One day trip to Isla Mujeres
The perfect Isla Mujeres day trip from Cancun
Isla Mujeres, relatively a small island situated just 13 km off the coastline, is a perfect place for a day trip from Cancun. This lovely place with beautiful beaches and cliffs is an ideal snorkeling spot.
In the pre-Hispanic time, long before the first arrival of conquerors, this island had been the place dedicated to the Mayan goddess Ixchel, who was the goddess of the moon and fertility. The island was a place of pilgrimage for women during their symbolic transition from girl to woman, that’s why this island got the name of Isla Mujeres (“The woman’s island”).
Isla Mujeres is not only a diving paradise, but it has also some historic and modern remarkable sites and Mayan ruins:
- Ruins of Ixchel Temple
- Hacienda Mundaca
- Immaculate Conception Parish
- Guadalupe Chapel
- Captain Dulche’s Museum
- The Shell House
What to see and to do on Isla Mujeres
These are the best beaches on Isla Mujeres where you can spend the day swimming and lie in the sun:
- North Beach: Considered probably one of the best beaches on Riviera Maya. It is worth a visit, especially at sunset or at dusk.
- Playa Lancheros: This is a rather enormous beachline with clubs, restaurants, and bars.
- Playa Garrafón: The beach is quite small, but it’s a very cool snorkeling spot as there are hundreds of fish right next to the sand!
- Playa Sol: It is the best location to watch the sunset, the water is not as shallow and clear as Playa Norte.
Punta Sur is an ecological park, located on the other side of the island, is a beautiful place to admire views of the cliffs, lighthouse, and large sculptures on a path overlooking the ocean.
Sculptural Park in Punta Sur is one of the most interesting places on the island is a park with 23 sculptures and the ruins of the Mayan temple of Ixchel. This small ruin that was once a lighthouse and temple to the goddess Ixchel, until, in 1988, Hurricane Gilbert caused vast damage, and ruined most of the foundation, leaving only a very small part of the temple. Now there’s a modern art sculpture park in the area.
You can rent your own transportation and make a road trip on the east coastline, the most beautiful panoramic road on Isla Mujeres. It also has a bike path where you can stroll quietly a few meters from the cliff.
Don’t forget to take a picture of the famous colored letters of ISLA MUJERES.
Immaculate Conception Parish is the main church on the island. The place is open also in the evening, while the mass is celebrating, and even if you are not a naive believer, it is always good to know a little about the local culture.
The nightlife atmosphere is concentrated on Calle Hidalgo, a pedestrianized street full of bars and restaurants and in the central square of the town, there are a few stalls with delicious street food.
The Isla Mujeres offers several areas where you can enjoy underwater diving:
- Coral reef of Garrafón Park
- Cave of the Sleeping Sharks
- Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA)
- Manchones Reef or the Cruz de la Bahía
Getting around on Isla Mujeres
Although the town center is small and you can walk around perfectly on foot, the best way is to rent your own transportation to explore other places on the island.
- The most typical way is to rent a golf cart, here almost everyone moves by a cart, even locals.
- Another option is to rent a motorcycle.
- The third alternative is the taxi, they are fixed rates depending on the distance.
By car, taxi or local transfer
You can visit the island by local transfer transportation from Cancun airport. There are a lot of options for transportation from Cancun airport to Isla Mujeres. You can book the transfer online, in advance, and in a lot of variations for all budgets.
By ferry from Cancun
There are also two ferry companies that arrive at Isla Mujeres from the ports of Cancun:
- Marinsa only leaves from Puerto Juarez.
- Ultramar is the most important and has departures from four ports along the Cancun coast and in the hotel zone: Playa Caracol, Playa Tortugas, El Embarcadero and Puerto Juarez.
The ferry trip takes about 20 minutes, the frequency is every 30 minutes.