According to legend, Isla Mujeres - "the island of women" - owes its name to the captain of Córdoba who landed there in 1517 in search of slaves to work in the Cuban mines. The island was then a centre of worship for the goddesses Ixchel, Ixchebeliax, Ixhunie and Ixhunieta: the Spaniards would have discovered a multitude of idols representing women naked to the waist. Unless when they landed they found only flesh-and-blood women, the men having gone on a long fishing expedition. It is also said that the island got its name because pirates hid their wives and mistresses there.

Since the creation of Cancún, tourism has replaced fishing as the main source of income and you can no longer hang out in the local restaurant to watch the fishermen arrive with their catch of the day on your shoulder. In the past, the streets were made of sand only and vehicles were only seen on the island's only paved road. Now there are cars and scooters back and forth. And yet, the charm of Isla Mujeres seems indestructible: the island of women remains a magical place. There's nothing to do but relax, forget the tensions of the civilized world.

Isla Mujeres is the benefactor of Cancún: she is a natural protection. Its beaches on the north side are therefore strongly exposed to the open sea and you will find a calmer sea on the south side. The most beautiful of them is called Playa Norte, and among the great wonders to contemplate, the island can serve as an ideal starting point to go whale shark watching for two or three days.

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