Isla Mujeres in the Riviera Maya is one of the top tourist destinations, especially as a day trip from Cancun. There are lots of things to do in Isla Mujeres but probably the most popular thing to do is absolutely nothing!
Isla Mujeres beaches are beautiful, in fact, Playa Norte (North Beach) is one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world (according to trip advisor).
So although you can totally decide to spend the day chilling on the beach there is a lot more to do on Isla Mujeres, from drinking a shot of tequila in the Ice Bar, to visiting the underwater museum, in this guide we are going to share with you some of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres to make the most of your visit there.
Do you need to take an Isla Mujeres Tour
Before we get started, you may be wondering if you need to take a Isla Mujeres tour. With so many different tour companies trying to see your tours every step of the way it can be a little confusing. To try and clear it up here are the reasons you should and shouldn't take a tour to Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres snorkeling - This is the top reason to take a tour. Most of the tours to Isla Mujeres are based in the water. This means you will travel from Cancun to isla Mujeres by boat (rather than the public ferry). Then you will spend most of your time touring the Island from the water. Most tours only give you an hour or so actually on the island.
Isla Mujeres Sunset - The sunrise in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum can be magical. But sadly unless you travel to Isla Blanca finding a sunset in the Riviera Maya can be tricky. Not so on Isla Mujeres. If you take a tour they are likely to have you back in Cancun before the sun sets. Meaning you are going to miss it! One was around this is to ensure you have a afternoon departure so your day will end sailing into the sunset!
Isla Mujeres Beaches - The beaches on the Island are pretty special. Taking a tour you won't get to spend much time on them, which is a shame. However, without a tour, you will miss out on so much of the incredible things you can see and do in the water!
Now there are, of course, ways to make sure you have the best of both worlds! It’s actually pretty simple.
Take a tour to Isla Mujeres, enjoy the snorkeling and cruising by boat around the Island. Then simply ask your tour company to leave you there! We are always of course, happy to arrange this for you if you take a tour with us.
You could either spend the night at one of the hotels on the island or enjoy an evening meal at one of the island's restaurants while watching the sun setting, then take the public ferry back to Cancun.
Isla Mujeres - Things to do
Whether you decide to take a tour or go it alone here are some recommendations of things to do in Isla Mujeres.
Hire a Golfcart and drive around the Island - The main form of transport here is by golf carts. Don’t be tempted to just go to the first shop though, walk a little into town and you will get a better price. You can rent by the hour, half a day, or a full day. They will give you a map so you can navigate around. Although it is a small island so it’s pretty impossible to get lost!
Visit Punta Sur Isla Mujeres - You are going to need to the golf cart or a taxi to get here. It is the most southern part of the Island and there is a nice viewpoint as well as being the highest point in the Yucatan Peninsula. As well as enjoying the view you can also visit the Punta Sur Sculpture Garden and visit the Mayan Temple to Ixchel, the Goddess of the Moon.
Isla Mujeres beaches - the beaches here are beautiful and you can’t go wrong at any of them. But Playa North is the most popular to visit and it is just a 10-15 minute walk from the ferry.
Isla Mujeres snorkeling - Most of the snorkeling here is too far to swim out to so you will need to book a tour and go by boat. You can do this there, although to make the most of your day we recommend taking a snorkeling tour from the mainland.
Visit a beach club - Our favorite beach club to visit is Zama Beach Club. It has great views, fantastic food, and a swimming pool. What more could you ask for?! You will need to either take a taxi or rent a golf cart to get here, but trust us, it’s worth it!
Eat some delicious seafood - Our favorite place to eat on the island is Muelle 7 you can't go wrong with anything on the menu here, it’s right on the beach, and the service is impeccable! This is the place we bring all of our guests on our Isla Mujeres tour.
Watch the sunset on Playa Norte. We have saved the best for last. Playa Norte is one of the few places you can see the sun setting into the sea. Don’t miss out on this if you can help it.
How to Get to Isla Mujeres
Option one: Let us take you! We can pick you up from your hotel in Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Cancun, bring you to your own private boat and then we will tour the Island by boat. On the tour, you will get to see the very best snorkeling spots on the island as well as having the chance to get off the boat and walk around the town. We will then bring you back to your hotel, or if you prefer to have more time to explore the Island on your own, just let us know and we can leave you on the Island and you can make your own way back the next day. Click here for more information.
Option two: Go it alone. The Isla Mujeres ferry actually departs from two locations, one in the hotel zone and one from Puerto Juarez. Both are operated by Ultramar and bring foot passengers from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.
How to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun
The ferry to Isla Mujeres from Puerto Juarez is both cheaper and more frequent. If you are driving they also have a car park where you can safely park your car for around 150 pesos per day.
The other ferry leave from the hotel zone and is mostly for tourists staying there. It is more expensive and less frequent. So unless you are staying in the hotel zone, you will want to go to Puerto Juarez.
To get to Puerto Juarez from central Cancun you can take a taxi for around 30-50 Pesos or take a colectivo minibus from the ADO station. Just ask or look out for Puerto Juarez written on the windscreen of the minibuses. It is actually very easy and the locals will help you out, just say Puerto Juarez and they will point you in the right direction!
How to get to Isla Mujeres from Tulum
From Tulum, the easiest way to get to Isla Mujeres is to buy an Island hopper ticket from ULTRAMAR they will get you all the way there with no stress. It is a little bit more expensive than doing it yourself, but a lot less fuss, so worth it.
Alternatively, you can drive here easily, just follow the signs to Cancun and then once you arrive in the city look for signs to Puerto Juarez.
By public transport, you can take an ADO bus from Tulum to Cancun, and then take a colectivo or taxi from the ADO station to Puerto Juarez. For details see above. Alternatively to save money you can take a colectivo from Tulum to Playa del Carmen and then take a second colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Cancun, and then take a third colectivo to Puerto Juarez.
How to get to Isla Mujeres from Playa del Carmen
From Playa del Carmen take the ADO bus to Cancun (not the airport, the city center) from here take a taxi or colectivo to Puerto Juarez (see above for more details). Or take a collectivo instead of the ADO bus to Cancun if you want to save money.
So that's our guide to Isla Mujeres! It really is a beautiful Island to explore and we would love to take you there, so please don't hesitate to get in touch for more information.
Ps don’t forget it’s almost whale shark season and we are currently taking bookings. Don’t miss out on this incredible once in a lifetime experience!