Isla Mujeres Visitors Guide
How to Get There, Things to Do & More
Updated June 2023
Welcome to Isla Mujeres Mexico
Breathe it in… the salty air, the wafting of floral incense, the deep sweetness of tropical flora and fauna…exhale slowly. You have arrived in Isla Mujeres. A beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean Sea, Isla Mujeres is a magical destination for travelers of all ilks. With turquoise waters, beaches and boats aplenty, Mujeres is sure to give you chills from its stunning beauty. Here is our guide to Isla Mujeres!
Isla Mujeres Map
A Bit Of History
This idyllic, tiny island has been held in high esteem and cherished for centuries. Revered by the Maya as a holy place, it continues to be celebrated by locals and tourists alike. The history of the island dates back 1500 years when it was the sanctuary for the Mayan goddess Ixchel, known as the goddess of the moon, happiness, medicine and fertility. A temple to honor Ixchel was known to exist on the southern tip of the island and doubled as a lighthouse for those who would come to worship or harvest salt. The island remained a Mayan sanctuary until it was “discovered” by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba in 1517.
Isla Mujeres Today
These days, Isla Mujeres is celebrated as a different kind of sanctuary. One that provides a calm serenity from the intensity and party culture of its neighbor across the bay, Cancun. The tranquil environment, charming people, gorgeous beaches and of course, delectable food are a warm welcome for all who visit. Although most visitors only come for a day, there are more than enough activities to keep people of all ages entertained for several days.
Is Isla Mujeres Safe?
Isla Mujeres is widely known as one of Mexico’s friendliest places and is considered very safe. The island itself is very small, making it very hard for significant crime to occur.
Additionally, there is a decent-sized Navy base on the island, keeping things peaceful and calm. Any crime that does happen on the island is typically done by chance, so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings and use common sense.
Where is Isla Mujeres?
Isla Mujeres is a small island just off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, directly across the water from Cancun. Located on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second-longest coral reef system in the world), Isla Mujeres is in a perfect spot for turquoise Caribbean waters, white sand beaches, and world-class diving and snorkeling. This is DEFINITELY the island life!
When Is Isla Mujeres Hurricane Season?
Isla Mujeres hurricane season begins in late May and lasts until early November, with the peak occurring between August and October. The odds of a hurricane hitting Isla Mujeres are low (less than half a dozen hurricanes have hit the Yucatan in the past 40 years), but hurricanes traveling near Isla Mujeres can still cause inclement and severe weather. Be sure to check weather reports ahead of time and we always suggest getting travel insurance during these months just in case.
How to Get to Isla Mujeres & Around
There are a couple of ways to get to Isla Mujeres and around the island. Note that some larger hotels in Isla Mujeres may provide free transportation to your hotel, so check ahead.
Arrival By Ferry
From Cancun, take a short taxi ride or a bus to the Puerto Juárez ferry terminal. Once in Puerto Juarez, buy your tickets at the Gran Puerto Cancun (Ultramar) ferry dock. You can buy a one-way ticket for 160 pesos or round-trip ticket for 300 pesos. The boats leave every half hour from 5:00 am until 9:30 pm and every hour after that. The crossing takes about 15 minutes.
Arrival By Catamaran Day Cruise
Throughout Cancun & Playa del Carmen you can book a day trip to Isla Mujeres. These fun boats take you out on beautiful catamarans for a whole day of snorkeling and cruising. Full-day trips typically include all-day rum punch and buffet lunch on Isla Mujeres. Bring Sunblock! While you will have a limited time to explore the island, if you only have one day to visit Isla Mujeres this can be a fun adventure.
Book a highly rated catamaran tour here.
If you feel like upgrading, book a more luxury catamaran tour here.
Rent A Golf Cart
Golf Carts are a hugely popular way to get around the island and can be rented in town on Rueda Medina. Make sure the cart is in good working shape when you rent it and we suggest taking a quick video of it before setting out, especially of any dings or dents already present. Prices are regulated and the same everywhere so look for the best quality and service.
Taxis On The Island
Taxis are plentiful on the island and can easily be flagged down or called by your hotel. Be sure to discuss the prices in advance of taking the ride so you don’t get overcharged. This is an easy way to explore the island.
Rent A Bicycle
Bicycles can be rented in town on Rueda Medina. Make sure the bike is in good working shape when you rent it and we suggest taking a quick video of it before setting out, especially of any dings or dents already on the bike. Make sure that a lock is included. Prices range from $10-$20/day.
Things to Do in Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres Top Highlights
There is plenty to do on Isla Mujeres. Whether you just want to relax or have an adventure, you’re sure to find something amazing to do. Here are some of our favorite recommendations.
