old Mayan ruin.
Isla Mujeres is the ancestral hatching ground for the giant sea turtles that lay their eggs in the soft sand every May through September. The turtles are federally protected and their eggs are placed in pens to keep them safe from predators. The newly hatched turtles are placed in tanks until they are released into the wild by the local school children.
Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm is located on Sac Bajo and is funded by the Mexican Government and donations. Open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is also a small gift shop and snack bar.
Destination Atlantis Water sports center located near Garrafon Marine Park. Submarine excursions, snorkeling, kayaking, pedal boats, locker facilities and restaurants.
The island's western shore has calmer water and beaches with facilities. The windward side is mostly undeveloped and water conditions can some times be choppy.
Playa Norte is considered by many as the island's prettiest beach. Ideal for swimming and sunbathing. There are three hotels located here.
Playa Lancheros and Playa Paraiso are two adjacent beaches on the southwest shore. Perfect for sunbathing and swimming in clear turquoise water. Shark pen [swim with a harmless nurse shark], souvenir stands, and restaurants.
Mundaca Hacienda Across the street from Playa Paraiso is Mundaca Hacienda. This was once the lavish home to one of the area's most famous pirates. It lies in ruins now but you may wander around.
Puerto Juarez - Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres - Puerto Juarez
Cost: $35 pesos
PLAYA LINA PIER
Cancun - Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres - Cancun
Isla Mujeres - Punta Sam
From Isla Mujeres it's possible to take an excursion by boat to tiny, uninhabited Isla Contoy.
The beautiful island of Contoy lies just north of Isla Mujeres. This tiny island is under 4 miles long and only 20 meters wide at its widest point. It was declared a National wildlife reserve in 1961 and is renowned for its flora, fauna and particularly for its birds.
Over 70 species have been counted including large nesting colonies of Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigate birds, along with Roseate Spoonbills, Herons, Egrets, Terns, Kingfishers, Cormorants and an occasional Flamingo. Bring mosquito repellent, and beware of the boa constrictors and small crocodiles that live in the island's ponds.
For tours to Isla Contoy visit: