Exploring the Islas Marías' Artsy & Haunting Attractions

Explore Islas Marías, where nature and history unite. Hike to a lighthouse, witness breathtaking sunrises, discover art in the sand, and delve into cinematic history at the salt plant. Swim on pristine beaches, stargaze at night, and admire captivating murals.

Exploring the Islas Marías' Artsy & Haunting Attractions
Eerie legends come alive: El Hachero, the island's ghostly axman, roaming Islas Marías by moonlight.

Welcome, fellow travelers and adventure seekers! Buckle up your hiking boots, put on your stargazing goggles, and pack your sunscreen because we're off to the enchanting Islas Marías, where wonders abound at every corner. This hidden gem of an island, tucked away off the coast of Mexico, offers a one-of-a-kind experience that blends nature, history, and a sprinkle of the supernatural. Get ready for a journey that's as fascinating as it is unforgettable!

Our adventure begins with a brisk hike that will lead you to the crown jewel of Islas Marías—the island's lighthouse. Picture this: in just 15 to 25 minutes (depending on your pace), you'll find yourself at the summit, surrounded by a thriving ecosystem that showcases the beautiful life itself. It's not just about spotting butterflies, rabbits, or iguanas; it's about witnessing the web of life where every species plays a vital role.

As you ascend, keep your eyes peeled for fossils scattered among the mountains—shells, snails, corals, fish, and more, frozen in time like nature's own museum. But the real treat awaits you at the top, where the Lighthouse of the Island offers a vantage point for spectacular sunsets that will take your breath away.

But hold on, our adventure takes a turn! As you reach the summit, you'll stumble upon the Apando—a tiny, eerie structure that once held prisoners in sweltering conditions. It's a chilling reminder of the island's dark past that juxtaposes the beauty of its natural wonders.

Monumental Christ the King

Next up, we're heading to the heavens, quite literally. On a hill's peak stands a monumental Christ the King statue, arms wide open in welcome. This creation, a symbol of unity and regeneration, is a testament to the island's rich history. The journey to this heavenly spot takes about 45 minutes to an hour, but trust us, the embrace of Mother Earth along the way makes every step worth it. At the top, you'll find yourself amidst breathtaking sunrises that will leave you in awe.

The Face of Christ in the Sand

As you explore the island, don't forget to wander along the coast near the salt works. Here, the settlers of Islas Marías have crafted a meticulous masterpiece—a face of Jesus the Nazarene, and a table with Roman numerals, representing the Ten Commandments. It's a delicate work of art that defies the sands of time, so admire it with the amazement it deserves, but please don't disturb a single shell or stone, or this miracle may crumble.

The Salt Plant

For cinephiles and history buffs alike, a visit to the salt mine is a must. This iconic location served as the backdrop for the classic film “Islas Marías” starring Pedro Infante. Here, you can explore the ruins of the salt works and even find mounds of salt that have solidified over time. Walking along the shoreline, you can almost hear the echoes of the prisoners who toiled here under the blazing sun. It's a surreal experience where history and nature coalesce.

Sun and Beach

What's a trip to Islas Marías without a dip in its crystal-clear waters? The island boasts pristine beaches, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. In the southwest of Maria Madre Island, you can walk on sandy shores, feeling the soft grains beneath your feet. And for those seeking tranquility, the rocky beaches offer a serene soundscape of crashing waves. But remember, this untouched paradise comes with rules—no sunblock or chemicals in the water to preserve its pristine state. Islas Marías is a place where nature reigns supreme.

Starry Sky

After a day of adventure, don't miss the opportunity to gaze at the night sky. Free from the pollution of city lights, Islas Marías offers a celestial show that's out of this world. The starry canvas above is a glimpse into humanity's oldest traditions, where the cosmos guided our ancestors in understanding time and the mysteries of creation. For the best view, head to Punta Halcón on María Madre Island and witness the brilliance of Polaris, the sailor's favorite star.

The Murals

As you explore the island, be sure to check out the captivating murals that adorn its walls. From the airport's outdoor reception to the interior of the community theater, these murals narrate the stories of those who endured life on the island. They're a testament to the enduring human spirit and the island's transformation from a place of suffering to one of hope and renewal. Named in honor of the book that immortalized the island, the “Muros de Agua- José Revueltas” Museum is a must-visit. Its walls come alive with the essence of Islas Marías and its inhabitants. The murals inside tell tales of duality, hope, and renewal, with powerful messages that resonate with every visitor.

Other Attractions of Interest:

The journey doesn't end here. Explore the island's old churches and chapels, statues and monuments, tilapia and shrimp tanks, and even indulge in a ghostly encounter with “el hachero,” the axeman who once roamed the island's darkest nights. Islas Marías is a place where nature, history, and the supernatural intertwine, offering travelers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, set your compass for adventure, and get ready to uncover the weird wonders of Islas Marías—a destination like no other!

Source: González Madruga, C. D. (2020). Islas Marías libro-guía de turismo (1st ed.). Secretaría de Turismo.