Oct 20, 2008 11:15 AM

Facts about Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres (Spanish for "Island of Women") is an island in the Caribbean located eight miles off of the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula, close to Cancun, Mexico.
The island is only 8 kilometers (5 miles) long and 800 meters (0.5 mile) wide with a downtown (El Centro) district of ten square blocks. The terrain is flat with beaches on all sides.

Isla
Mujeres is only a 15-20 minute trip with express ferry from either Gran Puerto Cancun (Ultramar) or from Puerto Juarez (Lancha Rapida) Both harbors are located within 5 minutes from each other, and the ferry price is 70 pesos for a round trip ticket (tourist price) and 50 pesos for the islanders. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes, first one starting at 06.00 and last one around 23.30 There are different queues for Islanders and tourists, and after the first 20 or so Islanders are allowed on board, the tourist line is opened.
If you want to travel directly from the Hotel Zone in Canc├╣n, you can travel with Ultramar, and the ferry leaves 4-5 times a day.

According to the legend, Isla Mujeres was used as a sanctuary by the Mayan people, and it was dedicated to the goddess of love and fertility, Ixchel
. When the Spanish arrived they found a large number of women statues carved in stone in honor of the goddess, and it is from here that the island gets it’s name "Isla Mujeres" (The Island of Women).
There is also another legend saying that the island was used as a refuge by the pirate and
slavetrader, Fermin Mundaca, who fell in love with a young island girl known as La Triguena (the brunette) and he built a beautiful hacienda that once covered almost 40% of Isla Mujeres.
The hacienda is surrounded by beautiful gardens including the solar clock garden called "The rose of the winds) He built the hacienda and the gardens to try impress La Triguena and win her heart over, but all his work was in vain, as she soon married another guy that was closer to her age (Mundaca was 37 years older than her)
To this day, the empty tomb of Mundaca still awaits him in the Isla Mujeres cemetery, and you can see the tomb that was carved by Mundaca himself with a skull and a cross, and his final message for La Triguena, "As you are, I was. As I am, you will be"

The origin of the name of Isla Mujeres is unclear. Some say it is from the Spanish explorer Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, who arrived on the island to find only women and stone statuettes of women, hence the name Isla Mujeres or Island of women.
Others believe the name comes from the fact that the island was once worshiping grounds for Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility.


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