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29 BEST Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

29 BEST Things to do in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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An island off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a tropical paradise where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of mainland cities. It has dazzling views of the Caribbean, fascinating history and all the incredible things to do in Mexico that I know are on your bucket list.

Isla Mujeres lies in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It’s not only a great spot for a day trip from Cancun, but it was also a convenient spot for pirates back in the day. Local legends talk about the many pirates who passed through here targeting ships carrying treasures across the ocean. There are even tales about buried treasure here – who knows maybe you’ll find some?!?!

The island itself is only 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) long, but this tiny place packs a lot in! There are beautiful buildings in bright colors lining the streets, a few hotels, and resorts, but the big draw is the relaxed and tranquil atmosphere here.

In this blog, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Isla Mujeres before you go. I’ve even included 25 epic things to do on Isla Mujeres – so let’s dig in!

About Isla Mujeres, Mexico

A beautiful beach on Isla Mujeres
This place is paradise!

The history of Isla Mujeres goes back more than 1,500 years from when it was a Mayan province. The island was sacred and home to a sanctuary for Ixchel, the Maya Goddess of the moon. The temple built for her was on the south side of the island and was also used as a lighthouse. When the Spanish came to this island in the 1500s, they found statues and images of the goddess and named the island “Isla Mujeres” or “Island of Women”.

The temperature on this island is perfect beach weather usually around 80°F (26°C). The humidity can be quite high in the summer, so it can feel a lot warmer. The winter months here from December to March are drier with only a few showers. Even though it’s close to Cancun, the island doesn’t always get Cancun’s weather – it may be sunny on Isla Mujeres and rainy in Cancun!

This small island is full of incredible things to do whether you’re a history buff interested in checking out ancient ruins, an adventure-seeker looking to explore under the water, or a beach bum hoping to soak up the sunshine on the beach … or maybe even all three! Check out our guide to Isla Mujeres for ideas and inspiration to plan your own trip here.

Getting to Isla Mujeres

The Ultramar Ferry Heading to Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Getting to Isla Mujeres is easy! Photo credit: eddygaleotti Depositphotos

The easiest and most popular way to get to Isla Mujeres is by ferry from Cancun. I recommend taking the Ultramar ferry. The best departure point is from Puerto Juarez and this high-speed ferry gets you to the island in about 30 minutes. The ferry departs hourly from 11 am to 9 pm and costs about 460 pesos ($23 USD) for a round-trip ticket.

If you’re flying into Cancun and heading right from the airport to Isla Mujeres, there are a few different options. If you’re staying in a hotel on Isla Mujeres, often you can arrange transportation directly with them.

If you don’t have transportation booked when your plane touches down, you’ll want to make your way to Puerto Juarez to catch the ferry. You can either book a private shuttle, take a taxi or the most budget-friendly way is by taking the ADO Airport Bus to downtown Cancun for about $5-7 USD per person and then catching a taxi to the ferry docks that should cost under $10 USD.

If you’re in the popular Cancun Hotel Zone, there are closer spots to catch an Ultramar ferry at either Playa Caracol or Playa Tortugas. You’ll want to check departure times though as these ferries aren’t as frequent as the ones from Puerto Juarez. If you want to depart from Puerto Juarez, it’s only a 20-minute taxi ride away from the Hotel Zone or you can take the bus.

Things to do on Isla Mujeres

1. Relax at Playa Norte 

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres
Photo credit: Eddygaleotti Depositphotos

Considered one of the best beaches in Mexico and in the entire world, Playa Norte is one of our favorites. It’s located on the north side of Isla Mujeres, only a 10-minute walk away from the docks where the ferry arrives. With crystal-clear turquoise water and soft, white sand, this is everything you could hope for from a Caribbean beach. I honestly consider it a mandatory stop if you’re visiting the island. 

It does get crowded during the high season, but the weather is ideal for almost the entire year, so you can visit anytime. There’s no entrance fee, and you can bring your own snacks and drinks. You can rent chairs and umbrellas at the beach clubs and hotels for $10-20 USD, which I strongly recommend given there’s not much shade. Remember to bring plenty of sunscreen and your snorkel equipment as there are lots of fish around here to see!

If you’re hungry, there are all kinds of restaurants on Playa Norte, and many of them will serve you right under your umbrella. How perfect is that?

