Senior Travel to Isla Mujeres

Mar 31st, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

MSNBC finds that ISLA MUJERES, a tiny island off the Yucatán Peninsula, blends the soul of Mexico with the beaches of the Caribbean. This is a hammock-swinging lifestyle, peppered with Mayan legends. I’ve been there. Seniors will find the friendly island atmosphere perfect for a relaxing vacation with friends or loved ones. One can easily walk from the east side of the island to the west – catching sunrise in the morning and later, watching the sun set as the local fishing boats return with their day’s catch. You have the typical items available for purchase (blankets, jewelry, stone carvings, masks, hats) all along the main street. Silver (buy only .925) is the item to look for and good prices can be found, especially if buying in quantity. The majority of shops and restaurants accept the US dollar but may give you your change in pesos. Like everything in Mexico, you should be able to bargain for a decent price. There only two main roads that run from end to end of the island. One the southern tip you will find the “Mujeres”. 

The slender sliver of land is only 5 miles long and 400 yards across at its widest point. Legend has it the name comes from the clay images of the fertility goddess found in the old Maya ruins on the southern tip of the island, or from when pirates used to leave their women here when they left on raids.  Statues of women were discovered by the first Spanish visitors and this where the name “Island of Women” (Isla Mujeres) originated. It is very easy to get back and forth to the mainland by boat that spews up a huge rooster tail. Cancún is a half-hour by ferry and an hour south is Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. From Cancún, you can also fly to Mexico City or Houston for big-city weekends. The easy way to view the island is to rent a scooter or golf cart.  You can also rent jet-skis close to the landing dock.  

MexOnline has a nice city guide and directory of the island.  I was there with a group of HS students. Great place just to “turn them loose” as they could only drive around in a golf cart, swim, eat or shop. I loved it there. The water is so radiant blue. The sand so soft and white. The National Park West Coast of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc, which receives approximately 750,000 tourists annually, features more than 400 concrete sculpture figurines comprising the world’s largest underwater museum, right in the waters in front of Cancun and the island. We all choose to go snorkeling and soon discovered the huge underwater cross that is the central focus of the area.  

Want to see the underwater 400 life-size sculptures called The Silent Evolution? Visit this site and watch the fish swimming by. Divers and snorkelers will have the opportunity to admire more the original sculptures in depths ranging from 9 to 20 feet. The artist behind the project is Jason deCaires Taylor. The sculptures are all designed to become artificial reefs and are constructed from special materials which promote marine life and create areas for corals to flourish and marine creatures to breed and take refuge, boosting the local ecosystem; so if you enjoy snorkeling, you will find this a treasure beneath the sea. 

Rolf Metzger has some great photos of Isla Mujeres. TripAdvisor has always plenty to offer for specifics like hotels, restaurants, best beaches, shops and more. Enjoy the island. It so special. jeb



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