If you plan on heading to the Riviera Maya region of Mexico, then the stunning island of Isla Mujeres is a MUST see!
Known for its mix of secluded beaches and high tempo nightlife, it’s the perfect spot for those looking for some memorable island times.
Both for those backpacking Mexico as well as those simply visiting the region for a relaxing getaway.
What I also love about Isla Mujeres is its incredible wildlife and remote sites located just off the coast.
All of which we’ll explore later on.
In this comprehensive guide, I'll take you through everything you need to know about this beautiful island.
Including not just the very best things to see and do in Isla Mujeres ...
But also where to stay, the best time to visit and other tips and tricks I've picked up on from many years spent living in and exploring Mexico.
Lets get started ...
When you think of Mexico, you will most likely picture palm trees scattered along white sands, with turquoise waters lapping at its shore.
Isla Mujeres (also known as Isla de Mujeres) is one of the best places to live out this idyllic fantasy, where you’ll find many postcard perfect beaches to relax on around this island.
The town will also be a more relaxing break for those who are in the more popular cities of Cancún and Playa del Carmen.
Whilst it can still feel touristy here, Isla Mujeres definitely has a more mellow feel, which is even more so along the southern parts.
It’s not just about sleepy island life though, since here you’ll find mysterious Mayan ruins as well as rugged hiking paths all waiting to be explored.
The water visibility off the coast is also perfect for those looking to go snorkelling or diving, where there are many incredible species lurking beneath.
And when all’s done for the day, you’ll then be able to enjoy the heated nightlife scene which peaks along the Avenida Hidalgo and Avenida Rueda Medina.
Isla Mujeres is a small island which is located in the Caribbean Sea, some 13 km from the Yucatán Peninsular in Southern Mexico.
There’s only one way into Isla Mujeres, and that is by using the ferry service from the mainland.
For those who are abroad, you’ll first need to fly into Cancún international airport. This is relatively easy, since it welcomes many direct flights from all over the world on a daily basis.
From here you can then take a taxi to the ferry dock, where you can buy a ticket.
If you’re already in Playa del Carmen or close to it (such as in Tulum or Bacalar further south), then you can also take the bus up to Cancún, where it’s just a 10 minute taxi ride to the ferry port.
Once you’re at the ferry port, you’ll now need to buy a ticket.
There are two major companies that serve the route, which are Ultramar and Naveganto. Both are inexpensive and reliable, so it’s up to you whichever one you want to go with.
They do offer discounts on a return ticket, so it makes a lot of sense to buy both legs at the same time since the ferry is the only way in or out of Isla Mujeres.
Once aboard, you’ll sail for around 15-20 minutes before disembarking on the island.
Out of the two, I would recommend heading with Ultramar since it’s who I went with and can vouch for.
Ferries usually leave every 30 minutes from 5:30am until 11:00pm, which is great as it offers you a lot of flexibility (with the return ticket you can hop on any ferry out that still has space).
Although it’s a small island, you’ll still find many cars on Isla Mujeres, and as such using a taxi is one of the best ways of getting around.
I recommend it mostly for getting between the north and south portions of the island, given everything else is easily within walking distance.
Another popular way of getting around the island is by hiring a golf cart.
There are many rental companies near the ferry dock, so you can easily grab your keys and set-off around at your own pace!
Many accommodations also provide bicycles for daily rent or use, so this is another fun option of exploring Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres is a relatively small island (just 5 miles long), so it’s not worth talking too much about different neighbourhoods and areas since you can get between places pretty quickly.
Those who are after a more bustling and festive vibe will want to stay near the Zócalo and Avenida Hidalgo in the north of the island.
You’ll be close to all the best restaurants and nightlife options, and also popular beaches such as Playa Norte.
Travellers that prefer a more inclusive and quiet experience will prefer the south (in areas such as Villas Mar Turquesa), which is where many of the big resorts are located.
The rocky coast here is more remote, and you’ll also be close to the Mayan Ruins too.
p.s. If you're looking for ways to save money on your accommodation, check out our guide on how to get cheap hotels.
