Search Results for Category: Caribbean


Seniors Enjoy West Indies Island


Saint Kitts, also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island, is an island in the West Indies. On the west side of the island, senior visitors will see the Caribbean Sea, and on the eastern coast, the Atlantic Ocean.

Its a combination of natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and white sandy beaches that combine to make St. Kitts (pop. 45,000) one of the most seductive islands in the Caribbean.

Christopher Columbus first spotted St. Kitts in 1493 when it was populated with native tribes. The Europeans didn’t colonize until later when the British arrived in 1623. Its strategic location and valuable sugar trade led to an advanced and luxurious development that was among the best in the Colonial Caribbean.


Now just imagine an island that has set aside more than a quarter of its land as a National Park, with a rainforest that is actually expanding in size rather than shrinking. That’s St. Kitts.

The island is surrounded by new and untouched dive sites, marked by massive beds of coral, teeming with fish of every stripe and color.

Senior visitors are impressed with the abundant wildlife that includes vervet monkeys, mongoose and roaming cows, goats, and sheep that have black bellies.

Seniors Find Sugar, Tourism and White Sand Beaches

Frommer’s notes that “St. Kitts’s major crop is sugar, a tradition dating from the 17th century. But tourism may overwhelm it in the years to come, as its southeastern peninsula, site of the best white-sand beaches, has been set aside for massive resort development.”

Basseterre_from_sea_2As senior visitors will discover, most of the island’s other beaches are of black or gray volcanic sand. Fodor’s chimes in with… “Mountainous St. Kitts, the first English settlement in the Leeward Islands, offers a surprisingly diverse vacation experience.

Divers have yet to discover all its underwater attractions and history buffs will marvel at Brimstone Hill, known in the 18th century as the Gibraltar of the West Indies.

The many beaches offers pristine aqua waters, soft sand, coconut trees and an uninterrupted peace that keeps folks coming back t0 the two islands again and again. Me, I’d head for the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a World Heritage Site, and the largest fortress ever built in the Eastern Caribbean.

Senior Travelers Find A Vacation Paradise


So where is St. Kitts? The island is one of what are called the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. about 1,300 miles southeast of Miami. Saint Kitts and the next door island of Nevis (just 2 miles apart) make up one country. The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis… senior travelers will find both a vacation paradise.

Lonely Planet notes that the two islands “provide a near-perfect package.” Gotta be something special there as US News reports that Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, Sylvester Stallone and Regis Philbin  have found solace on the Kittitian-Nevisian sands.

Both of these intoxicating islands are on my travel bucket list. -jeb


Caribbean Island Draws Senior Visitors

030497anguilla-mapReading my latest Travel & Leisure magazine, I came across Anguilla. This senior knew very little of this island, except that was in the blue Caribbean among a plethora of others. There are so many great destinations in that area, however, today let’s go for a visit to Anguilla.

This British overseas territory is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin. The name Anguilla derives from the word for an “eel”, the shape of the island.


“Tranquillity Wrapped In Blue,” is a description by a local tourist board. Doesn’t that sound inviting? This warm and welcoming island destination is tucked away in the northern Caribbean. Embraced by unrivaled white beaches and breathtaking turquoise seas, senior visitors will find Anguilla to be casual and easy, with a unique blend of high style and low-key elegance.

Senior Visitors Find Slow, Easy Island Tempo


Visitors easily blend in with the slow and casual island tempo. Senior visitors can enjoy the endless summer with near perfect weather, blue waters and balmy trade winds. Quiet, and low key from the end of August to October, I liked the idea of those balmy winds.

I also liked what Lonely Planet called Anguilla… “a limestone bump in the sea.” In addition they note that folks should be prepared to discover a melting pot of cultures set along mind-blowing beaches. Eel-shaped Anguilla is however, no shoestring destination, its authenticity comes at a premium. Anguilla actually flaunts its down-to-earth charms to the jet set subset who crave a vacation off the radar.

Fine White Sand Beaches, Turquoise Waters and Sun

images-4From what I have discovered, Anguilla is everything visitors search for in a Caribbean island with a plethora of those fine white sand beaches, turquoise waters, abundant scenic bays, gentle breezes all day long and palm trees that spread out far as the eye can see.

