17 Cool Things To See On Isla Mujeres – Cancun, Mexico


While on a trip to Cancun, Mexico, we had a blast taking a boat over to Isla Mujeres for the day to take a break from our resort.

There was so much to do and see there on that little island! These are the things to see while on Isla Mujeres and I hope you get a chance to visit and have as much fun as we did! It’s a laid-back serene and scenic island that offers snorkeling an underwater museum, sailing, swimming with whale sharks, shopping, eating, bar hopping and more!

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First, you need to get there!

To get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun, you can take

  • catch a ferry boat from the hotel zone (which is the most common)
  • ferry from Puerto Juarez
  • a private charter boat or day trip tour

Take the Ferry to Isla Mujeres from the Riviera Maya

ferry to isla mujeres in cancun mexico


Here are 3 Ways to Catch a Ferry to the Island

1. Cancun Hotel Zone ferries

There are 3 locations you can catch the ferry over to Isla Mujeres island from the hotel zone:

  • Playa Tortugas
  • Playa Caracol
  • El Embarcadero

You can now take the new Ultramar ferry or Naveganto to Isla Mujeres without having to leave the hotel zone area.  Ultramar is running out of two locations daily – Playa Tortugas and Playa Caracol.   These options are a bit longer, run less frequently and cost more.

As of last we checked, the ferry boats leave for Isla Mujeres seven days per week, every half-hour from 5:00 am to 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm to 11:30 pm. Boats return every half-hour from 5:30 am to 9:00 pm-ish. Please check with your hotel at the resort for updated times though as these definitely could have changed since we’ve gone.

The boats have bathrooms, TVs, and air conditioning, plus open tops for watching the scenery.

The tickets cost about $12-$14 USD one way and around $25-$30 USD round trip (at the time it was about $7 each way so prices have gone up a bit but still completely worth it).

On a clear day, the rides take about 20 minutes to get to the island, but be prepared for a bit of rough water if it’s a windy day!

You can also catch a ferry from Punta Sam (much bigger than the other two passenger ferries and can carry vehicles)

2. Puerto Juarez (Gran Puerto Ferry Terminal)

Technically, the ferry terminal is called Gran Puerto but if you say ferry terminal in Puerto Juarez, most drivers will know what you mean.

Both provide air conditioning, along with bathrooms, a coat check, and indoor and outdoor seating.

The ferry to Isla Mujeres usually starts from 6:30am to 10:00pm running every 30 minutes to and from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.

3. Private Boat Charter

If you’re looking to splurge a little on your trip, then you could arrange for a private boat charter. This is more of a luxury option usually comes in the form of a luxury yacht, and you can expect to pay a lot more for this type of travel.

If you’re staying in an upscale hotel in Cancun, you may find that the resort provides private boat crossings to Isla Mujeres.

Here are a few of our recommended day trips to Isla Mujeres:

Private Catamaran to Isla Mujeres– Although this day trip requires you to first get to Isla Mujeres, it is hard not to mention it! This private sailing trip around the island is perfect for large groups of friends.

You can spend your day swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Aside from that, this boat charter includes 1 bottle Rum Bacardi White, 1 bottle Wodka Abslout, 1 bottle Tequila White, and 50 beers plus a few light snacks.

Catamaran Tour with Lunch and Open Bar– During this 10-hour excursion, you’ll be transported to the island as you enjoy amazing sea views, and from there a day at the gorgeous beaches of Isla Mujeres awaits.

The tour includes a snorkeling session at one of the coral reefs, a lunch buffet, and an open bar, and if you’re staying in the Cancun hotel zone, pick-up and drop off is provided.

All-inclusive Catamaran tour which includes snorkeling, a wander around Isla Mujeres downtown, lunch, and a sunset sail back.

When You Arrive at Isla Mujeres

When you come off the ferry boat at the dock, there will be places to eat, shop and do tourist things of course.

If you know you are going to touring the island you will need to rent a golf cart. There is no Uber available on the island. You can go to one place called Rentadora Caribe across from the port.

No matter which rental place you go to, you will need to provide them a driver license (which they may hold and completely normal) and expect to pay about $30-45 USD for a golf cart rental for the day (gas included). There is no shortage of rental shops offering the service.

You can also get a map of the island with the tourist spots.

Here’s what to do on Isla Mujeres

Here’s a quick map to get an idea of where some of the sites on our list are on the island:

tourist Mapa de Isla Mujeres

isla mujeres map tourist spots to visit.

1. Eat, Shop and Drink around the docks

One of the first things we did was grab something to eat from one of the outdoor breazy restaurants since it would be a long day and we wanted to get a day full. While this isn’t a specific site to visit, it definitely is something we suggest to do multiple times in the day to get the full island experience.