In this section we’ll now discover the very best things you can do when in Isla Mujeres.
The wildlife in and around Isla Mujeres is something that usually takes visitors by surprise.
And of all the different types of marine wildlife to spot, I would have to put these friendly critters at the very top!
Dolphins can be found year-round in these Caribbean waters, where they often swim next to catamarans and boats out in the open sea.
However if you want to go a step further, then I recommend heading on this awesome tour where you’ll be able to get in the water with them!
Here you’ll visit the Dolphin Discovery Centre, which is a cordoned-off pool where you can still touch the bottom (you don’t need to swim).
The Dolphins are all trained, so you’ll be able to hug and feed them with no worries whatsoever.
This guided tour is also great since it comes with drinks and a buffet at no additional cost.
If you’re already in Isla Mujeres (this tour departs from Cancún), then you can also head to the centre yourself, which is around a 20 minute drive from the Zócalo. It’s open from 10:00am until 5:30pm all days of the week.
Mazatlán is another great spot in Mexico for swimming with dolphins!
It would be a sin to visit this part of Mexico and not spend time lounging on its picturesque, white sand beaches.
And whilst this incredible island is home to various playas, it’s Playa Norte which is the absolute must-visit.
It’s by far the most popular, and here you’ll find good vibes and music all day long!
There are many restaurants and bars lining the sands, with Tarzan Beach Club one of the best options for a cold one and lunch.
Given it’s located on the west coast of the island, it means that it’s perfectly safe for swimming, or even jet-skiing if that’s your thing!
I recommend coming either in the morning before the crowds (and overly hot sun) show up, or just after 4:00pm to enjoy the picturesque sunset later on.
Located in the north of the island, Playa Norte is just a 10 minute walk from the main plaza, which is also known as the Zócalo of Isla Mujeres (and what I’ll now refer to as our point of reference for the rest of this guide).
There are plenty of Isla Mujeres beaches, but you don't want to miss out on this place!
For those who fall in love with the white sands here (which you will) then you should also include the beach resorts of Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta in your Mexico itinerary!
Being completely honest, Isla Mujeres is not the most traditional and “Mexican” island that can be found along its coast.
Given its growing popularity, it has led to many restaurants and varied cuisines being set up, which isn’t a bad thing in itself.
However, for those who want to feast on the more traditional Mexican delights, then you’ll be glad to know there are still many good options available.
There’s no better way to get into the Caribbean swing of things than by hiring a golf cart.
For me it has to be one of the best things you can do, as it gives you ultimate freedom to explore the island as you desire, and also to reach the wild south without having to pay for taxis (which can be quite pricey for the distance covered).
As soon as you depart the ferry dock, you’ll see tons of different golf cart providers, and may even be swarmed by a few salesmen too.
I recommend (politely if you can) declining their insistent offers, and on the first street you reach (Avenida Rueda Medina) to turn left.
Walk a few blocks until you find Capital Blue, who is one of the most reputable and well-priced companies on the island (their shop is next to the intersection with the street called Matamoros). In my opinion, they're the best option for golf cart rentals.
All you need is a valid Driver's License and you’re good to go.
Whilst most either rent for a half-day or full-day, there’s also options for up to a week if you end up loving it so much.
Capital Blue is open from 9:00am until 5:00pm all days of the week.
You can read this guide for an idea on what to see when touring Isla Mujeres by Golf Cart.
Measuring up to 14 metres long, Whale Sharks are among the largest fish on the entire planet.
Whilst this may seem quite intimidating, this marine species is actually one of the most friendly of all, who enjoy interacting with humans and will happily swim alongside.
Those who are in Cancún (or can be picked up later in Isla Mujeres) will love this memorable tour, where you’ll head out by boat to a specific point along the Caribbean reef where they are most frequented.
You’ll have all snorkelling equipment and logistics provided for you, as well as breakfast, snacks and drinks too.
This tour in particular is great since you’ll be in a small group, which is more personal where you can make small de-tours to visit other species as well such as Flamingos, Stingrays and Dolphins.