Besides all the normal beach activities, you can take a yoga class at The Treehouse. It’s my favorite yoga place in the world and has an incredible view of the ocean. Check out activity #19 for more info on these great classes!

Related Read: Love pristine beaches? Check out the absolute best beaches in and around Cancun!

2. Rent a golf cart 

A golf buggy on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This is the best way to get around!

Because Isla Mujeres is such a small place, it’s really easy to walk around. I don’t recommend driving as it can be hard to find a parking spot, but one of the best ways to get around if you don’t want to walk is by golf cart. It’s fun and easy and saves your feet, so you don’t get too tired.

You can rent golf carts for half a day or 24 hours. The average daily rate is $70 USD, but there are better prices if you rent for 3 or 4 consecutive days. The gas is included, and the rental company can assist you during the day if you run out. 

To get the best out of the golf carts and a totally unique way to visit some of the bars in the area, check out this Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Bar Crawl Tour. We did this tour on our first day and it’s a great way to explore Isla Mujeres and find some of the fun local spots and enjoy some drink samples!

There’s no need to worry about drinking and driving since one of their tour guides drives you to the best bars, restaurants, beaches, and hidden places on the island. For $121 USD (per adult), this is a fun opportunity you don’t want to miss.

3. Snorkeling tour 

A man snorkeling on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
The snorkeling off the coast of Isla Mujeres is really good!

I absolutely love swimming in the ocean here and one of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres is go snorkeling. The water is truly crystal-clear around the whole island, and the reef around here is filled with wildlife. 

Explore this incredible underwater world with this Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour that includes stops at three amazing locations. You’ll get to see the largest coral reef in the area called the Manchones as well as an underwater museum where you can see over 500 sculptures on the ocean floor!

After you’re done swimming, the tour includes a fresh seafood lunch at a beach club restaurant where you’ll get to taste BBQ “tikin xic” – a Mayan-style fish that is super delicious. This entire experience is incredible and great for families with kids. It’s also really reasonable at $47 USD per person.

4. Explore Punta Sur and the Ruins of Ixchel Temple 

Punta Sur on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This is the ideal place to go for a walk and check out the beautiful coastline!

Take a trip back in time to the southern edge of the island at Punta Sur. Here you’ll find the ruins of Ixchel Temple, built to honor the Mayan goddess of the moon, fertility, and happiness. The ancient temple also served as a lighthouse.

This is the highest point of the Yucatan Peninsula, and it features one of the most amazing sunrises in the world. Take a hike to the ruins where you’ll be surrounded by amazing ocean views the entire way. Peer over the edge of the cliffs to see some secluded beaches and keep an eye out for the iguana monument at the entrance to Punta Sur (and real iguanas who might be soaking up the sun on the rocks!)

Once you’re at the temple, the atmosphere here is something else. It’s the perfect place to snap some incredible pictures and enjoy the view. Sit somewhere around the ruins facing the ocean and let the sea breeze help you connect with the magic of the place.

Related Read: While in Mexico, don’t miss the incredible Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, one of the best things to see in Playa del Carmen!

5. Swim with Whale Sharks 

Swimming with Whale sharks in Mexico
Just beautiful!

Without a doubt, this will be one of the most exciting adventures you do on Isla Mujeres. Whale sharks are magnificent animals, and swimming near them is truly a humbling experience. These gentle giants aren’t actually sharks at all, but are the largest fish in the world! They can grow up to 32 feet (10 meters), but thankfully their diet consists of small fish, shrimp, and plankton. 

I recommend booking a full-day whale shark tour so you can get up close to these amazing creatures. Your guide will know where to go to find these humongous fish and you might even see dolphins and manta rays too. The 6-hour tour includes lunch and snorkeling equipment for $129 USD per person. These fish are only in the area at certain times of the year, so this tour is only available from May until September.

If you are traveling with a group of family or friends, you can book a Private VIP Tour for up to six people for $1,829 USD. A private tour lets you go at your own pace as you spend a couple of hours snorkeling with the incredible whale sharks. Breakfast, bottled water, soft drinks, equipment, and snacks are included too, plus transportation to and from your hotel in Isla Mujeres. 

Related Read: Another place where we went swimming with whale sharks is in Exmouth, Australia!

6. Catamaran Tour 

A catamaran cruise off the coast on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This was easily one of the best tours we did in the Yucatan!

