Skip to Content

12 Things to KNOW Before Going Scuba Diving in Isla Mujeres

12 Things to KNOW Before Going Scuba Diving in Isla Mujeres

This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Isla Mujeres is one of my all-time favorite islands in Mexico – with gorgeous beaches, crystal-clear water, and some of the best hospitality around. That being said, when I think of my favorite things I’ve done in Isla Mujeres, scuba diving has to be right at the top of the list!

Isla Mujeres, which in Spanish means “Island of the Women”, is situated just off the coast of Cancun (also a fantastic city that’s also really worth exploring.) In fact, I always recommend my friends and family visit Cancun when they’re looking for somewhere that’s always buzzing and full of life (plus the scuba diving in Cancun is great too!).

But if you fancy visiting somewhere a bit quieter and is only a 30-45 minute ferry journey away, then Isla Mujeres is the perfect choice.

When it comes to scuba diving here, Isla Mujeres has a ton to offer, from the gorgeous marine wildlife that makes the shallow reefs their home, to the mysterious underwater museum… Diving here is a real treat!

Whether you’ve never gone diving or you’re a weathered veteran looking for new territory to explore, I’ve put together this guide to give you all you need to know about diving here. From the best time to visit, to discovery dives and more, I’ll be covering it all, so grab yourself a tea or coffee (or a margarita!) and let’s get stuck in.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Have you ever visited an art museum… underwater? Well you can with this exclusive scuba diving at MUSA experience where you’ll swim around hundreds of sculptures and even take a dive around the Manchones reef system to spot magnificent marine life.

1. About Scuba Diving in Isla Mujeres

Daniel at the catalina islands scuba diving off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico
So many fish!
Daniel getting ready to go scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Getting excited for the dives!

Isla Mujeres is one of my favorite quiet retreats in Mexico, but don’t let that fool you, the island may be a bit more laid-back than its neighbor Cancun, but scuba diving here is such a treat! In fact, with its incredible visibility and crystal-clear waters, it’s not a surprise that the island is a hit with scuba divers from around the world.

One thing I love about scuba diving in this part of Mexico is that you can enjoy it pretty much year-round, with an average of 300 good diving days annually. In some other countries I’ve visited, the rainy season pretty much wipes out all scuba diving for a few months, so the fact that you can enjoy diving here regardless of when you visit is a huge plus.

But what about the island itself? Well, I’d actually really recommend beginner divers give the island a go, as there are a ton of dive sites in shallower waters with minimal currents. When you’re a beginner just learning the ropes, diving in a beginner-friendly area is a must for building up confidence, but that’s not to say that advanced divers can’t have a ton of fun here too.

And while you’re down there, you really can’t miss the super colorful marine life that calls these reefs home! From the huge whale sharks to graceful manta rays (and soooo many gorgeous fish), this is the perfect place to bring that waterproof camera (or Go-Pro), that you’ve been excited to try out.

Many of the reefs here also fall under the grounds of the Isla Mujeres National Park, which protects them from damage and overfishing. It’s really clear from the moment you try your first dive here that the schools and tour operators really care about keeping the reefs safe, something we can definitely get behind!

Related Read: Thinking of staying in Cancun and visiting Isla Mujeres during your trip? Don’t forget to check out my list of the best Cancun resorts for some of my personal favorite places to stay.

2. Why do I love scuba diving in Isla Mujeres?

Daniel and Bailey swim past some corals while scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
The water is calm and clear!

Oh boy, I could go on for hours!

So far, I’ve only scratched the surface of what makes Isla Mujeres such a great place for scuba diving, but of course, there are tons more reasons beneath the surface too (sorry for the pun!).

One of the more practical reasons is that you can get great scuba diving here for a really affordable cost. This is true for most of Mexico, which means that the island has some pretty stiff competition, but I’d still rank Isla Mujeres as one of my all-time favorite affordable spots in the country. You can expect dives here to cost between $100-200 USD on average depending on the length of the dive and where it’s held.

