When most vacationers think of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, they probably
conjure up images of its highly publicized hub—resorty, high-rise Cancun.
Or they may envision places like Cozumel, less commercialized, but still
bustling with day-trippers and the daily deluge of passengers from mega-cruise
ships calling there.
We wanted something more quiet, a bit different, and hopefully more Mexican
for our most recent visit to the Yucatan, and we found it in two very different
While visiting Cancun a number of years ago, we took the day ferry to Isla
Mujeres and were impressed by its low-key, fishing-village ambiance. This
low-lying island, about six miles offshore, derived its name from the female
idols and figurines found by Spanish explorers when they landed in 1517.
Tourism landed here in the 1960s, and you might say that, relative to
neighboring Cancun, the island has been caught in a time-warp.
While Cancun has become very cosmopolitan, rather expensive, and, I think,
not particularly relaxing, Isla Mujeres has carved out its own niche, primarily
among youthful, low-budget travelers and Europeans.
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