Isla MujeresIsla Mujeres
is the name of a small island, as well as the town on that island, a short distance off the coast of the north east of the Yucatan
Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea
. Isla Mujeres is one of the eight municipalities of the Mexican
state of Quintana Roo
. It is about 13 km north east of Cancun
, at 21.20° North, 86.72° West. The island is some 7 km long and 650 meters wide. In 2000
it had a population of about 10,000.
In Pre-Columbian times the island was sacred to the Maya Moon Goddess, Ix Chel. When the Spanish arrived here in the 16th century they named it "Isla Mujeres" meaning "Island of Women" because of the many idols of the Moon Goddess here.
There is a small well preserved Maya temple on the south tip of the island.
Since the 1970s there has been substantial development for tourism here.
Ferry boats run every half hour during daylight between Isla Mujeres and Puerto Juarez on the mainland.