Isla Mujeres on Mexico’s Caribbean coast is a stunning combination of crystal clear waters and beaches with sand so white that from a distance you could be forgiven for confusing it with crisp snow.
Isla Mujeres is about 13 kilometres off the Yucatán Peninsula and neighbors with Cancun. The tiny island is home to around 12,000 people and is a beach bum’s dream, and a snorkeler’s nirvana, as well as being a treasure trove for collectors and art lovers.
Here are tips on what to see and do in Isla Mujeres.
See authentic folk art
The Avenue Carlos Lazo is just a 20 minutes ferry ride from Isla Mujeres’ marina and home to some of the best markets on the island.
Tucked away from the laid back Caribbean scenery, is the islands’ very own artisan handicraft market, a busy and bustling local bazaar where you can buy glassware, masks and folk art.
Onyx and silverware merchants line the waterfront, making it the best place to pick up some handmade unique jewelry.
This is the hottest spot in Isla Mujeres for taking in some of its rich culture.
In particular, here you’ll find an array of lovingly hand-woven rugs and Yucatan tapestries. You’ll also find the intricate masks of the Huichol people, most of which are hand crafted by the residents of this picturesque corner of the world.
Guests to Carlos Lazo can also buy colorful authentic comals, time honored in Mexico. The design of this cookware is heavily influenced by pre-Hispanic culture and ceramics are traditionally moulded and coiled at a traditional potter’s wheel, before being burnished and painted.
Learn about the colorful history of the island
Once known as Ekab, Isla Mujeres was originally one of the four Mayan provinces. It boasts a colorful history which resonates in its local art work.
It was said that the island served as a sanctuary for the goddess Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of reason, fertility, happiness, medicine and the moon.
In 1517, Francisco Hernandez Cordova discovered the island. Isla Mujeres literally translates as the ‘Island of Women’ and when the Spanish invasion arrived in the region, they found many female inspired relics worshipping the goddess. This gave Isla Mujeres its name.
Due to this rich heritage, the handicraft market is also home to a number of art galleries, which sell an array of Indian inspired artwork, and the goddess is a prominent feature in much of the sculptures and paintings available to buy on the island to date.
Take in the breath-taking sunsets
The island has some of the best sunsets in Mexico.
Head to the water at around 7pm. It will probably be crowded, so make sure you find a spot to soak up the beautiful artwork that Mother Nature provides.
Isla Mujeres is the ideal location to perfect your stress free Caribbean lifestyle. You won’t want to leave behind when you check out!