It’s important to note that Whales Sharks are not present year-round.
They’re only here in the Caribbean from April until August, before continuing on their long migration to cooler waters. So you'll have to visit during whale shark season if you've got a chance of spotting one!
Out of all the different sites and activities you can do on this list, this one has to be one of the most unique by far.
Whether you’re into museums or not, this one is guaranteed to change the way you’ll learn about the past (and not to mention being a much more fun way too!).
Situated underneath the Caribbean waves, the MUSA Underwater Museum is exactly that - an area that is full of sculptures which can only be accessed by snorkelling or diving.
Here you’ll find over 450 carved stones which give an insight into the human relationship with the sea, and how attitudes are either helping to save or destroy marine ecosystems.
I highly recommend going with this adventure tour which includes a professional guide along with all logistics.
As well as visiting the underwater museum, you’ll also be taken to a spot along the coral reef to see some picture-perfect exotic fish.
This legendary city is a must-visit when in the Riviera Maya region.
Known for its bustling atmosphere with endless restaurants and bars, Playa del Carmen makes for the perfect Friday trip (or long weekend) to let loose.
It’s also full of great things to see and do too, such as visiting the nearby Aktun Chen Cenote which is known for its incredible caves filled with stalagmite and stalactites.
You’ll also want to head to the Xcaret Park, where you can see Jaguars, snorkel on the beach and even see pre-Columbian ancient ruins.
It’s really easy to get here, where you’ll just need to take the ferry back to Cancún, and then take the bus down to Playa. In total it will take a maximum of three hours to get here from Isla Mujeres.
The ferry and buses start from as early as 5:30am and last until late into the night, meaning there’s no need to rush to get back.
Those who really want to make the most of their time in this awesome town will want to join this all-action tour that departs from Playa del Carmen.
Here you’ll have a private guide show you around the pyramids of Chichén Itzá, as well as the colourful city of Valladolid in the Yucatán region. Also included is a buffet lunch as well as a visit to a cenote.
Those who are looking to explore ancient pyramids will be glad to know that you won’t have to venture far to find them here.
In the south of the island you'll find the Temple of Ixchel, which was dedicated to Ixchel - a Mayan goddess who symbolised fertility.
Whilst somewhat crumbled, it’s the only ruins left standing given it’s located on top of high cliffs, whilst others gradually succumbed to stormy weather and the Spanish conquest.
Walking around you’ll also see the statue of Ixchel herself, as well as the local iguana residents chilling as they please around the temples.
At the top, you’ll have incredible views over the Caribbean, where you’ll also be able to spot several hidden beaches down below.
To get here you’ll first need to take a taxi (or your trusty golf cart) and head to Punta Sur in the south of Isla Mujeres. The site opens at 6:00am, and if possible it’s worth coming early to have this place all to yourself.
Declared a national park by the Mexican government, Isla Contoy is a breathtaking tropical island located roughly 30 km north of Isla Mujeres.
If you thought you’d already seen enough natural beauty, then you’ll be impressed once again given its multicoloured waters and tranquil, white sand beaches.
And with a maximum capacity of 200 people at any one time, you’ll feel like you’ve washed up on a deserted paradise on this island which is 9 km long.
Here you’ll also find a large variety of wildlife too, with over 150 species of marine birds that include the double-crested cormorant as well as the brown pelican.
If you head here between May and September, you’ll also be able to see turtles lay their eggs along these beaches.
There are various turtle species that arrive here which include green turtles, leatherback turtles and even the hawksbill turtle.
You’ll need to go with a tour to reach Isla Contoy, and I recommend heading with this all-inclusive option. As well as visiting the very best highlights, you’ll also have a delicious lunch included.
There’s no better way to enjoy the Caribbean Sea than by spending the day out on the water.
In these calm waters, you’ll be able to fish for many incredible marine wildlife species, which of course can vary throughout the year.
The wet season is the most popular time to visit (from May until November), where you can catch the stunning Blue Marlin, White Marlin and Mahi Mahi.
During the dry season (from December until April), you’ll be able to find Amberjack and Kingfish.
