Isla Mujeres was a gem that we found during one of our yearly trips to either Cancun or Playa Del Carmen and we instantly fell in love with the place. The lack of crowds, crystal blue water, and great food is enough to make anyone want to stay forever. We still really love making our base camp in Playa del Carmen (and here’s why) but Isla Mujeres is perfect for a day trip while on vacation. With that said, each year we prioritize taking a day out of our week-long vacation to make the short trek over to this fantastic island. After visiting several times, I wanted to share the best four tips when you visit Isla Mujeres, Mexico!
Getting to Isla Mujeres can be a little difficult because there are so many options to choose from! But in our humble opinion, the easiest and most reliable way to go to Isla Mujeres is by using the Ultramar ferry. Steve and I got a round trip ticket for less than $20. There are options of leaving from various docks but the main ones leave from Puerto Juarez and docks along the hotel zone. You can save a few bucks by leaving from Puerto Juarez but honestly it’s not worth the hassle of catching two different public buses or finding a private shuttle that will take you to Puerto Juarez. Save some time and hassle and spend the extra couple bucks to leave from the hotel zone if you are staying in Cancun.
2. Don’t fall for any scams on the boat ride.
During the course of the 20 minute boat road over to Isla Mujeres there will be agents on board trying to sell you golf cart rentals. Do NOT get them from these agents. The golf carts are usually in the worst condition or in fact, not even exist at all once you’re on shore. Wait until you get to the island and see the actual golf cart in front of you before renting one. Pro tip- Drop a pin on your phone from the place that you rented the golf cart from so when the deadline approaches to return in you won’t get lost and have to pay extra.
3. Swim first and then explore
Hit the beach on the north side of the island first (this is our favorite beach) and then go about renting your golf cart to explore. No use in renting your golf cart and then having it just sit there while you play in the waves. Usually the rentals are either for a full-day, half-day or you can choose to get them hourly. We usually choose to swim for the first part of the day and rent the golf-cart for the second half. That is why I think it is so important to rent a vehicle (golf-cart included) to enable you to see the entire island. You will leave feeling cheated if you only stick to the beach right where the ferry drops you off.
You won’t regret taking several hours to explore! What we loved about Isla Mujeres was the fact that you could get beautiful sandy beaches on one side of the island and then find beautiful, rocky cliff side ledges against the ocean on the other side of the island.
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