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Isla Mujeres Visitors Guide

How to Get There, Things to Do & More

Updated May 2024 ⋅ Written by Laura Schulthies ⋅ Edited by Daniel Mode

Isla Mujeres Visitors Guide: Things To Do In Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres Visitors Guide: Things To Do In Isla Mujeres

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!

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

Isla Mujeres Map

Contents

Isla Mujeres Beach
Isla Mujeres Beach
Isla Mujeres History

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

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?

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 On A Map

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!

The Best Time to Visit Isla Mujeres

Looking for the best time to go to Isla Mujeres? The tropical climate in Isla Mujeres is quite predictable and easy to make plans around. Without much of a temperature difference throughout the year (the average temperature lingers around 83 degrees F), it’s the rainy hurricane season that most travelers need to pay attention to.

Looking for the best time to go to Isla Mujeres? The tropical climate in Isla Mujeres is quite predictable and easy to make plans around. Without much of a temperature difference throughout the year (the average temperature lingers around 83 degrees F), it’s the rainy hurricane season that most travelers need to pay attention to.

January – April

Perfect weather-wise, but sees the highest influx of tourists. If you are not a people person, consider this.

May – October

The hottest and most rainy months of the year but still plenty of sunshine and fantastic warm water for snorkeling & diving. Also, the hurricane season peaks in September and October so keep an eye on the forecasts and definitely get travel insurance just in case. Fewer tourists mean you can typically expect lower rates at hotels, resorts and tour companies during this time.

November – December

The autumn-winter months are considered by many to be the best times to visit Isla Mujeres. The hurricane season has passed by this time and the humidity is low. Can be a little “chilly” in the evenings.

January – April

Perfect weather-wise, but sees the highest influx of tourists. If you are not a people person, consider this.

May – October

The hottest and most rainy months of the year but still plenty of sunshine and fantastic warm water for snorkeling & diving. Also, the hurricane season peaks in September and October so keep an eye on the forecasts and definitely get travel insurance just in case. Fewer tourists mean you can typically expect lower rates at hotels, resorts and tour companies during this time.

November – December

The autumn-winter months are considered by many to be the best times to visit Isla Mujeres. The hurricane season has passed by this time and the humidity is low. Can be a little “chilly” in the evenings.

 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.

Hurricane Season
Isla Mujeres Water
Incredible Isla Mujeres Water
Isla Mujeres Water
Incredible Isla Mujeres Water

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.

Yucatan Ferry: Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Holbox

Arrival By Ferry

The Ultra Mar ferry offers 3 places to disembark in order to get to Isla Mujeres, including Puerto Juarez, Playa Tortugas, and Playa Caracol.  We recommend Puerto Juarez. From Cancun, take a short taxi ride or a bus to the Puerto Juarez ferry terminal, where you can buy your tickets at the Gran Puerto Cancun (Ultra Mar) ferry dock. You can buy a one-way ticket for around $16 or a round-trip ticket for about $32. The boat leaves Puerto Juarez every half an hour from 5:30 am until 6:00 pm (they skip the 2:30 run, so there is an hour gap from 2 to 3 pm) and then every hour after that until 11 pm.

Isla Mujeres Catamaran

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 private catamaran tour here.

Isla Mujeres Golf Cart

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 when you disembark from the ferry. The price will be between $50-$65 for a day. 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.

Taxi in Mexico

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.

Isla Mujeres Bicycles

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.

Beaches on Isla Mujeres
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Hit The Beach!
Beaches on Isla Mujeres
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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.

Eco and Historic Park Punta Sur Park in Isla Mujeres
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Visit Punta Sur Park
Eco and Historic Park Punta Sur Park in Isla Mujeres
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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.

  ISLAND LIFE TRAVEL TIP : GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel Insurance is a must in our opinion. Standard health insurance likely doesn’t cover you while outside of the country so travel insurance will cover any emergency medical needs as well as trip cancellation, lost or stolen luggage (it happens), flight delays, missed connections and more. You can easily compare the top-rated travel insurance plans here.

MUSA Underwater Sculpture Garden in Isla Mujeres
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See An Underwater Sculpture Garden
The Best Things To Do In Isla Mujeres: MUSA Underwater Sculpture Garden
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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.

  Explore snorkeling and scuba trips to MUSA here.

Dive, kayak, or snorkel at Parque De Los Suenos at Kin Ha in Isla Mujeres
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Parque De Los Suenos
Dive, kayak, or snorkel at Parque De Los Suenos at Kin Ha in Isla Mujeres
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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.

Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres
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Go Snorkeling
Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres
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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 this popular snorkeling tour

Relax at Garrafon De Castilla in Isla Mujeres
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Garrafon De Castilla
Relax at Garrafon De Castilla in Isla Mujeres
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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.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Eat Your Heart Out At Mercado Municipal
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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7. Eat Your Heart Out At Mercado Municipal

Mercado Municipal is the central market of Isla Mujeres and is the perfect place for an authentic, no-frills meal. This lively local market offers a glimpse into island life with authentic meals at unbeatable prices. The atmosphere inside the market is always bustling and vibrant, with locals gathering to haggle over prices and enjoy lunchtime snacks. Whether you want delicious eats, fresh juices, or local produce, you will find it at Mercado Municipal. Come with an empty stomach, explore the different stalls, and try a bit of everything.

Keep in mind that Mercado Municipal can be busy at lunchtime, but the craziness of the food market is one of the reasons we love it. Some of the most delicious, fresh food on Isla Mujeres is at the market. Don’t miss out on the vibrant fish tacos and savory empanadas.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Take A Sunset Cruise
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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8. Take A Sunset Cruise

Isla Mujeres is known for its stunning multi-hued sunsets, and one of the best ways to experience the golden hours of sunset is on a cruise. ​​A sunset cruise off the shores of Isla Mujeres is the perfect way to end a day of exploring the island.

  There are a few sunset tours on the island, but the most famous is probably the sunset cruise offered by The Joint Reggae Bar n’ Grill. This 3-hour sunset sail includes live reggae music, unlimited drinks and more!

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Bike or Golf Cart Around the Island
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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9. Bike or Golf Cart Around the Island

You can’t beat exploring Isla Mujeres on a golf cart or bike. While cars are permitted on Isla Mujeres, very few are on the island. This makes golf cart rentals the best way to get around, and let’s be honest; they are so much fun! Isla Mujeres is also the perfect destination to rent a bike and explore. You can rent a bike on the island for around $10-$20 (USD) per day.

You can easily rent a golf cart when you disembark from the ferry, and it will cost between $50-$65 for a day. You will need a valid driver’s license to rent a golf cart on Isla Mujeres. Once you get your golf cart, follow basic road rules and watch out for pedestrians. We recommend stopping at North Beach and Punta Sur to see the Mayan ruins dedicated to the Goddess Ixchel.

  If you want to add an extra dose of fun to your visit to Isla Mujeres, consider this Golf Course Bar Crawl with a local guide and tour around the island, where you can sample Mezcal, Mojitos, Margaritas, and fresh guacamole.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Marvel At the Street Art
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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10. Marvel At the Street Art

Isla Mujeres is a beautiful and vibrant town positively covered in beautiful street art, from the well-known sea wall murals to intricate paintings on buildings downtown. Trust us, you will want to have your camera handy while exploring the island and looking for street art.

The sea wall murals on Isla Mujeres offer a dose of art and activism. Many of the ocean-themed art pieces were created to raise awareness about important issues, including ecotourism, sustainability, and the conservation of whale sharks. They are scattered all around the island, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding some.

  If you want to learn more about the history behind the murals, you can take a tour with the Isla Mujeres Street Art Tour. This tour takes you off the beaten path to help you explore the lesser-known street art of the island.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Go Deep Sea Fishing
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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11. Go Deep Sea Fishing

Did you know that Isla Mujeres is a fishing paradise? It’s true! The breathtaking turquoise blue waters of Isla Mujeres offer various fantastic fishing options. Fishing here includes deep-sea fishing, spearfishing and inshore fishing. Whether you are an experienced angler or a beginner, fishing around Isla Mujeres is a great way to spend the day on the water.

Typically, the fishing excursions offered on the island include fishing equipment, bait, and tackle. You can catch a variety of fish, ranging from marlin and dorado to snapper, grouper and even tuna and mahi-mahi. It just depends on the season.

  This highly recommended Private Inshore Fishing Experience is perfect for the whole family. Your group will board a private boat, head a few miles from the Isla Mujeres coastline, and spend time trolling for fish. Cast your line in the hopes of hooking barracuda, snapper, grouper and more, depending on the season.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Enjoy Yoga On the Beach
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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12. Enjoy Yoga On the Beach

Is there a better way to enjoy island life than a calming yoga class with the waves lapping on the beach next to you? Build on those relaxing island vibes with a yoga practice that makes you feel centered and peaceful.

Most beach yoga classes on the island are 60-minute classes for around $20 (USD), and there are classes suitable for all fitness levels. Early birds can start their day with a morning session with the highly recommended Treehouse Yoga. If you prefer an evening practice, they also offer sunset yoga classes.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Stroll Down Avenida Miguel Hidalgo
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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13. Stroll Down Avenida Miguel Hidalgo

Discover the charms of the Isla Mujeres pedestrian street of Miguel Hidalgo. This is a spot where you can enjoy the lively ambiance of the island. On this colorful avenue, you can find quaint boutiques, many restaurants, and a variety of tour operators.