Live a life of luxury for a day aboard your own catamaran! I love sailing on one of these boats – it’s a fantastic way to get out on the water and get a tan too!

On this Private Sailing Catamaran Adventure, you’ll get to sail around the coast stopping at great snorkeling spots and Playa Norte as you spend the day at sea. Drinks, snacks, snorkeling equipment, and standup paddleboards are included for $385 USD per person.  

Bring your music, towels, and sunscreen, and hang out under the sun with your family and friends, safely guided by the experienced crew. 

7. Day trip to Cancun  

View from the top of the Cancun scenic tower
View from the top of the Cancun scenic tower!

Taking the ferry back to Cancun for a day is an option if you are staying in Isla Mujeres. It takes only 30 minutes to get there and 30 minutes back (easy!). There are so many fun things to do in the Cancun Hotel Zone, that you’ll easily be able to fill a day!  

If you’re coming to Cancun for a beach day, some of my favorite beaches are here. Check out the huge beach at Playa Delfines. The famous Cancun sign is here and you might see some dolphins swimming nearby. Or head to Playa Chacmool which has a nice palapa area and is a perfect place to chill for the day.

Cancun is one of the best places to party in the world! For nightclubs, Coco Bongo tops the list for me. I go here every year for the fantastic shows with live music, acrobats, and a great party atmosphere. This is a SUPER popular spot though, so make sure to book tickets in advance. Admission starts at $150 USD.

Cancun is a shopper’s paradise! There are lots of luxury stores here and if you want to take a break from the sun, head to La Isla Shopping Mall. After you’re done shopping, the Cancun Interactive Aquarium is another good place to explore inside the mall. It’s 300 pesos ($15 USD) to get in and you’ll get a chance to see some really colorful marine life.

For history buffs, plan a visit to the Museo Maya archeological museum with ancient Mayan artifacts. The San Miguelito Ruins are right next to the museum where you can see the incredible buildings up close. The museum only accepts Mexican currency and the entrance fee is 85 pesos ($4.25 USD).

While you’re in Cancun, really enjoy the view with a visit to the Cancun Scenic Tower. Marvel at the bright blue waters of the Caribbean as far as you can see from the 260-foot (80-meter) tower. There’s no climbing up a million stairs either since the entire viewing platform lowers and takes you all the way to the top!

Whichever way you put it, there are tons of things to do in Cancun!

Related Read: If you’re hungry, be sure to check out the best Mexican restaurants in Cancun!

8. Spend the day at Kin Há Isla Mujeres (Parque de Los Sueños)

The view from the pool bar at Kin Ha' Isla Mujeres
Photo credit: Kin Ha’ Isla Mujeres
An arial view of the dock at Kin Ha' Isla Mujeres
Photo credit: Kin Ha’ Isla Mujeres

Isla de Mujeres offers a wide variety of activities, but skipping from one place to another can be very tiring. So if you’re looking for a place to stay all day long, Kin Há Isla Mujeres is definitely the right place to go! This is a 4-star hotel, but you don’t need to stay there to enjoy all the activities it has.

There’s an oceanfront restaurant with gourmet Mexican and American food. Or come here for the activities like swimming in one of the three pools, water sliding, kayaking, or trying out the cool rope swing or climbing wall.

It’s really a one-stop-shop for everything you’ll need to be entertained or you can just chill with some drinks and food. Believe me when I tell you there’s no chance for you to get bored here!

Kin Há Isla Mujeres is open from 9 am to 8 pm. The entrance fee is about $20 USD per person, but you get a $15 USD deduction when you order food.  

9. Take a Photo with the Isla Mujeres Sign  

Isla Mujeres Sign on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
You’ll find these all over Mexico so get a photo at every place you visit!

Pretty much anywhere you point your camera on Isla Mujeres will be an ideal spot for a picture, but nothing beats the Isla Mujeres sign. These colorful letters are all over Mexico from Palanque to Puerto Morelos and so many others! These spots are perfect to take an iconic picture with to remember your trip.

If you’re visiting this magical island, don’t pass this spot up! Head to the east side of the island to find these colorful letters at the end of Calle Abasolo. The sign is busy with tourists, especially during the high season, so come early in the morning to avoid anyone photobombing your picture.

10. Underwater Museum  

Cancun Underwater Museum
The most unique museum in the world!

