Hotels in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Isla Mujeres: A Caribbean Island Retreat
Eight miles off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Isla Mujeres (in English: The Island of Women) combines a friendly atmosphere with tranquil locales. Rich in wildlife, history and stunning scenery, the island is a popular destination with visitors to Cancún and the Riviera Maya, thanks in part to its crystal-clear waters and world class diving. Head to Isla, as the locals know it, and immerse yourself in island life.
Isla Mujeres for day trippers
Most visitors to Isla Mujeres are day trippers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Cancún, one of Mexico’s liveliest resort cities. Leaving their hotels behind, these tourists board the ferry and cross over to the island hoping for a change of scenery. Many head for the island’s sandy beaches, mainly located in the north, to enjoy a spot of sunbathing or paddling. The streets of Isla Town house a number of intriguing features, including some impressive sea murals and a colourful cemetery. Hidalgo Street is the place to go for food and entertainment, while the Zócalo in the centre of town is a lively evening destination. A walk along either the east or west malecón is recommended for those travellers looking to enjoy fresh air and pleasant beaches. If you plan on exploring the island at large, hiring a moped or golf cart can be a great way to get around, saving time in the process.
Goddesses and pirates
Travellers opting to stay at a hotel on the island can take their time and explore Isla Mujeres in closer detail, something that comes highly recommended. With time on your hands, head for Punta Sur at the southern tip of the island. Here you’ll discover the ruins of the Temple of Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of midwifery and medicine. The temple took a shellacking from Hurricane Gilbert back in 1988 and may not be as impressive as it once was but is still well worth the visit. There are plenty of walking trails here, while the views on offer are some of the best, if not the best, on the island. A park containing sculptures is also located nearby. Be sure to keep an eye out for iguanas as you go. Another popular historical site on the island is Hacienda Mundaca, or what remains of it. This former mansion was constructed by Fermín Antonio Mundaca y Marechega, a known slave-trader who may or may not have been a true pirate of the Caribbean.
Snorkelling and scuba
As much as there is to do on land, no trip to Isla Mujeres is complete without a journey under the sea. The island is renowned for its snorkelling and scuba diving, regularly attracting visitors from across the globe. Garafon Natural Reef Park is one of the island’s most popular destinations. Featuring some truly stunning coral reefs, the area is home to an eclectic mix of marine life that makes for some stunning sights. One of the region’s more unique attractions, Cancún Underwater Museum (MUSA) is wildly popular with divers. Here you’ll discover an array of underwater statues and sculptures to swim amongst. Never been snorkelling or scuba diving before? Fear not: classes are available for rookies and novices.
Out to sea
You don’t have to stick to the waters around Isla Mujeres to have fun either. Many travellers recommend taking a boat ride to Isla Contoy, approximately 19 miles further north. Situated where the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico meet, the island is renowned for its scuba diving. The tranquil island is also home to a diverse collection of birds, including flamingos and pelicans. Meanwhile, anglers and fishermen may enjoy a spot of deep sea fishing out on Caribbean waters, while several tour operators offer the chance to swim with dolphins and whale sharks. Some hotels can arrange such excursions directly with the operator on your behalf, giving you one less thing to worry about whilst you’re on vacation.
While some travellers are content to spend the duration of their vacation without leaving the island, the close proximity of Isla Mujeres to the mainland makes it easy to explore the Riviera Maya should you feel your toes getting itchy. The most obvious destination is Cancún, a quick ferry ride away, particularly for those looking to spend an afternoon bar-hopping or a night partying. However, rental cars and local tour operators make it easy to explore the region at large. The archaeological ruins at Tulum and Xcaret, the latter of which also features a popular water park, are within a comfortable drive. Meanwhile, the iconic site of Chichen Itza, home to some of the most impressive Mayan ruins you’re ever likely to see, is between two and three hours away, making it a more than satisfactory day trip destination. Wherever you decide to explore during the day, Isla Mujeres offers a welcome return at night time. With the last ferry escorting day trippers back to the mainland, the island quietens down, leaving you with the opportunity to unwind in peace before returning to your hotel.
Price rangefrom C$16to C$1,615
- Hotel Mia Reef Isla Mujeresdeals from C$224
- Hotel Izla Hoteldeals from C$199
- Hotel Privilege Aluxesdeals from C$226
- Hotel Hotel Ixchel Beachdeals from C$182
- Hotel Balu Hosteldeals from C$12
- Hotel Riu Dunamardeals from C$165
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