View Map

Overview

Take a brief boat ride from the crowded beaches of Cancún to chill out in a very different world. Bathed in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, this sleepy island attracts visitors who prefer a laid-back lifestyle focused on the beach and water sports such as diving and snorkeling. The small island’s name is translated as “the island of women,” but few islanders agree on the origin of the name. While Isla Mujeres has a healthy nightlife, relaxed isleños frown upon Spring Break antics; if you’re looking for parties, stay in Cancún. The best of the dive sites is the Sleeping Shark Cave, where lethargic sharks congregate in a deep cave. ...

Take a brief boat ride from the crowded beaches of Cancún to chill out in a very different world. Bathed in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, this sleepy island attracts visitors who prefer a laid-back lifestyle focused on the beach and water sports such as diving and snorkeling. The small island’s name is translated as “the island of women,” but few islanders agree on the origin of the name. While Isla Mujeres has a healthy nightlife, relaxed isleños frown upon Spring Break antics; if you’re looking for parties, stay in Cancún. The best of the dive sites is the Sleeping Shark Cave, where lethargic sharks congregate in a deep cave. Snorkelers prefer the calm, shallow water of the island’s western side, with Lighthouse and Manchones being the best spots to see the coral reef. Fans of ancient cultures can tour the crumbling Maya temple, thought to be dedicated to Ixchel, goddess of fertility. Pass over the downtown T-shirt stores for boutiques where you can shop for Mexican artworks from Day of the Dead skeletons to sea glass jewelry.

Jill Robinson
About the Expert

Jill K. Robinson is a freelance journalist who specializes in adventure travel and culture and has written about Mexico and Central America for Frommer's and Lonely Planet.

view full overview

Jill Robinson for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Isla Mujeres (Spanish for Island of Women) is a small island town off the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea about 8 miles northeast of Cancún. Ferry boats run from the island and Puerto Juárez or Gran Puerto on the mainland.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The months of December through April have the most moderate temperatures, while higher humidity reigns May through September.