Once you arrive, you will soon discover the slow and laid-back atmosphere that seems to dominate the island and most all folks, the locals and visitors alike, seek to adopt this slower pace of life. Must be the sun, plus those balmy ocean breezes.

Anguilla has extraordinary hotels that attract the likes of Brad Pitt, Janet Jackson and Robert de Niro, just to mention a few. Only 35 miles long, Anguilla is accessible by ferry from St. Maarten, and it is also possible to fly there. I’ll sign of today with this worthy link focusing on What To Do In Anguilla.   -jeb


Seniors Go Dutch in Oranjestad

imagesOranjestad (Dutch, literally “Orange Town”) is the capital and largest city of Aruba. Senior visitors will find Oranjestad on the southern coast near the western end of the island country.

In the local language, Papiamento, Oranjestad is often referred to simply as “Playa”. It is small town of around 1,000 and the capital of the island of Aruba. Senior visitors will find the town loaded with bright pastel colors on many old buildings in Dutch Colonial style.

All of Aruba, called “One Happy Island,” has much to offer visitors of all ages.  “Orange City” was named after King Willem van Oranje-Nassau, who was the first heir to the Dutch Royal House of Orange.

 Butterflies And Coconuts Await Senior Visitors

The historic harbor and is divided into two sections, Lower Town and Upper Town. Fort Orange is the principal tourist attraction in town, dating back to the 17th century. TripAdvisor finds 28 things to see and do for first timers on the island.

The Butterfly Farm is a major draw for seniors like the Beckers, who love butterflies. You’ll see  butterflies in all stages of development, from larva to adults flying overhead, with species from around the world. When you have had your time at the Butterfly Farm, head for the Aruba Ostrich Farm with a flock of 80 birds.

Senior visitors will not want to miss Alto Vista Chapel. And senior divers can enjoy the dive site of  an old German warship called The Antilla. 

Seniors Enjoy Shopping, Beaching and Birding

Many cruise ships stop at this fine destination for shopping, with Dutch cheese one of the specialities. For those who enjoy picking up some good Vitamin D, head for Arachi Beach where you will walk on very fine soft, sand and enjoy ideal sea conditions.

The early history of Oranjestad is highlighted at the Archeological Museum of Aruba and the Aruba Historical Museum. For birders, the Bubali Bird Sanctuary is a lush site, ideal for viewing many island species.

Arikok National Park is said to be Aruba’s ecological treasure. Along with a wide range of exotic cactus and bright and colorful island flowers, you will see a divi-divi tree.

Deep Sea Fishing is popular along with Jeep safari tours, mountain bike tours, snorkeling, tennis, windsurfing and kitesurfing, sailing trips, and scuba diving. The diving is well known for several awesome shipwrecks and neat coral formations. Ever done a Segway tour?  You can try one on this island.  Glide along and take in the many panoramic views.

Enjoy your island visit. -jeb


Seniors Take A Holiday In Negril


My nephew and his family recently returned from spending a holiday in Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean and home to over 2.6 million people.

This beautiful island is home to the Blue Mountain range, is surrounded by a narrow coastal plain with most major towns located on the coast.


I am not sure where they vacationed, but I did learn that a hot tourism spot in Jamaica is called Negril  population 7000+.

On the island, very little compares to a long, lazy day, soaking up the sun on Negril beaches, except for putting on your evening wear and feeling the real Bob Marley reggae beat of Jamaica at several top nighttime spots.

Senior visitors will find Negril at the western-most tip of Jamaica.

For you equine lovers, explore the island on horseback, where you’ll see some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world. Then, get ready for fun-filled nights out on the island, fueled by delicious local food along with  the island’s famous Red Stripe beer.


For years, Negril’s famed 7 Mile Beach has been rated as one of the top 10 beaches in the world by many travel magazines.

Senior travelers will find the large all-inclusive resorts at the north end of the beach, and to the south, the smaller, family-run hotels. This combination provides the Negril area a large variety of rooms, services and prices.

