Isla Mujeres (the “Island of Women”) is known for its rich marine life and pristine beaches. Here you can snorkel at Manchones Reef, scuba dive in the Cave of Sleeping Sharks, or stretch out on the white sands of North Beach (Playa Norte). On land you’ll find bustling nightlife, with oceanside bars and restaurants serving fresh seafood.
Most Isla Mujeres tours leave from Cancun, whether you want to travel by sailboat, catamaran, or motorboat. A snorkeling excursion is one of the best ways to experience the island’s diverse aquatic life, and many Isla Mujeres day trips visit the Manchones, El Meco, or Garrafon reefs. If you’re feeling daring, some tours include a swim with whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish. Combo tours from Cancun allow you to visit Isla Mujeres along with other Riviera Maya attractions such as Contoy Island (Isla Contoy), Xcaret Park, or Chichen Itza.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Isla Mujeres is a must-see destination for beach and wildlife lovers.
- Remember to bring a towel, sun protection, and comfortable walking shoes.
- It’s a good idea to bring cash (pesos) for gratuities or other purchases.
How to Get There
Isla Mujeres is located just off the coast of Cancun. Ferries run from the mainland every half hour and drop off at the island’s downtown area, close to the beaches and shopping streets. Because Isla Mujeres is only five miles (eight kilometers) long, most people use golf carts or scooters to get around.
When to Get There
Winter is the busiest time to visit, when the weather is warm and dry. Hurricane season runs from May through September and often brings rain and clouds. July and August are the best months to see whale sharks in Isla Mujeres, when hundreds of them gather off the coast.
Things to Do Near Isla Mujeres
Mexico’s Riviera Maya is a paradise for ocean lovers and history buffs, with clear Caribbean waters and ancient Maya ruins such as Tulum and Chichen Itza. Popular mainland destinations include Cancun and Playa del Carmen, while the nearby island of Cozumel is an excellent scuba diving destination, known for its rich coral reefs.