Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) is a small island 8 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula. No one knows the origin of the island’s name but there are several theories including: a pilgrimage sight for ancient Mayan women; a tribute to the Mayan Goddess Ix Chel (a ruin to Ix Chel is on the island); because of the countless statues of women found on the island by Spanish explorers; and because pirates used to stash their women here.
A passenger ferry at Puerto Juarez, north of Cancun departs for the island every 30-mins. It operates from about 6 AM to 10PM. Cost is $4 US with ample room for your bags. About should always be used for everyone is on island time. Numerous small boat operate out of the same docking area. They are faster, however don't use them during periods of high wind as it can get pretty rocky. They should cost about $15 US per person. A car ferry leaves from Punta Sam. Punta Sam is a little NE of Puerto Juarez. They make 5 or 6 trips per day based on demand. Hours are about 8AM to 8PM.
Isla Mujeres is a small fishing village has a slow and relaxed pace – especially compared to Cancun. Attractions include Punta Sur, with a sculpture garden, small Maya temple, and the Cliff of the Dawn (the eastern-most point in Mexico). El Garrafon National Underwater Park is also located at the south end of the island. Several dive shops are available to lead scuba excursions to the many excellent dive locations around the island, and trips can also be booked to Contoy Island, a bird sanctuary.
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