Just beneath the surface of the waters off Isla Mujeres is an incredible museum that is completely underwater. With no rooms or walls, the only way to see this museum is by snorkeling or scuba diving.

The Underwater Museum of Art was created to draw attention to and protect the coral reefs in this area. A sculptor created incredible life-sized structures (there are more than 500!) of people holding hands in a circle, a car, and even a man watching TV. The hope is that marine life will take over these sculptures to form a complex reef structure.

The best way to get up close to the underwater museum is by scuba diving. If you’re a certified diver, this scuba diving tour gets you a two-tank dive to explore the museum. You’ll see all the incredible sculptures as well as a variety of fish, turtles, rays, and coral. It’s $129 USD per person and includes all the necessary equipment. If you’re not certified, you can contact Pocna Dive Center to take a class before joining this tour.

If you don’t want to scuba dive, snorkeling is another way to see the museum and it doesn’t require any special certification. This underwater museum and reef snorkel tour takes you to the underwater museum as well as other coral reef areas. The snorkeling equipment is included, along with lunch and a go-pro camera to take amazing pictures with the statues and the many schools of colorful fishes. All of this for only $47 USD per person!

Related Read: Love trying out unique activities in Mexico? Visiting a pearl farm or trying an underwater helmet dive are some of the best things to do in Cozumel!

11. Go shopping 

Womesn bathing suits at Gladys' Beachwear store on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Photo credit: Gladys’ Beachwear
Menswear at Glady's beachwear Isla Mujeres
Photo credit: Glady’s Beachwear

No vacation is complete without a little bit of shopping to bring a piece of the island home with you! Isla Mujeres has some great places to buy souvenirs or you can check out the boutique stores. 

Galeria de Arte Mexicano: While you’ll find vendors all over the island selling beautiful handcrafted jewelry made with silver, resist the temptation of buying from them and visit this little shop instead. They have good prices and many of the pieces are one-of-a-kind. They also sell authentic Talavera pottery. 

Gladys Galdamez Swimwear: This little swimsuit boutique is a perfect stop before you hit the beach. You can buy swimwear that’s ready to go or make an appointment for a custom-made piece. They offer many different swimwear designs for every taste. 

12. Party and eat on Miguel Hidalgo Avenue 

Located in the middle of Isla Mujeres, Miguel Hidalgo Avenue is the place to be when the sun goes down. This is a pedestrian-only street, so it’s safe to stroll down while you check out the restaurants, bars, and clubs. You’ll usually find live music playing somewhere if you’re here on the weekend and lots of shops stay open later for shopping.

Known as the best bar on the island, Rock Bar has great service and music as well as fantastic happy hour prices. It’s a fun spot to meet locals or tourists and have some great conversations over a few drinks.

For great live music and drinks, head to El Patio Casa de la Musica. There are local musicians playing daily from 4:30 pm until midnight. It’s an open-air style place built around trees and the terrace is ideal for couples on a romantic trip or ask for your group to be at a table near the bar under some beautifully lit trees. The menu is extensive here with burgers, steak, onion rings, chicken wings, enchiladas, falafel, and more.

If you’re hungry while walking down the avenue, check out Rolandi’s Pizzeria for a little piece of Italy in the Caribbean. They serve delicious pizzas and focaccias and the terrace is perfect to breathe in the sea breeze while having a glass of wine with family and friends.

Morgan’s Restaurante & Margaritas Bar is another option that your nose might lead you right to! They have great Mexican food and some of the best seafood on the island. There are also good cocktails here, especially if you like authentic mezcal. Try the coconut margarita that has chunks of coconut in it – so yummy!

Related read: If the nightlife in Mexico is calling your name, head to Cabo! Partying at the nightclubs is one of the top things to do in Cabo San Lucas.

13. Playa Centro  

Playa Centro Isla Mujeres
Playa Centro Isla Mujeres!

Near the docks and just a three-minute walk south of Playa Norte is Playa Centro. The white sand and brilliant turquoise water will draw you in and make you want to stay all day! If you can stay all day (or come back), this is a beautiful spot at sunset.

Playa Centro is typically the second-most popular beach on the island, but quieter than Playa Norte, so you can usually find a nice spot to relax.

The shallow water here is perfect for wading in and for families with kids who want to play in the ocean. You can also rent a couple of lounge chairs for around $10 USD and grab a spot under a couple of palm trees sprinkled around the beach.

