Things to do on Isla Mujeres: Mexico’s Caribbean Paradise

Isla Mujeres is a small island located 13km off the coast of Cancun, Mexico.  This Mexican island is surrounded by crystal clear water and has a real Caribbean flair to it.  Given the small size of Isla Mujeres (~7km by 0.65km), you can visit this island as a day trip from Cancun.  I ended up loving this island so much, that I’d suggest spending a few days here!!  We spent 5 amazing days soaking up island life on Isla Mujeres and could have stayed for longer…  

Isla Mujeres Sign

While on Isla Mujeres, there are plenty of things to do.  You could find yourself relaxing on a beach, snorkelling amongst tropical fish or zipping up and down the coast in a golf cart.  With beaches and beautiful beach clubs scattered across the island, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your interests.

Playa Norte

Playa Norte is notable one of the most popular beaches on the island.  Here you will find white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and palm tree swaying in the breeze.  Given the popularity of this beach, you will also find a lot of other visitors, along with chair and umbrella rentals.  Many hotels and restaurants back on to this beach offering beach goers a number of amenity just a few steps away.  If you can get past the crowds at Playa Norte, you will quickly realize that this beach is stunning.

Playa Sol

Playa Sol is another popular beach on Isla Mujeres located close to the ferry terminal and a short distance from Playa Norte.  This beach is also popular amongst visitors, but lacks many of the restaurants and hotels that are located on Playa Norte.  At Playa Sol you will find the same turquoise waters, white sand and chair and umbrella rentals.  The waters here are calm and make a great spot for a swim or a well deserved float in the sun.

Punta Sur

Brittany @ Punta Sur

Punta Sur is the most southern point on Isla Mujeres.  For 30 Pesos (~$2.50 CAN), you can assess Punta Sur and walk the trails carved into the rugged coastline.  The trail at Punta Sur twists and turns along the cliff side only steps away from the ocean.  While walking the trail you will likely be sprayed by ocean mist as you take in the enchanting views.

Guadalupe Chapel

Guadalupe Chapel is a stunning church located on a hill right next to the ocean.  This chapel offers airy windows and stunning views from inside and outside.  While touring around Isla Mujeres it is worth a stop to look at all the beauty this location offers.

Miguel Hidalgo Avenue

Dog, Isla Mujeres

Miguel Hidalgo Avenue is the “downtown” area of the island located in the north.  Here you will find restaurants, hotels and lots of shopping.  Miguel Hidalgo Avenue is conveniently located walking distance from the ferry terminal, Playa Norte and Playa Sol.  This avenue is open all day but really comes alive after the sunsets and beach goers swap the beach for a stroll downtown.

Garrafon de Castilla

Garrafon de Castilla is a much cheaper alternative to the uber expensive Garrafon Natural Reef Park located next door.  For 90 Pesos (~$6 CAN), you can spend the day at Garrafon de Castilla beach.  This price includes a chair rental and access to the reef located here.  This isn’t the most amazing beach ever, but there are plenty of fish to look at and the beach is relatively quiet compared to the beaches in the north.

Parque do Los Suenos/Kin Ha Restaurant

PARQUE DO LOS SUENOS

Parque do Los Suenos is my favourite spot on Isla Mujeres!!  The water here is a beautiful shade of turquoise and incredibly calm.  Here you will find a three tier infinity pool looking out over the ocean, an amazing dock with access to the ocean, and lovely sun bathing areas. If the amazing pool and dock isn’t enough, Los Suenos also offers a small rock climbing wall over the water, a rope swing into the ocean, snorkelling and use of the paddle boards are kayaks.

If you purchase a meal at Kin Ha Restaurant located directly on site, you will be granted free access to all the amenities.  Our meals here cost us around 250 pesos each (~$18 CAN) and were absolutely delicious.  You really can’t beat the price for a great meal and lounging in paradise.  You can easily spend a whole day here enjoying everything Los Suenos has to offer!! 

Crayola House and shell hotel

Crayola House, Isla Mujeres

Shell Hotel, Isla Mujeres

The Shell Hotel and Crayola House aren’t major attractions on the island, but if you’re touring around, you might at well have a look at them.  Both spots are look absolutely amazing and completely creative.  How could you go wrong with a giant shell or a colourful house!?

Beach Clubs

PARQUE DO LOS SUENOS

Beach clubs are quite popular on Isla Mujeres.  As we were touring around, we were a bit confused as to why we weren’t seeing any of the beaches others were raving about.  We quickly realized that most of the beaches are hidden from view, behind beach clubs.  Most clubs will allow you to come in for a look and stay free of charge if you purchase a meal or drinks.  We stopped and looked at quite a few spots and most are similar with a pool and access to the ocean.

Snorkelling/Diving with Whale Sharks

Snorkelling and diving with whale sharks are other major attractions on Isla Mujeres.  The whale sharks generally migrate through this area between June and September.  Around the island you will find many tours offering to take you on this adventure.  As we visited Isla Mujeres in January, we didn’t have an chance to see the whale sharks.

Golf Cart Rentals

Thruxton on golf cart

If you’re planning on doing a full day tour, the best way to get around the island is to either rent a golf cart or a moped.  Both rentals are available for an hourly rate, a 9-5 rate or a 24 hour rate.  A 9-5 rate on a golf cart will cost you 800 pesos (~$55 CAN).  A moped is half the price at 400 pesos (~$28 CAN) for a 9-5 rental.  There are plenty of rental companies scattered around the north of the island, so finding somewhere to rent from isn’t difficult.  After searching around, we’ve surmised that prices are the same amongst all the rental companies.

Getting to Isla Mujeres

As mentioned early, Isla Mujeres is only 13km off the coast of Cancun or an 18 minute ferry ride away.  Ferries run frequently throughout the day and evening, making it easy to travel between Isla and Cancun.  We opted to travel with Ultamar from Puerto Juarez and return tickets cost us 300 pesos each (~$20 CAN).

 Getting around Isla Mujeres

If your home base is in the north of the island, which I suggest, you’ll find that you’re able to walk everywhere as its quite small.  In the north you’ll find Playa Norte, Playa Sol, Miguel Hidalgo Avenue, the ferry terminal and town square.  There are also plenty of taxis waiting to take you around the island.  We decided that we’d like to spend the day in the south of the island and a taxi cost us 100 pesos (~$7 CAN) one way.

Ocean lookout, Isla Mujeres

With a complete Caribbean vibe, Isla Mujeres is a great place to soak up some sun and vitamin sea.  We also found that there are a number of accommodations, restaurants and activities that cater to a number of different budgets, so you don’t have to completely break the bank.  Overall, we thoroughly loved our time on this tiny Mexican island!! <3

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