Some people plan their vacation around Cancún and use Isla Mujeres as a side trip. But Isla Mujeres, in the Yucatan Peninsula, is a destination all in its own, and it’s generally quieter and more affordable than the options you get across the bay.
Yes, you will find a few ticky-tacky tourist shops, but folks still get around by golf cart and the crushed-coral beaches are undeniably lovely. As for the calm turquoise water of Isla Mujeres, well, you really just have to see it for yourself.
There’s just enough here to keep you entertained: snorkel or scuba dive, visit a turtle farm or put on your sunglasses and settle in with that book you’ve been dying to finish. Come sunset, there are plenty of dining options, and the nightlife scene moves at a relaxed island pace. Isla Mujeres Vacations is the perfect beach vacation. Start planning your trip now. For more information on the Yucatan Peninsula visit here, or visit all the wonderful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula.
When to Go (Weather)
High season here extends from late November (American Thanksgiving) straight through Easter. Other months qualify as low season, and prices may be cut in half. Some of the best deals can be found from late October to mid-November, after the rainy season has passed but before the crowds have arrived.
Isla enjoys its best weather between November and May, when temperatures usually hover around 80°F. June, July, and August are the hottest and most humid months, with daytime highs routinely over 95°F.
A few festivals and holidays are worth keeping in mind while you’re planning your trip: Carnaval in either February or March (the week before Lent); the Sol a Sol Regatta in late April; Founder’s Day on August 17; the Day of the Virgin de la Caridad del Cobre, patron saint of local fishermen, on September 9; the Day of the Dead from October 31 to November 2; and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception from December 1 to 8.
Entry & Exit Requirements
You’ll need a passport to visit Mexico, plus a tourism card (FMM) that can be issued at any Mexican consulate, border-crossing point, Mexican tourism office, or directly from your airline. FMMs are usually issued free of charge upon arrival. Be sure to hold onto this card for the duration of your trip, as you will need to present it upon departing the country. It’s also a good idea to leave your passport and FMM in a secure location and carry a photocopy of both documents with you at all times.
Getting Around Isla Mujeres
By Bicycle or Moped
Rueda Medina, directly across from the dock, is lined with shops where you can rent mopeds. If are interested in cycling, be advised that it’s hot here and you’ll encounter plenty of speed bumps. Don’t ride at night, since many roads don’t have streetlights, and make sure your bike comes with a lock to keep it from wandering off. Before leaving the rental agency, check your rental for scratches and dings. You may even want to take a photo for additional proof of the original condition. Otherwise, you’ll pay dearly for any damage that was not noted prior to your rental agreement.
By Scooter or Golf Cart
Always inspect the scooter before renting. Costs are varied and are usually jacked up during high season. Golf carts is also a great way to get around the island. Gomar offers reasonable golf cart rentals. Mega Ciro’s rents out scooters and golf carts. Before leaving the rental agency, check your rental for scratches and dings. You may even want to take a photo for additional proof of the original condition. Otherwise, you’ll pay dearly for any damage that was not noted prior to your rental agreement.
By Boat or Ferry
Isla ferries are typically two-story passenger cruisers that run between the mainland and the island’s main dock. Magana Express makes the crossing in just under 20 minutes, and daily boats leave every 30 minutes from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm. There’s a late ferry at 11:30 pm for those returning from partying in Cancún. The company also operates a slower open-air ferry from 5 am to 6 pm. Between 9:30 and 5:30, Ultramar ferries to Isla’s main dock depart from three locations in Cancún’s Zona Hotelera: El Embarcadero marina complex at Playa Linda, Playa Tortugas, and Playa Caracol.
There is little crime here, making it an excellent choice for visitors traveling alone. Do use some precautions: stay clear of drugs; don’t leave personal items unattended on the beach or in a golf cart; and lock your hotel room when you leave. Dehydration is one of the biggest safety concerns, so drink plenty of bottled water and order beverages without ice unless you’re at a restaurant that uses purified water. Be careful when driving along the narrow roads, especially since many have gravel surfaces and potholes.
Must See Places
Isla Mujeres Tortugranja Turtle Farm
Although they’re endangered, sea turtles are still killed throughout Latin America for their eggs and meat. In the 1980s, efforts by a local fisherman led to the founding of this tortugranja (turtle farm), which safeguards breeding grounds and protects eggs. It’s a small spot, with a number of sizes of turtles and a few different species. The farm is easily reached from town by taxi or golf cart.