14. Day trip to Isla Contoy  

A beautiful beach on Isla Contoy, near Cancun, Mexico
The waters on Isla Contoy are crystal clear!

Isla Contoy is a tiny, protected island that’s about a 45-minute boat ride away from Isla Mujeres. The island is completely uninhabited and home to a protected National Park where thousands of sea turtles go every year to lay their eggs.

The only way you can get here is with a tour like the ones offered by Isla Mujeres Trips. For around $100 USD you’ll have a chance to see this magnificent island and maybe even spot some of the animals that call it home including more than 170 types of birds, 250 species of fish, and of course turtles! You’ll want to book early as only a maximum of 200 people can visit this island every day, no matter what tour you book.

An important tip to remember is that no sunscreen of any kind is allowed while visiting and swimming near Isla Contoy, so wear a rashguard for sun protection.

Visiting this island in the middle of the ocean is sure to be an experience you will never forget.

15. Women’s Beading Cooperative 

A lady at Isla Mujeres Womens Beading Co-Op holds up a bag
Photo credit: Isla Mujeres Women’s Beading Cooperative 
Isla Mujeres women's beading Co-Op display
Photo credit: Isla Mujeres Women’s Beading Cooperative 

This little corner of Mexico will leave you with so many great memories, and of course, the hotels, restaurants, and tour companies will help you get the best out of the experience. However, when visiting places like this, I really like to support the locals who call this place home.

Women’s Beading Cooperative is a little store where dozens of artisan women from the island sell their hand-made pieces. The work here is high-quality as the women spend hours putting jewelry and crafts together one bead at a time. You’ll find necklaces, earrings, and purses made with glass beads, shells, Swarovski crystals, and pearls. Usually, when you walk in, there will be a group of women beading here, so you can see the amazing work up close.

All the women earn a percentage of the sale of each of their items and the rest goes back to the cooperative to buy beads and other supplies. This is a great way to support local artists and buy a stunning souvenir from your trip.

16. Pool Del Rey 

Pool Del Rey on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
How cool is this?

While you can find swimming pools everywhere, a natural swimming pool isn’t nearly as common. Pool del Rey is one of those incredible pools made by nature that is a picturesque spot for a swim on the island.

This pool is on the MIA Reef Isla Mujeres Resort, so if you aren’t staying here, you’ll need a day pass to access the pool. Day passes are $89 USD per adult and $45 USD for kids. You’ll get access to Pool del Ray as well as the beach, open bar, and food. If you’re hoping to spend the day here, then this is a good package to get.

Hot Tip: MIA Reef Isla Mujeres Resort is a beautiful all-inclusive resort, so you should consider booking a stay here!

17. Mercado Municipal 

A fruit stand at Mercado Municipal on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
The fruit is so good! I wish we got all this tropical fruit this good back home!

On Guerrero Avenue, you’ll find Mercado Municipal, which is an excellent food market to eat at. We loved having breakfast here!

The market here has the lowest prices in Isla Mujeres, and for that reason, both locals and tourists visit it every day of the week. The fresh fruit you can buy here is amazing or try out one of the natural juices made right in front of you.

There are different restaurants to choose from, but Letty’s is the most popular (it’s always full, but they serve pretty fast). They have an extensive menu with all kinds of Mexican food, freshly made, flavorful, and very cheap. Even people staying in the best all-inclusive hotels of Isla Mujeres choose this market because it’s so delicious.

Related Read: Check out our guide to the best places to eat in Cancun!

18. Go scuba diving 

A lady scuba diving in Mexico
Me scuba diving in Mexico!

Scuba diving is one of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres and truly in any part of the Yucatán Peninsula. I’m PADI certified and have done plenty of dives, but each time I go beneath the water, I discover something new. No two dives are ever the same!

What’s great about Isla Mujeres is that many of the popular dive sites are in shallower water that doesn’t have much of a current. This is especially good for newbies to scuba diving.

When diving here, keep an eye out for whale sharks, manta rays, and turtles. You simply have to experience the spectacular coral reef here, which is the second-largest in the world.

Diving is possible almost any day here with an average of 300 good diving days a year! This means whenever you plan to visit, you should be able to get a dive in. The water temperature is consistently warm too.

If you’re a certified diver, you can book this super popular scuba diving experience. It includes all of your gear and a guided dive to the underwater museum!