You’ll also find that some species are present in these waters year-round, including Bonito, Snapper and Barracuda.
The best chance of seeing these incredible fish is to go with an organised tour like this one.
Here you’ll set sail on a private boat, where your captain will take you to some of the very best catching spots.
All transport to the docks and equipment are included, as well as snacks and drinks.
If you’ve been in Isla Mujeres for a while and are looking for things to do (that aren’t just limited to the beach), then this is a good one for you.
Hacienda Mundaca is a large estate that was created by the pirate slave trader Fermín Antonio Mundaca de Marechaja.
The legend goes that he fell in love with a local island girl, for whom he built the residence.
However she shunned him, and he then lived in this building alone, and after passing away it’s since been abandoned.
However the quirky site is still worth a visit, which gives us an idea of how those in the higher ranks of slave trading used to live (ethics and moral views aside).
Walking around you can also see the courtyards along with pirate-style cannons that surround the complex.
The Hacienda Mundaca is located in the centre of Isla Mujeres, just south of the La Gloria neighbourhood. It’s about a 15 minute drive south from the Zócalo in the north of the island.
Most of Isla Mujeres is carved out with simple streets shadowed by overhanging palm trees.
However in the north of the island you’ll find several beautiful murals, which really bring this part of Isla Mujeres to life.
Created as part of an ecotourism project in 2014, you can find as many as 14 of these stunning and brightly coloured sea murals on the island.
They’re each painted by a different artist of the PangeaSeed organisation, which includes the likes of Tatiana Suarez and Tristan Eaton.
Some of the street art is pretty powerful, aiming to change the way I think about long-term sustainability of our oceans, as well as how even little actions can have big ramifications.
I recommend first walking down Avenida Vicente Guerrero, where you’ll find 5 of them along this street.
Next you can head to Rueda Marina, before heading to the east coast sea-walk which has two murals.
This is one of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres with family as the little ones love these colorful walls!
Known as one of Mexico’s prestigious “Pueblos Mágicos”, Isla Mujeres has many worthwhile destinations to visit.
However one of the less popular is also the most interesting, which is the Zócalo.
The main square in town, this is the birthplace of Isla Mujeres and where many of the island’s most important buildings are located, such as the Municipal Hall as well as the main church (which is known as Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church - quite the mouthful, I know).
In the evening it turns from a somewhat peaceful square into a bustling centre, where there’s usually some kind of celebration going on.
Given it’s all made out of concrete, it can get quite hot during midday, so make sure to bring water and sunscreen.
Better yet is to come around 3:00pm to see the sites, and then begin exploring the sea murals that are located close-by.
This area of the Caribbean Reef is a dream for those who like diving or want to learn.
The conditions are good-year round, where you’ll have crystal-clear waters and little currents getting in your way.
Here you’ll also find many awesome species to swim with which include the infamous Whale Shark as well as Manta Rays (not to mention the awesome underwater sculpture park too - which I mentioned earlier in this article).
For those who already have experience diving and are ready to go, then I recommend joining this half-day tour where you’ll visit a ship wreck.
You’ll also visit an area of the reef that is known for its abundance of tropical fish, and as you’re in a small group, you’ll move at your own pace too.
If you haven’t yet got your Scuba Diving licence, then you can check out PADI who lists some of the most reputable companies here (and there’s a lot of options on Isla Mujeres!).
Of all the different things you can see or do in Isla Mujeres, this is by far the most awesome one of all!
Whilst you’ll find many beautiful, natural islets in these waters, you’ll also find a man-made one too.
The Joysxee Floating Bottle Island is something of a local legend, which was built by Richart Sawt. Originally from the UK, he moved to Isla Mujeres and created this island out of 150,000 plastic bottles!
He also lives on the island and has solar panels providing electricity, as well as having planted Banana and Pistachio trees whose roots help to strengthen the bottle foundation.
Floating just by bottles and with no other help, this island really hits home what can be done with recycled plastic, and the fact that it can be turned from waste into a useful resource.
It’s now stood (well, floated) for over 14 years, and he takes out travellers from Isla Mujeres who want to visit for just a small fee.
