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Isla Mujeres has long been a popular destination for water
sports enthusiasts. With beautiful white sand beaches, crystal
clear turquoise waters, magnificent reefs near by and
challenging deep-sea fishing, Isla has something for everyone.
Explore the natural wonders of the Mexican Caribbean.
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The Beaches of Isla
There are beaches all around Isla Mujeres. The major beaches are
on the north and west sides of Isla. Calm, turquoise waters and
soft white sand make them ideal for sunning, swimming and
snorkeling. The spectacular and rocky eastern shore is too
dangerous for swimming, the currents are very strong on the
Caribbean side. There are posted warnings, but accidents can
happen so please be careful. Even on Playa Norte there are areas
where the undertow is quite strong. CHILDREN 12 YEARS AND UNDER
MAY NOT SWIM UNLESS SUPERVISED BY AN ADULT! Playa Norte (North
Considered one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Playa Norte
(once known as Nautibeach and Playa Cocos) is the most popular,
therefore crowded beach on Isla Mujeres. You can rent water
toys, kayaks and snorkeling gear as well as lounge chairs and
beach umbrellas. There are several palapa restaurant/bars that
will also bring drinks and snacks to your towel or beach chair.
Just wave at a passing waiter.
Playa Paraiso, Playa Lancheros and Playa Indios
These more secluded beaches are located on the west side of Isla
Mujeres, mid-island near Hacienda Mundaca. There are open air
palapa restaurants, gift shops, bathrooms, chairs and umbrellas.
You can also rent kayaks, canoes and even beach toys for the
kids. One of the biggest attractions of these beaches are the
shark pens where you can take a swim with the sharks. Don't
forget to tip the trainer.
Garrafón de Castilla
Located next to Garrafón Isla Mujeres at the south end of the
island. The $50 peso admission includes use of lounge and beach
chairs with beach umbrellas, restrooms and shower facilities.
Snorkel gear, lockers and towels are available for an additional
fee. There is a restaurant, snack bar and a small gift shop.
Playa Garrafón de Castilla features a Nurse Shark pen where you
can swim with the sharks and snorkeling areas that rival
Garrafón Isla Mujeres.
Scuba Diving and
Isla Dive Guide for information about scuba diving and
snorkeling the waters around Isla Mujeres! The scuba diving and
snorkeling around Isla Mujeres is unforgettable. The Manchones
Reef begins just off of Isla's shore and the Cuevones and
Banderas Reefs are close by. The waters are calm and clear -
perfect for the beginner as well as the advanced diver. The Cruz
de la Bahia (Bay Cross) was planted into the Manchones Reef in
1994 to pay tribute to the men and women of the sea. Divers
celebrate the founding of Isla Mujeres in 1854 with a mass dive
here on August 17.
Almost 50 years ago, a young lobster diver from Isla Mujeres
named Carlos García Castilla, discovered a deep sea cave where
sharks went in... but didn't come out. Out of curiosity he free
dove some twenty meters (about 65 feet) and found that the
sharks were asleep with their eyes wide open. The Cave of the
Not to be
missed is the
Underwater Sculpture Museum
The crystal clear waters surrounding Isla Mujeres is home to the
largest underwater museum on the planet. The artist,
Jason deCaires Taylor is also the founder and artistic
MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte/Underwater Museum of Art).
In collaboration with marine biologists and other experts, the
sculptures are all designed to become artificial reefs and are
constructed from special materials which promote marine life.
The sculptures will be changed in their appearance over time, as
coral grows and marine life establishes itself. It is hoped that
the underwater museum will lure tourist away from the area’s
natural coral reefs which has been damaged over the years.
The sculptures - Dream Collector, Man on Fire
and The Gardener of Hope were installed last year.
Silent Evolution was completed in November 2010. All were
submerged to a variety of different depths throughout the
national park and can be visited either by snorkeling or scuba
diving. Silent Evolution can also be seen from a boat
on the surface where the 400 pieces form the silhouette of an
Dream Collector features dozens of bottles containing
messages of encouragement sent from around the world. One of the
messages reads: “May our hearts, never become as hard as our
heads,” by Roberto Diaz, President of
Man on Fire has 75 holes planted with fire coral. A
lonely and imposing figure stands 8 meters deep. Dream
Collector and Man on Fire are both located just
off the south end of Isla.
The Gardener of Hope, only 4 meters below the surface,
depicts a young girl lying on a garden patio surrounded by vivid
coral-filled vessels and is located off of Punta Nizuc, Cancun.