If you’re not certified, don’t worry, you can do this discovery dive! No previous diving experience is required and an expert diver will take you to the depths of the underwater museum!

If you want to become certified, then you’re in luck! You can do this PADI certification course that includes 3 days of class instruction, confined dives for learning, as well as dives in the ocean. In the end, you’ll have your PADI open-water certification!

19. Yoga  

The spectacular atmosphere of Isla Mujeres will induce a certain level of mindfulness, even if you are just lying on the beach. But if you want to connect more deeply with this island, a yoga class is one of my favorite activities on Isla Mujeres.

Located on Playa Norte (above Buho’s Bar), The Treehouse Yoga offers 2-3 classes a day in the mornings and evenings every day except Sunday. Classes are only 200 pesos ($10 USD) and include a yoga mat if you didn’t bring one. The venue is really beautiful, and it faces the ocean.

These are walk-in classes taught by bilingual instructors who will adapt to your level, so it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an experienced yogi. There’s also no need to reserve in advance, you can just show up and namaste!

20. Rent a bike and explore 

Local streets on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Photo credit: Pippocarlot Depositphotos

Because Isla Mujeres is such a tiny island, it’s easy to get around by bike. It gives your feet a nice break and lets you cover more ground to see all the island has to offer.

For rentals, try out Rentadora Rasta Bikes, near the Municipal Market. You can rent a bike for 24 hours for under $10 USD and make sure you ask for a complimentary bike lock from them. You can bike all the way to the south side of the island in about an hour … although I wouldn’t recommend that on a really hot day!

Make sure you return the bikes on time the next day though as the employees here can be strict with the rentals.

21. Garrafon Reef Park & Beach Club 

Garrafon Reef Park & Beach Club on Isla Mujeres
The ziplines over the water are so much fun!

On the south side of Isla Mujeres, spend a day at Garrafon Reef Park for a family-friendly and action-packed day. Go zip-lining, kayaking, snorkeling, biking, or hiking if you are feeling adventurous. But if you want to, you can simply relax in a hammock with a magnificent view, stay at the pool, rest in lounge chairs with the breeze and have a refreshing cocktail from the tropical bar. 

Nevertheless, the highlight of this park is the dolphins. Some packages include a guided swim with one of these amazing animals.

This is also the perfect spot for a Temazcal steam bath. This is a prehispanic healing ceremony that will help you let go and relax, at least for a little while. It’s a guided spiritual experience that will open up your mind and is good for your skin too. 

The entrance fee to this park ranges from $66 USD to $159 USD. Every package includes lockers, showers, lounge chairs, snorkeling equipment, drinks, and a buffet. 

22. Relax at Nomads Hostel & Beach Club 

Nomads Hostel beachfront pool Isla Mujeres, mexico
Photo credit: Nomads Hostel
Nomads Hostel beachfront bar and relaxing area Isla Mujeres
Photo credit: Nomads Hostel

I could talk for hours about the great experiences we had at Nomads Hostel when we visited Isla Mujeres. The whole staff was super nice and made us feel right at home during our stay. The food was incredible, with fair prices too.  

Nomads Hostel is right in front of the beach, on the west side of the island, so you will get to see some pretty amazing sunsets every day. The rooms are very comfortable, impeccably clean, and cozy. 

The whole atmosphere feels happy and chill all the time. They throw really fun parties at night, in case you have some extra energy after a day of exploring Isla Mujeres. Right there in the hostel, you can rent bikes and golf carts to travel the island and even kayaks if you wish to navigate the calm waters of the area. 

23. Wander downtown Isla Mujeres 

A street on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Just set off and wander around the cute streets! Photo credit: Kravka Depositphotos

Downtown Isla Mujeres is the perfect place to go for a walk. Every last street and alley is full of life and color, particularly after sunset. During the day, you can go shopping, sit down in a cafe, drink local beer, have a delicious margarita, and even get a tattoo (it’s probably a good idea to have the beers and cocktails after getting the tattoo and not before!). 

If you visit downtown after 6 pm, you will start to hear live music coming from restaurants and notice how the whole place goes into party mode very quickly.  

People in traditional Mayan costumes will take you to hidden streets where you can catch a show while having some drinks. There are dozens of little bars and restaurants that compete against each other to see who makes the best cocktails for the best prices. The atmosphere is incredible, and there’s no better place to get lost. You never know what you might find! 

