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Secret Mexico

Guide To Isla Mujeres Travel


Isla Mujeres is a small island about an hour off the coast of Cancun. It used to be a fishing village but has grown in popularity recently due to its proximity and variety of snorkeling, beaches, and activities.

How To Get To Isla Mujeres

Here are some tips on traveling to Isla Mujeres from Cancun!

-Get there by Ferry: There is no reason to rent a car if you’re spending only a few days on Isla. You can take public ferries that operate between Tulum/Cancun and Isla Mujeres for probably less than $5 one way. There is also a big ferry that you can take from Cancun to Isla Mujeres every 30 mins. The big ferry is faster, more comfortable, and much more relaxed inside than the public ferries. You also get complimentary water when you ride in air-conditioned comfort on the big ferry.

What To Do In Isla Mujeres

-Beaches: I recommend finding free (or cheap) beach palapas that you can rent for an hour or two for sunbathing, snorkeling in their reef, etc. You’re better off spending your money on getting out on a boat tour like glass-bottom kayaking (amazing !), scuba diving, snorkeling with dolphins (pricey), or para-sailing (pricey)! 

-Scuba Diving: There are a couple of different dive shops on the island. They all seem to be pretty similar as far as prices go and all offer free pick up from your hotel. The dives sites around Isla Mujeres are absolutely amazing because there’s a coral reef that goes right into the ocean! It’s much better than diving in Cancun because you’re not limited to only going 40ft deep. Also, you’re much closer to a reef where it’s easier to snorkel with fish (and sharks!).

-Isla Mujeres Underwater Museum: This is probably one of our favorite attractions on Isla Mujeres. It’s an underwater museum with beautiful sculptures made out of glass right in front of El Garrafรณn Park (website below)! There are different prices for divers ($40) and snorkelers ($10).

-Isla Contoy: A cool thing to do in Isla Mujeres is to take a Taxi Boat (MSB) to “Contoy Island” for the day. Contoy has a fantastic beach, some small Mayan pyramids that you can climb, and tons of animals! It’s also really cheap (~ $10 roundtrip) or free of charge if you’re there at low season.

-Tulum Ruins: The ruins are great but expensive ($14 general admission). I recommend renting a golf cart with friends, so it’s cheaper! You can also see Tulum by bus or public ferry from Isla. The ferry ride is very scenic and fun!

Best Beaches In Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres has some of the best beaches in Mexico! You can choose from long stretches of white sand or hidden coves away from the crowded city!

Cocoa Beach: Cocoa Beach is one of the most popular on Isla. It is located next to downtown, so it’s easy to get to, and there are always many beach parties here during the spring break season. There’s also a ton of restaurants nearby that you can eat at after having fun in the sun all day too.

Playa Norte: Playa Norte faces out into the open ocean, making it great for catching amazing waves if you want to go surfing! If you walk all the way to the end of the beach, you could probably see turtles and dolphins swimming around!

Playa Lancheros: Playa Lancheros is located right in front of where the ferry docks, so it’s easy to catch a ferry or water taxi back and forth from here. There are also lots of cool local shops and restaurants where you can eat delicious seafood and shop for souvenirs!

Chankanaab: Chankanaab is one of the most popular beaches in Isla Mujeres because of its fun activities. You can go snorkeling with dolphins, see sea turtles up close, learn how to scuba dive, or relax on their white sand beach!

Best Time To Go To Isla Mujeres

April-May and October-November are a bit less crowded, but that’s about it. It’s definitely not worth going if you have to take a ferry from Cancun because the water is rough and slow during those times.

The Best Way To Get Around In Isla Mujeres

Don’t rent a car. Just take the public ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres and then take a taxi around town or ask your hotel/hostel to arrange a golf cart for you! Golf carts are pretty cheap on Isla Mujeres – $28 for a day.

Reasons To Stay Longer In Isla Mujeres

If you have never been here before, we recommend spending at least four days on Isla. You can book one-day tours pretty easily, but if you want something custom, it’s best to stay overnight, so you’re not rushed.

Best Places To Stay In Isla Mujeres

 Isla Mujeres has a ton of hotels, all with very similar prices & amenities (most places offer complimentary breakfast!). Depending on your budget and how much luxury you like, you can stay right on one of the beaches or right in the city center for around $70-$100 per night!

Izla Beach Front Hotel: If you’re looking for the best place to stay on Isla Mujeres, Izla Beach Front Hotel is it! It has a great pool area, tons of hammocks, beach access, a fantastic breakfast buffet included in your stay, and clean rooms.

Casa de Los Sueรฑos Hotel Boutique: This is a beautiful little hotel in the city center. It’s a unique hotel with tons of art throughout! The staff is super friendly and helpful too!

Casa del Jaguar Beach Hotel: This is a great budget hotel in the city center! It’s very clean, with complimentary breakfasts but the only downside here is that there’s not much of a view.

Isla Mujeres Palace: This is a luxurious resort on the north side of Isla. They have amazing views of the Cancun skyline, and their restaurants serve some of the best food in Mexico and its Adults Only hotel!

Nightlife In Isla Mujeres

Nightlife in Isla Mujeres is a bit scarce if you want to stay close. There’s a couple of clubs downtown and some bars, but it’s nothing like Cancun. The best club is called the “Beach Club,” and it’s right next to the town center, so it’s hard to miss!

“Club Cancun” is a nightclub located on the beach of Isla Mujeres and has been ranked as one of the top 100 clubs in Latin America by Newsweek magazine. The DJs spin music from all around the world, and they have a fantastic view of the ocean and hotel zone, so there’s no shortage of fun! Every night they provide free drinks to those who register at their website for a free VIP card before midnight. 

If that’s not enough, here are just some other great clubs: Venus Club – their motto is “bringing out your inner Goddess,” which I can get behind. They offer some cool drinks too.

Where To Eat In Isla Mujeres

There are tons of restaurants all over Isla Mujeres, so you can always find something delicious no matter what cuisine you’re craving! Also, most restaurants have delicious fresh fruit margaritas that they make with cucumbers & bananas, or I loved having a mojito too!

The Best Places For A Drink In Isla Mujeres

If you want to drink and get a nice view, I recommend Hotel Casa Tua. It’s located on the cliffs between downtown and the bayside of Isla Mujeres. Great views and great drinks!

The next best place is Isla Mujeres Palace. They have a great bar area and amazing views of the Cancun skyline at night!

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