The number of dive companies you can find here on the island also really surprised me – I expected to find a couple of great dive organizers but ended up coming across more than a dozen! All this variety just shows that there’s a thriving diving scene here, and while trying out some dives here, I met loads of fellow divers from all around the world, which was a ton of fun.

That being said, the nearby city of Cancun is absolutely packed with amazing diving schools, so if you’re looking for even more variety, then it’s a breeze to take the ferry to get back across to the mainland. Don’t forget to try out some of the best restaurants in Cancun while you’re there too.

However, if you haven’t tried out diving on the island yet, I’d still highly recommend giving it a go!

3. When is the best time to go scuba diving in Isla Mujeres?

Bailey and Daniel look at a Sting Ray Isla Mujeres, Mexico
A sting ray!
Bailey swims past some corals while scuba Diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
The corals seem very healthy!

One of the (many) reasons why scuba diving is one of my favorite things to do in Mexico has a lot to do with the gorgeous weather here. The dry season, which runs from November through to April, is generally the most popular time to visit. I also learned that scuba diving visibility at this time can reach up to 100 feet (30 meters), which is a dream come true for divers!

There’s nothing worse than getting all suited up for a great trip out only for it to be ruined by the weather and murky conditions. Going in the dry season gives you the best chances of having an enjoyable trip, plus the lighting (sunshine!) will be great for those photos you’ll be taking!

If you’re planning to visit during the dry season, then I’d highly recommend booking your accommodation in Isla Mujeres and any activities in advance. These months are also the high season for travel, so getting your slot in advance will help you avoid those dreaded price hikes, so you can enjoy your holiday for less.

However, if visiting in the dry season is difficult for you or you’re traveling on a bit of a tighter budget, then it’s still totally possible to visit (and go scuba diving) during the rainy season. The summer months bring water temperatures up to around 29 °C (84 °F), so it feels like you’re swimming in a nice relaxing bath!

While rainfall does happen more often at this time of year, I’ve found that it usually happens more in the late afternoon, so I’d recommend booking in any dives for the morning to give you the best chances of clear skies. Going in the morning is generally a good rule of thumb for diving, as you’ll likely enjoy milder currents and less wind too!

4. What can you see when scuba diving in Isla Mujeres? 

A sting ray on the ocean floor in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Sting ray
A rock lobster under a rock off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Rock lobster

Dip your head beneath the waves, and you’ll find a whole bunch of colorful creatures, from the schools of bright marine fish all the way up to the local giants, the peaceful whale sharks that can grow up to 39 feet (12 meters).

Mid-May to mid-September is the best time of the year to see whale sharks near Isla Mujeres, who are completely harmless, using their giant mouths to sift up tiny plankton and small fish. If you get the chance, I really recommend going on a swimming experience with whale sharks – I remember when I did it for the first time and it was so magical!

You generally won’t find many whale shark watching tours that include scuba diving, as they’re normally spotted close to the surface, which is ideal for snorkeling. This 5-hour whale shark tour is my top pick, being limited to just 10 people, which helps keep the whole experience feeling extra personal and special! With tickets at $150 USD per person, I’d say this is well worth it for a memory that will last a lifetime.

Joining the whale sharks down in the waters around the island, you might also spot some other pretty large animals, like the manta rays, which can have a wingspan of up to 30 feet (9 meters)! Of course, that’s not all either, with sea turtles, vibrant coral, and all kinds of fish visiting and living in the reefs around the island.

Speaking of fish, if you’re visiting between December and mid-March, you’re just in time for the sailfish season! Just like whale shark watching, this is an epic spectacle to see in person, with these sailfish darting in and out of schools at speeds of up to 105 kmh (65 mph). Delfin Diving is one of the most respected scuba diving organizations offering small-group sailfish tours and well worth checking out!

