Just eight miles across the water from Cancun proper, Isla Mujeres was once relatively unknown among tourists. But for some 1000 years, Isla Mujeres was a sanctuary dedicated to the Maya goddess Ixchel.
In recent years, it has become a sanctuary for people seeking beaches and attractions off the beaten path.
Even though more people are aware of Isla Mujeres now, it retains a slower, more laid-back lifestyle compared to Cancun.
Playa Sol and Playa Norte are popular - the former for watching the sun set, the latter for its white sand and shallow waters. Relax on the beach or, if you want to be more active, rent a kayak to explore the area by boat.
Although only eight miles across the bay from glitzy Cancun, somehow Isla Mujeres retains an old-fashioned innocence and has maintained its sleepy fishing village image - although it has become a favorite with tourists in recent years.
Beautiful beaches are perfect for snorkeling, swimming and sun tanning. Landlubbers will enjoy exploring archaeological sites and visiting other points of interest on a "moto" or golf cart. Souvenir shops around every corner offer brilliant bargains while a host of restaurants and hotels beckon for R&R and frosty drinks.