Isla Mujeres, Cancún
Isla Mujeres is a 30-minute boat ride from Cancun. Passenger ferries travel to and from the island from Puerto Juarez every 15 minutes during the day. The ferry price is very cheap, under $5 a trip.
Isla Mujeres has extensive white sandy beaches, craft shops and jewellers, specialty restaurants, and tropical music bars. Garrafon Park at the island's southernmost tip has spectacular snorkelling/diving along a reef, a big picturesque rock cliff, turtles, dolphins, and birds.
Although Isla Mujeres has a reputation as a "backpackers' Cancun", many people rave about it, and your hotel will put it at the top of your "to do" list (because it's easy to get to), I'm personally not a big fan of the island. I think most travellers would be better off just enjoying the Cancun beaches and shopping at Cancun's Mercado 28. Or taking the time to travel to the towns further south. So I'm putting this at the bottom of my "Must See" list. (And edging it towards "Tourist Traps".)
It seems the poverty of many of the island residents, which is evident if you walk to the Eastern side of the island from downtown, is largely ignored. It also seems like everybody wants a few bucks, you could spend bags of money here on everything from overpriced souvenirs to beach chair rentals. There are also a lot of maniac teenage tourists on scooters that want to run you over. Most of the people who work on Isla Mujeres commute over from Cancun in the morning, and then back in the evening.
I've been to Isla Mujeres four times, the best experience was on an island tour called the "Dolphin Express," the staff was friendly and worked extremely hard to make sure everybody had a good time. They spent just enough time downtown shopping and for a few extra dollars you could snorkel, scuba, or swim with the dolphins. The lunch that was included was fantastic. That was a great day!
We went on an organized, all-inclusive day trip to Isla Mujeres. It's a quick and easy ferry ride over to the island. There are shops and restaurants downtown, and several tour companies own land and have mini resorts. It's beautiful and relaxing. Go shopping, snorkeling, or just hang back and take a nap in a hammock by the ocean. Isla Mujeres is a beautiful day trip. In fact, I want to go back, we didn't have enough time to do it all. You can choose from taking a day trip with a tour company like we did, because all your activities, food and drinks are included. Or you can opt to catch a ferry from one of three places in the hotel zone for $15 US roundtrip and explore the island yourself. I think next time I would opt to stay on Isla Mujeres versus Cancun.
Many companies own little resort properties on Isla Mujeres and run ferries to and from Cancun to their respective resorts. We booked a day trip through Garrafon. You can book online, at any of the trip advisors in Cancun or at the departure point. They have a tiered pricing structure and we chose the top tier - the all inclusive. For $59 US this included our ferry to and from the Island, all meals and drinks (alcohol included) and all the optional activities at the resort (with a few exceptions like Scuba and the zip line). They also include an optional (complementary) shopping trip downtown. We spent the day snorkeling (although this is included be prepared to pay an extra reef tax), sleeping in the hammocks, eating, hiking, sunning... The snorkeling wasn't great but the resort is well-maintained and the staff, friendly. The guests range from singles to families. If we had been big drinkers I think the all inclusive option would have better suited us, regardless we enjoyed our stay, although I wish I had opted to take the trip into downtown Isla Mujeres.
They were very serene, no vendors, no tour operators, nothing, it was very relaxing. Just sip your margarita and relax. We stayed on the beach for a while before heading out to explore the rest of the Isla, while here you can kayaking , go snorkeling, scuba diving or just walk along the beach and look for huge shells!.... One of the people in our tour found a huge one on the beach and took it home.
This was included with our day tour to the Isla by Aqua Tours, It was very entertaining. The performance was just done specially for us that took the tour so it was a very small group. Maybe around 20 people and they will do the seal show in front of you. I've never been that close to these smart animals in my life. Check out the pic. Show lasts about 30 minutes and very entertaining. Especially for kids!
This show was also included in our day trip to Isla La Mujeres with Aqua Tours, we saw the show before we went snorkeling. It was great! Yes thats a parrot playing basketball that you see in the picture! It also rode a bike and played games! Very entertaining!
