EXPLORING MAYAN RUINS on isla mujeres
During our second stay on Isla Mujeres, the hubby and I decided to venture out to Punta Sur, the southern most point on the island. For this trip we rented a golf cart. (When renting a golf cart you can get one for 8 hrs for about $45.)
The drive to Punta Sur from Playa Norte is quite scenic and we made several stops along the way both going and returning. The road takes you through town and along the ocean. You really get a snapshot of what daily life is like on the island for the locals. That's part of the charm of Isla.
On the way you pass Tortugranja (turtle sanctuary) and Garrafon, a water park/beach club. We had to pull over when we arrived at Garrafon because the views were just spectacular!
Since the island is only 5 miles long it didn't take very long to reach Punta Sur. It was a little confusing when we got there because there's a seafood restaurant right beside the entrance and we weren't sure if we were in the right place. (So basically take the entrance that isn't the restaurant!) Parking at Punta Sur is essentially a large cul-de-sac with a few food trucks set up.
At the entrance of the park you'll find statues of Ixchel (e-chel), the Mayan goddess of fertility and medicine. Just beyond the statues was a pavilion with a man dressed in traditional Mayan attire playing a wooden flute. Beyond him was a little tiny booth, this was where you paid the $1.50 fee to enter the park.
Once you pass the gate, you'll immediately see ruins on the upper most cliff. These are the ruins from a temple once dedicated to Ixchel. Near these ruins you'll see pathways that lead down to the oceanfront. Take these winding trails around steep cliffs, through a natural arc and finally down to the water. But be careful! The water can make the rocks slippery and the jagged rocks are plentiful. Definitely not a place for young kids.
Oh, a quick word of advice, walking these trails is quite the workout! The trails along the coast were much longer than we expected. You can probably walk 1/2mile - 1mile along the coast, it definitely covers some distance but you don't have to go that far. It's just nice that it does. There a tons of photo opportunities along the trail! (If anyone wants to do an Ariel photoshoot I saw the perfect rock!)
On the way back we explored the restaurant and shops next door. There's a beautiful gazebo and more gorgeous views.
Punta Sur is a great way to spend the afternoon on Isla so you should work it into your plans when you visit the island.