1. It’s easily accessible and extremely user-friendly
Isla Mujeres is a small island just off the shore from Cancun only a short way from the airport. It’s about a 40-minute drive from the airport and short 15-minute ferry ride from Puerto Juarez. You can step out of the airport and grab a taxi to Puerto Juarez which will drop you off right at the ferry. As promptly as you step off the ferry, you’ll be welcomed by locals that are very well versed in receiving guests from all over the world, and the majority are fluent in English too so the language barrier won’t be an issue (especially for your pre-dive briefing). The north part of the island is quite simple to navigate, should you be staying in the downtown area you’ll be within walking distance to some of the best dive shops, restaurants and of course, great beaches. Take a stroll down Avenida Hidalgo, and you’ll find beautiful handmade Mexican crafts, excellent dining and of course, bars. Perfect for catching a post-dive drink or two!
2. It’s Magical
Seriously! Isla Mujeres is one of the 111 towns in the Mexican Republic to be honored with the title of “Pueblo Magico” (Magical Town). A Pueblo Magico is an accolade awarded by the National Secretary of Tourism to a locality that has symbolic attributes to its daily life, legends, history, transcendent facts, in short, any magical features that emanate from its socio-cultural manifestations that represent a magnificent opportunity for the tourist use. Isla Mujeres features all the quintessential elements of traditional Mexican towns, complete with a church, a large town square for events and a beautiful cemetery that lights up for Day of the Dead. The island is unique thanks to the shrine dedicated to the Mayan goddess Ixchel of fertility, abundance, the moon, and love. Legend has it, that women who are looking to become mothers and rub Ixchel hand when they visit the statue will be blessed by the goddess with a child.
3. There’s diving for the entire family
Isla Mujeres is a beautiful destination with fantastic beaches, excellent dining and plenty of diving sites for everybody to enjoy. Whether you’re an amateur diver or professional Isla Mujeres has the dive site for you. Towards the north and east of the island, the part facing Cancun, you have large coral heads scattered about in quite shallow waters no more than 45 feet in depth. Thanks to the protection of the island there are hardly any currents, so you’ll be able to observe with ease all the tiny details of these formations. Plus, there are large schools of tropical fish swirling around you in a mesmerizing display of colors. The opposite side of the island is recommended for the more experienced divers. This area is popular for the adventure seekers that enjoy exploring shipwrecks for a more thrilling experience. Isla Mujeres also has some of the best snorkeling on the coast and even glass bottom boat tours for those who prefer to keep their heads dry while they explore the Caribbean Sea.
4. There’s an underwater museum!
The island is also home of MUSA
, the underwater museum, between the coast of Cancun and Isla Mujeres. The museum is part of a conservation project to promote coral life. Inaugurated in 2009 the site now counts with more than 500 sculptures fixed to the seabed. The project itself is quite ambitious as it hopes to create a man-made reef through these installations combining art and environmental science. Today, the submerged exhibit shows signs of hope for endangered species of coral though at an extremely slow rate. However, this is an excellent dive for the aficionado nature lover to appreciate the smallest of creatures. A yearly visit will surely be necessary to appreciate the growth of these marvelous subaquatic lifeforms.
5. Golf Carts
The first thing you’ll notice as you step out of the terminal once you’ve arrived on the island are the long lines of golf carts awaiting tourists. These are the primary form of transportation on the island so be sure to plan on zooming about the island Travellers staying on the north side of the island can do with a taxi ride to your hotel as everything will be a short stroll away. If you’re lucky enough to stay at Bahia Chac Chi
, you’ll be just a 1-minute walk from the terminal so you won’t necessarily need your golf cart until you’re ready to go adventuring. Once you do get a hold of your golf cart rental be sure to head down to the south side of the island where you’ll find fabulous beach clubs like Green Demon by Na Balam Beach Hotel & Spa
, and Zama Yacht and Beach Club
where you can eat, drink and enjoy your day on the beach. Take a ride around the island to appreciate some of the most beautiful landscapes, stunning street art or grab some homemade Mexican Ice Cream.
Ready to take the dive into Isla Mujeres? Reach our to our at friends at Carey Dive Center or reach out to Paulina and she can get your dive all set up for you too.
Feature photo by carolina pat on Carey Dive Center flikr