- Family Fun
- Beach Vibes
- Peace and Quiet
ON THE MAP
Escape the bustle of Cancun to Isla Mujeres-- an island that will rejuvenate your soul and slow down your pace. Although only five miles long, this beach paradise is full of various relaxing activities.
An Ancient Isle...
Isla Mujeres means Island of Women and was given that name after several female figurines were found by the Spanish in the 16th century. This small island covers just five miles of land and, for centuries, was a humble fishing village. Today, it attracts tourists every year flocking to the beautiful white sand beaches.
At the beachside, you can swim in the blue waters, look for sea creatures while snorkeling, or nap in a swinging hammock. You can even get a massage right on the beach. In town are several shopping districts where you can look for a one-of-a-kind souvenir such as a Saltillo woven rug or blown glassware.
In the North
Don’t miss the magical experience of releasing turtles at the turtle sanctuary while visiting Isla Mujeres. La Granja de las Tortugas (the turtle farm) protects hundreds of turtle eggs laid in the sand every year. Turtle hatching season is from August to October, and if you’re there are the right time, you could help release the turtles with a help of a guide.
The turtle sanctuary ensures that the eggs are safe from predators and poachers while also caring for sick and injured turtles. You can also check out other sea life at the sanctuary including fish, seahorses, and manta rays. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and the small admission fee supports the sanctuary.
In the South
On Isla Mujeres, Punta Sur is the highest elevation point at 20 meters above sea level. Located on the southern tip of the island, it’s also home to an ancient Mayan temple dedicated to a moon goddess. While visiting, you won’t be able to ignore the majestic views of the ocean waves crashing into the cliffside. Punta Sur also contains an outdoor sculpture garden representing the spirit of the ancient Mayans through artwork from 23 artists from all over the world.
Also on the south end of the island is Garrafon Natural Reef Park, a recreational park set along a large reef formation that is a popular spot for snorkeling, kayaking, ziplining, and swimming with dolphins. At Garrafon’s dolphin habitat, you're allowed to get in the water with a dolphin to “shake hands” and give it “hugs and kisses.”
Just southwest of Isla Mujeres is Museo Subacuático de Arte, an underwater museum filled with more than 500 man-made, life-size statues. Besides being a beautiful art gallery, the statues act as an artificial reef to help revitalize the marine life along the damaged Manchones Reef. This unusual attraction features two galleries--Salon Manchones and Salon Nizuc. The first gallery is 26 feet deep with both divers and snorkelers permitted, while the second gallery is only for snorkelers at 13 feet deep.
Isla Mujeres is only accessible by ferry with stations in Puerto Juarez or the Hotel Zone in Cancun. The ferry ridetakes approximately 20 minutes and you can often spot dolphins and turtles on the way. The schedule may change depending on the weather and other factors, so it’s best to check the times before departing.
The Puerto Juarez port starts running ferries at 5 am It leaves every half hour until 8:30 pm when it switches to an hourly ferry until 11:30 pm. From Isla Mujeres, the ferry schedule starts at 5:30 am with ferries leaving every half hour until 9 pm and then every hour until midnight.
There are three different ferry locations in the Hotel Zone: Playa Tortugas, El Embarcadero, and Playa Caracol. The UltaMar ferry covers all three locations, but it’s more expensive than Puerto Juarez and leaves less frequently.
Once on Isla Mujeres, it’s easy to walk around the small island. However, the most popular modes of transportation are renting a golf cart or scooter. It’s not recommended to bring or rent a car as parking is limited.