Of course, there are plenty of interesting areas and hidden spots to check out while scuba diving too, like the underwater museum (more info below!) and the many beautiful reefs – each with their own secret gems to find.

Related Read: Looking for some more things to in the Yucatan Peninsula? We’ve got you covered!

5. What are the best dive spots in Isla Mujeres? 

Daniel and Bailey scuba at MUSA in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Diving at MUSA!

Manchones Reef

This is one of the best beginner-friendly reefs, stretching over 2625 feet (800 meters) with gentle currents and TONS of gorgeous coral and fish. Keep an eye out for snappers, parrotfish, angelfish, spotted trunkfish… Just to name a few!

Don’t forget to take a look at the sandy bed of the reef too, I’ve seen stingrays and even lobsters hiding out here (they can be really well camouflaged so keep an eye out). The reef itself is also pretty shallow, reaching a depth of 33 feet (10 meters), making it perfect for beginner divers!

If you fancy visiting for yourself, I’d recommend this 6-hour diving experience, which visits the MUSA underwater museum as well as Manchones Reef. It’s designed for beginners who aren’t diving certified – you’ll have a professional and certified diver with you at all times to make sure you have a safe and fun experience. If you’re interested in giving scuba diving a go, why not take a look and reserve your spot online?

MUSA Underwater Museum

Taking history to a whole new level (or depth!), the Museo de Arte Subacuático, or MUSA for short, is a contemporary museum that showcases over 500 life-sized sculptures, all of which are underwater.

I’ve got to admit, I was a little skeptical at first whether the museum would be much fun to explore, but I was really surprised! My favorite sculpture has to be the Volkswagen Beetle that won’t be driving anywhere soon, but instead seems to be a hit with the local fish schools, who liked to dart in and out of the rusty windows.

Depending on whether or not you’re certified, there are a couple of different tour options you can go for here. For beginners, I’d suggest this 4-hour beginner dive course that helps you get used to scuba diving while exploring parts of the underwater museum. If you’re certified, then I’d recommend this 5-hour tour that’s limited to 10 people – great for not feeling overcrowded!

Sleeping Sharks Cave

Who said sharks can’t be cute? Discovered back in the 1950s, Sleeping Sharks Cave lies just to the east of Isla Mujeres and is thought to be one of the few known places in the world where sharks can sleep without having to keep moving (thanks to the air bubbles rising up from the springs below).

This is definitely a dive for the more experienced divers out there, at around 60 feet (20 meters) below the surface. You’ll likely spot nurse sharks taking a nap here, which are completely harmless though still a joy to see relaxing in the cave!

Squalo Adventures has received tons of great reviews for their scuba diving experiences, like this 2-tank dive of the MUSA underwater museum. They also run this Sleeping Shark Cave and reef tour for certified divers over on their website, with tickets starting from $100 USD per person plus $25 USD for gear rental.

A man diving in Cenote Jardin del Eden, Mexico
Diving is this cenote is so much fun!

C-58/C-55 Wreck Dive

I always find it fascinating how shipwrecks can quickly be transformed by the sea into a new home for all kinds of underwater life. Just off the coast of Cancun, you can explore two fascinating wrecks for yourself, the C-58 and C-55 Minesweeper ships from WWII, which were both sunk by the Mexican army!

From giant manta rays to the tiniest seahorses (and everything in between), the wrecks are now an important site for many sea creatures and a pretty cool reminder of what nature can do when left to its own devices.

The currents around the wrecks can be pretty strong, which is why it’s best to explore these when you are diving certified. This morning and afternoon 2-tank experience lasts between 4 and 5 hours and will take you to either of the two wrecks, as well as a stop by a nearby drift reef. You can grab tickets for just $125 USD per person, plus rental fees for the scuba equipment.

Cenote scuba diving

Cenote scuba diving is such a cool experience that I highly recommend to anyone feeling adventurous in Mexico! If you’ve never heard of a cenote before, they’re basically natural, underground caverns or caves that are partially or fully flooded.

