Isla Mujeres is a small island situated closely off the coast from Cancun. While it’s only 6.8k away in distance, in terms of atmosphere it’s a world away. While I was only on the island for around 24 hours I was able to see many of the sights and get a great feel for the atmosphere.
Isla Mujeres is a short ferry ride from Puerto Juárez, just north of Cancun. The port is easy to reach either by bus or taxi from Downtown Cancun or Zona Hotelera, and a return ticket should be $146.00M.N. (as of December 2014).
The best beach on the island is Playa Norte (North Beach), which curves round the tip of the island by the town centre.
You can walk along Rueda Medina from the port with the white sands of the beach to you left or enjoy the local restaurants and shops on the right side of the road.
Playa Norte is the best place to watch the sunset on the island, as you can see it dip below the skyline of Cancun across the water. Walking along the tip of the island towards the easts gives you the best area to see the golden hour of dusk and how the beach sand turns into soft honey hues. This area is where most of the hotels are, but access to the sand is free and easy, with much smaller crowds than on the mainland.
Walking Through Town
The town centre is the best place to stay and has a personality all of it’s own. Most of the buildings are brightly painted, cantinas open up onto the sidewalk and cheap local food can be found everywhere. One thing I really loved about the island were the massive murals found on the sides of buildings adding even more character.
Things To Do in Isla Mujeres
If you want to more than just enjoy the perfect sand and sun of the beach and atmosphere of the town, Isla Mujeres has plenty other things to offer. To get around either rent a golf cart for the day (Yes, a GOLF CART!) or use one of the many relaxed taxi drivers. Rates are fixed and can be found on the wall by the taxi bank by the port.The buggies are the funner option, but you still need a valid driver’s licence in order to rent one.
- Punta Sur, the southern tip of the island, is a park with sculptures, a lighthouse you can climb, and small mayan ruins
- Captain Dulche’s Beach Club, where you can enjoy a drink or meal from the pirate ship bar, lounge on the private beach, stroll the sculpture garden, and even visit a maritime museum. I loved my time here and will be sharing with you further details in a dedicated blog post.
- Book a day trip to go snorkeling in the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, Mexico’s underwater art gallery, or to the nearby bird sanctuary of Isla Contoy
- Visit Tortugranja (Turtle Farm) to see the conservation of the beautiful sea creatures in person
Where to Stay
- Poc Na is a great party hostel, best for long term travellers who want somewhere cheap to meet others and dance the night away. The dorms are pretty basic relying on fans to keep cool, and some of the bunks are precariously high – but the atmosphere is worth it.
- For high end luxury give the amazingly highly rated Hotel Secreto a go.
- For those looking for an affordable family holiday, Hotel Chac Chi is a good option.
Isla Mujeres is an adorable island I hope to spend more time on in the future, hopefully as part of a long term trip through Central America. However, it’s also a great option for those looking for a beach holiday with a bit of character, away from the crowds of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.