Another Day trip worth your while!! This place was so relaxing, probably one of the times where my husband actually had a moment of relaxation in our activity filled Cancun vacation. It is called "Island of the Women" in English because as legend says, when it was discovered there were several statues of women on the island.
Many tour companies offer a day trip on this island and most offer a lunch buffet. We booked our tour with AquaWorld. The trip we went on included a seal show and a parrot show which was very entertaining. You can also go on an optional golf ride tour of the island for a small fee, about $12 (highly recommended so you can see more of the island). You can have your picture taken with a shark, dont worry he wont bite and see another turtle farm for about 2 bucks entrance fee/donation. We also took another snorkeling tour while we were there, which was way better than the first one we had during the Jungle Tour. Overall, a very enjoyable day.
This is a beautiful tour to Isla Mujeres, close to Cancún. The Island of Women, where time passes slowly and you feel to be like in heaven. The tour is in a Tropical Yacht "Dolphin Express" with all inclusive system.
During the trip you will be able to enjoy the landscape, the music and some party inside the yacht. After that the yacht make the first stop in a wonderful beach "Villa Pirata" where you can practice snorkel, Kayac, scuba diving or to swim with the dolphins. In this place you will have a delicious lunch and after that the tour continue to the downtown of Isla Mujeres.
In downtown you will find many typical stores to buy souvenirs and there are also many jewel stores.
The experience of this trip is amazing and you will have a wonderful day.
Departures, 10 a.m. returns 4:30 p.m
Our resort, Moon Palace, gave us two free daytrips as part of our package and our favourite trip was to Isla Mujeras.
We set off by boat from the hotel's private jetty to this incredible island. The sea was a little choppy and we were told that this trip cannot be taken any time the sea is rough. I would have suffered any amount of sea sickness to experience this Island Xanadu.
We disembarked onto the softest white sandy beach, and along the jetty friendly staff from our hotel waited to greet us with cold drinks. We could have spent the day lazing on the pristine sand, but a number of further trips were offered at a very reasonable additional cost. I opted for one of these, and will do a seperate tip on it shortly.
For those who opted to stay beachside, there were comfortable beach chairs, umbrellas, soft towels, and non stop food and drink. I spent about an hour and a half lazing here at the end of the afternoon and laughed out loud as I was floated in the sea on a lilo. I felt sixteen again, and even then I don't recall laughing so joyfully.
Isla Mujeras is perfect - the people are friendly, it's very picturesque, the sand is white, the sea is crystal clear by the shore and pure turquoise out at sea. I saw a little place for sale by the ocean side and was tempted to buy - the only thing that deterred me was the threat of hurricanes.
There are many things to do on this Island - swimming with the dolphins, visiting a turtle farm, wander the typically Mexican village, take a trip by boat around the Island perimeter - you could spend a week here alone!
I am still longing to go back.
About a 45 minute boat ride from Cancun is a nice little island called Isla Muejeres and a park called Garaffon. Just a nice place to relax, lay in hammocks, drink lots of beer, snorkel, kayak. You can also go into the town and rent a scooter, ride around. Their are some other public beaches in town, swim with the dolphins and a turtle farm.
Fun day trip.
The first trip that we took in Cancun was our free boat cruise from Aquaworld out to Isla Mujeres, just off the coast. We cruised in the sheltered waters of the Nichupte Lagoon towards Cancun city, crossed under the highway at Playa Linda and then had a short cruise out to the island. The crew did a fantastic job of entertaining everyone and the free drinks helped too! Once we reached the private resort on Isla Mujeres, we were fed, relaxed on the beach, kayaked and played volleyball as desired! A really fun day.
