Filled with colorful buildings and friendly people, Isla Mujeres is a 20-minute ferry ride from Puerto Juarez, a port just north of Cancun’s downtown. In high season, especially over Christmas and new year, the island is overrun with tourists, but up until mid-December, it still retains a laid-back, Caribbean vibe.
Although it doesn’t offer some of the more sensational wall, deep or wreck diving experiences of places like Cozumel, Isla Mujeres offers fun and interesting options for scuba divers of all levels. The waters are very shallow, which means there is much more light for observing the sea life, and makes for better underwater photography. The coral and undersea life has become a bit stressed out over the last few years but seems to be bouncing back. Currents are relatively mild apart from at the island’s southern tip.
Generally speaking, the dive sites near the island require less technical competence than in other locations, which means that if you are a total beginner, you wouldn’t require a lot of scuba diving lessons.
The island also hosts Tortugranja, a turtle farm that has always been an important turtle nesting zone. The Tortugranja helps nature along by snatching up the sea turtles and forcing them to mate at their farm. As a visitor, you can see mostly green and white turtles kept in shallow pools.
The Underwater Museum attraction is great fun. Created in 2009, the MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) collection of underwater sculptures created by Jason de Caires offer an easy shallow dive with many poignant and quirky statues looming at you as they are gradually transformed by the underwater world.
So, if you’re new to the activity of scuba diving and looking for relaxing dive sites, or you are already planning on visiting the island, you should definitely consider exploring the underwater world of Isla Mujeres as well.