"Isla Mujeres (Island of Women)" Isla Mujeres by Dabs
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: 202 reviews and 549 photos
Isla Mujeres is a nice, relaxing, laid back spot to escape to should the party atmosphere of Cancun become a bit too much. It's just a short ferry ride from Cancun but a world away from the huge resorts, the pounding music and the hustle of the mainland.
Origin of name
There are several theories on how Isla Mujeres got it's name, the first and most accepted theory is that when Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba arrived at the island in 1517, he found a small enclosure with idols bearing female features, perhaps at a Mayan temple to the goddess of fertility, Ixchel.
Another theory says that when the first Spanish conquistadors landed on the island in the 1500s, the local men were all out fishing and the Spanish thought the island was inhabited only by women.
The third theory stems from the Maya, they had named the island after Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility and the virgin girls were sent there before marriage so that they could be fertile and have safe deliveries.
Regardless VT men, don't expect to arrive here and be surrounded by women!!!!! I'm quite sure the population is more evenly distributed ;-)
Our first visit to Isla Mujeres was in the late 1980s on one of our first visits to Cancun. We got there via a spring breaker infested booze cruise, the wind happened to be quite strong that day so we did not get a chance to snorkel and all the young foolish college students doing shots of tequila were regretting it later that afternoon as the catamaran was doing a wee bit of rolling!
Our 2nd visit was sometime in the late 1990s using the economy method, the public ferry, and then finding a small boat to take us out snorkeling. If you are not a big party animal, this may be the best way to get over there, it certainly was the one I preferred.
I hadn't intended on visiting Isla Mujeres on this trip in 2005, it's much closer to Cancun than Playa del Carmen and we had visited on two previous trips when we had stayed in Cancun. But a lot of the catamaran trips weren't running from Playa del Carmen and this one was less expensive for a full day trip than the 1/2 day ones running closer to our resort.
We traveled on the Don Diego, a trimaran which is slightly smaller than a catamaran, that left from the docks near Cancun. Had Cancun been a little busier, this would have been the typical booze cruise but there were only about 10 passengers, several of which that were looking rather green even before the drinking started.
- Pros:Easy day trip from Cancun, more laid back than Cancun
Hurrican Wilma slammed into Cancun in October 2005 and while they are rebuilding quickly you can still see some damage... more travel advice
We saw these pelicans at the docks near downtown Isla Mujeres, occasionally they would leave their perches and go off in... more travel advice
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