Isla Mujeres, which literally means “island of the women” in Spanish, is a municipality and island located in the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the municipality is located on the Yucatan Peninsula, but the municipal seat (also called Isla Mujeres) is situated on the offshore island. The island is found just over eight miles away from the Mexican mainland, and is about four and a half miles in length. Although most of the physical area of the municipality is on the mainland, a vast majority of the population is located on the island. The total municipal population, according to the 2010 census, was just over sixteen thousand permanent residents. Isla Mujeres was populated before the arrival of Spanish explorers and colonists, and was in fact a sacred site to the Mayan civilization. Isla Mujeres was given its current name in the sixteenth century in reference to a Mayan goddess pictured in a number of etchings on the island.
More recently, Isla Mujeres has become a major tourist destination. Although a number of tourist busses and taxis operate on the island, one of the more popular ways to see Isla Mujeres is by moped. Isla Mujeres boasts a number of different restaurants and culinary options, including Caribbean, Mediterranean, Thai, Cuban, and American cuisine. There are a variety of resorts located on Isla Mujeres, ranging from inexpensive hotels to luxury accommodations. Isla Mujeres is a great destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming, thanks to a number of coral reefs and the unique Cancun underwater museum. Isla Mujeres has beautiful views of the sunset and sunrise over the ocean, which complements the gorgeous white sandy beaches and year round warm weather.