There is no doubt about it! Isla Mujeres is one of the destinations you must visit. This island can show you more than beautiful beaches.

Every corner and every street represent the interesting past of an emblematic place, where the Mayan civilization once settled. But, what is the history of the name of Isla Mujeres? Here we tell you.

It is not known what the ancient Mayans called this island that today alludes to femininity; due to the name the Spaniards gave it after its discovery in 1517. One thing that is known is that the island belonged to “Ekab”, a Mayan province.

The island did not have a fixed population. In fact, it was a sanctuary of veneration. Here, the ancient Mayans arrived to render honors and offerings. The reason? Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, love, and fertility. Women had a tradition of making a pilgrimage to the temple of the goddess; this represented an initiation for them, symbolizing their transition from girls to women. Also, it was customary to make offerings with handcrafted pieces of female figures. These pieces were deposited throughout the island, so when the Spaniards arrived and found this, they called this beautiful place “Isla Mujeres”.

isla mujeres history
Isla Mujeres’ name history

The island also preserves other interesting stories and ideas.

For example, some people believe that this place could have served in the pre-Hispanic era as one of the main commercial destinations thanks of its strategic location in the Caribbean. Currently, the idea of the female figure is preserved and there are still some celebrations such as the one for the Immaculate Conception Virgin, patron saint of the island.

There is no doubt that the name of the island is the result of the great past of the ancient Mayans that you can see today with some archaeological sites such as the temple of Punta Sur or El Meco.

Now that you know the reason for the name of the island, you will surely be more eager to come and visit it and see for yourself why it is one of the favorite destinations for many.