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Isla Mujeres in Mexico is a great way to escape the tourist crush in Cancun. Roughly 9 miles offshore, the island contains the Mexican beach culture of a bygone era. Oh, and the name translates to "The Island of Women."
First things first, the Island of Women is not populated with more, different or any other classification of women than you would normally find in Mexico. Okay, there is a Bay of Women, but don't go there. Instead, Isla Mujeres is simply a stunningly beautiful island.
Snorkeling and Diving
El Garrafon National Underwater Park is located on the southwest end of the Island. If you're interested in underwater fun, this park provides tremendous visibility in warm water. Unfortunately, a private company now runs the park. This, of course, means you have to pay to enter and the tranquil area has a definite touristy feel with kayaks and other water toys for rent. Still, the park is very large and your experience shouldn't be overly impacted.
If you're looking for more of a beach town feel, the northern tip of the island should be your destination. Playa Norte offers nice beaches, restaurants, hotels and more or less everything you could need. Head out on Zacil Ha road and you can find some fairly isolated beaches.
If total isolation is your thing, there are plenty of remote beach areas on the island. Walk south from Playa Pescador and you'll leave humanity behind. The same is true if you head north from Playa Lancheros. Just grab a map of the island or ask a local for directions.
Isla Mujeres has an airport, but traveling by boat from Cancun is cheaper. There are numerous public ferries traveling to the island. Getting back and forth is no problem. Just make sure you check the schedule for return trips.
Although Isla Mujeres doesn't live up to its name, there is definite beauty to be found. If you vacation in Cancun, make sure you visit the island for a one-day getaway.
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Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - makers of travel journals to preserve your travel experiences.
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