When you’re finished up for the day swimming with Whales Sharks or having explored ancient ruins on the island, it’s time to let loose.
And Isla Mujeres is the perfect place to do so, as it's home to a variety of nightlife options.
Those staying in hostels such as Selina Poc-Na will be in a great place to kick things off. This hostel in particular has a bar and often hosts beach parties throughout the week.
From here you’ll find a tonne of options, which are mostly focused on the north of the island.
I recommend first heading along Playa Norte, where you’ll find many beach bars such as Na Balam and Buho’s which are perfect for getting those first cocktails and beers in.
You could spend your night here and be in good hands, since there are many midnight parties which then tend to pop-up on the beach.
However the king of nightlife has to be on Avenida Miguel Hidalgo and Avenida Rueda Medina, as well as the streets that intersect them.
Terraza is a good option for those who want a more local-style night out, whilst Jax Bar & Grill is infamous for its wild nights with live music.
The Riviera Maya region in Mexico is well known for its variety of wildlife, however the long-awaited turtle nesting season is one of the main highlights of the year.
From May until September, these friendly critters land on the coast of Isla Mujeres to begin laying their eggs.
There are three main turtle species that arrive on shore, which include the Green Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle as well as the Hawksbill Turtle.
On average, each turtle will lay up to 100 eggs, which is due to the fact that there are many predators around and a low chance of survival for any one turtle.
These eggs will hatch around September and October, so this is the time to come if you want to see baby turtles make a dash for the Caribbean Sea!
Whilst there used to be a Turtle Centre (which was closed a couple of years ago), you can still spot them along the more wild and remote beaches of Isla Mujeres.
It goes without saying, but please don’t touch them or their eggs!
If you're travelling around Mexico then you should also head to Puerto Escondido as you'll get the chance to release baby sea turtles (depending on the time of year).
Isla Mujeres is famed for its palm-fringed coastline and blue hues of the Caribbean.
Whilst exploring the beaches and going snorkelling are great ways to make the most of your time here, this one is next level.
This Catamaran Sunset Tour is one of the best recommendations I have for those visiting Isla Mujeres.
Leaving around 4:00pm, you’ll spend the evening exploring different beaches such as Playa Norte from your luxury catamaran, and will also wait in time to see the sky light up with dark red and orange tones.
Whilst you can find several different companies offering a similar experience, I like this one best as it comes with all drinks included (yes that includes alcoholic too!), where you’ll also have a live saxophonist serenade you into the late evening hours.
Before you set off, you’ll have a quick tour around the downtown of Isla Mujeres, where your private guide will teach you the history of the island.
If you're looking for romantic things to do in Isla Mujeres then make sure this activity is included on your itinerary!
To be completely honest, wherever you are in Isla Mujeres you’ll find good areas for snorkelling.
Whilst most prefer staying close to Playa Norte, those who want the ultimate underwater experience will want to head to El Farito.
Located around 1.5 km from Isla Mujeres, this shallow reef has perfect snorkelling conditions, given the high visibility and calm waves here.
As well as schools of multicoloured fish, you’ll also see many types of unique coral here, as well as the infamous Virgin of El Farito (a ship that was submerged which is said to keep fishermen protected when sailing these waters).
Some of the best species you can try and spot here include Parrot Fish, Angel Butterfly Fish, Stingrays and also Turtles.
I recommend heading with this snorkelling tour, where you’ll make a visit to El Farito along with the Underwater Museum. As well as all equipment being provided, on this tour you’ll also have a solid BBQ lunch after which really hits the spot!
Punta Sur is the most southern point of Isla Mujeres, which is a more wild region compared with the touristy and built-up northern areas of the island.
It’s also one of the most eastern points in all of Mexico for those who are into geographical wins!
With white paths carving through the green grasses, here you’ll be able to walk along the high rising cliffs that jut out over the Caribbean Sea.
One of the best things you can see here is the Sculpture Park, which is home to over 20 different figures created by artists from all over the globe.
