Just off the coast of tourist-laden Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a small island, only 5 miles long (8 kilometers), with fantastic beaches, shopping, and restaurants. Named after the Mayan goddess of childbirth and medicine, the "Island of Women" is now known for the stellar snorkeling and scuba diving in the Manchones Reef and the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, as well as the sea turtle sanctuary.
Dining and entertainment can be found on Hildago Street, a cobble stone pedestrian walkway with boutiques and restaurants reminiscent of Playa del Carmen's Fifth Avenue. A plus to shopping and dining on Isla Mujeres over Cancun? It's a whole lot cheaper and has a great atmosphere.