Silent Evolution is a breath-taking site with over 400
“Casts for The Silent Evolution were taken from a broad
cross-section of society, predominantly Mexican, and from all
walks of life. Sculptures range from Rosario, an 85-year old
nun, to Santiago, a 3-year boy, with various occupations
represented from around the globe, including an accountant, yoga
instructor, fisherman, student, acrobat, carpenter and park
ranger. The installation portrays a gathering of people,
illustrating how we are all facing serious questions concerning
our environment and our impact on the natural world. The work is
optimistic and forward looking, expressing hope that there
will be unity in dealing with this problem.” From
Truly one of the most amazing sites you will ever see.
Garrafon Natural Reef Park and Dolphin Discovery
Natural Reef Park is named for an incredible reef formation,
part of the longest reef in the hemisphere. The shallow waters
of Garrafón make swimming and snorkeling child's play, so gentle
are the currents. There are gift shops, restaurant and snack
bars, bathrooms with showers and dive shops. The entrance fee
gives you full use of the facilities (pool, sea platforms, deck
chairs and palapas) as well as life vests, inner tubes, kayaks.
Lockers, towels and snorkel gear are additional charges. The
park also offers guided tours to Punta Sur and the "Blue Eye
Cave", Zip line flights and Caribbean. A great way to spend the
day and well worth the entrance fee! Garrafón Park is located on
the south end of the island facing Cancun. Take the opportunity,
come swim with the dolphins and have amazing moments through any
of our package deals ! Visit
www.garrafon.com for more information.
with dolphins at
Dolphin Discovery at Isla Mujeres. An experience of a
lifetime! Swimming with the dolphins is everything you have
imagined and more. Everybody will delight in this hands-on
experience, listening to the dolphins sing, watching them "tail
walk", and even hugging and kissing these people-loving
creatures. Choose from Dolphin Encounter, Dolphin Swim Adventure
or Dolphin Royal Swim.
These gentle giants are the largest fish in the sea reaching
lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more. Whale sharks are
filter-feed, swimming with their wide mouths open, collecting
plankton and small fish. Although massive, whale sharks are
docile fish and you can safely snorkel with them,
The best months to observe and snorkel with these fantastic
animals are June, July, August and September. The Annual
Shark Festival takes place in June or July.
There are many Whale Shark tours available on Isla, be sure your go with a licensed operator.
Carey Dive Center
Keen M International Blue Water Encounters
On Isla Mujeres Water Tours
Sport Fishing Center
At the ferry dock there are some young men representing many of
the small launches that will take you on a water tour of the
island including snorkeling and lunch. Lorenzo speaks fluent
English and can help you decide which "tour" appeals to you
Captain Tony Garcia on the "Guadalupana"
offers tours around the island. Located at #7A Matamoros, Tel:
On Isla Mujeres Water Tours offers a sunset cruise, tours and charters.
The Cooperative located on Ave. Rueda Medina, just half a block
north from the ferry dock, offers fishing and snorkel trips. You
can also charter a small boat just to cruise around the island.
www.islamujeresboats.com offers fishing, snorkeling, whale
shark tours and island cruises.
Fishing and Tournaments
The fishing around Isla Mujeres is great! From large tournaments
to off-shore and deep sea fishing. Isla Mujeres is a fishing
village and many families still catch their dinner every day.
During the height of the season you'll see many fishing yachts
docked at the marinas. There are several international fishing
tournaments held yearly; In February the Island Time Fishing Tournament, and in May the
Isla Mujeres Annual Fishing
Sport Fishing with Captain Anthony Mendillo. Full and half days fishing aboard
the KEEN M, a 29 ft US build custom diesel powered sport fishing
boat and the Lilly M is a 36 foot Vernese Express. Both are
fully equipped with the finest fishing gear and ready for the
most exciting deep sea fishing and light tackle angling
adventure in the waters of the Mexican Caribbean!
Sport Fishing Center offers deep sea fishing, bottom fishing, inshore and spear fishing. 26, 29 and 33 foot boats.
Sea Hawk Fishing offers some of the best off-shore and
deep-sea fishing trips.
On Isla Mujeres Water Tours offers custom fishing trips.
Guadalupana Boat Tours with Captain Tony Garcia offers
trolling and bottom fishing at a very reasonable price.
At the Cooperative you can charter a boat for a few hours or
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