A day trip to Isla Mujeres is a perfect getaway from Cancún. You find so many fun things to do on this hidden gem in the Mexican Caribbean. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine white sandy beaches, and lively marine life, the island offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
What sets it apart is its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, making it the perfect escape from the bustling city. In short, Isla Mujeres offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. With attractions such as the Tortugranja turtle farm, Punta Sur Eco Beach Park and an awesome reef to snorkel, you will have a great time.
How to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancún?
So, how do you get there? The best way to reach Isla Mujeres from Cancún is by taking a ferry. And that is pretty straightforward.
- The ferry ride takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes and provides scenic views along the way.
- Ferries depart regularly from Puerto Juarez and Ultramar is one of the main ferry companies operating this route.
- Some companies depart straight from the hotel zone in Cancún at Playa Caracol or Playa Tortugas. (Check at your hotel if you stay there)
- The frequency of the ferry rides varies throughout the day, with departures as often as every 30 minutes.
- To make the most of your visit, it’s recommended to plan your return trip accordingly. The latest ferry back to Cancún usually departs around 9.00 PM but check to make sure, because it may depend on the company and the season.
- Bring your ID or passport.
- As for the ticket prices, round-trip fares cost around €30 per person, but they may vary depending on the season and the ferry company.
Round-trip ferry Cancún - Isla Mujeres
Ferry tickets to Isla Mujeres
Guided tour from Cancún
Don’t want to explore the island on your own? Maybe a guided tour is the way to go for you. There are plenty of quality tours arranged from the shores of Cancún to discover Isla Mujeres. This way, everything is arranged for you, no stress, just relax, enjoy the day and make some new friends along the way.
Things to do on Isla Mujeres
So, now that you got there, what is there to see and do on the island? Well, with its compact size, Isla Mujeres is ideal to explore in a day. After the short ferry ride, you can discover its charming streets filled with local shops, restaurants, and colourful houses. Snorkelling and diving enthusiasts will be delighted by the stunning coral reefs and the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, while beach lovers can soak up the sun on Playa Norte beach or at Garrafon de Castilla. Let’s check out all the top things to do!
Explore downtown Isla Mujeres
Your ferry from Cancún docks at the North of the island. The small northern tip forms downtown Isla Mujeres. This charming area offers a glimpse into the local way of life. You’ll find many unique shops, restaurants with amazing seafood and plenty of laid-back bars to sip on your favourite cocktail.
Take a stroll through the crisscrossing streets and browse through the colourful handicrafts and souvenirs on offer. I’m sure you find more than one nice trinket to take home.
Visit Punta Sur Nature Park
For those seeking a bit of adventure, the island has a lot to offer. Rent your own golf cart and drive to the southern tip of the island to visit Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, which is home to a historic lighthouse and amazing views of the Caribbean Sea. It’s the perfect park to discover the local fauna and flora, as there are many birds and animals that are endemic to the island. There even is a scenic tower where you can watch crocodiles in their natural habitat and a small ruin, El Caracol.
Snorkel or dive to explore the Musa underwater museum
The Musa Underwater Museum and Sculptures is a one-of-a-kind attraction that offers a unique experience for visitors. This underwater museum features over 500 life-sized sculptures submerged beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.
What makes Musa so special is its fusion of art and conservation. The sculptures, made from environmentally-friendly materials, serve as artificial reefs that promote the growth of coral and attract a wide range of marine life. This not only creates a stunning visual display but also helps to protect and restore the fragile ecosystem.
To visit the Musa Underwater Museum, you can join guided snorkelling or scuba diving tours. These tours allow individuals of all skill levels to explore the underwater world and witness the captivating sculptures up close. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, you can enjoy an unforgettable experience that combines art, nature, and preservation.
Explore the reef snorkelling
Isla Mujeres is a paradise for snorkelling enthusiasts. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and lively marine life, it offers an unforgettable experience beneath the surface. One of the main attractions is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world.
Snorkellers can explore this magnificent underwater wonderland and encounter a diverse array of marine species, including colourful tropical fish, rays, octopuses, and even sea turtles.
The reef is teeming with a stunning variety of coral formations, creating a kaleidoscope of colours and textures. While snorkelling you witness its beauty first-hand. Whether you are an experienced snorkeller or a beginner, you can have a great time, no matter your skill level. If you don’t feel comfortable to snorkel on your own, you can join one of the many high-rated snorkelling tours. This way, you are guided to the best spots and you’re not out there on your own.
Go for a swim at Playa Norte
While Isla Mujeres is known for its lively atmosphere and adventurous activities, it also offers plenty of spots to relax and unwind. Head over to North Beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, where you can bask in the sun, swim in the crystal-clear water, or enjoy a massage on the beach.
If you just want to relax and enjoy some good food and drinks, pick one of the many beachside clubs with their inviting hammocks, umbrella’s and white comfy pillows to rest your head after a refreshing dip in the ocean.
