Isla Mujeres is a small and paradisiacal island in the Mexican Caribbean and is located just 6 km off the coast of the city of Cancun. It is the smallest island in the state of Quintana Roo and the Riviera Maya, but in spite of that: It is simply breathtaking.
Its beaches and cliffs are some of the best your eyes will ever see: Wait until you get to know Playa Norte, the beach that for many years in a row has entered the top 10 best beaches in Mexico. And if Playa Norte impresses you, wait until you get to know the beaches of Punta Sur: Totally clear, transparent beaches full of colorful fish and reefs.
In fact, there are many reasons to visit Isla Mujeres and if you don't believe us, then we have to tell you that this beach has been awarded this year (2022) with the prize for the best island destination in Mexico.
Isla Mujeres is the closest island to the city of Cancun and one of the tourist destinations you have to visit. It is the first place in Mexico to receive the sun's rays and it has an incomparable beauty.
Here is waiting for you the best snorkeling tours, the best beaches to swim, incredible cliffs, viewpoints, urban paintings, parties, bars, sunsets and even: Peace, tranquility and calm.
In a few words, Isla Mujeres has it all. So do not hesitate and come and spend a few days in this paradise that gives us the Riviera Maya.
Where is Isla Mujeres located?
Isla Mujeres is located on the Caribbean Sea only 15 km away from the coast of Cancun and to visit it you have to travel by sea. This is because the island as such does not have a space to receive small planes or helicopters, but it does have several marinas from which you can reach cruise ships, boats, yachts, boats and various other vessels.
How to get to Isla Mujeres?
Isla Mujeres is an island and that has been made clear throughout this article, but then only through maritime transport can you get to (and leave) the island? Unfortunately yes. Only by sea transport can you get to Isla Mujeres.
Fortunately, the coast of Cancun has several docks and marinas from where you can take a ferry, a boat or rent a private boat to get to Isla Mujeres.
It should be noted that not only from Cancun you can take these boats, but also from Puerto Juarez and the marina of Playa Mujeres.
Cancun's Hotel Zone has a length of 22 km and along this distance you can find several marinas and ports from where you can take the different options of boats to get to Isla Mujeres.
Generally the most preferred option for locals and visitors is the overseas ferry. This maritime transportation line can be found at km 6 (Tortugas Beach Port) and km 9 (Caracol Beach Port). It should be noted that departure times are somewhat limited, so you have to check availability.
Another option that can be taken from the hotel zone is the XCARET group ferry line. This is the newest line in the hotel zone and has a much more affordable cost than the overseas line. It is worth mentioning that it has more varied schedules and its maritime terminal is located at km 4.5 of the hotel zone or at the "Embarcadero".
Finally, we cannot forget that from the other existing ports you can rent yachts, boats or take a day tour to visit the most popular areas of Isla Mujeres.
The maritime terminals in Cancun's hotel zone, as you can see, have "limited schedules", which is precisely why most locals and visitors prefer the Puerto Juarez maritime terminal.
The maritime terminal of Puerto Juarez has more accessible costs for people who are residents of the state of Quintana Roo. In fact the price of a single transfer for adults is 80.00 MXN and for children is 47.00 MXN and the cost of the transfer for tourists and foreigners is 231.00 MXN for adults and 176.00 MXN for children.
As you can see, the costs of the single (and round trip) are much cheaper and the schedules are more frequent: The first schedule from Cancun to Isla Mujeres is at 5:30 am and the last schedule is at 11:00 pm, meanwhile the first schedule of the Isla Mujeres to Cancun route is from 6 am and the last schedule is at 12:00 pm.
This transportation route to Isla Mujeres is preferred by all private cab transfer companies and also, this line is operated by one of the best maritime transportation services in the Riviera Maya: Ultramar.
How to get to the Puerto Juarez marine terminal?
If you are staying in Isla Mujeres for a weekend, 3 days, a week or just want to tour Isla Mujeres on your own, then you will have to first arrive at the Puerto Juarez marine terminal.
As we have noticed throughout this article: This is the terminal that has the most departure times for the Ferry to the Island.
Likewise, we have noticed that the transfer costs are much cheaper than the other terminals in the hotel zone and as if this were not enough, the Puerto Juarez terminal starts operations at 5:30 am.
So, how can I get to the Puerto Juarez terminal? Well, it all depends a lot on where you are and now we are going to explain it to you.
