Legend has it that our Isla Mujeres was a stopover for 16th century lusty buccaneers, who used the island to keep their women safe while plundering Spanish treasure ships. There is a less romantic version, however. It involves Spaniard Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, who, while sailing from Cuba to capture slaves, found a stone temple containing clay figurines of Mayan goddesses.
We Like the Mayan Version
Córdoba may have named Isla Mujeres after female statues. (Mujeres is the Spanish word for women, of course.) On the other hand, locals prefer the cultural tradition that the Maya people used this small, conveniently located island as a stopover on their way to Isla Cozumel further south. Isla Cozumel was the religious headquarters for Mayan worship of their main deity, the moon goddess Ixchel.
During the full moon times, the Maya travelers must have appreciated Ixtel’s beacon as they traveled along the Yucatan coast on their religious trek. Likewise, modern-day vacation trekkers will appreciate the full-moonlit beach combing experience on the beaches of Isla Mujeres as the perfect end to a relaxing day.
Isla Mujeres — All the Fun, But More Laid Back
Stroll along the white sandy beaches of the north and west edges of this island, which is as scenic and as much fun as Cozumel, but far less hectic and crowded, and see how Lady Ixtel adds extra ambiance to the sand and sea. Small wonder that the Mayans absolutely adored the full moon and its effect on the way the world looked and the ocean behaved.
Our Beaches Smile up at the Moon Goddess
An evening stroll along our beaches after a great meal in one of our many outstanding restaurantes is both good for the digestion and the vacationing soul.
Here is a quick rundown of a few of the beaches you’ll want to walk during the moonlit nights on our island:
Playa Norte — This is the most popular beach on the island. Just walk west from Privilege Aluxes until you see sparkling sand. Looking for after-dinner drinks? Just drop in on the several palapa bars, whose wait staff will be happy to bring drinks to you while you enjoy Ixtel’s shining presence.
Playa Lancheros — Head south along just off Rueda Medina for this palm-tree fringed beach. Somewhat touristy, this beach has plenty of souvenir stands and bars where you can get that Margarita to slake that thirst you’ve accumulated while walking and enjoying the view.
Playa Paraiso and Playa Indios — These middle region western beaches offer outstanding sunset views over breathtaking turquoise ocean. Check your hotel information desk for times of free nighttime concerts.
Garrafon Natural Reef Park — Farther to the southwest is this main island attraction consisting of a white-sand beach underneath cliffs and tropical vegetation. This park preserves part of the Great Maya Reef and offers a wide variety of things to do and sights to see. Come back during daytime for paid admission to a zip line or a stroll along the Punta Sur Cliff.
El Sol y La Luna
Finally, a charming old Spanish-language tune about the sun and the moon has this punch line: El sol le dijo a la luna,…¡Una mujer que sale de la noche no puede ser cosa buena! (Said the sun to the moon, “Any woman who goes out at night (alone) can’t be a good thing.”)
During the full moon calendar, there can be nothing more romantic than a beach walk under the gaze of that emancipated woman, Ixtel, which is a good thing anyway you look at it. Come see us this Christmas season, which, by the way, the full moon shines on December 25th.