Other awesome things to see and do in Punta Sur include visiting the Isla Mujeres Lighthouse, exploring the Ixchel Mayan Ruins (which we’ve already covered) as well as heading down to the more secluded and wild beaches here.
You'll also find Garrafon Natural Reef Park near Punta Sur so there's a lot to do in this area.
Punta Sur is located around 8 km south of the Zócalo, which is around half an hour's driving distance.
You’ll also have to pay an entrance fee here, which at the last time checked (Jan 2023) was 40 MXP.
Whilst Isla Mujeres is a great place to kick back and relax, you'll find it harder to see authentic culture in these parts.
However, between the classy restaurants and touristy bars, you can find this gem which is really worth the visit here.
The Mercado Municipal is a small market, which also functions as a restaurant too. Here you can sample true Mexican food the way it should be tried - local and authentic.
They have various dishes that often change on the day, although you’ll always find tasty tacos and seafood delights on the menu.
Given this place is quite a hit with the locals, you’ll want to time your visit to make sure there’s space for you and your party (I recommend coming around 2:00pm - if you can wait that long for lunch that is!).
The Mercado Municipal is located on Avenida Guerrero, some 3 blocks from the Zócalo, which can be walked in under 5 minutes.
It’s open from 10:00am until 4:00pm, Tuesday until Saturday.
As with any tropical paradise, you’ll definitely want to take as many pictures as you can of the perfect beaches, as well as the lively avenues that intertwine.
However you can also go one step further, and get the best seat in the house by going Parasailing.
Given that the ferry is the only way into Isla Mujeres, this means that a proper bird’s eye view of the island is quite a rare sight for most.
However with ParasailCancun you can rise over 250 ft into the clear sky above, and get some truly breathtaking views of the island along with the dark and light blue shades of the Caribbean Sea.
Whilst there’s only a few companies that offer this experience, I recommend this one since you’ll have 12 minutes of uninterrupted flight time, which is available every day from 10:00am until 5:00pm.
There’s also an additional GoPro service, where you can catch this memorable ride in all of its true glory.
So if you're wondering what to do in Isla Mujeres then why not give this awesome activity a go?
Before leaving Isla Mujeres, many tend to scramble at the last minute to find a nice souvenir for friends and family.
However this doesn’t need to be you, since I’ll now cover the best things you can buy and where to go (without the last-minute rush).
The majority of the best souvenir shops are located in the north of the island, along Avenida Hidalgo.
One of these is Tribal, who make Mayan-inspired handicrafts such as heads carved out of wood, as well as artisanal jewellery.
Further along the same street you can also find Monomalo, which is focused on more authentic and Mexican-style souvenirs. These include the infamous skull designed t-shirts and textiles, which is quite a popular theme throughout Mexico.
Lastly there is the Mercado de Artesanías, which again is close-by and is also a good place for getting something a little more unique.
Here you’ll find vendors from the Riviera Maya region as well as nearby Chiapas, who sell everything from jewellery to wooden handicrafts.
Those looking for a quiet moment of peace will also love Isla Mujeres.
Although it’s definitely become more lively and touristy in the north (mostly at night), you can still find many great places for cutting out the noise and doing some much-needed Yoga.
Playa Norte in the early morning is one of the best ideas, since you’ll have this world-class beach just to yourself.
You can also try the hidden beaches by La Punta too, given there’s less people and overall noise in this area.
Those who want to join a class will find all kinds of options here, from all-inclusive retreats that last a week to those who offer drop-in sessions.
The Treehouse Yoga is the best for those who like flexibility (and spontaneity too), since you can drop-in anytime from 9:00am without a reservation.
As mentioned, here you can also find week-long options for those who need an all-in experience. You can see a list of different options here, however they tend to be quite expensive.
Island life isn’t just about swinging in a hammock and drinking cocktails until the incredible sunset appears (although it’s not such a bad way to spend your time either!).
Whilst in Isla Mujeres you’ll also find many awesome watersports such as water skiing, which are best to do here given the calmer waves (elsewhere in Mexico will be too rough and dangerous).
