Isla Mujeres Journals

The Island of Women

An April 1997 trip to Isla Mujeres by unorthodox traveler

Mexico Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico More Photos
Quote: This tiny fish-shaped island just five miles off Cancun is one of my favorite places to visit in Mexico. It is a peaceful island retreat with a rich history and culture centered around fishing and the sea.It is a sharp contrast from the often wild, noisy city of Cancun.

The Island of Women

Overview

Isla Mujeres Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
After setting out for CUBA IN 1517, Hernandez de Cordoba's ship ended up on this island after a storm. He and his crew named the place, 'Isle of Women'. One explanation of the name's origin is that Cordoba came upon a group of wooden idols of Mayan goddesses. Another theory claims the Spaniards found only women when they arrived-the men were out fishing. This is truly a laid-backed island - hanging out at the beach, snorkling, scuba diving, and walking around town is what this island is all about. The town, simply known as pueblo, is seven blocks long by five blocks wide and is centered around the dock and main square where just about everyone gathers. This is the ideal place to take in the t...Read More

Poc-Na

Hotel

Poc-Na Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
Often crowded but cheap and the food is great. Wonderful atmoshere, people from all over the world stay here, the only hostel on the island.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Poc-Na
Calle Matamoras 15
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
98770090

Hotel Isleno

Hotel

Hotel Isleno Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
On New Year''s Eve we decided to stay here instead of the hostel in order to avoid the noise and crowds...as it turned out, we stayed up all night so, in a sense, we wasted some money. But this place was pleasant, with a large room and private bath. Even if we had spent time sleeping here, it would have been difficult to sleep since the town celebrated all night with fireworks, street dancing and honking horns.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 22, 2000

Hotel Isleno
Main Street
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Playa Lancheros

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Restaurant

Playa Lancheros Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
We 'discovered' this "restaurant" while walking the beach on afternoon. I put restaurant in quotes since it is a very informal, very non-traditional place to eat. From a distance it appeared to be an extended family supper but as we approached it became evident that people were paying for their meal and making purchases of drinks. We had found our evening place to eat. What a setting, right on the beach. There was basically only one item on the menu...a fish dinner. There were grills right on the beach which were cooking large sea bass. Along with the whole fish, we were also served fresh veggies, rice, and beans...washed down by a delicious cerveza (beer). The meal was outstanding......Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2000

Playa Lancheros
Playa Lancheros Beach
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
none

Fruteria

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Restaurant

Fruteria Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
During our week stay on this island, we visited this "Fruteria-La Gracia Dios every day...for fresh fruits like mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, grapefruit, cactus pear, grapes, guava, coconuts, strawberries and on and on...really cheap prices. Inside this place you can also buy lunch which we often did. There are small tables available for eating. Served are typical Mexican dishes such as chicken with rice, steamed meat wrapped in leaves, steamed goat or lamb, fried pork, stuffed green chiles fried in batter, tortillas with filling, rice with seafood, meat, and vegetables filled cornmeal wrapped in corn leaf, pork with smoky tomato sauce, potatoes and avocados. Wh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2000

Fruteria
Near the Beach
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Isla Mujeres Lighthouse/Mayan Temple Ruins

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Attraction | "Mayan Ruins and Lighthouse"

Isla Mujeres Lighthouse/Mayan Temple Ruins Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
The best way to get to this historic place is to rent a moped which is inexpensive and alot of fun. The road to the southern tip is in good shape with light traffic. The Mayan ruins are located right on the southern tip of the island. More than likely, you will be disappointed since there isn't much left of the ruins due to weather, especially Hurricane Gilbert, and vandals over the centuries. Fortunately, restoration is taking place. You will see a rock formation...maybe 10 feet high...which are the remnants of a temple dedicated to Ixchel, the goddess of fertility. Just before you reach the ruins, there is a lighthouse. Although you may...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 22, 2000

Isla Mujeres Lighthouse/Mayan Temple Ruins
Southern Tip of the Island
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Garrafon Natural Reef Park

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Attraction | "El Garrafon"

Garrafon Natural Reef Park Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
These coral reefs were a disappointment...they are worn, broken, damaged, and destroyed by thousands of tourists over the decades. With this said, if you have a need to snorkel, there are some pretty fish -- parrotfish, angelfish, and schools of other varieties that are still here.

This place is extremely crowded since boats of tourists come over from Cancun.

There is a rental store for snorkel equipment and a restaurant. Close by there is a small water area where you can play with safe sharks (see photo of daughter).

When we were here, there were so many people in the water that our pleasure was diminished considerably.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on December 22, 2000

Garrafon Natural Reef Park
Camino Sac Bajo, Lote 26 Fraccionamiento Paraíso Laguna Mar
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
01 998 193 3370

New Year's Eve on Isla Mujeres

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Story/Tip

New Year's Eve Photo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Quote:
We were fortunate to spent New Year's Eve on Isla Mujeres. Mexicans really celebrate this festive event and focus their celebration around their Catholic faith and their church, which is located in the center of the town square. The first, obvious thing you notice is that their people really dress up for this event...in their finest clothing. (See photo.) Bright lights are everywhere...attached to trees and poles. People are having fun, with friends and family. You also sense that these people have strong family bonds, unlike so many Americans who are detached and separated by distance and other circumstances. These people gather for worship at midnight...to thank God...Read More