 Seniors Soak Up The Sun On The White Sand Beaches

Negril is famous for its miles of cool, white sand beaches. It is one of the most beautiful areas in Jamaica with its laid back atmosphere. Senior visitors who stay at a hotel on the beach are literally on the beach when you walk out of the beachside of your hotel.


South of the main Negril beach area is West End Road, known as the “cliffs”, which is lined with resorts that offer more privacy.

These areas offer easy access to waters good for snorkeling and diving, and if you are so inclined…jumping points into the aqua water reaching more than 40 feet (12 m) high.

Rick’s Cafe is a great place to watch cliff jumpers. Gorgeous sunsets are not limited to Rick’s Cafe – from most locations in Negril, the evening view to the west is unparalleled.

Getting around Negril is easy. Negril is separated into the West End (cliffs) or Beach (Norman Manley Boulevard) where senior visitors will find restaurants and hotels.


The wide variety of attractions in Negril offers visitors a view of spectacular waterfalls, an experience of the islands cultural heritage at a former slave plantation, exploration of the amazingly beautiful forest of the Great Morass, a boat ride on the Black River where you can see the endangered American crocodile.

So put Negril on your travel bucket list. It will be a great holiday. jeb


Seniors Awed By Natural Wonders


We all know about the Panama Canal, but little about the rest of Panama. I discovered that there is a plethora of natural wonders throughout Panama.  Now it’s time to include Panama on our senior travel bucket list.

The country has a super natural park called Darien, the Chiriqui Highlands, a Caribbean archipelago of calm waters called Bocas Del Toro and a major highlight,  the Arenal Volcano. Volcanologists have previously declared Arenal the third most perfect volcanic cone in the entire world. Have you ever seen a “perfect volcanic cone” up close?


Panama is the perfect vacation destination for senior travelers with an enthusiasm for the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Nearly 500 rivers lace Panama’s rugged landscape. Mostly un-navigable, many originate as swift highland streams, meander in valleys, and form coastal deltas.

 Abundant Bird And Wildlife Await Senior Visitors

Amphibians, mammals and reptiles are abundant like turtles, hawksbill, monkeys, raccoons, paca and leatherback. Bird species are also in abundance like the yellow warbler, tiger-heron in Paridita and Parida Island. Among the sandy beaches and lush island vegetation reside four types of turtles and hundreds of varieties of orchids.

Kuna Indian women wearing native costumes with Mola embroderies cutting up bananas in their village on Corbisky Island, San Blas Islands (Kuna Yala), Caribbean Sea, Panama

If one was to write a travel slogan for this uniquely “S”-shaped country that connects North and South America, it would go like this: “We’re not Colombia. We’re not Costa Rica. We are Panama.” I read somewhere that ships do not cross the Panama Canal going from east to west, but rather from north to south.

Within the last 100 years, the building of the Panama Canal and the Pan-American Highway have both spurred the country’s growth and development. And in this century, the love of all things green is turning tourism into a thriving industry.

Popular Extreme Tourism Destination

Welcome to panama

Gone are the days when all visitors saw of Panama was the view from the deck of their cruise ship as it navigated the canal. Now it is on site and up close for senior visitors who seek adventure and sites that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

People from practically every culture on earth make up Panama’s population of 3 million. Nearly half live in Panama City and like San Francisco, you’ll even find a Chinatown there. By the way, the Panama hat actually is made in Ecuador, but buy one anyway, they are way cool.

Panama is a popular destination for what is called extreme tourism. There are excellent conditions for trekking, rafting, rappelling, kayaking, surfing, canopy tours and various safaris throughout the country.  Panama is still one of the best-kept travel secrets in the world with outstanding natural beauty and an astounding biodiversity. jeb


Seniors Seek “Francophonie” in Terre-de-Haut

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Terre-de-Haut Island is an island in the Îles des Saintes archipelago, in the Lesser Antilles. The island in the tiny Les Saintes archipelago just south of Guadeloupe is a little slice of Francophone heaven in the midst of the Caribbean.