Whilst you could walk up and down the beach looking for a company that is available, I instead recommend heading on this all-inclusive private tour.
For a half-day you’ll be able to fully customise the experience, including where your captain takes you as well as the different watersports you do.
As well as water skiing, you can also try out wakeboarding and paddleboarding.
Whilst this tour usually departs from Cancún, you can also be picked up from Isla Mujeres given it’s a private and more flexible tour.
Isla Mujeres is situated within the Caribbean Sea, just off the coast of the Quintana Roo State of Mexico.
As you can expect, the climate here is going to be tropical, which brings its own beautiful pros and cons.
First I have the dry season which runs from December until April, and is the overall best time for a visit.
Average temperatures range from 74-79°F, with highs of 84°F and lows of down to 68°F. Rainfall is low during this time of year, with just 1.2-2 inches falling throughout each month.
This makes the dry season perfect for blue skies and lounging on the beach.
Next I have the rainy season, which begins in early May and lasts up until late November.
Daily average temperatures vary from 77-83°F, with highs of 90°F and lows of 72°F. Levels of rainfall during this time of year rise to 3-5.5 inches for each month.
The rainy season as a result is a less popular time to come given the occasional heavy showers. However it’s also good since Isla Mujeres will be less heaving with tourists, and prices will be cheaper too!
You can check out the weather here on WeatherSpark.
Although there’s quite a lot of things to do and see, you won’t need as much time here as you would in other parts of the Riviera Maya.
I recommend spending a total of 5 days on Isla Mujeres, where you’ll see all of the highlights and will also have the time to get into the tropical swing of things.
Of course you can always stay longer, which would be ideal for those who are learning to dive or want to spend more time sailing around these Caribbean waters.
Isla Mujeres is known for its cheap prices, which has made it into a backpacking haven in recent times.
For those who are living out of their backpack, I recommend a daily budget of $20-25 per day.
This will be enough to stay in a dorm bed in the north end of the island (although this can get more expensive around the holiday seasons). You’ll also be able to eat well at inexpensive, local restaurants and take a few golf cart rides around town.
Having said this, the opposite can also be true, in that you can find deluxe beach-side accommodations as well as fancy restaurants.
And those who are looking for this more upscale lifestyle will be looking at a budget of $40-60+ (the plus meaning that the sky really is the limit here!).
You’ll be able to stay right on the beach in a beautiful private room, and have all needed facilities within touching distance. You’ll also be able to eat at nice restaurants, and take taxis to get around town (although I still recommend the golf cart for the most independence and flexibility).
It’s important to note that these budgets are only for accommodation and food costs, with some left over for an activity or taxi ride. It doesn’t account for flights, the ferry ride to Isla Mujeres, travel insurance or tours.
Whilst it would be ideal to spend your time swinging in hammocks and taking it slow in Isla Mujeres for days on end, it’s not always possible.
For those who don’t have so much time, I recommend heading on this full-day tour to Isla Mujeres from the Riviera Maya.
Here you’ll head on a private boat, exploring all corners of the island including the more remote and hidden beaches too.
As well as having plenty of time for snorkelling in the crystal-clear and blue waters, you’ll also explore the town highlights, and get to sample some local dishes.
As you can see there are plenty of things to do on Isla Mujeres!
After spending time in the slower-paced lifestyle of this island, you may now feel ready to move on elsewhere.
I recommend heading to Tulum next, which is located along the Riviera Maya coast.
This popular beachside town is a big hit with tourists coming to Mexico, and for good reason too!
With everything from ancient ruins and white-sand beaches to the cool cenotes, you’ll want to make the most of it here. There are also plenty of awesome beach hotels to choose from!
It’s a good idea to head on this tour of Tulum (which is again best for those who have less time).
Here you’ll spend the day exploring Tulum Ruins with a private guide, followed by heading into the nearby jungle where you can go zip-lining and also snorkelling in some awesome spots. You’ll have all meals included which is a real plus too.
For an idea of what to take with you to this incredible country, check out our Mexico packing list!
If you're travelling through Mexico you may find these other guides helpful:
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