About Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women, where time passes slowly and your dream vacation becomes a reality. Located just eight miles across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is only 5 miles long and half a mile wide with a downtown area of just four by six blocks. The average temperature is 80 degrees and 60% humidity. Mapped at latitude North 21° 11' 5" and longitude West 86° 42' 50" Isla's terrain is flat with beaches on all sides.
Isla Mujeres is a fishing village and though it is now discovered by tourists it still retains it's charm and tranquil atmosphere. As you stroll the streets in the evening you will see families gathered together in Caribbean styled homes, tucked between stores and restaurants, mending their fishing nets and relaxing.
Isla Mujeres has a long and colorful history. In Mayan times the island served as the sanctuary for the goddess Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of fertility, reason, medicine, and the moon. The Temple was located at the South point of the island and was also used as the lighthouse. The light from torches was shown through holes in the walls, which could be seen by the navigators at sea. The Mayans to also came to the island to harvest salt from the salt lagoons.
In March of the year 1517, Francisco Hernandez Cordova discovered the island. When the Spanish expedition landed, they found many female shaped idols representing the goddess Ixchel, thus Isla Mujeres got its name.
"During Lent of 1517 Francisco Hernandez de Cordova sailed from Cuba with three ships to procure slaves for the mines... (others say he sailed to discover new lands).
He landed on the Isla de las Mujeres, to which he gave this name because the idols he found there, of the goddesses of the country, "Ixchel" and her daughters and daughter-in-law's "Ixchebeliax", "Ixhunie", "Ixhunieta", only vestured from the girdled down, and having the breast uncovered after the manner of the Indians. The building was of stone, such as to astonished them, and they found certain objects of gold which they took." Excerpt from "Yucatan, Before and After the Conquest" written in 1566 by Friar Diego de Landa.
For the next three centuries Isla Mujeres was uninhabited. The only visitors were fisherman and pirates who used Isla as a refuge and left their women on the island "for safekeeping" while they sailed the high seas. Famous pirates like Henry Morgan and Jean Lafitte walked the shores of Isla and as legend goes, buried their stolen treasure under the white sands.