Best Things to Do on Isla Mujeres – Mexico Travel Guide

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Isla Mujeres is a small island off the coast of Cancún on Mexico´s Yucatán Peninsula. Isla mujeres stands for “Island of Women” and is part of The Programa Pueblos Mágicos which is an initiative led by Mexico´s Secretariat of Tourism to promote towns around the country that offer visitors special experiences because of their rich culture, great cuisine and tradition. With picture perfect white sand beaches and crystal clear water this stunning island looks like paradise. It´s only a 30 minute ferry ride to get to this small, colorful island and there are plenty of things to do there. In this México travel guide I will show you the Best Things to do on Isla Mujeres. Let´s get started!

How to get to Isla Mujeres

Getting to Isla Mujeres by ferry

Isla Mujeres is located just off the coast of Cancún. There are different options on how to get to Isla Mujeres. The first one is the most common way which is by ferry. There is the Ultramar ferry that operates between Cancún and Isla Mujeres.

The Ultramar ferry has different ports to board the ferry from. You can get to the ports by bus, taxi or with a private driver. The cheapest and most common port to board the ferry is Puerto Juárez. We boarded the ferry at Playa Tortugas which costs us about 22$ (450$ mxn) per person for a roundtrip to get to the island and back to Cancún. It also departs from Playa Caracol and El Embarcadero. For the full Ultramar ferry schedule and fares click here. The ferry ride is approximately 30 minutes long and I suggest sitting on the top deck for some live music and entertainment.

Getting to Isla Mujeres by a private boat

Another option is to book a private boat to get to Isla Mujeres. There are several boat companies that offer private boat services between Cancún and Isla Mujeres. These trips usually include some drinks and lunch and you can snorkel with fish. This might be a good option for you if you´re a group of people. Expect to pay between 30$-120$ per person (650$- 2500$mxn) depending on what you want to do on the boat and which service you decide to use.

Some people have their stands on the street and try to sell you tours like that but for a much higher price. If you want to book it on site at a street stand make sure to bargain and don´t pay the first price they tell you. The cheapest way to book a tour like that is to book it online in advance. You can click below to view some options of different boat services.

The Best Things to do on Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Rent a golf cart to get around the island

Isla Mujeres is not a big island which makes getting around pretty easy. The best way to get around Isla Mujeres is by renting a Golf cart. This is a really popular thing to do and a lot of fun! You can find golf cart rentals anywhere around the ferry and downtown area. Expect to pay 16$ USD for an hour and between 45-55$ USD for a full day. It´s so worth it and I would definitely recommend doing it especially if you want to check out more of the island.

You can also rent scooters and bicycles to get around.

Visit the beautiful white sand beach Playa del Norte

Playa del Norte is easily accessible by foot from the ferry exit. Often named one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, Playa del Norte is absolutely stunning with it´s white sand beach and crystal clear water. You can relax here all day and swim in the shallow water. It´s an absolute dream! There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas for rent and a lot of cool beach bars to hangout and have a drink. Keep in mind since it is only a short walk from the ferry exit, there are a lot of people there. It does get really crowded and loud especially the stretch right next to the ferry port. The further you go the quieter it gets. Also if you want to avoid the crowds come early.

Relax at one of the Beach Clubs or hangout at a Beach Bar

Buho´s Bar

We went to Playa Norte Beach Club´s beach bar and paid 10$ USD for 2 delicious cocktails. The fun part is you can take them in the ocean with you and have a drink while relaxing in crystal clear water. We also went to Buho´s Beach bar and restaurant. The beach bars usually have fun swings to sit on and take pictures. It´s nice to have a refreshment after you relaxed in the sun all day.

Some other popular Beach Clubs are Zama, Nomads, Green Demon or Gurú Beach Club. Just make sure you check in advance, some of them have a cover charge that usually goes towards food and drinks.

Snorkel or Scuba Dive MUSA

MUSA (meaning Underwater Museum of Art) is an amazing Underwater museum located in the Marine National Park between Cancún and Isla Mujeres. It has over 500 sculptures ranging from interacting humans to cars to animals. MUSA was created as an objective of saving the nearby coral reefs by providing an alternative destination for divers and promote conservation.