We took a daytrip to the beautiful Isla Mujeres. The beach there has a giant reef that you swim around and barely skim in some places, watch out it's sharp!. I went out pretty far with a friend to where the big fish were, you could see them from the hotel balcony, dark shapes moving in the crystal water. When we got out there, she chickened out because of the size of the fishies. I stuck it out, after all I was 12, practically a grown up! So there I was, swimming in between multicolored, multi shaped fish in and out of little coral canyons. I come to a smallish opening and as I pass though I see that the only fish in this pond is a giant Barracuda! Yikes! I turned around and swam away as fast as my flippers would go! No more snorkling for me that day!
Try to plan on spending one day at Isla Mujeres (Island of Women). It is a short 8 mile ferry ride from Cancun. Isla Mujeres is a fishing village, but has become a very popular tourist stop. The island is 5 miles long, 1/2 mile wide, and can easily be explored on foot or moped. Scuba, snorkel, shopping, swimming with dolphins or sharks, and a visit to the turtle farm are all available activities on the island.
Isla Mujeres meaning ' Island of the Women' Is such a BEAUTIFUL little Island. Its sooooo small you can get around the whole island in less then three hours. We went to Isla Mujeres by Catamaran which took just over an hour but you can also get there by express boats/ship within 30minutes.
You can also go snorkling just before you arrive on the Island, so bring your snorking gear!
In my opinion Isla Mujeres is a much smaller, quiet version of Cancun and you can do litterally the same activities although we decided to sight-see instead. You can swim with the dolphins, sight-see, shop and see how the locals live, visit the Zoo etc...
Travelling around the island is relatively easy you can walk, hire a golf cart. YES, believe me people drive carts lol or hire a taxi cab which is what we did. For an hour 150 peso's ($15) (but we ended up driving for almost 2hrs)
Visit the Zoo,the Zoo is crazy and WAY different from the british Zoo's. The Zoo is very spacious and by the looks of things some of the animals aren't in the cages i.e Croc's, Jaguar (Hence the reason why we didn't stay around to know)...
Know your spanish, because the island has less tourists, most people tend to speak Spanish and less English. So, i'd advise you to Learn even if it's just afew of the phrases. Alittle goes along way.!
A great day out, Go there early and make a proper day of it!
A great island. While staying in Cancun we did a day trip. This is a small island approx. 3.5 miles long. On the end where the boats come in is the center of town. This is shops stores and great little eating establishments. You can rent scooters for $25.00 , bicycles $8.00 or golf carts (for four) for $45.00 per day. There is a little room for negotiations if you rent a block or two from the dock. Locals rate is $5-10 lower. this area has hostels on beach front for $5.00 camping, 11.00 room and up to 32.00 for room with private bath and windom overlooking water. Hotels about $80.00 per day. Food is cheap in htis area example Miguels Hamburger with fries 5.00 quesid. 5.00 tacos (3) 5.00. Soda 1.25. vendors are very friendly. Choice of beaches with crashing waves or bay side gentle. RENT some form of transportation and travel on one road (stay on right side of island)to the end of the Island. Follow to end and visit lighthouse and ruin of fertility ( about 30 minutes). Small ruin at enge of island. $3.00 admission. Pay it see sculptures and ruin close up as well as walk on path undre ruin to be close to water. Very pretty site. Take road to right on way back. Beautiful homes and views of water as well as a shanty town. Back in town visit flea market on right side end of island across from a hostel. WONDERFUL, FRIENDLY PEOPLE AND A GREAT TIME. THE FERRY SERVICE FOR TOURISTS IS $10.00 ONE WAY OR $15.00 ROUND TRIP. THEY TAKE PICTURES AND TRY TO SELL TO YOU FROM 10.00 -5.00 NEGOTIATE IF YOU WANT THEM (VERY TACKY) IF YOU DON'T WANT THIS EXPERIENCE GO PAST DOWNTOWN CANCUN AND TAKE THE PUBLIC FERRY FOR 3.50 EACH WAY. THIS IS HOW LOCALS TAKE THE TRIP. When back in the Cancun area the bus transportationis great. 6.5 pesos or .65 US. Cheap and reliable, we never waited more that two minutes for the bus and it goes to all of the hotels. Also available turtle, dolphin and other spots to stop at when going out of town to light house most are free or donation.