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Sea and Beaches Isla Mujeres (Quintana Roo)

Legend has it, that while Spanish buccaneers plundered on the mainland, the island served them as a safe seclusion to hide their lovers. Other theory suggests that when Francisco Córdoba sailed here in 1517, he found a temple with many statues of goddesses. On the very southern tip of Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) you can still see small ruins of an old temple dedicated to the Mayan Goddess Ixchel.

Today the island is a popular destination for tourists. The ferry ride from Cancun takes about 30 minutes. Once you arrive at Isla Mujeres, you get greeted by seagulls shuffling at the main pier. For a moment you will be amazed by the calm and peaceful air of a small island. But just for a moment. Then the approaching sellers of snorkeling trips and other attractions will take over. The port is right at the center of Isla Mujeres and very near Playa Norte (The Northern Beach) which is famous for its azure and very calm water.

What here: Swim, relax, enjoy doing nothing while sipping on cocktails and watching amazing sunsets. However, there´s much more you can do: great snorkeling and scuba diving (coral reefs, sunken ships and the underwater statues of MUSA), turtle farm, swimming with dolphins. They also offer a very strange attraction that I personally don´t approve – you can take a picture while holding a shark above water.

Another thing you must do is to visit a southern tip of the island (Punta Sur). It has amazing cliffs and bays (unfortunately swimming is not allowed). At the very end there´s the little temple of Maya Godess Ixchel – magical place! It´s a great easy walk and a perfect place to take some amazing pics. Should you have more time I suggest you stop at the Caribbean restaurant at Punta Sur (good food, good prices and friendly stuff).

How to get here: Ferries leave every 30 minutes from Puerto Juarez in Cancun. Yellow Ultramar is new and fast, one way ticket is about 78 pesos and its a better deal then Maruna ferry (older, slower and about 5 pesos cheaper). Once on Isla Mujeres you can either move in cab or rent a golf cart (about 45 USD/day). There´s also an airport.