Looking to escape to Mexico for your sun and sand fix?
Skip staying in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, and find true relaxation on the magical little island of Isla Mujeres.
At just over 4 miles long, this quaint island offers plenty of beauty and charm without the loud, party atmosphere of Mexico’s more well known hot spots.
If you are flying into Cancun, I recommend using Cancun Shuttle to transport you to Puerto Juarez where you can take the Ultramar Ferry to get to the island.
I booked Cancun Shuttle directly through their website and paid only $28 roundtrip. The ride from the airport is about 40 minutes long and both drivers I had were great. Friendly, personable and drove at a reasonable speed!
The driver will take you directly to the Ultramar Ferry located in Puerto Juarez. Ferries depart every 30 minutes and roundtrip tickets only cost 300 pesos or $15. Tickets can easily be purchased upon arrival from the Puerto Juarez ticket office or pre-purchased online.
Once you’ve arrived via ferry and retrieved your luggage, getting a taxi to your hotel is no problem. There are drivers waiting who are happy to help you with your bags and deliver you to your final destination. Expect to pay anywhere between $5 – $10 depending on the proximity of your hotel to the Playa Norte ferry station.
I stayed at the Mia Reef (which I highly recommend!) on the northern most part of the island and only about a mile from the ferry station.
Once you’ve settled in, getting around the island is a breeze with a golf cart or bicycle!
Golf cart rentals are popular and available on nearly every corner in the downtown area. Prices range from $45-$55 for a full day rental and are a fun way to see all the island has to offer.
Bicycles were complimentary with my hotel stay, so I took advantage of seeing the island on two wheels.
You are safe on any part of Isla Mujeres and you will see tourists and encounter friendly locals no matter where you go!
Playa Norte is the island’s most popular beach and stretches along the entire north end.
It offers wide expanses of white sand with calm water perfect for snorkeling. The best snorkeling spot I found was actually underneath the wooden bridge leading to the Mia Reef Hotel.
There are several other beaches along the west side of the island that are open to the public as well. Just look for signs as you are driving. You can read up on these beach options and what they each have to offer here.
1. PUNTA SUR
During your stay on Isla Mujeres you will want to make time to explore the south end of the island where Punta Sur is located. Here you will find rocky shoreline with breathtaking cliff views, sculptures and a lighthouse as well as a serpentine walking path along the ocean.
On the day I visited Punta Sur, a storm was rolling in and the sky was overcast but despite the gloomy weather the view was still amazing.
Nature lovers and little ones will enjoy seeing the turtle sanctuary along the west coast of Isla Mujeres. The turtle sanctuary known as Tortugranja was created in an effort to preserve sea turtles as well as to educate visitors . Guided tours are available and entrance is only 30 pesos or $1.50 USD.
photo credit Jeremiah Blatz
photo courtesy of MUSA website
Experience the once in a lifetime opportunity of seeing a complete museum of art, underwater. Originally created to draw visitors away from the fragile coral reefs in the area, this unique museum has become a must see destination in it’s own right.
Tour operators offer snorkeling, catamaran and scuba diving options. Ticket combinations and pricing found here.
If swimming with dolphins is on your bucket list, Isla Mujeres offers Dolphin Discovery!
Prices range from $98 for a Dolphin Encounter package up to $199 for the VIP treatment and the opportunity to have the dolphins take YOU for a swim.
If you are adventured minded and looking for a thrill, than consider heading to Garrafon Park to go zip lining!
Start 100 feet above sea level and race past the beautiful cliffs and over the crystal clear water.
Different packages are available and can be combined with snorkeling, kayaking and dolphin discovery.
Whether you choose to spend all your time beach side or take a day or two to explore you can’t go wrong on Isla Mujeres. The laid back charm of this island will leave you refreshed and recharged and ready to tackle whatever awaits you back home!
P.S. Looking for an epic day trip off the island? Check out the post of my incredible tour of Chichen Itza! You don’t want to miss seeing one of the 7 wonders of the world while you’re in Mexico. Trust me!