The Isla Mujeres (island of women), just a few kilometres from the skyline of Cancúns Zona Hotelera, has long been a popular bathing island.
Nevertheless, a touristic development in the style of Cancún has failed to materialize. The tranquillity of the past has disappeared, but this is more due to the day-trippers from the all-inclusive resorts on the other side of the turquoise waters than to the touristic island world itself.
The few streets of the small village are quickly explored. Here, restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops line up almost seamlessly, interrupted time and again by small hotels, whose prices are usually significantly lower than those of Cancún. Also the most beautiful beach of the island, the Playa Norte, connects in the northwest directly to the small center. The rest of the narrow, longstreched island is not particularly attractive. Also the national park “El Garrafón” at the southwest end of the island, whose dead coral reef has been turned into a snorkel paradise, has more snorkelers than fish. Buses run along the main road. Golf carts and bicycles are also available for hire. A day trip to Isla Contoy, a natural paradise declared a National Park, is recommended. Only a limited number of day visitors are admitted. The tours to Isla Contoy can be booked on site with several providers. Snorkeling equipment, soft drinks and lunch are included in the price.
A special feature (during the season from July to September) are boat tours to the hundreds of whale sharks that come together every year in the plankton-rich waters at the meeting of the Caribbean Sea with the Gulf of Mexico (a short video can be found here, © Celia Brandt). All in all, however, Isla Mujeres is still a recommendable bathing stop for those who want to spend a few bathing days at a reasonable price without being put off by the hustle and bustle since when the day visitors have left, Isla Mujeres almost regains her old charm.