Isla Mujeres, Tantalizing Relaxation
Some people tend to think Playa Mujeres and Isla Mujeres are the same, but that is not true. Our little patch of Paradise, known as Playa Mujeres, is an intimate seaside community flanked by the Mexican Caribbean to the east and a wetlands wildlife preserve to the west. Staying here means you're set apart from the hustle and bustle of Cancun proper, but with all the luxurious amenities you've come to expect. Isla Mujeres, also known as "Island of Women," is an island in the Caribbean that is 15 minutes across the ocean and visible from our resort. It's an easy day trip and well worth visiting.
Things move a bit slower in Isla Mujeres (the "island of women"), a beach area a 20 minute ferry ride away from Cancun's Hotel Zone. Known as the "jewel of the Caribbean" (it was ranked as the number three island in all of Mexico and Latin America by Travel & Leisure Magazine), this small island, where the ancient Maya came to honor Ixchel, the goddess of fertility, is now home to the Playa Mujeres resort complex and the Playa Mujeres Golf Club, with a course designed by Greg Norman.
Flanked by the Mexican Caribbean to the east and a wetlands wildlife preserve to the west, this five-mile-long sliver retains the charm and serenity of its fishing village roots and includes one of the most breathtaking beaches around. Playa Norte (or North beach), is a photographers dream: powder white sand, coconut trees and shallow warm tropical waters so blue you'd swear they were painted. It's the ideal place to toss off your business self, get some sand between your toes, and revel in the scenery.
The whole area has a barefoot vibe that's contagious, with most people hoofing it, biking it, hopping in a golf cart, or commandeering a motor scooter to get around. Must-do activities are simple and sweet: nap, read, explore, enjoy freshly caught lobster and frosty margaritas, dig your toes in the sand, nap some more. The beach is undoubtedly where you'll spend most of your time, though adventurous souls might want to check out the well-preserved temple of the goddess Ixchel at the island's extreme southeastern tip.
Water sports are abundant and cater to beginners. First time snorkeling? Head to El Garrafon National Underwater Park on the southwest end of the island where they are happy to teach you the basics. There's also kayaking and swimming with dolphins. Other popular dive sites include the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks where Nurse Sharks, Bull, Black Tip, and Gray Reef Sharks are commonly sighted.
Want to see the inside of a Navy Boat wreck? Head to The Navy Boat Shipwreck & Shrimp Boat Wreck, home to Green Morey Eels, Rainbow Parrot fish, Amber jacks, Snappers, Stone fish and more. If you're lucky, you'll find dolphins and sea turtles at Punta Sur the southern end of the island.
For a small place, Isla Mujeres is full of eco-tourism opportunities, including bird watching at nearby Isla Contoy, where more than 70 species have been counted including large nesting colonies of Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigate birds (just bring mosquito repellent). Watching turtles interact at The Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm is another highlight worth leaving the beach for.
If you like fishing, there's also plenty of that with lots of tours to take you out. Just head to the docks and you'll surely find information on a fishing tour or boat charter.