You seniors who island hop in the Caribbean may already know of this area. It is the most populous island of the archipelago of les Saintes. Looks to me a like a great place to “get away from it all and unwind”. Travel ads note that “visitors are free to explore without modern-day intrusion.”

The island lives on fishing and tourism. The fishermen are recognized through the Caribbean islands as being among the best. The Bay of Les Saintes is said to be one of the most beautiful bays of the world. Like its island neighbor Terre-de-Bas, it holds its name from the maritime vocabulary which called the islands exposed to the wind, highland and those protected from the wind, lowlands.

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Small villages are seen spread out in the rolling hills in the interior. Fond-du-Curé, the most important village of the island is located in a natural harbor. Yachts and huge cruise ships are a common sight in the harbor. Read what Huffington Post has to say about Terre-de-Haut.

 Seniors Enjoy French Ambiance

The beaches on Terre-de-Haut are beautiful. There’s Pain de Sucre, a miniature version of Rio’s Sugar Loaf, a perfect arc of a beach best in the early morning and late afternoon when the day-trippers from Guadeloupe aren’t around and the water is stunningly clear. The island’s most popular beach, Plage de Pompierre, is studded with coconut trees, but be aware that it is typically full of people (and goats!).

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Here’s Fodor’s take on the island: “Part of Iles des Saintes, a group of eight tiny islands off the coast of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, Terre-de-Haut is blissfully low-key. Home to Les Saintes’ only accommodations and a population of 1,500, this hilly and photogenic five-square-mile island has a distinctly French ambience—think a less-flashier St. Barths—and is ideal for a simple yet sensuous romantic escape where the raison d’etre is relaxation by day and delicious food and fine wine at night.

There’s just one tiny town, bistro-lined Bourg, an historic fort with panoramic views, and plenty of colorful cottages and grazing goats ready for their close-up. Frommer’s joins in with their take on the island.

The Euro is coin of the realm and credit cards are widely accepted. A small airport built in 1973 welcomes private planes from Guadeloupe and other Caribbean islands. Experienced guests note that Terre-de-Haut marries its Frenchness and its Caribbeanness in a hybrid that can only imperfectly be described as idyllic.

So yank up your anchor and head out for Terre-de-Haut. Senior visitors will discover Terre-de-Haut to be unspoiled with wonderful French and Creole dishes. Enjoy.  jeb


Virgin Gorda Is A Magnet For Seniors

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Virgin Gorda is part of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Tourism may be Virgin Gorda’s main industry, but with a population of just over 3,000, seniors find the way of life is still old-time Caribbean.

This breathtakingly beautiful island is home to a unique formation of rocks and caves.  It means “Fat Virgin” in Spanish due to the islands profile that appears to look like a huge lady lying on her side.

Many yachts line up along her side. Travelers are inticed with its yacht clubs, quiet coves, safe anchorages and luxury resorts and villas. Sail on in if you happen to have a yacht. Virgin Gorda was revealed in Travel & Leisure as the “Best Island” in the Caribbean.

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 Beach-blessed Virgin Gorda is, in many eyes, the jewel in the crown of the Virgin Islands. Since being “discovered” as a tourist destination in the early 1960′s, Virgin Gorda is still not over-commercialized.

On the North Sound and accessible only by water, the exclusive Bitter End Yacht Club offers a premier resort and barefoot elegance.

Gorda is 12 miles from the main BVI of Tortala and west of Anguilla. Virgin Gorda is approximately ten square miles in a long narrow shape featuring uninhabited beaches and a mountainous interior. It is generally considered to be the most scenic of the British Virgin Islands and less developed than Tortola.

Senior visitors will discover several indigenous plant-lined trails, nature sanctuaries and natural protected national parks. Yes, folks…the atmosphere is “Laid Back” and the laid-back pace of the island is the perfect excuse to take your time, whether you’re wading along the granite grottoes of The Baths, doing some casual snorkeling in Devil’s Bay or Nail Bay, or exploring the stone ruins of a 19th century Copper Mine.

 The Baths, Rugged Trails and Beaches Delight Seniors

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Explore Virgin Gorda on the rugged trails that run throughout the island. At the nature sanctuary at Little Fort National Park, marvel at the exotic birds as they swoop over the hills and ocean.

