Itinerary and Travel Guide: 7 days in Cancun
Cancun is a dream destination in the Mexican Caribbean. Its white sand beaches, crystal clear...
From where to eat to where to stay, you name it. We prepared the most complete guide for you to make the most out of your experience in this amazing island.
Isla Mujeres is located in the Caribbean Sea, sharing borders with the municipality of Benito Juárez, better known as Cancun, both belong to the Yucatán peninsula, in the southeast of Mexico in the State of Quintana Roo. Only a few know that the municipality of Isla Mujeres has a wide part of the continental territory, so perhaps without realizing it, you can be in Isla Mujeres and not in Cancun, the main tourist pole in the region.
At the southern tip of the island there are vestiges of a Mayan temple. Archaeologists know that Isla Mujeres was a sanctuary dedicated to Ixchel, the Mayan Isla Mujeres goddess of fertility, and that Mayan women had to make a pilgrimage to the island as part of their transition from girl to woman. Today, the pilgrimage to the island is carried out by lovers of marine animals and the beauty of its tropical nature. Isla Mujeres was also a refuge and home to famous pirates and slave traders, such as Fermín Mundaca and Marecheaga.
Regarding its history, the island was discovered by the Spanish expedition of Francisco Hernández de Córdoba in 1517. Before its discovery, in pre-Hispanic times the island was consecrated to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the Moon, love and fertility, who received offerings with feminine forms that the believers left on its beaches. When the Spanish conquerors arrived and observed the figures, they baptized it as Isla Mujeres.
We tell you all about getting around Isla Mujeres.
Now visiting Isla Mujeres is just not the same if you don’t experience renting a golf cart! This is the most popular means of transportation on the island. The longer you book for, the cheaper the rental is. But even if you might not need it at all, we recommend that you rent it for at least 2 hours, bring your speaker, and set to explore with no destination in mind.
The hourly rate is usually $15 to $20 USD and there are numerous rental companies that will be hard to miss. If you want to know more about where to rent one and other costs and information, you can check out our blog “How much does it cost to rent a golf cart in Isla Mujeres?”.
Another option, just as fun as the golf cart but cheaper and ideal for couples or solo travelers, is to rent a scooter. You can find them in the same places that offer golf carts. It’s important to have in mind that you need a motorcycle driving license to rent one.
There are two ways to use taxis in Isla Mujeres: per hour for an island tour or to go from point A to point B. The first option is ideal if you want to see a little bit of everything in a short amount of time and costs about 150 pesos per hour. The second option works if you know exactly where you want to go and plan to stay there for a while. A regular taxi drive should cost between $20 MXN to go to a place nearby up to a $100 MXN to go to the other side of the island. However, the cost may rise if you take a taxi from the stand next to the ferry dock.
The newest concept on the island is to take a bus tour! Isleños offers 4 routes that take you to all the popular destinations in Isla Mujeres such as Chedraui, Dolphin Discovery, Zama Beach Club, and Punta Sur. The price for tourists for a day pass is $9 USD or $175 MXN, where you can visit up to 10 places. If you wish to take the bus to go to a specific point, you can also do so for $2 USD or $38 MXN. The buses operate from Monday to Sunday from 6 am to 10 pm and if you need one more reason to choose this option, they are very comfortable and have AC. You can visit their website here to find more information on all the destinations available.
Five lodging options for each kind of traveler.
This hostel was previously Poc Na, which was the first hostel in Latin America. Selina has locations in around 60 places around the world and is famous for organizing local activities, hosting great parties and providing shared workspaces.
If you're traveling on your own, this is the perfect spot to meet fellow travelers. The only downside to this place is that you are not able to swim on this side of the ocean, but you can walk a couple streets down to some of the best beaches in Playa Norte to take a dip.