2. Visit the Playa Norte beach

Just a 10-minute walk from the Ferry Pier, sit down and relax at the popular beach of Playa Norte or North Beach.

You can also stop there after you…..

3. Rent a golf cart and tour the island

With only one main road that circumnavigates the island, it can be super easy to travel around Isla Mujeres without getting lost or off track.

There are a ton of cool houses to view along the road as well as stopping points at bars and restaurants to enjoy yourself at.

4. Visit the Musa Underwater Museum

Now this is something unbelievable to do there and a once-in-a-lifetime type of option if you don’t travel that often, especially to Cancun or leave your resort.

musa underwater museum isla mujeres cancun mexico statues

The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art, known as MUSA, was originally installed primarily to promote coral life in the area and is made up of over 500 statues and various other structures by creator Jason deCaires Taylor which are located on the seafloor.

MUSA doubles as a beautiful tourist attraction, and it makes for a phenomenal diving, snorkeling, and even glass-bottom boat tour location.

The MUSA site is divided into two galleries with 3 salons:

  • Salon Nizuc – at a depth of 4 metres and suitable for snorkelling, the Jungle Tour and the Glass Bottom Boat Tour
  • Salon Punta Sam – suitable for snorkelling
  • Salone Machones – at a depth of 8 metres and suitable for both snorkellers and scuba divers

5. Visit the Turtle Sanctuary (La Tortuga Granja)

Located on Sac Bajo, the Tortugranja (or “turtle farm”) is a small and simple location to visit. The best time to is from August to October where you can witness locals, volunteers, tourists and children releasing the turtles into the ocean. You might be able to get a chance yourself if you check in before your trip to find out when and if it will be taking place.

Tickets are 30 pesos/per person ($3 USD), and there are bathrooms and a small gift shop on site as well.

6. Check Out Punta Sur

Punta Sur is located on the southern tip of Isla Mujeres. Here you can visit the Pre-Colombian Mayan Ruins of Ixchel, or simply admire the stunning rocky views.

This is a gorgeous place to simply come and enjoy the scenery.

7. Grab a photo with the very vibrant and colorful Isla Mujeres sign

8. Swim with dolphins

Live the magic of interacting with these beloved mammals and why not extend the fun with any of our value packages!

9. Stroll down Avenida Miguel Hidalgo

downtown isla mujeres

The heart downtown area of the island with plenty to look at. You can shop, eat and just walk around, but be aware of your personal items and be prepared to spend a bit more on pricier foods there.

10. Spot the well-known homes like the shell house

If you are traveling around the island like we did, you will a lot of unique and vibrant homes all around and next to the road.

A few examples are the Shell House, the Crayola House and Casa De La Risa.


the-shell-house-isla mujeres mexico
the shell house in isla mujeres mexico


Crayola House Isla mujeres mexico
Crayola House Isla mujeres mexico


casa de la risa isla mujeres
casa de la risa isla mujeres


11. Golf at San Pancho

The golf carts are great for bumming around, but they can also take you to, well, golf! Head to the town of San Pancho on the west coast. Golfing is one of the top things to do in San Pancho, the course there is clean, well-kept and very nice terrain.

12. Visit beautiful and less busy beaches on the east coast

13. Check out the Colorful ‘Sea Wall Murals’ of Isla Mujeres

Danae sea wall murals isla mujeres

These many different murals were created by various top street artists from around the world to raise awareness of marine species threatened by extinction in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

14. Swim with whale sharks (if timing is right)

While this is something really cool to do, there is a limited time during the year it is available due to the overlap with whale shark season and when they are in the area which is during the summer months of June to September.

The local officials have put a cap on tours at around $145 per person. The tour includes swimming with the whale sharks, breakfast, lunch, soft drinks, snorkel equipment and usually some time to snorkel the reefs.

15. Go Fishing

What an experience to fish around the island in the deep blue turquoise waters. The area is perfect for deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, and spearfishing.

The best months for sailfish and marlin are from mid-December through to July. If you prefer tuna fishing the best months are between April and August.

16. Join a Cycling Tour

If you love cycling, they have groups that go around the island during a day trip while stopping (infrequently) so that you can get enough cycling in while also absorbing some local culture.

17. Watch the sunset on Playa Sol

isla mujeres sunset

The last thing you might do to end your day is to check out the amazing view of the sunset at any location on the island. There are some beautiful spots, but Playa Sol is one of the best.


Good luck and have a great time on your vacation!


~~ And as always friends, take care, be kind to yourself and others, and always keep learning to be better and do better.

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