In stark contrast to Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a laid-back, simple and comfortable island where visitors go to relax and take part in a wide variety of water sports. The feel here is tranquil, rustic and easy-going. And you can count on Mexican traditions aplenty, without any of the commercialization of Cancun. A list of things to do in Isla Mujeres offers visitors local culture and a slew of festivals made for the whole family.
New Year’s Eve celebrations take place in the town square, and the party lasts all night long. You can count on this being the most memorable celebration in all of the Cancun region once the clock strikes midnight.
The largest fish in the world, interestingly enough, has its own festival here – the Whale Shark Festival takes place in the summer. Isla Mujeres’ diving is world class, and what better time to learn than during this world renowned celebration of the local marine life.
The Isla Mujeres Artist Fair is not to be missed, which takes place on Thursdays from 4:00 – 9:00 PM at the Cultural Center on Avenue Abasolo and the Malecon in the center of town. Local Mexican and resident artists, food vendors, and local non-profits congregate to share their talents with residents and visitors.
The Isla Carnival (occuring in either February or March depending on the year), on the other hand, is a full 5 days and nights of dancing, parades and shows. The islanders prepare the “comparsas” (groups of people who participate in the festivities) for a party full of color, music and joy; there is also live music that will entertain regional groups and end with the traditional reading of Juan Carnaval’s testament.
Although a short trip from the mainland via the Isla Mujeres ferry, the island is a lifetime away from the modernity of cosmopolitan shopping malls and raucous nightlife. Instead, it is a place of intimate experiences. If you’re looking for a short getaway or a place to relax, unwind, dive, snorkel at Cancun’s underwater museum, swim and enjoy some wonderful sightseeing, silky white sand beaches, accompanied by a restful atmosphere, then head for Isla Mujeres.