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One Day in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

by Kat
A sailboat near Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres is a beautiful island located 20 minutes away from Cancun by ferry.  There are several piers in Cancun where you can catch the big yellow Ultramar ferry: Puerto Juarez, Playa Tortugas, El Embarcadero, and Playa Caracol. Depending on the location of the pier, ticket prices will vary. I took the ferry from Playa Tortugas. It was a pleasant ride sitting on the top deck of the boat feeling the wind in my hair and listening to a musician singing in Spanish. The water was such a vibrant turquoise colour.

Ultramar Ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres

The island of Isla Mujeres, MexicoThe most popular option for getting around the island is renting a golf cart. It’s best to get there early (before 9 am) in order to secure a golf cart as there are limited quantities. You will need to give the rental agency your driver’s license until you return the cart. You should be a confident driver as the downtown area can get very congested with other golf carts, cars and people. Since we had just arrived in Cancun in the morning and didn’t get to Isla Mujeres until after noon, no more golf carts were available at the rental agencies we checked. We ended up using taxis to get around, but this wasn’t a problem as the fare was cheap. With my basic Spanish and the drivers’ basic English, we were able to understand each other.

Our first stop was the Turtle Farm (Tortugranja). At this turtle sanctuary, you can observe young turtles in both indoor and outdoor pens. From May to October, you can help the staff collect and hatch eggs. In the fall, you can help release baby turtles. However, I visited during April so I did not get the chance to. The sanctuary is usually open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day. The entrance fee is 30 pesos and I bought a bag of turtle food for 20 pesos. I tried feeding the turtles in the indoor tanks, but they were not hungry so most of the food ended up floating in the tank.

Turtles in a tank at the Turtle Farm in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

A turtle at Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm

Next we took a taxi to Punta Sur, which is the southernmost point on Isla Mujeres and the most easterly point in Mexico. It’s a beautiful place to admire the ocean. At Punta Sur, you can see the ruins of a temple dedicated to Ixchel, Mayan goddess of the moon and fertility. On the path to the temple, you will see different sculptures representing Ixchel. You must pay to enter this area.

Sculptures representing Ixchel, a Mayan goddess

Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

A seaside eating area in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

View of Cancun from Isla Mujeres, Mexico

View of the Ocean from Punta Sur in MexicoAfter spending some time admiring the view, we took a taxi back to downtown, which cost about 100 pesos. While waiting for the next ferry we wandered the streets, which are quite colourful.

Colourful streets of Isla Mujeres, Mexico

A colourful restaurant in downtown Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Colourful Streets in Downtown Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Senor Frog's in Isla Mujeres, MexicoIf you have more time on Isla Mujeres, you might like to visit Playa Norte, a sandy beach surrounded by palm trees and restaurants. It is right next to the ferry terminal.

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Photo via www.bbmexplorer.com, Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re feeling more adventurous, zipline or snorkel at Garrafon Reef Natural Park.

Near Cancun, there is an underwater museum called MUSA that can also be reached from Isla Mujeres. Here you can see interesting sculptures and statues.

A sculpture of a hand at MUSA, near Cancun

Sculptures of hands at MUSA, an underwater museum near Cancun and Isla Mujeres

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Discover the best things to see during a day trip to Isla Mujeres from Cancun.

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8 comments

Maartje September 16, 2017 - 1:28 am

It looks stunning! The underwater statues are awesome. Wish I had known this when I went to Cancun two years ago!

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Emily September 16, 2017 - 1:43 am

I love your photos!! And renting a golf cart sounds like so much fun.. I’ll definitely have to take a trip to Isla Mujeres if I’m ever in Cancun!

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Nicola September 16, 2017 - 6:57 am

This place looks so beautiful and colorful. The statues underwater are amazing, I’ve never seen this before.

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C-Ludik September 16, 2017 - 4:06 pm

Isla Mujeres, seems definitely worth a day-trip from Cancun. However, I would love staying a week, or longer, on this idyllic island, simply relaxing and enjoying the beach ! The scuba diving around the island looks incredible but I guess snorkelling is an option as well.

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Michelle September 17, 2017 - 9:17 am

Your photos are gorgeous! I love Isla Mujeras. My mom and I rented a golf cart and had the best day on this little slice of paradise!

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Anisa September 17, 2017 - 10:25 am

I went to Isla Mujeres probably 7 or 8 years ago and it looks like it has really developed a lot since I went. We mostly spent time snorkeling which was really fun.

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Angela October 7, 2017 - 2:07 pm

I was there In 1996 and it looks just as beautiful as I remember.

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Rosa September 17, 2018 - 4:59 pm

Is ferry the only way to get to Playa del Carmen can I rent a car and drive to Playa del Carmen and also wanted to know if there’s more things to do in playa del Carmen that Cancún central

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