Cancun gets all the attention in Mexico. She’s the sophisticated older cousin with the glitziest hotels, name-brand malls and an over-abundance of casinos. Isla Mujeres is quieter, less mature when it comes to glitz but older and wiser when it comes to gracious hospitality. She’s more like your best girlfriend who loves spending time with you, sharing meals that stretch on for hours, strolling and Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico The island is 8 miles (13 kilometers) off the northeast coast of Cancun, serviced every half hour by ferries from pre-dawn to midnight. The Spanish graced it Isla Mujeres – Island of Women –because of the many goddess images left there by the Mayans who viewed the island as the sacred home of Ixchel, goddess off childbirth and medicine. Coincidently, it’s also the shape of a mermaid. To the east of the island lies the Caribbean sea, rough and windy and the best place to view consistently spectacular sunrises. To the west is Cancun, which can be seen clearly on good-weather days. For visitors to Cancun, it’s the perfect day trip. For those who want to escape the glitz and see and be seen atmosphere of Cancun, it offers charming hotels, delish restaurants and exquisite beaches.