It´s a spectacular scene and you can snorkel or scuba dive the site and you can go there even without a Scuba Diving certificate because of the shallow waters. They also offer tours with a glas bottom boat for people who can´t swim or don´t want to go in the water. Click here if you want to book a Tour to go to MUSA. It´s definitely worth it.

Visit Punta Sur, the lighthouse and Ixchel Temple

Ixchel was the Mayan Godess of fertility, love and the moon. The Ixchel temple is on the most southern point of the island called Punta Sur. If you´ve seen other Mayan temples before you won´t be too impressed by this one since it is more a ruin than an actual temple due to hurricanes that destroyed it but it´s still wort a visit. The surroundig area is pretty cool. You´ll see beautiful scenery, waves crashing against cliffs and you can also spot wild Iguanas in their natural habitat.

Legend has it that the women of the island had little statues of Ixchel to give it to her as a gift so she would bless them with long lives and healthy pregnancies. These little statues of women were discovered in 1517 and that´s how the island of women got it´s name Isla Mujeres. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Stroll down Calle Miguel Hidalgo and downtown

Downtown Isla Mujeres is a busy and bustling place with a lot of local shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. You can find pretty much anything here from clothes to jewelry, Tequila or souvenirs. A lot of people will stop you on the street and entice you to buy from their shop. Make sure you bargain and don´t pay the first price they tell you. Calle Miguel Hidalgo is where the main action takes place. With a lot of restaurants and bars this street gets pretty busy especially at night. It´s fun for people watching and having a drink. The prices are gonna be a bit higher because it´s a super touristy area.

If you rent a golf cart make sure to check out the shops and restaurants along the streets when you drive further south. These shops are usually cheaper than the ones in downtown and on Calle Miguel Hidalgo. We stopped for some cold coconuts for 1$ where in downtown you pay 3$ for one. We also had lunch at Laguna Grill which is more in the middle of the island and we paid a really fair price, not as much as it would be eating on Calle Miguel Hidalgo.

Free things and things to do on a budget on Isla Mujeres

Free things to do

If you´re in Isla Mujeres on a budget that´s definitely not a problem. You might not be able to hangout in one of the prestigious Beach Clubs but there´s still fun things to do. You can take the bus instead of driving around in a golf cart or get a taxi which usually is also not that expensive.

Here are some things to do for free in Isla Mujeres:

  • Admire the street art, Isla Mujeres has a ton of street art and cool murals. Just walk around the town or downtown area and you will spot some of them
  • There is an animal shelter called Isla Animals where you can walk dogs for free and play with puppies. Just stop by between 10AM-4PM and volunteer to go on a walk with them, if you can donate some money to help them out
  • Visit Capilla de Guadalupe, it´s a chapel located on a hill and has amazing views on the ocean, the entrance is free but there is a donation box
  • Go and see Crayola House, it is a beautiful colorful house located on Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez
  • Take a picture with the Isla Mujeres sign(s), there is the big colorful sign on Calle Abasolo and one with a fish on Avenida Rueda Medina

Things to do on a budget

There´s things to do on Isla Mujeres even when you´re on a budget.

  • Take a Yoga class at Treehouse yoga, classes are usually held everyday but Sunday at 9AM and cost around 10-20$USD, click here for their Facebook Page
  • Buy fruit and stroll through the streets of Isla Mujeres, we paid 2-3$USD for a mixed cup of fruits
  • Eat at restaurants further away from the Downtown area, this will usually save you some money since it´s not that touristy

Good to know

Unfortunately La Tortugranja the turtle farm that helped protect sea turtles had to close in September of 2021. Hopefully they will open back up again to continue their great work in helping an endangered species.

There you have it, plenty of things to do on Isla Mujeres, no matter the budget. Let me know if you´ve tried any of these things and what you think about them. Check out my other Blogposts about México, Here are The 5 best Instagram Spots to Take Pictures in Valladolid.

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Jessica Buck

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