If you haven’t been to this tiny island paradise, Do yourself a favour and jump on board the next ferry out of Cancun to experience Isla Mujeres – Direct translation is ‘Island of Women’.
Ultramar leaves from four points in Cancun and the first ferry leaves at 5am and runs every 30 minutes to an hour until 11:30pm to take you there in 20 – 30 minutes. You can pop over and visit for the for day but I highly recommend a few days of island bliss if you have the time.
The island has sweeping views of Cancun in the distance, some of the clearest blue Caribbean water to splash around in and a plethora of incredible places to stay in, eat at and explore or you can grab a book and hit the beach for some serious chill time.
Here is my low down on where to stay, eat and explore.
Where to Stay
I stayed here ten years ago and was happy to find the same cute little hotel right on the beach for my second visit. My budget was under a hundred night and this place ticks all the boxes. It’s also on Playa Norte which is the best beach for swimming.
Chichis & Charlies – Beachfront access to Playa Norte, Clean, Comfortable and a fab little restaurant on site.
If you’re looking for something more upscale, Try one of these two hotels;
Isla Mujeres Palace – One of the top rated resorts on the island
Nautibeach Condos – Perfect if you’re wanting beach front with self catering facilities
If you’re on a tighter budget you can not go past;
Poc-Na Hostel – This is the best hostel and they offer a mix of private rooms, dorms and even camping if you bring your own tent. They also have a bar on site and daily yoga classes which are some of the best on the island.
Air BNB also some great larger houses for rent but you will find most are on the southern end of the island, If you stay up that way, I recommend having a golf cart for your stay.
Where to Eat
Hidalgo Street is brimming with restaurants and bars but you will also find great spots dotted around the islands beaches and in the town centre on the south end of the island which has more authentic local places.
Lola Valentina – This is my favourite place and we ate here every day this time as it caters well to vegans and their cocktails are the bomb
Street Food – There are numerous street carts dotted around the island that cook up yummy, traditional Mexican food
Sunset Grill – The name says it all, Epic sunset views and they have live entertainment some nights
Angelo – Craving an Italian fix, Go here!
Where to Explore
Hire a golf cart or scooter for the day and explore the island which is only 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long and 650 metres (2,130 ft) wide. Take your speaker, blast your favourite tunes and take a detour through the Corona Drive Thru to stock up on supplies for a fun day in the sun. The Southern end of the island has dramatic cliffs with a beautiful coastal walk and small sculpture park.
Playa Norte – The best beach on the island for swimming and bathing in the sun.
Diving & Snorkelling – I personally didn’t find the snorkelling on the island very good as most of the coral is dead (You can still see fish though and the water is beautiful), I would instead dive the Museo Subacuático de Arte as it has over 500 sculptures planted on the sea bed for marine life to colonise and inhabit whilst increasing biomass on a grand scale. If you snorkel that area you can see some statues from the top but you can’t get anywhere near close enough for good pictures… Dive it!
Isla Contoy – A national park which is one of the most important areas for nesting birds is a must for bird lovers or anyone wanting a slice of untouched island life – Only 200 visitors are allowed per day.