1. Hit The Beach!
If it is pure relaxation you are seeking, Isla Mujeres has you covered. Easily laze away the day in a hammock at one of several beach clubs, splash around in the gorgeous sea, sip on a refreshing beverage in a coconut or get a massage at a pop-up stand on the beach. Your beachside options are endless. Playa Norte is the most famous beach on the island for its perfect white sand and clear waters. It often finds its way onto “Best beaches in the Caribbean” lists.
2. Visit Punta Sur Park
A shockingly beautiful historic/eco park at the southernmost end of Isla Mujeres, Punta Sur is not to be missed for nature lovers. Complete with Mayan ruins, epic views, trails, cliffs, iguanas and more, taking a stroll through Punta Sur is a great way to get outside and experience something different on the island. Seeing the blue water here alone is worth it.
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3. See An Underwater Sculpture Garden
Go on a diving or snorkeling expedition to nearby MUSA Underwater Sculpture Park. Possibly the largest underwater sculpture project in the world, MUSA is home to over 500 sculptures of people, animals, cars, and so much more. Envisioned as an artificial reef, the sculptures are now growing plants and coral on them giving an otherworldly quality to the experience.
4. Parque De Los Suenos at Kin Ha
Looking for a different way to spend your day? Diving, kayaking, snorkeling, boating, and everything in between are always on offer at Kin Ha. No matter where your mood guides you, you won’t be disappointed. This unique and wonderful beach club also has several terraced pools to relax and look out at the sea. The entrance fee gives you access to everything you may need such as lockers, towels and washroom facilities. Food and beverages are at an additional fee.
5. Go Snorkeling
While Cozumel gets most of the praise for its world-class snorkeling & diving, Isla Mujeres is no slouch either. Besides the MUSA underwater sculpture garden, there are several other lovely sites and reefs easily within reach. Perhaps the most famous is El Farito with its bright corals and and colorful fish. Or, if you are here at the right time of year (late May to early September), take a boat tour to experience snorkeling with the incredible Whale Sharks! The largest fish in the sea.
Check out some popular snorkeling tours.
6. Garrafon De Castilla
This off the beaten path place to swim, sun and snorkel is a perfect place to relax. A spectacular setting, soft sand, lounge chairs and just the right number of amenities. With very affordable prices and few crowds, this may become your favorite place to snorkel on the island.
*DO NOT CONFUSE THIS with the Garrafon National Reef Park, which is an entertainment center that uses captive animals to entertain tourists. Not to mention houses said animals in small enclosures. We at Island Life do not support such places because we feel places like these are unethical and we love animals.
This Post Has 13 Comments
Thank you for this brief but detailed information. I’ve been to a few cities in Mexico a few times but hadn’t heard of Isla Mujeres. I’m looking forward to going now and I can plan better because of what this site has put together.
I’ve never seen the ocean or flew on a plane! So I’m super excited to have so many first experience’s!!! February can’t come fast enough!!!!
I just came here to say that the underwater sculpture was one of my favorite parts of my trip to Mexico. I experienced it on a snorkeling tour and it was so worth it.
We had never heard of Isla Mujeres until coming across your guide when researching Mexico. This place looks amazing and now we’re going to make sure that we at least make a stop for a few nights here.
My family visited Isla Mujeres after coming across this visitor guide when planning our trip to Mexico. This place was great. We all especially loved Punta Sur Park. My teen enjoyed the Mayan ruins while my youngest loved all the little iguanas we found.
How is covid testing being handled on the island? We have been visiting Isla for over 10 years and haven’t been in over 2 years now due to covid. Planning on visiting at the end of October. Staying at Cabanas. We will need to be tested prior to returning to the US.
Testing is done internally at most large hotels and resorts, though many visitors choose to be tested at a local lab instead to avoid the possibility of a mandatory hotel quarantine if they get a positive test in the hotel. You can also get tested at the airport, but that’s sort of a last resort option in my opinion. I absolutely recommend getting Travel Insurance though just in case!
I had originally planned to just visit Mujeres for a day with my husband, then we read your guides about the place and decided to stay here. We love it. Such a relaxed vibe here, we ended up staying here for our entire vacation. Thank you!
Excellent guide(s), very helpful for planning a family vacation. We have been to the Yucatan so many times and it was such a pleasure to come somewhere new. Thanks.
I also recommend Guru Beach Club. Great guide here.
I was looking for a chill and amazing place for my birthday celebration and your guide sold me on Isla Mujeres..the island of Women! love that 😊
It was magical. Thank you!
Goodnesses me, ya’ll make it sound so exciting to visit Isla Mujeres! I have used this guide and the others to plan my whole visit! AAAAHHHHH I am so excited! Thank you for making it so easy for me. LOVE your guides!!!