After a wonderful arrival day and then a day of playing golf at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at The Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, Day 3 was all about our first excursion trip over to Isla Mujeres, which in Spanish means “Island of Woman.” All of your excursions can be directly arranged through your concierge at the resort, but if you have a little more time you might be able to find the same or similar excursions slightly cheaper via the inter-webs, however we always like to arrange through the resort as then we never have to worry about shuttles not showing up or not knowing where to go once we arrive at our destination.

Isla Mujeres has a long and colorful history. In Mayan times Isla Mujeres was called Ekab, it was one of the four provinces or Mayan territories that formed what is today the State of Quintana Roo. The island served as the sanctuary for the goddess Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of fertility, reason, medicine, happiness and the moon. The Temple was located at the South point of the island and was also used as the lighthouse. The light from torches was shown through holes in the walls, which could be seen by the navigators at sea. The Mayans also came to the island to harvest salt from the salt lagoons. (via Isla Mujeres Net The History of Isla Mujeres).

We departed the resort via an air-conditioned bus, which took us into the heart of Cancun to the Isla Mujeres ferry. After paying our $8.00 USD per person for our ferry tickets, we were boarded on to the Dolphin Adventures boat to head on over to the island. Although we didn’t opt for the swimming with the dolphins initially through our hotel reservations, the ability to add the swim with the dolphins package for an additional $40.00 USD per person, did seem enticing.

The ferry ride from Cancun to Isla Mujeres took approximately 45 minutes, but if you are looking to cut down the trip across, there is an alternative fast ferry for an additional cost, but this was not included in our excursion. While on our ferry, we could grab a water, soda or an adult beverage or three as we made the blue water journey. We were all excited to get over to the island for a day or relaxation as we understood that we could bike around the island, take a shorter ferry into the main town on Isla Mujeres, have a beach-side buffet overlooking the waters or simply relax like a palm tree planted in the sand. I took the latter option.

Once on Isla Murejes at the Dolphin Adventure location, we had approximately three hours of lounging in beach chairs, hammocks or swimming in a pool. There really wasn’t much of a beach here at this location, but that was okay as we found the main public beach later in the afternoon when we went into town. After we were all fed and hydrated, we were able to swim a bit with a group of nurse sharks, which unfortunately were being a little shy on this Monday. Then before we knew it, three hours had gone by and we were hoping on a smaller ferry to head into town, which took us about 20 minutes to get to the main docking station in downtown.

After we un-boarded the ferry, several of us decided to hop into a golf cart, which is the preferred method of transportation for tourists around the island, especially since the island is only about 3.5 miles in length and .65 miles in width. The rest of us just decided to walk around the island for about 90 minutes, stopping by small shops until we finally found a beach side restaurant where we could stick our toes in the sand.

Two Negra Modelo’s later and it was time to head back to the ferry ship for our journey back to Dolphin Adventures to pick up the stragglers and then back to Cancun, which took us a total of about two hours before we finally arrived back to The Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort. The total duration of our excursion trip was approximately nine hours and unfortunately we had to reschedule our dinner reservations for the Italian restaurant at the golf course, but we still had a great dinner with our friends and family at the Mexican buffet in Sunrise.

So if an excursion is just for you, try Isla Mujeres you’ll like it too, but be sure, to pack your sunscreen or you’ll look like a lobster, be red not green.