I must say, when we hit the beach, there were a lot of boats right in front of us, big and small. So, that made the experience a bit less idyllic than we imagined it to be. But, that might have been just poor timing, the setting stays extremely gorgeous.
Visit Tortugranja turtle farm
Tortugranja is a turtle farm that offers a unique and educational experience. At Tortugranja, they commit to conserving and protecting sea turtles, as well as raising awareness about their importance in the marine ecosystem. The farm provides a safe space for turtle rehabilitation, ensuring their well-being and eventual release back into the wild.
To visit Tortugranja, the best way is to either rent a golf cart or take a taxi to the farm, which is located near the southern tip of the island. Once there, you can expect to see a variety of sea turtle species, view informative displays, and learn more about how the farm works and how they give these magnificent creatures the best care.
The good news is that Tortugranja is open year-round, allowing visitors to experience the turtle farm at any time. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a family looking for an educational outing, or simply someone who appreciates turtles, Tortugranja is worth a visit.
Explore Parque de los Suenos at Kin-ha
Parque los Sueños, located at Kin-ha, is a fun destination. This park is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse range of activities, guaranteeing a memorable adventure for all.
One of the highlights of Parque los Sueños is its mesmerizing underwater world. You can explore the coral reefs and swim and snorkel alongside tropical fish. Or you can choose to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Caribbean on a paddle board, in a kayak or just from your comfortable seat at the beach club.
The park offers various amenities and services, including restaurants, lounges, and picnic areas, making it an ideal spot for a day of relaxation and enjoyment. Whether seeking adventure or tranquillity, this exceptional park has something for everyone.
Chill at Garrafon de Castilla
Garrafon de Castilla is another beautiful location at the south part of the island with a lot of natural charm. You can enjoy a fun day of relaxation combined with some snorkelling. Dive into the blue water, explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim amongst colourful tropical fish, do a little sunbathing or simply unwind in a hammock by the beach. It’s normally less crowded here than at Playa Norte, and the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea add to the charm of this laid-back beach club.
Go on a whale shark tour
If you’re looking for an adventure, a whale shark tour departing from Isla Mujeres might exceed your expectations. Exploring the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter these magnificent creatures up close. As you snorkel alongside them, you’ll witness their gentle nature and majestic presence.
While there is a high chance of encountering whale sharks during the tour, it’s important to note that they are wild animals, and their presence cannot be guaranteed. In the event that sea conditions are unfavourable, the safety of both the guests and the whale sharks takes precedence, and the tour may be postponed or cancelled.
However, when conditions are ideal, the experience of swimming alongside these gentle giants is truly unforgettable. So prepare to be amazed and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
How to get around on Isla Mujeres?
How do you get easily from one attraction to the other? Well, you have some options. While it is possible to navigate the island on foot, there are other more convenient ways to get around. Renting a bike, motorcycle, or golf cart is a popular choice among visitors, allowing the freedom to explore at your own pace.
The island is relatively small, making it easy to navigate on wheels. Taxis are also readily available and offer a hassle-free option for transportation. Make sure to set a price before you get in, to avoid an arguement when you arrive.
Where to stay on Isla Mujeres?
There are numerous options available for every budget when it comes to accommodations. Whether you’re seeking luxury resorts, cosy guest houses, or budget-friendly hostels, this beautiful island has it all.
Different areas of Isla Mujeres offer distinct vibes, so consider what you’re looking for in a stay. Staying closer to Playa Norte, the island’s most popular beach, means being in the heart of the action and having easy access to restaurants, bars, and water activities.
On the other hand, if you prefer a quieter and more tranquil experience, opting for a place in the southern part of the island can provide a peaceful retreat.
When choosing a place to stay, consider the proximity of the property to your preferred activities and the amenities offered.
So here are some top choices:
What to pack for Isla Mujeres
If you’re heading to the Caribbean, get ready for some scorching weather, loads of sunshine, and plenty of swimming! When prepping for your Isla Mujeres trip, don’t forget your swimsuit as a must-have. And for your outfits, opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Check out our Cancún packing list with a printable checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need.
What is the best time to visit Isla Mujeres?
The best time to visit this part of the Caribbean depends on your personal preference. The tropical climate with an average temperature rocking around 27 degrees Celcius makes it a summer destination all year round. Avoid September and October if you can, as it is the peak of the hurricane season.
Good to know:
- Best months to visit Isla Mujeres: November & December – lower rates and pleasant weather.
- Ideal weather: January to April – highest influx of tourists.
- More rain and higher temperatures: From May to October – warm waters are perfect for snorkelling and diving.
- It is crucial to keep an eye on the weather forecast, especially during the peak hurricane season in September and October.
Is Isla Mujeres worth visiting?
Definitely! This little island is a treasure trove of fun activities. Add the stunning surroundings and a laid-back Caribbean vibe, and you have found the perfect day trip destination from Cancún.
We had a lot of fun exploring the island and after writing this all down, I would love to go back again. It’s also so easy to get there from the port, what makes it even more attractive. So don’t hesitate to go and take your time to explore, you want be dissapointed.