The history of ancient civilizations that existed in the Mexican Caribbean many centuries ago have been passed from generation to generation until today, especially in many tourist destinations that hold natural and historic treasures in a perfect state of preservation.
It is in that region where the Mayan imprint can be found anywhere, including many temples, archeological sites and even the names of many places, which have become strongholds for tourism.
One of those places is Isla Mujeres, which is six kilometers off the coast of Cancun. The island is eight kilometers long and barely 800 meters wide. Its small size has not been an obstacle to build a solid hotel infrastructure.
The island offers natural parks like El Garrafón, restaurants serving a wide variety of dishes from Mexican and international cuisine and beach clubs, in addition to attractive programs of aquatic activities, including scuba diving and snorkeling.
There are several stories about the origin of the name of Isla Mujeres. History has it that when Francisco Hernández de Córdoba landed on the island, he found a small enclosure with idols bearing female features. Therefore, he called the island Mujeres (Women), and that is the name that has prevailed until today.
Another version says that when the first Spanish conquistadors landed on the island in 1517, the local men were fishing. Therefore, the newcomers thought the territory was inhabited only by women.
Still another version says that the Mayas had named the island Ixchel (their goddess of fertility), as it was said that virgin girls were sent there before marriage so that they could be fertile and deliver without any complication.
In the southern part of the island, the Mayas built a temple-sanctuary where they worshiped Ixchel, who represented the feminine forces of nature.
Tourists can visit the remnants of the temple, as well as an old hacienda built in the 16th century, among other historic attractions.
The municipality of Isla Mujeres belonged to the Ecab territory, whose population was concentrated in the areas of Conil and Cabo Catoche (Catoche Cape), on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Ecab's main economic activities were fishing and trade.
As the island is very close to Cancun, it is tourism-oriented, although the greatest attraction of Isla Mujeres is its peaceful atmosphere.
Tranquil and refreshing beaches and the amenities of modern tourism facilities can be found on Isla Mujeres, whose natural wealth is a true complement to a wide variety of multidestination programs on the Mexican Caribbean.