Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Isla Mujeres Attractions | Things to do on Isla Mujeres
This is one of the main attractions on Isla Mujeres. For years now, it has been one of the places where giant sea turtles come to lay their eggs. Every year from May to September they bury their eggs in the sand, where they wait to hatch. At the turtle farm, the turtles are protected and the newborns are placed in tanks to later be released to the ocean.
Pirate Mundaca Hacienda
This site used to be the residence of a famous pirate from Mexico's Caribbean coast: Fermin Mundaca. Nowadays only traces of its 19th century splendor remain; nevertheless, a small zoo has been set up here with local wildlife, and it has beautiful gardens that you can walk around. The site is the location for not just one, but lots of fascinating stories about love and death that you can hear from the locals.
Isla Contoy is an island uninhabited by human beings, an important bird sanctuary that is home to great nesting colonies and wild frigates. It is a fantastic place to admire the beauty of nature. Located about 45 minutes north of Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy also has a viewpoint with a tower offering spectacular panoramic views. There are lots of excursions available throughout the day, but the number of visitors is restricted, making reservations a must.
Swim with Dolphins
Swimming with dolphins on Isla Mujeres is an experience that'll last in your memories for a lifetime. This incredible educational experience is safe, fun and available for everybody – you don't really even have to know how to swim, as lifejackets are provided. The level of interaction with the dolphins can range from a "fin-shake" to a kiss, according to the package that you choose. There are also other creatures that await you in this wonderful place, such as bull sharks, manta rays, tamarins, macaws, and toucans.
A Scuba Diving Paradise
Isla Mujeres is famous as a scuba diver's paradise. Hidden in its waters are the beautiful natural reefs of El Farito, Islache, and Manchones. There is also an area with sunken ships, while expert divers will love the Cave of Sleeping Sharks.
This beautiful park was inaugurated at the southernmost point of the island as a result of the Punta Sur Isla Mujeres First International Sculpture Meet in 2001. It also just happens to be the first place in Mexico touched by the rays of the sun at dawn. Here you can see the work of 13 artists of different nationalities. The main Mexican sculptors who participated in the project were Jose Luis Cuevas and Sebastian. The sculptures are located outdoors and exposed permanently to the sea breeze, featuring the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea as a stunning backdrop.
Garrafon Natural Reef Park
The park is called "El Garrafon" (Large Water Container) because of the incredible coral reefs and crystalline water in the area, which are its main, but not only attractions. Garrafon Natural Reef Park is part of the largest barrier reef in the hemisphere, and the ecosystem is home to more endangered species than any other on the planet. Other attractions here include a number of zip-lines for tourists who want a rush of adrenalin, along with infinity pools and restaurants.
Towering 60 feet over the sea, you'll find the cliff area known as Punta Sur. Here you can admire an incredible sunrise, as it is the first place in the country warmed by the sun's rays. Due to the white color of the sand surrounding the island you can see different tones of blue in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, which offer a relaxing spectacle as the waves crash against the rocks. Punta Sur also has a picturesque lighthouse from where you can see Cancun, as well as a stone pathway surrounding it.
In pre-Colombian times Isla Mujeres was consecrated to the goddess Ixchel, the Mayan deity of the moon, love, and fertility. Back then they used to give offerings that included, among other things, clay figures of women. When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived at the island and found these clay figures, they decided to name it Isla Mujeres (Women Island). Nowadays only a small Mayan temple has survived on the island. It is located in the Punta Sur area and, when combined with its stunning setting, it is well worth a visit.
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