For you adventurous senior visitors, hike a trail at Peak National Park and you will find yourself at the highest point, the “belly” of the island at 1,359 feet.

Some 20 sandy beaches line the island, but the stretch of shore at the southern end, including The Baths, is in a class of its own. The “Baths” are a collection of giant boulders which form spectacular pools and grottos which flood with sea water at high tide.

The name “baths” comes from the warm sheltered pools of water in and around the rocks. The Baths of Virgin Gorda are such a spectacular natural feature that they warrant their own section.

I discovered that there are three speeds available on this relaxed island – slow, slower and dead stop. So come, visit Virgin Gorda, where you can have nothing to do and all day to do it in. jeb


Seniors Discover Exotic Exuma

Exuma is a district of the Bahamas consisting of over 360 islands (or cays). The largest of the cays, and the only one with any significant population, is Great Exuma, which is 37 miles (60 km) in length.

Great Exuma and its Cays are the most exotic of the Bahamas Out Islands, a collection of tiny jewel-like islands set in the most beautiful mosaic of blues you’ve ever seen. “Old-school Bahamas” is a tag for this collection of 365 cays stretching 120 miles and anchored by two main islands, Great Exuma and Little Exuma.

Great Exuma is world-renowned for its magnificent coral reefs, colorful sea life, and powdery white-sand beaches. Most of the Exumas’ 3,500 residents live on two main islands, Great Exuma and Little Exuma, arguably the most beautiful yachting venue in the world.

The Exumas are some of the prettiest islands in the Bahamas and there are no high-rises to obstruct ocean views, nothing is higher than two stories, just clapboard cottages painted pink, yellow or blue. The Exumas lie within the chain of the Out Islands, with the Exuma Cays scattered in a long line extending north toward New Providence from Great Exuma.

If culture is what senior visitors are looking for, Great Exuma has it in abundance. Visit the remains of cotton growing and salt farming plantations at Williams Town. Or, take a trip to the fascinating ancient salt ponds.

History comes alive at Elizabeth Harbor which was once a favorite haunt for pirates. The harbor is home to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the first land and sea park in the world to be declared a national park. The laid back capital George Town offers a great selection of casual Bahamian restaurants.

 Seniors Meet Friendly Folk

It is said that the Exumas are among the friendliest islands in The Bahamas; the people are warmhearted and not  spoiled by tourism, seeming genuinely delighted to receive and welcome visitors of all ages. The locals grow a lot of their own food, including cassava, onions, cabbages, and pigeon peas, on the acres their ancestors worked as slaves.  Drop anchor, cast a line, or dance away the days.

 Footprint-free beaches and ultra-exclusive resorts and islands fit for celebrities make this tropical paradise an absolute gem for senior visitors. Snorkeling and scuba-diving opportunities draw from around the world.

The serenity and beauty of Exuma can be experienced by fishing, bonefishing, scuba diving or snorkeling, power or sail boating, bicycling, hiking, or exploring the island and beaches by rental car or taxi tour. Fishing is superb, and the “flats” on Great Exuma’s west side are famous for its excellent bonefishing.

The island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas guarantees lasting memories and days and nights of sun, fun and romance. So prepare to hold your breath and dive into a thousand shades of blue on your exploration of the Exuma Cays.  jeb


Seniors Discover “The Unspoiled Queen”

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Yours truly has discovered a new island to visit: Saba. Traveling to Saba Netherlands Antilles from her neighbor St. Maarten is just the beginning of your senior adventure.

The Netherlands have been firmly in possession of the island of Saba, since the early 19th century. The island of Saba, pronounced “SAY-ba” rises majestically from clear azure waters. Saba is like no other Caribbean destination. It mainly consists of the remains of a potentially-active,  yet dormant volcano named Mt. Scenery.

The population of Saba is around 1,500 residents spread into four major villages and includes the 200-300 medical students attending the famous Saba University of Medicine.  Untouched by the quickening pace of the modern world, an island caught within a moment, and the moment within which she’s captured you ask?