Once you reach Playa Norte, the island’s main beach, you won’t want to leave. Its warm, shallow waters are sapphire blue with crushed coral on the beach. Unlike most of the island’s east coast, Playa Norte is safe for swimming and the water is only chest deep even far from the shore.
At the island’s southernmost point you’ll find a lighthouse, a sculpture garden and the worn remains of a temple dedicated to Ixchel, Maya goddess of the moon and fertility. Various hurricanes have pummeled the ruins over time and there’s now little to see other than the sculpture garden, the sea and Cancún in the distance.
Located on the southern side of the island of Isla Mujeres, You might want even if you aren’t staying particularly close by. Those of you who might prefer a beach that’s a little less crowded, but still fun and active, should give Playa Garrafon a try. It’s not the type of beach that gets packed every day, but it’s also not completely secluded.
Things to Do
Casa Del Buceo
Scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Dive center, PADI certifications, snorkeling, whale shark tour, pleasure trips, reef dive, adventure dive, night dive, discovery scuba for beginners, open water course, advanced open water course, rescue course, private tours. For more information call 52-998-201-8924, or 52-998-274-7000, or visit them on the web at Casa Del Buceo.
Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres
Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres invites you to live the dream of swimming with dolphins, manatees and sea lions in paradise! Located just a short ferry trip from Cancun, Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres brings you the chance to interact with our family of marine mammals in a natural ocean environment. For more information call 52-998-193-3360, or visit them on the web at Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres.
Fly like a bird under water. You are in charge of the board and deciding when and what you do, you can have an relaxing ride by having a snorkeling tour by letting you pull by our boat or an extreme one, go as deep as you want and make many spins ! Possibility of seeing Dolphins, Turtles and other underwater life. For more information call 31-640-311-983, or visit them on the web at Wing Diving.
Sport Fishing Center Isla Mujeres
At Sport Fishing Center Isla Mujeres, they bring their passion for being on and in the water to every trip. They offer Whale Shark tours, Sailfish encounters and of course the best fishing of your life! For more information call 52-998-212-3592, or visit them on the web at Sport Fishing Center Isla Mujeres.
SUP Isla Mujeres
SUP Isla Mujeres offers Courses, VIP and Private Tours, equipment rentals and Sales. Learn SUP easily with our instructors and enjoy the sea and the lagoon of the island at the same time you have fun and train your body. For more information call 52-998-274-0073, or visit them on the web at SUP Isla Mujeres.
Best Rated Restaurants
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$ – $$$ Lola Valentina
Lola Valentina restaurant has become an island favorite for its luxurious breakfasts and brunches. Top menu items include wonderful French toast options, as well as breakfast cocktails and fresh juices. Many of the breakfast items also have a vegetarian or vegan option available. Lunch and dinner have Mexican fusion cuisine like stuffed chili poblano and red snapper in hollandaise sauce, or you can just stop by for evening drinks at the street-side bar. For more information call 47-936-49-725, or visit them on the web at Lola Valentina.
$$ – $$$ Barlito
A beautiful outdoor setting for taking advantage of those sunshiny Isla Mujeres days! Barlito has an upper deck shaded by local trees, plus a lower deck and palapa bar by the water. Renowned for its homemade baked goods like its breakfast bagels and huge paninis, this restaurant also has Mexican favorites like tacos and nachos, as well as sandwiches and pizzas. For more information call 52-998-877-0252, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Barlito.
$ Loncheria La Lomita
Don’t judge a restaurant by its setting. This hole-in-the-wall, with its red plastic tables and chairs, is a perennial local favorite. Expect enormous portions, starting with the sopa de frijoles (black bean soup made with onions, tomatoes, lime and fresh cheese). Fish fillets are moist, and the chicken mole is the best on the island. But if you only try one dish, make it the chile relleno served with a side of pickled cabbage and rice. For more information call 52-998-179-9431, or visit them on the web at Loncheria La Lomita.