We recommend visiting in the evening once the heat of the day cools down a bit and the entire avenue lights up. Avenida Miguel Hidalgo is a fantastic place to take an evening stroll and enjoy the fun island vibes of Isla Mujeres.

Remember that the restaurants in Miguel Hidalgo are catered towards tourists and can be slightly more expensive than those on the back streets. However, the quality of the meals is excellent.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Take A Day Trip to Isla Contoy
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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14. Take A Day Trip to Isla Contoy

Isla Contoy is one of the most enchanting day trips in the Mexican Caribbean. Beautiful and uninhabited Isla Contoy is just 18 miles (30km) from Isla Mujeres. On the protected Isla Contoy, you can find stunning white-sand beaches, over 150 species of birds, and nesting grounds for sea turtles.

Many day trips to Isla Contoy include snorkeling, a tour of the island, and lunch. You’ll also have enough free time to explore or simply lounge by the beach and soak up the sun!

  There are plenty of excellent day tours to choose from, including this highly recommended Isla Contoy Eco Adventure. This guided tour offers sailing and snorkeling on the beautiful Isla Contoy, along with a history of the flora and fauna of the island. After exploring, the tour includes a delicious lunch and open bar at an Isla Contoy hot spot. Note that most Contoy tours depart from Cancun so make sure you book a tour from Isla Mujeres if you are staying there.

Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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Swim With Whale Sharks
Isla Mujeres Travel Guide: Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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15. Swim With Whale Sharks

Swimming with whale sharks is one of the best ways to experience the magic of Isla Mujeres. The waters around the island are on the migration route of whale sharks, making this one of the best places to spot them. From May to September, you can swim with these gentle giants in the waters off the coast and take in their enormous size and grace.

Whale sharks are incredible creatures, and seeing them in their natural habitat is nothing short of a spectacular experience. While snorkeling and swimming with whale sharks, you can also see manta rays and other marine life. Note that touching the whale sharks or inhibiting them in any way is strictly forbidden.

  This highly recommended Whale Shark Swimming Tour offers a swim with whale sharks, followed by relaxing on Playa Norte beach with a fresh ceviche lunch. Be sure to request Isla Mujeres pick up when booking.

Where To Stay In Isla Mujeres

There are all types of wonderful accommodations in Isla Mujeres. From all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels and more. Location and amenities are the two top things to look for. For information about the different neighborhoods and great hotel recommendations, check out our Isla Mujeres Hotel Guide.

Isla Mujeres Hotel Guide, the best hotels in isla mujeres

For hotel recommendations for every budget, check out our Isla Mujeres Hotel Guide

What To Eat In Isla Mujeres

Whether you’re looking to just grab a bite or go on a culinary adventure, there are some great restaurants all over Isla Mujeres. For some awesome restaurant recommendations at any budget, check out our Isla Mujeres Restaurant Guide.

Isla Mujeres Restaurant Guide: The Best Restaurants In Isla Mujeres

For great restaurant recommendations, check out our Isla Mujeres Restaurant Guide

What To Pack For Your Trip!

The Mexican Caribbean is an enchanting wonderland of relaxation and adventure, one can easily have the trip of a lifetime here. Packing for such a vacation shouldn’t be hard, so we’ve put together a list to help you pack and included some of our favorites as well. Check out our What To Pack For Your Mexico Vacation Guide.

What to Pack For Your Mexican Vacation

Check out our Packing List For Beach Vacation!

Find The Best Isla Mujeres Flights

Finding the best flights to Isla Mujeres (via Cancun) shouldn’t be hard. We think the Kayak travel search engine is the best way to start. We’ve put together a quick guide to searching for the best flights using Kayak. Check out our Finding The Best Flights Guide.

Kayak Flights

Check out our Finding The Best Flights Guide!

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Nicole R says:

    I’m new to traveling to Mexico and just started my research. Isla Mujeres sounds perfect! Would love a relaxing vibe versus big, party city vibe. How friendly is the island for Americans that don’t speak much Spanish?

    1. Daniel says:

      Its very friendly. Many people speak English there. Enjoy!

  2. Tarai says:

    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.

  3. amber says:

    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!!!!

  4. Shaun McCullough says:

    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.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful

  6. Justin and Krista says:

    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.

  7. Miller Family says:

    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.

  8. Kathy Bowman says:

    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.

    1. Daniel says:

      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!

  9. Lara Robinson says:

    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!

  10. Georgia, Pete and family says:

    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.

  11. Charles says:

    I also recommend Guru Beach Club. Great guide here.

  12. Anonymous says:

    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!

  13. Katie Collins says:

    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!!!

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