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The old Caribbean… safe, friendly and charming with exquisite natural beauty both above and below her waterline. The locals are downright friendly and genuine, so it’s easy for seniors to fall into the pace of island life. 

At Windwardside, Mount Scenery is the major attraction. At 3,000 feet, Mount Scenery is the highest point on the mountainous island of Saba and can be reached via a difficult hike through the rainforest. Most revenues come from tourism and the sea. There are plenty of good comfortable accommodations to be found on Saba with a surprising number of quality restaurants as well.

Orchids, Birds And Fish Catch Senior’s Eye

You will love all the wild orchids and the 60 species of birds that inhabit the island. For you divers, 200 kinds of fish swim near its shores. Saba offers a level of diversity that seems impossible given its extremely small size. This little-known speck of land is one of the favorite honeymoon destinations in all of the Caribbean.

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The entire island has an 18th century feel to it and life moves at a slow and leisurely pace that senior visitors enjoy. Read this Saba travel guide for additional specs. Small yes, at just 13 sq km, Saba is one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean.

TripAdvisor suggests 28 things for senior visitors to see and do on the island. Since you are on the ocean, you can swim, snorkel, dive, sail, go fishing, try scuba or sea-trek, parasailing, banana boating. If you plan to rent a car in Saba, be aware you will be driving on the left.

Okay divers, ahoy there.  SeaSaba is the Dive Center that brings in divers from every nation. Saba is famous for its numerous scuba diving venues, eco-tourism opportunities, lobster fishing, a distinct lack of commercialism, and a relaxing, isolated solitude. Saba is the land of towering crags, rain forests and the famous ‘road that could not be built’.

What makes Saba such a magical experience is that it is far away from the cares and worries of today’s hurried world. So learn to say “SAY-ba” and head off for a great adventure in the Caribbean.  jeb


A Great Island Visit For Seniors

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It seems like all of a sudden senior travelers have discovered Isla Mujeres, a tiny island off the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It’s been there a long long time, as in March of the year 1517 when Francisco Hernandez Cordova discovered the island.

Today MSNBC invites travelers to move to islands and notes that Isla Mujeres, Spanish for Island of Women, is a laid back oasis. Isla, as the locals call it, blends the soul of Mexico with the beaches of the Caribbean and is a hammock-swinging lifestyle, peppered with Mayan legends.

I’ve been there with students and loved every moment on the island. Senior visitors will find the friendly atmosphere perfect for a relaxing vacation. Huffington Post called Isla a Tropical Paradise. I am sure that it has changed a lot since my visits a few years back, but it still remains so memorable.

 Small Fishing Village Still

Once a small fishing village, colorful Isla Mujeres with 65 hotels has become a favorite for senior travelers seeking natural beauty, island serenity, and a slower pace of life and all without compromising its cultural traditions.

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One can easily walk from the east side of the island to the west, catching sunrise in the morning and later, watching the sun set as the local fishing boats return with their day’s catch. Senior visitors will find the typical items available for purchase (blankets, jewelry, stone carvings, masks, hats) all along main street.

Silver is the item to look for and good prices can be found. The majority of shops and restaurants accept the US dollar but may give you your change back in pesos. Like most everything in Mexico, you can usually bargain for a better price.

It’s small but seniors will find plenty to see and do on Isla: a stunning ocean full of colorful coral reefs, teeming with friendly tropical fish, a paradise for both snorkelers, which I did with my students, and scuba divers.  And senior birders, on Isla you can spot dozens of more than 150 species of birds. 

 Seniors Visit Underwater Museum

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The Island was a Mayan sanctuary to goddess Ixchel for about a thousand years. Statues of women were discovered by the first Spanish visitors and this where the name “Island of Women” originated.

The National Park West Coast of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc, which receives approximately 750,000 tourists annually, features more than 400 concrete sculpture figurines comprising the world’s largest underwater museum, right in the waters in front of Cancun and the island.

The 400 life-size sculptures are called La Evolución Silenciosa, The Silent Evolution. Senior divers and snorkelers will have the opportunity to admire the original sculptures in depths ranging from 9 to 20 feet.

I think that you will enjoy every day on Isla. I found it to be very special.  jeb

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