Isla Mujeres (in Spanish “Island of Women”) is a beautiful tropical paradise just 8 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula’s Cancun coastline. While it only measures 4.5 miles in length the island offers visitors a whole range of fun activities, delicious food and stunning white sand beaches.
When arriving at the ferry terminal you can rent a bicycle, moped or golf cart with which to explore and get to know the island. On the south side be sure to stop in at the turtle sanctuary where you can learn about sea turtles, tropical fish, sea horses and starfish. Isla Mujeres is home to a population of sea turtles and because of the recent endangerment of sea turtles in the area, this facility was set up on the southern end of the island for their rehabilitation and breeding.
Also not to be missed is the Garrafon Natural Reef Park where you can enjoy some of the best snorkeling in the region, swim with dolphins, manatees and sea lions or just relax under the sun in the swimming pool. At the northern end of the island is the famous and very beautiful “Playa Norte” (in English “North Beach”) which is the best spot for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing on the beach.
The one activity however, that is unique to this enticing Caribbean island, is scuba diving at Cancun’s Underwater Museum. Conceived of by Dr. Jaime Gonzalez Cano, local head of Mexico’s Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT), the project was developed in order to lower the accumulated impact of nearly 800,000 visiting tourists each year to the natural reef of the National Marine Park.
The Underwater Museum was formally opened to the public on November 26, 2010, is a work in progress, and will eventually consist of 12 galleries containing nearly 1,364 artificial habitats, each of which increase the overall biomass of the reef system and habitat areas for marine life to colonize.
To date the underwater museum comprises of; “La Evolucion Silenciosa” (The Silent Evolution), “La Jardinera de la Esperanza” (The Garden of Hope), “Coleccionista de los Sueños” (Dream Collector), “Hombre en Llamas” (Man on Fire), “La Promesa” (The Promise), “Inercia” (Inertia), Anthropocene, “Herencia” (Inheritance), and “Vacio” (Void) — all created by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor.
This is an opportunity that can only enjoyed while scuba diving off Isla Mujeres.