Once upon a time, the Yucatan Peninsula actually used to be a reef, and when the water level dropped it left these cenotes behind, many of which are now full of permanent groundwater. And you know what that means… Scuba diving!

For the best cenote diving experience, I strongly recommend visiting the cenotes in Tulum, where you’ll find some of my personal favorites, like the Cenote Jardin Del Eden. There aren’t any cenotes where you can scuba dive on Isla Mujeres.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

6. Is scuba diving in Isla Mujeres safe?

A statue at the MUSA Reef in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
The MUSA reef is so cool!
Two fish on the ocean floor while scuba diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
So cute!

Dan and I have had our fair share of questionably-safe tours over the years we’ve been traveling, but when scuba diving, safety really isn’t something you should compromise on! That being said, every single dive I’ve been on in Isla Mujeres has followed high safety regulations and reinforced all the safety tips I learned when I took my PADI course.

From the get-go, it’s clear that the schools and tour organizers love what they do, and want everyone taking part to have a safe and enjoyable time too. All the scuba diving tours and experiences we recommend in this blog uphold these safety practices and guidelines, so you know you’re in safe hands right through to the end of your dive!

Related Read: Heading to Playa del Carmen? Learn all about scuba diving in and around Playa del Carmen before you go!

7. What is a Discovery Dive in Isla Mujeres? 

Daniel and Bailey scuba dive in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
A discovery dive gets you under the water without a certification.

If you’ve never been scuba diving before, it really doesn’t get much better than learning how to do so in Mexico! The best thing I can recommend when starting out is to try a Discovery Dive, which is designed to help beginners like yourself learn the basics of scuba diving in a safe and controlled environment.

You’ll begin with a briefing from your instructor, who will help give you an overview of the basic theory (which is actually pretty fascinating to learn!), and you’ll also get to know the essential equipment and diving techniques. From there, you’ll head out into the water and try your new moves out – before you know it, you’ll be moving around and communicating underwater like a pro!

Another reason why discovery dives are great is down to affordability – these dives are generally a fair bit cheaper than full diving courses, which also require more of a time investment as well. Basically, they’re the perfect introduction to the underwater world, and the gentle currents and shallow reefs near Isla Mujeres are perfect for beginner dives!

This 5-hour PADI discover diving experience ticks all the boxes when it comes to crafting the perfect experience for beginner divers. Their friendly team puts a huge emphasis on safety, helping you to feel comfortable and confident as you explore the underwater museum and colorful reefs. Tickets for this tour cost $167 USD per person, plus the National Park and docking fees of $15 USD to be paid on the spot. You can book this discovery dive online here.

8. What are the best scuba diving tours in Isla Mujeres?

Bailey and daniel scuba dive past a huge coral in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
How clear is the water!?
Bailey scuba diving in Mexico
Practicing keeping my hands still!

Discover Scuba diving experience (beginner divers)

Scuba diving is such a magical experience the very first time you try it. While that feeling never truly goes away, it’s important to make sure that your first dive is with a reputable company that cares about safety! The instructors at this beginner scuba experience in Isla Mujeres are some of the most supportive and friendly guides you could have, which is exactly what you need when starting out.

You can grab your tickets for this 4-hour experience for $150 USD per person, which also includes rental gear and National Park fees, as well as plenty of water, fruit, and cookies! You can check availability and book online here.

Scuba diving at MUSA (certified divers)

While reefs are a ton of fun to explore, there’s something really unique about visiting a huge underwater museum, and this 5-hour scuba diving experience lets you do just that!

There are a few things that stuck out to me when I first learned about this tour, the first being that if it’s your first time diving again after a while, they offer a refresher course before the tour for $30 USD. Plus, the tour is also available in the morning and evening, which is perfect for fitting around a packed schedule.