$$ – $$$ Olivia
The delightful dishes are combinations of Moroccan, Greek, and Turkish flavors. Everything from the freshly baked spanakopita to the flaky baklava is made in the open-air kitchen. Start with the Greek or Moroccan tapas and move onto house favorites like the shawarma pita wrap filled with grilled chicken, hummus, tahini, and fried eggplant, or the mafrum, a blend of potatoes stuffed with ground beef in a Moroccan red sauce. The setting is casual yet romantic, with tiki torches lighting the way to a tropical garden where rustic tables sit beneath a palapa roof. No visit is complete without a bowl of homemade cherry ice cream. For more information call 52-998-877-1765, or visit them on the web at Olivia.
$$ – $$$ bano
The rich Hungarian potatoes have been known to leave customers speechless, while the grilled tostones sandwiches, which use fried plantains instead of bread, are topped with a finger-licking onion-and-orange sauce. Meat lovers will relish the juicy hamburgers stuffed with goat cheese and served with yucca fries. Several vegetarian dishes are also available, and lunch salads are topped with fresh ingredients like garbanzo beans, avocado, and jicama. For more information call 52-998-214-2118, or visit them on the web at Qubano.
From 10 am to midnight, you can grab a swing or hammock, order a cold drink, and let the hours roll by at Buho’s palapa beach bar. You can also rent a Buho’s lounge chair on Playa Norte, which includes a free nonalcoholic beverage. For more information call 52-998-877-0301 or visit them on the web at Buho’s.
Café del Mar
Designed by renowned architect Lluís Güell, Café del Mar is an Ibiza-inspired beach bar that plays chill-out music by day and has live music at night. The fish tacos are a perfect cerveza accompaniment. Try to stop by for the gorgeous sunset. For more information call 52-998-848-8473 or visit them on the web at Café del Mar.
Jax Bar & Grill
When you’re looking for live music, cold beer, good bar food, and a satellite TV that’s always tuned to the current game, make tracks for Jax. It is open daily, 9 am to 11 pm. For more information call 52-998-887-1218, or visit them on the web at Jax Bar & Grill.
La Adelita Tequileria
Connoisseurs can sample more than 150 varieties of tequila and cigars at this popular spot. For more information call 52-998-877-0528, or visit them on the web at La Adelita Tequileria.
Bahia Tolok offers accommodation with free WiFi. A kitchen with a microwave, a fridge and dining area is included in each of the air-conditioned units. There is a fully equipped private bathroom with bath or shower and free toiletries. There is also an outdoor pool and private beach. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Bahia Tolok.
Villas San Miguel
Featuring free WiFi and free parking. The accommodation is equipped with a flat-screen TV. Some units include a sitting area and/or terrace. There is also a dining area and a kitchen equipped with a microwave and toaster. A refrigerator and coffee machine are also provided. Each unit has a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Bed linen are featured. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Villas San Miguel.
Boasting 123 beautifully designed guest rooms overlooking two pools and the ocean, the hotel features a modern Mexican décor and the full range of resort-style amenities. Relax on the beach, splash with the kids in the pool, or enjoy your favorite ice-cold cocktail while lounging by the adults only pool. Begin your day with complimentary breakfast and bring it to a tantalizing close with creative cuisine at their onsite restaurant. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Isla Hotel.
Hotel La Joya Isla Mujeres
Located in Isla Mujeres, 8 miles from Cancún, Hotel La Joya Isla Mujeres features a sun terrace and views of the sea. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Some rooms include a sitting area for your convenience. A terrace or balcony are featured in certain rooms. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hotel La Joya.
Privilege Aluxes – Adult Oriented
A daily buffet breakfast is included along with free WIFI
The Privilege Beach Club, pristine beachfront location is perfect for scuba and snorkeling fans. And yes, it also includes service to your lounge bed. The super sexy suites feel more like apartments.
The All Inclusive option: All meals, alcoholic & non- alcoholic drinks (national and international, premium liquor brands), 24 hours room service and minibar restocked daily. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Privilege Aluxed – Adult Oriented.
Welcome to Casa Alkimia, they are at 10 minute walk from the tourist center to the island and its major attractions, including the Playa Norte, restaurants, shops and places of interest.
The property is on two levels, with three Mar Caribe houses, with independent entrance. The rooms have: large and bright seafront double bedroom with balcony or sea view, independent bathroom, beach access, air conditioning, free WIFI, courtesy set, etc. Some rooms also have a cooking area. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Casa Alkimia.