Isla Mujeres What is known for


White sand bordered by turquoise water? No problema. Playa Norte, at the northern end, was hammered by a hurricane in the late 1980s, but it's rebounded to reclaim its title as the island's most popular (and sometimes crowded) strand. Water toys are available and several palapa bar/restaurants line the beachfront, so a cold cerveza is never far away.


A pair of local fishermen (snorkeling the island's reefs in search of lobster) discovered the Sleeping Shark Caves in about 60 feet of water off the north end of the island. It's not easy to find (although Jacques Cousteau managed to find it and film it), and, yes, the residents here (mostly nurse sharks, bull sharks and reef sharks) appear to be sleeping - with their eyes open. It's believed that oxygen-rich water from underwater springs in the cave keeps the sharks docile.