You also get to visit the nearby Manchones reef system, which itself really is a whole wonder! Tickets for this tour cost $135 USD per person, however this doesn’t include the $15 USD National Park and docking fees which are paid in person on the day of the event. To secure your spot on the tour, you can check your dates and book online here.

 2 Tank Adventures Drift and Wreck dives (certified divers)

Underwater wrecks have to be my favorite type of site to explore when scuba diving, and as part of this 2-dive experience you get to visit one of two wrecks as well as a beautiful drift reef! To me, this is a great combination and an adventurous experience for certified divers visiting Isla Mujeres.

Lasting around 4 and a half hours, this dive is run by some super friendly staff who do everything they can to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable dive. Tickets for this experience cost $125 USD per person, with scuba gear rental being an extra cost. You can book your spot online on Viator here.

9. Can you learn to scuba dive in Isla Mujeres?

On the boat with all our scuba diving gear in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Demonstration on putting your gear together!

Absolutely! While it’s easy to compare Isla Mujeres to Cancun over which area would be better to learn at, I’d say the island has the edge when it comes to enjoying a quieter and more relaxed experience. This also goes for if you’re spending some time here on holiday, so why not continue the chilled-out vibes while learning to scuba dive?

There’s also a surprisingly large range of nearby reefs and interesting dive sites (like the wrecks of C-58 and C-55) which you might not expect when first checking out the island. That being said, Cancun does have a larger range of diving schools, so it’s really up to you which one you prefer!

When it comes to which diving certification you should go for, I’d personally suggest going with PADI, which stands for The Professional Association of Diving Instructors. This is the most widely recognized diving certification organization around the world, and you can get this certification right from Isla Mujeres.

With this 2-day PADI scuba diving course, you can receive your official certification to begin open-water diving. Along the way, you’ll master all the basics you’ll need, including theory, safety procedures, gestures, and more, all while learning some super useful skills and having a blast! Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be free to explore and dive up to depths of 18 meters (59 feet).

Led by the friendliest and most knowledgeable instructors you could ask for, this course costs $550 USD per person and can be booked online here. Not included in the price is the National Park and docking fees, which cost $15 USD per person and are paid on-site.

10. Is scuba diving in Isla Mujeres suitable for children? 

Interesting fish swims through the water while scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
That’s one long fish!

Learning to scuba dive can be one of the most rewarding experiences a kid can have, helping them to build their confidence, develop a passion for the ocean, and create some lifelong memories. While scuba diving isn’t appropriate for very young children, kids as young as 10 years old can start diving in Mexico.

While the minimum age for full certification is 15, young kids between 10 and 14 can still participate in discovery dives or obtain their PADI Junior Open Water certification, which allows them to dive while being supervised by an adult.

With a Junior Open Water certification, children aged 10 or 11 can dive up to a maximum depth of 12 meters (39 feet), and for kids slightly older at 12 to 14, they can dive up to 18 meters (59 feet), which is the same depth for certified adult divers.

11. Scuba diving vs snorkeling in Isla Mujeres

Group of white fish swim in Cancun Mexico as seen while snorkeling
Snorkeling is not as good.

Ah, the age-old question… Which is better, scuba diving or snorkeling in Isla Mujeres?

Of course, the answer is – it depends! Both activities can be really unique and special experiences, and either one may be better for you depending on your preferences.

Scuba diving would be my personal favorite, and really does help to amplify that sense of adventure you get when exploring the underwater world for the first time. Plus, diving helps you get deeper than you could when snorkeling, and it’s also super helpful not to need to keep returning to the surface every so often for air!

On the other hand, scuba diving does require a degree of training and physical fitness, which may not be as ideal for some. Snorkeling is really easy to get into, requires minimal equipment, and is the more affordable option between the two. In shallow reefs, especially in areas with water as clear as Isla Mujeres, you can actually see a lot just for snorkeling!

With over 1,100 5-star ratings, this 3-hour Isla Mujeres snorkeling tour covers three unique locations, including the underwater museum and Manchones Reef! With a maximum of 15 people per tour, you’ve also got plenty of space to stretch out and explore, plus a fresh seafood lunch at a beach club restaurant is included after your swim!