24. Go fishing 

Posing with our catch after fishing in Mexico
I’d say we did pretty good!

The Gulf of Mexico is one of the best places in the world to go fishing. Every time we head out on a boat here, I’m shocked at how much we catch! Pretty much anywhere you cast a fishing rod near Isla Mujeres, it’s only a matter of minutes until you catch something.

You don’t need to be an experienced fisherman to catch fish here, but it does help to have a guide showing you the ropes. This private half-day fishing tour has a professional at the helm to take you to some of the best fishing spots near the shoreline. You’ll cast a line for barracuda, snapper, grouper, and more, depending on the time of year.

Get your family and friends together for this tour as it’s $390 USD for up to six people and kids are welcome. The tour includes all the fishing gear you’ll need along with drinks and snacks and pick up from your hotel.

25. Have a drink at the Isla Mujeres IceBar 

Bailey at the Isla Mujeres Ice Bar 
Relaxing at the Isla Mujeres IceBar in Isla Muheres, Mexico

What better way to cool off than at an entire bar made of ice! Heading to IceBar Isla Mujeres is a particularly great plan during the hottest months of the year – it’s quite the temperature swing once you step inside!

The entrance fee is $39 USD, and it includes 2 drinks and 1 shot. All the glasses are made from ice too, so make sure you have your drink before it melts! When you walk in, you’ll also be provided with a warm poncho with a hood so you don’t get too cold.

This is a fun photo op spot on your vacation and a perfect way to take a break from the heat.

26. Explore the street art on Isla Mujeres  

One of the activities I enjoy the most in Isla Mujeres is walking around the island to see the colorful murals and sculptures scattered all over the place. You never know what might be around the corner! Because the island is so small, it’s really easy to get around, so while you’re walking from place to place, keep an eye out for the incredible art.

If you don’t want to miss seeing some of the best street art here, book a street art tour. You’ll have a guide to show you some of the best murals around the island and take your photo in front of them.

This three-hour tour is $60 USD per person and includes a variety of stops to give you a feel for the island and its artistic culture. You’ll also stop at an art gallery where local artist showcase their pieces (paintings, wooden sculptures, and jewelry), visit an animal organization where you will get to pet some really cute puppies while seeing a hidden mural on its walls, and drive all the way to Punta Sur and back.

Related Read: There is incredible street art all over Mexico including in Guadalajara and Oaxaca City, where you can do similar street art tours.

27. Visit the Capilla de Guadalupe 

Capilla de Guadalupe Isla Mujeres
Capilla de Guadalupe Isla Mujeres!

Even if you are not a religious person, there’s something spiritual about visiting churches and chapels when you travel – whether to admire the architecture or the view. At Capilla de Guadalupe, the view will take your breath away.

This tiny chapel has huge crystal windows behind the altar that face the ocean. Without a doubt, they have the best view I’ve ever seen from a church! There’s also a lookout outside where you can take pictures and sit to enjoy the salty winds coming from the Gulf.

If you’re planning a wedding in Mexico, this little chapel would be a beautiful spot!

28. Isla Mujeres Sea Glass Gallery  

For a completely unique souvenir or just to admire the art, pay a visit to the Isla Mujeres Sea Glass Gallery. While exploring a beach, you may have found your own little piece of sea glass, but you won’t believe what this artist has done!

Daryl Adler has been collecting sea glass while visiting the beaches of Isla Mujeres for over a decade. He’s turned these naturally polished and recycled pieces of glass into murals, mosaics, and jewelry! It’s such an interesting way to re-use these little treasures and if you decide to buy a piece, a great reminder of your trip here.

29. Walking tour 

A seaside shop on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
A seaside shop on Isla Mujeres, Mexico

The best way to really get to know a place you are visiting is with a local taking you to the best spots. You’ll find those hidden gems you never could have discovered on your own and you’ll get a feel for the island’s culture and people.

I like taking a walking tour like this one during the beginning of my stay as you’ll find spots you want to come back to and the guides often recommend other activities you’ll want to try. The tour is $108 USD per person and your guide will meet you right at the ferry dock if you’re just arriving on the island.

You’ll have breakfast or lunch at a local spot, tour around the main part of Isla Mujeres, visit some of the best shopping points, and end with a relaxing view of the beach and a fresh coconut to enjoy.