Hotel Beló is quite new, but it has now become one of the most popular hotels in Isla Mujeres. It offers 70 modern decorated rooms, 2 restaurants, a giant pool and hot tubs, but its best amenity is definitely their rooftop beach club, Top by Belo, where you can relax on a bali bed close to the pool and get amazed by the views of the sunset. This hotel is located right next door to Ice Bar Isla Mujeres and 6 min walking distance from some interesting touristy spots like the Tortugranja, a turtle aquarium.
It's located in Playa Norte, the best beach in Isla Mujeres. The shallow waters are perfect for kids, while adults may relax in their spa. This 5-star hotel is all-inclusive and features 4 restaurants, snack bars and a coffee shop.
With a very similar concept to Selina, Nomads combines both the experience of lodging and mingling. Nomads is famous for hosting fun events such as latin and karaoke nights. On top of that, it has a modern organic style that create the perfect ambience for relaxing and taking Instagram-worthy pictures.
If you're traveling on a special occasion or simply would like to enjoy a getaway with your loved one, this is the place for you. Privilege Aluxes is an adults only all-inclusive resort, which means you won't have to worry about spending extra or finding a quiet place. Our recommendation is to get the room with private terrace and pool, to enjoy an exclusive and romantic stay with views to die for.
Our top 5 favorite spots to eat like a local.
Enjoy delicious local dishes that fuse island cuisine with ancient Mayan recipes. The best thing about this beach club is that it is in Playa Norte, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has a beach area with lounge chairs, a palapa with a refreshment bar, restrooms and showers, and spectacular murals of the Maya Goddess of fertility, Ixchél. Check out their menu on their website.
Av Rueda Medina Mza 1, entre Lopez Mateos y Playa Norte, Centro, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Q.R.
Phone: 998 217 4062
All there is to do in Isla Mujeres.
Do the most relaxing activity in the Caribbean where you will give yourself the opportunity to explore the sea in another way. This fun activity consists of standing on a surfboard to navigate the sea with a paddle. You can rent it by the hour at various beach clubs and hotels.
You cannot leave Isla Mujeres without seeing its sculptures and its cliffs overlooking the sea. It is not necessary to pay to see some of them, but if you want to admire the most spectacular view of the island, admission costs only $6 USD, and of course, leave your ribbon with your prayer to the Mayan Isla Mujeres goddess of fertility and be ready to have a baby.
Learn about the story of Fermín Mundaca, a pirate and slave trader who left a story on Isla Mujeres. This character took refuge and lived on the Island. Visit this Hacienda to learn more about the history of Isla Mujeres.
Get to know one of the most beautiful places on Isla Mujeres with incredible turquoise waters. Garrafon is a water park where you can enjoy activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, zip lines, temazcal, swimming pools, hammocks, among others. Admission is between 89 and 190 USD.
Swimming with dolphins is one of the activities that is very enjoyed on Isla Mujeres. Have a fun day learning with these mammals in Dolphin Discovery.
A very pleasant activity that you can do on the island. You will live with wonderful colorful fish and you will know the most important coral reef in Mexico. Snorkeling will make you love the aquatic world.
Interesting things you probably didn't know about the island.
One of the island's most popular attractions is its Instagram worthy house called “Casa Caracol”, which is a private home shaped like a giant shell and with furniture resembling marine elements. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public, but you can take a look as it sits right across the ocean.
As it's stated on one of the rocks by the entrance, Punta Sur is “the extreme southeast of the Mexican Republic. It is also known as el “Acantilado del Amanecer”, which means that it receives the first rays of sun in the country each day.
In 2020, Playa Norte took the 17th spot in the “Top 25 most popular beaches in the world” by Tripadvisor. In Mexico, it holds the first spot of the country.
Regarding its gastronomy, there are dishes very typical of the region such as the fish Tikin Xic, the original recipe is attributed to the island, so there are several restaurants that include this dish in their menu.
Each summer, whale sharks migrate to the warm waters near Isla Mujeres. This means that you can book a tour to swim with them in their natural habitat during that season.