Island of Women (Isla Mujeres)
Island of Women (Isla Mujeres) is located 13 km east of Cancun. It’s small — 7 km long and about 650 m wide — and very beautiful.
It takes about half an hour to reach the island by ferry (there are both private and municipal ones).
The island settlement is very little and consists of five quarters. Medina is the main pedestrian street lying along the west coast of the island. That’s where all cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tourist centres are concentrated.
The infrastructure of Isla Mujeres is certainly less developed than that of Cancun. The roads are worse; there are almost no hotels (rather one-storey hostels), few shops and entertainments. However, local beaches make up for everything. The calm azure sea and the clean soft sand look truly fabulous.
Moreover, the beaches are open and free to access here anytime, so you don’t need to come up with a way to sneak there or try to persuade a hotel security guard to let you in. The island is perfect for a calm beach rest.
Cape Punta Sur, the southern point of Isla Mujeres, is considered to be the most beautiful place of the island. It has a breathtaking view of the surroundings. The cape is made up of picturesque rocks that waves dash against with force.
There’s an ancient temple of the Mayan goddess Ixchel nearby. Unfortunately, only the foundation and the wall fragments were left from the former majestic shrine.
The migration route of tiger sharks lies near the island, so from May to September you can see huge schools of the formidable sea animals by the shore.
Local citizens like organizing various carnivals, and we were lucky enough to visit one of them.
We and our boys really loved colourful national costumes, cheerful Mexican music, bright colours, and fireworks.
Underwater Museum (Museo Subacuatico de Arte)
One of the most famous and popular museums of Cancun is hidden on the seabed by the coast of Isla Mujeres. More than 400 concrete life-size human sculptures are exhibited at a depth of 2 to 10 metres. The underwater museum was opened in 2010. At first only several dozen statues attached to special concrete platforms were put underwater, but the number of exhibits increases every year.
The museum was created by the famous sculptor Jason Tyler. He is also the author of most sculptures. The idea of the exhibition called The Silent Evolution is to show the human impact on the environment and pay the community’s attention to coral reef protection.
By the way, all sculptures are made of environmentally friendly concrete that is an ideal substrate for corals to grow on. Over the last few years, the figures have got covered in seaweed and coral polyps which only intensifies the mysterious atmosphere of the underwater museum.