WHAT TO DO WITH A DAY IN ISLA MUJERES
When me and my sister did a little bit of travelling around Mexico last September one of my favourite days of the trip was definitely Isla Mujeres! We had visited this island several times before on our trips to Mexico but the island never ceases to lose it’s magic for me. I love the colourful buildings, the almost hippie vibes and laid back lifestyle over there! It’s definitely worth a trip over so if you’re planning a holiday to Cancun, Playa Del Carmen or Tulum anytime soon then you’ll want to make sure you head over to Isla Mujeres for at least a day or two whilst you’re there! Here’s my top tips…
Getting to Isla Mujeres from Cancun…
You’ll need to take a ferry from Cancun over to the island of Isla Mujeres and depending on which one you catch they normally take anywhere from 15-20 minutes and you have a choice of three terminals:
Puerto Juarez is the terminal we usually go from and a roundtrip ticket cost us 300 pesos (around £12). There’s a ferry company here called Magana that leaves the dock every hour and take about 15 minutes to get to the island.
Gran Puerto is the newest terminal and ticket prices will cost you the same here as they do at Gran Puerto terminal, however this ferry company is called Ultramar and their ferries leave every half an hour instead, so a bit more convenient than Puerto Juarez!
Punta Sam is the third terminal in your options and is where you catch the car ferry if you want to take a car to the island, although I really wouldn’t recommend this because the parking is super limited over there. This is the slowest ferry understandably as it’s full of cars so it takes around 45 minutes, you can still ride on it though even if you’re not driving a vehicle.
Rent a golf cart…
In my opinion the best thing you can do with your day at Island Mujeres is to drive around exploring the island! The best way to do this in one day is to get yourself a golf cart for the day! It’s also hilariously fun to drive these around. When you arrive at the terminal in Isla Mujeres you’ll want to cross the street and walk into one of the rental places there, there are so many to choose from and all are pretty much around the same price for the day, roughly 860-1050 pesos (£35-£40) for the day and you can easily fit 4 people per buggy! Although be aware of the many speedbumps! They’re everywhere and are certainly not gentle! Best to take it slow! (also bonus points if you manage to hire a pink golf cart for the day!)
Enjoy just driving around the island exploring the little streets, stopping off for some cold coconuts or freshly squeezed juice! You can easily park the golf carts pretty much everywhere on the island and there’s a bunch of market streets, restaurants and not to mention beautiful beaches to explore!
Best beaches at Isla Mujeres…
Playa Central: This is the beach that faces the ferry terminal (and Cancun), this is where you’ll find the bluest water and it’s really calm if you want to get in and just float around! You’ll also find the majority of the beach bars on this beach, pretty much all of which offer happy hour!
Playa Norte: Easily one of the most popular beaches in this area and the perfect place to watch a beautiful sunset! It’s at the very tip of the island and also has a bunch of hotels located on it if you’re considering staying on the island.
Playa Lancheros: You’ll definitely need your golf cart to get to this beach, it’s on the west side of the island so the water is insanely turquoise and there are far less people here too! It’s also a great spot for snorkelling!
Where we ate…
We did a little research beforehand on where we wanted to eat on the island (since eating vegan isn’t always easy) so once we had decided where we used the maps.me app (highly recommend!!) to locate it and then used the golf cart to find it! We ended up eating at a lovely restaurant in the centre of the island called Lola Valentina that offered both meat and vegan options. We particularly loved the swing seats available and the tacos, salads and juices were all delicious!
If you have longer than a day or would rather an activity…
Parque De Los Suenos: We spent a day here on a different occasion and absolutely loved it! We simply jumped in a taxi when we got off the ferry and arrived to the park within around 10 minutes. It’s the perfect place to do some paddle boarding in the beautiful waters or enjoy relaxing a swimming pool overlooking the ocean! We also had some lovely food and drinks in a swim up style restaurant and there’s a fun sea swing to mess around on and even rock climbing walls into the ocean (a far more fun place to land if you fall off!)
Garrafon Park: If you’d take excitement over relaxing then why not head to Garrafon park where you can go zip-lining! You start 100 feet above sea level and then fly past the incredible cliffs and over the beautiful blue water.
MUSA, The Underwater Museum: This incredible museum consists of over 500 statues under the water! There are a few options to choose from with this tour as the museums are available in Cancun and Isla Mujeres and depending on whether you’d prefer to snorkel or scuba dive will depend on which museum you visit! Click here for more info!
Please avoid the ‘Turtle Sanctuary’!
Me and my sister drove past this when we were exploring and almost stopped off to go in but was a little unsure as we hadn’t heard anything about it previously. Long story short I am so glad we didn’t go, after researching the place at the end of our day it was clear to us that this place wasn’t a sanctuary at all. Apparently, the tanks are far too small for the turtles and are in poor condition. The staff at the sanctuary encourage people to pick up the turtles despite signs asking visitors to avoid touching them. Lifting a baby turtle is really stressful for them and you can easily pass on diseases that can kill it.
So tell me, have you ever visited Isla Mujeres? If you have any more advice or tips please leave us a comment below and let us know! It’ll be even more helpful for readers planning a future visit! xx