Isla Mujeres offers many activities to occupy your day. Most come for diving and fishing, but there’s also no better time than striking off for sightseeing, beachcombing, and for the wanderlust, catching the ferry over to Cancun for the “big island” experience.
You can’t rent a car on Isla. Nope, but why would you when you can tool around the island in a gas powered golf cart! This is how most visitors get around, and it’s a fair amount safer than a moped or bicycle!
There are many golf cart rental shops in the El Centro area of Isla. To rent a cart you will need a valid driver’s license! A regular cart seats 4, the maximum number of passengers allowed by law.
Do not rent a cart on the street by a “comisionista” (a registered street promoter). This is illegal, and will void any insurance! The Cominsionista is required to escort you to the rental agency where all paperwork is executed.
Cart rental prices vary during the year based on the seasons and by size. Generally a regular cart rents for $45-$55/day depending on the rental agency and season, with discounts for weekly and long term rates. Large carts offer larger tires and suspension systems and are usually available for an added daily cost of roughly $10.
December 23 – January 4
August 16 – November 15
November 16 – April 30
May 1 – August 15
Credit cards are not generally accepted at rental agencies. If you reserve and pay for a cart online, be sure to bring a printout of your transaction.
Want to avoid the rental hassles? Golf carts are available through the hotel and can be added to your credit card account. Let the Outpost Travel Desk make a reservation for you!
CALL OUR RESERVATIONS OFFICE TOLL FREE 1.800.513.5257 or Contact us by Email and the Outpost Travel Desk will promptly respond to your inquiry.
Taxis, all four door red sedans, can be hailed just about anywhere in Isla.
The official rates are posted on a sign near the ferry but to keep things simple here is a general rule of thumb. Taxi’s cost from US$3-$7. The price scales from short ($3) in-town transfers then to mid-island ($5) trips and finally to longer ($7) trips down the island.
Be sure to ask the price before taking off to avoid a surprise at the end of the ride. If you like the driver it is great to ask for their cell phone number and taxi number and have your hotel call them directly for additional trips during your stay.
There’s quite a bit of sightseeing to be had during your stay on Isla Mujeres, including visiting nearby Isla Contoy, touring the island, or day tripping into the big city, Cancun. Some of the offerings are described below.
Isla Contoy is a small idyllic Island that is about an hour boat ride from Isla. The island is a National Park. Besides its unparalleled beauty, secluded sandy white beaches and lush palm trees, the island boasts more than a hundred and fifty migrating and resident bird species. The most numerous and easy to observe are the frigate, the brown pelican and the double-crested cormorant. Isla Contoy is also an important nesting place for Sea Turtles.
The island is also host to a group of government-sponsored biologists who continually monitor and study the ecosystem of the island. On reaching the island, visitors can enjoy a guided tour led by one of the resident biologists.
Only 200 visitors are allowed daily. There are numerous guides that will take you and your group to the island. The trip usually costs $40-$50 USD a person and leaves around 9am and returns around 3pm. Trips usually include a stop along the way to snorkel a nice reef, some sort of fruit brunch, then lunch in the lagoon of Contoy, followed by more snorkeling of the lagoon and during the ride back some hand line fishing for barracuda. It is a great day trip for the family. Tip: bring mosquito block if you plan to go inland at all on the island as they can be fierce from time-to-time.
The Tortugranja, or Turtle Farm, is located on the Southern end of Isla Mujeres. The farm cares for green sea turtles of all ages, from incubating eggs to exhibits for the adult turtles. The facility also includes a small aquarium exhibit.
Punta Sur is located at the southern tip of Isla Mujeres, 20 meters above sea level, where the rising sun first touches Mexican soil. This is the highest elevation in the Yucatan and home to an ancient temple honoring the Mayan Moon Goddess. Visitors can look out from its steep, naturally carved cliffs toward awesome views of Cancun and the bay.
Now, picture an outdoor art exhibit in one of the most breathtaking, tropical settings. Garrafón Reef Park is home to the Punta Sur Sculpture Garden. The Sebastian Foundation, along with 23 artists from Mexico and around the world, created this exhibit for Isla Mujeres in 2001. Famous sculptors such as Jose Luis Cuevas used modern shapes and bright hues to interpret the legendary spirit of the Mayan civilization
There is a small “caribbean village” with several stores, a snack bar/restaurant and the lighthouse which provides an amazing view of Punta Sur. This is a must-see spot for people interested in picturesque landscapes, Mayan architecture, and unique cliff formations.
Beachcombing Playa Del Norte
The North Beach of Isla Mujeres is the top ranked beach in Mexico. That pretty much gives you an idea of its pure white the sand and crystal clear
As its name implies, North Beach runs the entire width of Isla at it’s north end, wrapping from the Atlantic side and Playa Media Luna over to the Bay of Cancun on the west side. With a variety of small hotels and beach bars along its frontage, Playa del Norte is a popular place to pass the day, and enjoy stunning sunsets.
Toward the southern end of the island, fronting onto the Bay of Cancun, you’ll find Dolphin Discovery, offering a full range of swimming interactions with playful dolphins and shy manatees.
This modern facility is situated adjacent to the popular Garrafon Park, with its spectacular snorkeling reef. At Dolphin Discovery you opt for the VIP Dolphin Lounge, where you can spend the day relaxing poolside with the full food and beverage service.
Cancun Hotel Zone Ferry
The Ultramar Isla Mujeres ferry operates between Isla Mujeres and the Cancun Hotel Zone, offering a convenient way to spend the day in Cancun if you’re in need of the “big city” experience.
The ferry serves three Cancun hotel zone locations: Embarcadero Pier at Km4, Playa Tortugas at Km7 and Playa Caracol at Km 9.5. This service is not as frequent as the main ferry service to Puerto Juarez (downtown Cancun), but puts you in the heart of the resort district.
The ferry departs from the main Isla ferry dock.
9:45 AM | 11:00 AM | 12:15 PM | 1:30 PM | 4:00 PM | 5:15 PM
To Playa Tortugas
9:30 AM, to 5:30 PM, hourly except for 2:30PM (no service)
To Playa Caracol
9:45 AM | 11:00 AM | 12:15 PM |1:30 PM | 4:00 PM | 5:00 PM
The last ferry returns at 5:45 PM from El Embarcadero. If you want to overnight in Cancun, the earliest return to Isla is 9:00AM from Playa Tortugas and Playa Caracol
Prices are US$17 round trip and US$11 one way.
For full information on UltraMar’s ferry service, click here.