Travel Guide to Isla Mujeres – best things to do and must visit places
After arriving to Mexico, we spent two days in Cancun, slept off the jetlag, recharged with Mexican food, explored the beaches in the so-called “Hotel zone” and headed towards the Caribbean beaches on the island of Isla Mujeres. We spent 3 days there and despite the disappointment of overcrowded beaches and expensive services, we enjoyed this island. Beaches with fine sand and clear blue water were perfect combination.
How to get to the port Punta Sam in Cancun
- Taxi – the easiest but also the most expensive option. The price depends on where you are going from, the port is located about 11 km from the center.
- Bus – more complicated but very cheap option. It took us a while to understand local bus transportation but in the end, we were saved by the app Moovit, which showed us exactly the bus stop (for getting on and off), the bus line number and the approximate arrival time. But honestly, you can’t really trust that :D, there is basically no fixed timetable. We paid directly to the driver after boarding the bus, so it’s a good idea to have some small bills with you. Usually one way costs around 10 -12 MXN., it depends on the specific line.
Ferry from Punta Sam in Cancun to the port Puerto Juaréz in Isla Mujeres
For the way to Isla Mujeres and back to Cancun, we chose the company Ultamar , a one-way ticket cost 220 MXN (November, 2022) and the ferry ride took about half an hour. On the board is also provided the entertainment by local musicians who play a few songs, cheer up the passengers and then collect money from them. Although they bypass everyone, they are not intrusive, so if you don’t want to pay, we don’t have to. After climbing the island
Ultamar 220 MXN per person, a musician plays on the ship (each time with a different musical instrument) and collects money upon arrival at the port, but you don’t have to pay if you don’t want to.
Where to stay in Isla Mujeres
We definitely recommend accommodation somewhere between the port and Playa Norte beach. This area is simply the main hub of activities and you’ll find everything from beaches, shops, restaurants to the famous colorful Caribbean style houses.
Must do thing and must visit places in Isla Mujeres
Beach Playa Norte
For us, it is certainly the most beautiful beach on the island with fine sand and crystal blue water. The beach is also publicly accessible and there is no entrance fee. The only drawback is the number of tourists when we arrived in the afternoon, so we almost had nowhere to put a towel.
Beach Playa Centro
Another nice beach in the north of the island, from where we recommend watching the sunset.
This is the southernmost point of the island, from where there is a nice view of the cliffs. An entrance fee of MXN 30 is required to fully reach the tip. We walked here (it’s about 15 km there and back) or another option is to rent a golf cart or take a local bus.
Isla Mujeres is a very colorful island and these stairs are no different. We recommend visiting as a short stop on the way to Punta Sur.
We skipped this activity due to the overpriced tour prices and park entrance fees. We’re probably just spoiled from Indonesia, where all wehad to do was to pay for snorkeling gear and that was it. No tour or overpriced parks were needed. Otherwise, there are many companies on the island that offer tours and take you to several popular places.
Another popular place for snorkeling is Garrafon park. The cheapest package costs 63 USD and includes various attractions. The last place we found wasParque de los Suenos but unfortunately, we don’t know the entrance fee for this one.
Isla Mujeres sign
This is such a classic that you can find at the most tourist places. The exact location of the sign is Parador Fotográfico Isla Mujeres
You will find a lot of street art on the island. The most famous one is right next to the Isla Mujeres sign and we saw another one when we walked to the southern tip of the island. Just look around you 🙂
How to get around Isla Mujeres
- Golf carts – the most popular means of transportation on the island. The cart should cost around 80 USD/24 hours
- Motorcycle – scooter should cost about 35 USD/day
- Bicycle – the island is small, so you can easily get around on a bicycle. Renting a bike should cost about 10 USD/24 hours.
- Walking – we don’t mind walking, so we walked everywhere. It was safe and without problem since there are sidewalks everywhere on the island.
- Local Bus – a bus runs around the island. One way costs $2 or there is an option to buy an all-day pass for $9. More information here .
Places to eat in Isla Mujeres
Honestly, we’re always looking for cheap and good food, ideally places where locals eat, so you won’t find any famous or tourist restaurants on this list.
- Q´bravo – a cheap and good place with Mexican food. Very popular for breakfast. For us, the portions could be a little bigger, but then again, for the price, ok…
- Quesadillas El Milagro – street corner stand, very simple but their quesadilla was cheap, delicious and very honest