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ISLA MUJERES MEXICO
Isla Mujeres is a small beautiful island located a short ferry ride from Cancun. The island is seven kilometers [five miles] long and less than one kilometer wide however most visitors never leave the small town located at the west end of the island.
We like Isla Mujeres, in fact it is our favorite island located near the Yucatan Peninsula. It is much smaller than Cozumel and more upscale than Holbox. The small town has excellent shopping, great restaruants and fantastic beaches.
Isla Mujeres is easy to get to and many people visit just for the day. If you are on the island you notice this as the island literally goes to sleep when the day visitors leave. Unlike the hustle and bustle of places like Cancun and Playa you actually see merchants closing their stores at 6:00 and going home.
Isla Mujeres has a rich history filled with pirates and marauding buccaneers. As the story goes in 1517 a Spanish butcher by the name of Francisco Hermandez de Cordoba happened upon the island searching for slaves for Cuban mines, the Spanish already in the process of decimated the indigenous population of that island. Unfortunately the slavers found nothing but old statues which they perceived to be statues of women, thus the name of the island, "Isle of Women".
According to Mayan legend the island was used for traditional Mayan fertility ceremonies and there are Mayans alive today who can tell stories told to them by their Grandparents about the Spanish invasion of the Island and surrounding areas however little else is known.
In recent times the island was populated by fishermen until the building of Cancun which opened up opportunity for growth however the island still remains quaint while most of the building takes place on the Mayan Riviera.
ISLA MUJERES HOTELSFor current Isla Mujeres hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see: Isla Mujeres Hotels
Cancun Airport to Isla Mujeres Transfer Information
VISITING THE ISLANDPeople take day trips to Isla Mujeres from as far away as Tulum. If you are staying in Playa del Carmen you have more than enough time to visit the island in a day, have a great time and return before nightfall. If you are staying in Cancun the ferry is a taxi drive away.
Isla Mujeres has a number of hotels from hostels up to Five Star. Some of the hotels are within walking distance from the ferry docks making it easy if you are carrying luggage or backpacking.
The town is not big. You can walk every street in under two hours and probably one if you walk really fast.
Like Holbox the islanders ride around on golf-carts but there are also lots of scooters/mo-peds, small bore motorcycles and some cars and trucks.
When you get off the ferry you are right downtown. To the right is the military zone [you must stay on the road or sidewalk]. To the left are beaches, restaurants and stores. If you walk straight off the docks and straight into town you are in the tourist zone, although the tourist zone sort of spreads over the whole town but is more prevalent in the first few streets from the southern ferry side.
The popular streets [calles] run east-west in town but the intersecting streets also contain shops and restaurants. The main "tourist" street [Hidalgo Ave.] is a cobble stone pedestrian walk way filled with interesting boutiques and restaurants reminicient of 5th Ave. in Playa del Carmen.
For Ferry information Cancun - Isla Mujeres see: Isla Mujeres Ferry
ISLA MUJERES RESTAURANTS & FOODThere is no shortage of restaurants in Isla Mujeres and if you are a seafood lover you will be in heaven. Fresh catches of the day abound and prices are far cheaper than the mainland. Even a steak dinner is cheaper than Cancun or Playa.
You should have no problem feeding fussy children as french-fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza is easily obtainable.
Most of the restaurants are located on the pedestrian walkway which you can walk from end to end in under 15 minutes so you can scope out almost every restaurant in town before making a decision where to eat.
There is a super market at the east end of town if you want to stock up your hotel room and veriety stores located all over the place.
Small informal Mexican restaurants can be found on many of the side streets. There are also juice bars, bars and coffee shops with one really beautiful one that sells everything in the Cafe, we mean chairs, tables, lamps and the stuff is really nice. If you are considering remodeling your kitchen you might want to pop into this cafe located on the last street running north on the far west side of town.
ISLA MUJERES SHOPPING
Isla Mujeres has most of the same stuff you see in tourist shops on the mainland except for one distinct advantage; stuff is cheaper on Isla Mujeres than the mainland. We believe this is to encourage visitors to spend their money here than instead Cancun or elsewhere.
Another interesting thing is that you can actually find things like Corona t-shirts that just say "Corona" and don't have other words like Cancun or Cozumel or even Isla Mujeres printed on them as well.
The shopping zone is basically the whole town. Of course there are people living in town and there are houses between stores but close to the ferry docks the first couple blocks in are the tourist zone filled with jewelry stores, craft stores, music shops, pharmacies, cigar stores etc, etc.
You do not need a map, it is impossible to get lost.
ISLA MUJERES CLIMATE
ISLA MUJERES SEASONS
Generaly summer is the low season and hotel rates are reduced competatively. In the winter, prices go up and availability goes down. Best to book months in advance for winter vacations if you have a specific date in mind.
After Labor Day and before the Christmas is an good time to visit but September and November are traditional hurricane months. Crowds are down but the tempturature is still high. Rates are still lower than high-season.
Rates go back down after Easter and low season begins. Availability at hotels is best during low season and room selection is best during this time.
THINGS TO KNOWWater conditions on the beaches on the south side and west side of the island [tourist zones] are usually excellent because the island blocks the currents and winds.
Most stores have English speaking staff.
All stores accept US dollars.
You can buy Cuban cigars here.
You can get a taxi anywhere on the island.
There are a few Internet Cafes in town.
There are laundromats in town.
The island utilizes a water purification system. Bottled water is available at stores, hotels and restaurants.