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Isla Mujeres, or Island of Women as the translation goes, is located eight miles across the bay from Cancun. It is only five miles long and half a mile wide but in that small space is packed a wonderful destination ready to fulfil your holiday dreams. Originally a small fishing village, tourism has brought it into the 21st century although it still retains its rustic charm and atmosphere.
Punta Sur is the highest point on the whole Yucatan Peninsula standing 20 metres above sea level and the Mayan's honoured this spot where the sunlight first hits Mexico by building a temple to Ixchel, the Mayan Moon Goddess. Visitors can climb atop of the cliff and look out into the picturesque bay and Cancun beyond for the ultimate photo moment.
Tortugranja, or turtle farm in English, is a fun filled family outing as Isla Mugeres is a natural nesting site for the giant sea turtles of the Caribbean. Traditionally killed for meat, the young sea turtles are now protected by federal law and the inhabitants of Isla Mujeres care for them until it is time to be released into the wild. The excursion is very cheap, you will meet a variety of different sea turtles and will have the opportunity to feed them yourself, a must for anyone with children or animal lovers.
Get familiar with the Caribbean Sea and take a scuba diving lesson with one of the many companies located on Isla Mujeres. Aqua Tours and Mundaca Divers are both highly rated and offer superb instruction and dive locations.
Eating out is a delight on Isla Mujeres and there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. For 15 years La Cazuela has been popular with tourists and locals alike, serving a delicious palate of Mexican delights. It has recently moved to a new home at the Hotel Xbulu Ha and missing this one would be a disaster. Bucaneros serves up an authentic slice of Caribbean cooking for your culinary delight. They serve a large range of sea food, often fresh that day, as well as family favourites such as pizza and pastas. For that mid afternoon snack stop by Cafe Cito who boast the best waffles on the island. If waffles aren't your thing then this is still a great spot and a favourite hangout of many tourists.
To get to Isla Mujeres you fly to Cancun International Airport and catch the Ultramar Ferry across the bay. There are a few ways to get to the ferry; package deals will often include a shuttle bus that transfers you from the airport. Other than that you can take a taxi which will cost about $45 for two or ride the public bus for $5 each. The best way to get around once there is to hire a bike. The island is only small, flat and it's a great way to keep yourself trim, especially with such tempting food at every turn. Scooters and golf buggies are also available to hire.
Isla Mujeres is a beautiful island off the coast of Mexico, home to culture, wildlife and a relaxing holiday. If you are looking for a piece of Caribbean culture away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun or Playa del Carmen look no further than the Island of Women.