Cancun’s beaches are a true draw, with luxury all-inclusive resorts, an active nightlife scene, tons of must-do activities… and hoards of fun-loving tourists. But, just 15 minutes off the coast, you’ll find a true escape from the crowds on Isla Mujeres.
This small four-mile-long island will take you back in time. Explore the white sands of the most beautiful beaches, the slower pace of life and the authentic island vibes on the “Island of Women.” Unlike it’s neighbor, Cancun, this quaint and quiet island has a refreshing low-key atmosphere perfect for beach lovers and vacationers looking to just take it easy.
About Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a small island just 12 miles outside of downtown Cancun across the Bahia de Mujeres. It features beautiful white sand beaches for lounging, calm waters for swimming or snorkeling, and a peaceful atmosphere thanks to the laid-back locals. Add Isla Mujeres to your Mexico beach vacation for an experience that is truly relaxing and gives you a taste of the local life outside of the resorts and traditional tourist scene of Cancun.
Getting to Isla Mujeres from Cancun
Getting to Isla Mujeres from Cancun is easy. Simply take the Gran Puerto Cancun Ultramar ferry in Puerto Juarez, which is just a few minutes away from downtown Cancun. The 15-minute boat ride makes trips every half hour between 5 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., allowing you to head back and forth at any point during the day. Check the schedule for additional trip times as the ferry does run until 12 a.m. most nights.
Once aboard, sit back and relax. Start your vacation right with refreshments from the on-board refreshment and snack stand, watch any of the big screens around the ferry, or just take in the stunning water views. As for your luggage, the ferry is equipped with storage racks, but be advised these racks get crowded during peak times, such as Easter weekend.
Things to Do on Isla Mujeres
Once on the island, head to Playa Norte, considered one of the best beaches in Mexico mainly for its soft white sand and contrasting blue water – not to mention the number of water sports on hand here. Next, head to the MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum to peruse underwater man-made sculptures crafted from living coral. Hop on a glass-bottom boat to catch the works or pick up a tank and SCUBA equipment and take to the ocean yourself.
Garrafon Park is another area you won’t want to miss. Stop by in the morning to catch the spectacular sunrise, as it’s the first spot in the country to see the sun each day. Hacienda Mundaca is a famous set of ruins that were built by a pirate named Fermin Mundaca years ago. Finally, Tortuga Granja is a great place to catch giant sea turtles gather in the safety of a sanctuary.
Whether you choose to do a day trip to Isla Mujeres or stay for a whole weekend, you certainly won’t regret taking the ferry over to this tropical retreat.