This comes from old Mayan folklore and mythology. Ancient Mayans from the pre-Columbian period considered this Island to be sacred and inhabited only by Ixchel, Goddess of fertility, happiness, medicine and the moon along with her court of women.
Then the Spaniards came on the 16th century and after exploring the island they found hundreds of statues and images of Ixchel and women, that is when they decided to call the newly discovered island “Isla de Mujeres” which means Island of the Women that has been shortened to simply “Isla Mujeres” as we all know it today.
Isla Mujeres also has a nickname, “El Amanecer de Mexico” which means The dawn of Mexico, this is because the Island is located in the easternmost point of Mexico, therefore it is the first spot in Mexican territory to receive sunlight every day. Locals and tourists have made it a tradition to visit this spot on New year’s eve to receive the first sunlight of the new year.