If your first stop in the Mexican Caribbean is the Cancun airport, the easiest, most feasible, fastest and safest way to get from the airport to the Puerto Juarez maritime terminal is through a private transfer service.
You can book this service online and this way you don't have to pay a single peso more and best of all: When you book it online, the transportation team will be waiting for you at the Cancun airport and you won't have to wait a minute longer.
This means of transportation is private, has capacity for up to 8 passengers and in the same way: We offer transportation for groups of up to 50 people and you can book it right here.
Another much cheaper and faster option is the cab service. There are two types of cab services: Private cabs and cabs operating inside the airport.
Private cabs can be booked online and that way you won't have to wait in line to take a conventional cab. It should be noted that this means of transportation is perfect if you are traveling with little luggage and less than 3 people.
Our next option is to use the ADO shared transportation service. This service as such is very economical and the approximate cost is 100.00 MXN per person or 5 USD. It should be noted that this shuttle would only drop you off in downtown Cancun and from downtown Cancun, you have to take another public transportation to Puerto Juarez.
We call Cancun downtown the areas near Plaza Las Americas and also the Palapas Park and the areas near the ADO terminal.
Well, if you are in any of the above mentioned areas, you can take public transportation which is usually a bus.
This bus as such you can take it on Avenida Tulum and its destination is the intersection between Avenida Lopez Portillo and Tulum.
You have to get off at that point and from there, take another public transportation to Puerto Juarez. It is worth mentioning that from downtown Cancun you can take a cab or hire a private transportation service.
The Hotel Zone is the beach area of Cancun and where you will find the best hotels in the region. From here we do not advise you to take a cab, as they tend to be very, very expensive.
What you can do is to take a public transportation to downtown Cancun, which costs 12.00 MXN.
And once in downtown Cancun you just have to find Tulum Avenue and from there you can take the public transportation to Lopez Portillo Avenue and from Lopez Portillo Avenue you can take another public transportation to Puerto Juarez.
It should be noted that from the hotel zone you can hire a private transfer service to Puerto Juarez and which will be completely cheaper than the cab.
Continental zones of Isla Mujeres
Playa Mujeres, Costa Mujeres and Isla Blanca are the 3 mainland areas that are part of Isla Mujeres, BUT they are not located on the island as such, i.e. they are located in front of the island and can be reached by a road trip from Cancun to each of them.
Playa Mujeres is a very good and exclusive area in the Riviera Maya and is home to 5 star hotels, one of the best golf courses and its own marina. Costa Mujeres is an area of pristine beaches and has a few luxury hotels perfect for privacy and relaxation.
Isla Blanca, unlike Costa Mujeres and Playa Mujeres, is a federal zone and here there are no hotels, restaurants or bars. It is a perfect place to camp and enjoy its pristine beaches and lagoons.
How to get around Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a small island, but as such it has different types of transportation services and ways to "move" from one point to another.
You can use the cab service, which can cost approximately 100.00 MXN, but if what you want is "freedom" to go around the island at your own pace, you can rent a golf cart that can cost 400.00 MXN approximately or rent a motorcycle.
If you are looking for another means of transportation to move around the island and much more economical: You can rent a bicycle.
Remember that the island is really small and you can even walk around it, so do not limit yourself in the different options that the island has to explore and enjoy each of its corners.
Tips and Recommendations
To make your visit to Isla Mujeres a true experience don't forget to follow these tips and recommendations.
- Wear a hat: No matter if you plan to just be on the beach or touring the island, bring your hat to avoid the sun.
- Sunscreen: The island as such is a "beacon of light", this means that the sun will be at full strength and to avoid damaging your skin do not forget your sunscreen.
- Comfortable clothes: Remember that you will be walking among the sand, beaches, cliffs and the occasional climb, so wear comfortable clothes that will keep you cool and good shoes.
- Don't forget your water: Bring your water to avoid heat stroke while exploring the island.
- Swimsuit: No doubt the island has beaches that will tempt you at all times to enter them, so don't forget to bring your swimsuit.
- Don't forget money. Remember that the island has bars, restaurants and stores, so don't forget to bring money to treat yourself.
That would be all and we hope this mega travel guide to Isla Mujeres will help you enjoy your visit to this paradisiacal place in the Mexican Caribbean to the fullest.