If you’re booking a trip to Cancun, definitely consider spending some time on Isla Mujeres. This paradise island is an easy 15-minute ferry ride away from the mainland, yet offers something totally different to Cancun’s glitzy resorts.
On Isla Mujeres you’ll find white sandy beaches, a laid-back way of life, a bohemian vibe and lots of colourful street art. I’ve been a few times now, and always remember the bright aqua shade of the water as you travel from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. It’s SUCH a vibrant shade and totally crystal clear. There are plenty of gorgeous spots to see, from the buzz of Playa Norte, to the beautiful Punta Sur on the southern tip.
Lots of day tours visit this area for snorkelling, before stopping on the island for lunch. A day trip to Garrafon Natural Reef Park is also popular, although this isn’t something I’d recommend, as I spotted dolphin encounters on the list of options, which I’d never endorse.
If a day trip doesn’t take your fancy, you could book a hotel on Isla Mujeres and stay a few days. It’s an easy destination to reach by ferry and makes a great dual-trip vacation in the sunshine.
Whether you’re travelling from Cancun Airport, Downtown or the Cancun Hotel Zone, this guide is full of travel tips on how to get to Isla Mujeres.
Travelling From Cancun Airport To Isla Mujeres
Most people who visit the island catch a flight to Cancun International Airport. The island is really close to Cancun, so it’s an easy journey to make.
From the airport, you’ll need to book a transfer or catch a taxi to Puerto Juarez where you can hop on board a ferry to Isla Mujeres. As you’ll know if you’ve landed at Cancun Airport before, as you exit into the arrivals area, there are a number of transport companies with booths, all vying for your attention. Then there are the private taxi firms. It can feel a little overwhelming, but stay calm! There are some set prices, or you can try to negotiate in person. You could also book a transfer before your trip so it’s waiting when you land.
If you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, you can also take the ADO bus (Mexican coach service) to Cancun’s Downtown area. From there you can catch a taxi to the ferry dock or take another bus. If it’s your first time in Mexico, and you’re worried about getting around, I’d book a taxi or transfer to make things hassle free.
If you’re already in Cancun, you can catch the R-1 to Puerto Juárez, which drops you right at the terminal.
How To Get To Isla Mujeres By Ferry
Once you’ve arrived in Puerto Juarez, you’ll need to make your way to the Ultramar ferry terminal which is located at this address: Terminal Marítima Ultramar, Av. López Portillo SM-84 M-5 L-6 Puerto Juárez, Cancún 77520, México.
There are several ferries a day (6 last time I checked) and they run every few hours. The prices for tourists are:
Adult: $160 MXN one way, or $300 MXN for a round trip
Child: $130 MXN one way, or $250 MXN for a round trip
Things change according to season, so I’d recommend checking out the exact times and routes here.
The journey from Cancun to Isla Mujeres takes just 15-minutes by high speed ferry. The ferries are comfortable, with an outdoor top deck, indoor enclosed area, plus a shop to buy drinks and snacks.
The Isla Mujeres ferry docks at the ferry terminal by Playa Norte. The address there is: Terminal Marítima APIQROO, Av. Rueda Medina, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo 77400, México.
One Thing To Watch Out For…
Be wary, this isn’t the only Isla Mujeres ferry! There are some other options with Ultramar which are considerably more expensive. The ferry company offers services from some areas in the Cancun Hotel Zone directly to Playa Norte. This may seem handy if you’re staying at one of the hotels on the beach, but compare the prices.
The other Ultramar ferry options run from from Playa Tortugas, El Embarcadero and Playa Caracol in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, and prices are in US Dollars rather than Mexican Pesos. The fares are:
Adult: $15 USD one way, or $21 USD for a round trip
Child: $10 USD one way, or $15 USD for a round trip
Obviously, when you factor in costs of reaching the ferry terminal in Puerto Juarez, this may work out as a better option, and if you’re on holiday, you’re probably looking for the easiest option! If you’re on a budget however, I’d recommend comparing the prices in advance.
Can You Take A Car To Isla Mujeres?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. There are car ferries that leave each day from Punta Sam (not far from Puerto Juarez). The ferry takes around 45 minutes and carries cars, bicycles, mopeds, buses and vans. To be honest, while it’s not completely car free, there are very few cars on Isla Mujeres. You really don’t need one if you’re on holiday, as you can walk or hop in a golf cart to get around.
How To Get To Isla Mujeres By Private Transfer
Some people may want to look into travelling from Cancun to Isla Mujeres by private boat. If you take a look online, you’ll find a few options, but without trying them, I don’t feel 100% sure about recommending them!
There are a few things to think about…
Budget – Private transfers to Isla Mujeres will be more expensive than the ferries mentioned above.
Comfort – Small boats are unlikely to be as comfortable on the crossing, and may also take longer. The route can be bumpy depending on how choppy the sea is and the wind conditions on the day.
Safety – Be sure the company or skipper you book has insurance and a good safety record.
Location – The pro of a private boat transfer is that you could look to travel directly from point to point e.g. directly from your hotel in Cancun to your hotel in Isla Mujeres.
Some of the more luxurious hotels in Isla Mujeres offer complimentary transfer by yacht from Cancun. These include Isla Mujeres Palace and Zoetry Villa Rolandi.
Day Trips To Isla Mujeres
If you just fancy spending the day in Isla Mujeres, you could book onto a special day trip from your hotel in Cancun, Playa Del Carmen or elsewhere in the Riviera Maya. It’s one of the most popular tour options, and usually you’ll travel by catamaran to the island, take a dip or try some snorkelling, spend time at a beach club and enjoy a big Mexican lunch, plys all-inclusive drinks.
It’s a good way to get a flavour of the island, and makes a change from being at a resort. There are plenty of day tours to choose from, so take a look, compare prices and see what takes your fancy!
Where To Stay In Isla Mujeres
If you’re looking for hotel recommendations I’d recommend checking out my new guide which covers where to stay in Isla Mujeres. There are options to suit all budgets, from high-end luxury resorts to cute beachside apartments.
I hope this helps you decide how to get to Isla Mujeres. It’s a beautiful spot, so have a fabulous time! This is a region I’ve travelled through extensively, so please take a look at my detailed travel guides. There are tips on activities in the Riviera Maya, a guide to visiting Cancun and lots of info on visiting my favourite place – Isla Holbox. If that’s not on your bucket list – add it now!