Where to Eat in Isla Mujeres 

Avo toast at Lola Valentina Isla Mujeres
Photo credit: Lola Valentina
Margaritas at Lola Valentina Isla Mujeres
Photo credit: Lola Valentina
  • La Kantina De Los Tacos De Humo: Mexican cuisine is definitely one of the best in the world. The variety of flavors, the freshness of its ingredients, and above all, the tradition. Who doesn’t love tacos? Well, if you stay in Isla Mujeres, know that this restaurant has the best tacos on the island! 
  • Capricci Pizza & Sfizi: While walking around the island, I noticed an Italian group waiting in line to enter this restaurant. That was all the information I needed to give a try, and boy, we weren’t disappointed. The wood oven pizzas were fantastic (so many flavors) and combined with the great service and really reasonable prices, this was a fantastic meal.
  • Samura: Many different people around the island recommended this sushi place, and for good reason, the atmosphere of this restaurant can’t be beaten. The cocktails are some of the best I’ve ever had, and the sushi was super fresh and tasty. The extensive menu will make you want to go at least a second time, not to mention the 5-star service from every last member of the staff. 
  • Lola Valentina: This restaurant came highly recommended, so we had to give it a try. They take traditional Mexican food to a whole new level with all the flavors you already know enhanced (somehow!), and the presentation of the dishes is exceptional. Great prices and even greater service. 
  • Mango Cafe Isla: This cute corner cafe is a lovely place to go for breakfast or lunch. They have quite an extensive menu and offer more international/fusion cuisine with a special Caribbean touch. The guacamole was outstanding, the pancakes were delicious, and the variety of vegan dishes surprised me. It’s also very close to a great lookout point. 
  • Xantolo: Great burgers, perfectly cooked steak, and some pretty amazing nachos. The fried shrimp and octopus ceviche had to be some of the best seafood we’ve ever had. Great vibes, live music, and open until midnight. 

Where to Stay in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

The pool and beach view from Lotus Hotel Isla Mujeres, mexico
Photo credit: Lotus Hotel Isla Mujeres

Itzé Hostel 

This budget-friendly hostel is within walking distance (under 2 minutes!) of the beautiful Playa Norte. It is a very cozy place to stay and offers food and drinks at pretty good prices. The owners take really good care of their guests, and it’s a very quiet and relaxing place where you can meet travelers from all over the world. You can choose either shared or private accommodations.  

Book a stay at Itze Hostel through Booking or HostelWorld

Izla Beachfront Hotel – $$ 

This is a luxurious 4-star hotel with private beach access. It’s around $266 USD, depending on the dates of your reservation. It is absolutely gorgeous, super comfortable, very clean, and they have amazing service. It has a pool, solarium, wellness center, restaurants, room service, and WIFI. You can book your room online in advance here.

Lotus Beach Hotel – $$$ 

This is not a cheap option (at all!) but it is one of the most luxurious hotels in Islas Mujeres. Lotus Beach Hotel is a 5-star hotel located right by the beach. Their rooms are very fancy, and their beach club is fancier still. If you’re looking for a high-end experience, this is the way! 

Lotus Beach Hotel has a wide variety of amenities such as Wi-Fi, pools, a bar by the pool, bike rental, snorkeling, and anything you’ll need on the beach (including an umbrella, chairs, and towels). In addition to that, they also offer other relaxing services such as massages, couple massages, solarium, hiking, and diving, among others.  You should book Lotus Beach Hotel online in advance to avoid missing out!

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel in a rental car in Mexico
Bailey had to drive at first because Daniel is used to driving on the other side!

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car. 

I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Mexico in 2019, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically. 

I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend. 

The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too. 

Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit. 

Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your renal will be much cheaper! 

Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!

If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $42 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)

It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!

Thanks for reading! 

Bailey and Daniel in Mexico
Thanks for reading!

Hopefully, this guide to Isla Mujeres has inspired you to plan your own trip to this amazing island. We love how close it is to Cancun, but it feels like escaping to a completely different world. The laidback vibe here combined with stellar views and unique things to see and do keep us coming back.

If you’ve been to Isla Mujeres or have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below! Also, check out some of our other Mexico posts for inspiration:

The BEST Beaches in the Yucatan

EPIC things to do in Sayulita, Mexico

BEST tours in Oaxaca City, Mexico

Things to do in Puebla, Mexico & guide to visiting

21 BEST Things to do in Holbox, Mexico
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