Whale sharks are some of the most incredible ocean creatures you can see, and this 6-hour whale shark adventure gets you up close to them (while still remaining at a safe distance)! Along the way, you’ll likely also spot other amazing animals like manta rays, flying fish, and even dolphins too.

12. Is scuba diving in Isla Mujeres worth it?

Tons of tropical fish swim in the ocean while scuba diving off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Yes!

Having come this far into the blog with me, I’m sure you’ll agree that – yep – scuba diving here in Isla Mujeres is 100% worth it! The reefs here are perfect for beginner divers, and it’s a little way out from Cancun, making it more likely to be quieter and less crowded. That being said, if you want to see all the diving experiences on offer, I’d recommend taking a look at the schools in Cancun too.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned diving veteran, there’s nothing quite like slipping on your wetsuit, adjusting your mask, and dipping beneath the waves. Dan and I feel just as excited before every dive as we did when we first started out!

Related Read: If you can’t get enough, the scuba diving sites in Puerto Morelos are amazing to explore too!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Isla Mujeres

Daniel and Bailey on a golf buggy on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Exploring Isla Mujeres!
Bailey in a bikini on a catamaran cruise from Cancun, Mexico
Isla Mujeres!

Once you’re all finished up with your scuba diving, chances are you’ll find yourself with a little bit of time on your hands to spend! From delving into some of the best Mayan ruins in Mexico to going swimming with whale sharks, Isla Mujeres is bursting with tons of other fun activities to try. Here are a few of my favorites!

  • Explore Mayan ruins – Fancy seeing one of the most amazing sunrises in the world AND get to explore some history? On the southern side of the island at Punta Sur, you’ll find the beautiful ruins of Ixchel Temple, which was actually built as a tribute to the Mayan goddess of the moon, fertility, and happiness. The smell of the sea and the views you get from here really are amazing!
  • Enjoy an evening catamaran cruise – You’ve seen an incredible sunrise, so why not finish off your day with an unbeatable sunset aboard a catamaran? This sunset cruise and tour lasts 4 hours and is perfect for couples looking to spend a romantic evening taking in Isla Mujeres from the water (and this time you won’t be getting wet!). You can also enjoy a catamaran cruise from Cancun right to the island!
  • Visit Cancun – If you haven’t had the chance to explore Cancun yet, then I’d really recommend taking a day to get to know this buzzing city! Not only is it a super amazing place for nightclubs (the VIP night out at Coco Bongo was a blast), but there are some incredible places to shop too, like La Isla Shopping Mall. And if you’re into history, the Museo Maya is a must.
  • Take the family out – Kids need to burn off some energy? Or perhaps you’re traveling with a big kid who loves ziplining, kayaking, or hiking? Garrafon Reef Park on the south side of the island is perfect for families and adventurous couples, but you can totally relax and take in the views from a hammock here too. Keep your eyes out for the dolphins though, and there’s also the chance to swim with them!
  • Swim with whale sharks – Speaking of swimming with amazing animals, how about swimming with the largest fish (yup, that’s right!) fish in the sea? Whale sharks are totally harmless, but undeniably beautiful, and on this small-group experience you can see them up close and personal. If you’re traveling between May and September, you’re in for a real treat!

Where to Stay in Isla Mujeres

Selina Hostel pool on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
We stayed at the Selina and it was beautiful and fairly cheap!

Are fluffy pillows and clean beds calling your name after a day of scuba diving? Which accommodation in Isla Mujeres you choose will be a really big part of your trip, so to make sure you have the best stay possible, here are three of my favorites!

Selina Isla Mujeres PocNa – $ 

Selina Isla Mujeres PocNa is a budget-friendly hostel/hotel that’s within walking distance (under 2 minutes!) of the beautiful Playa Norte. It is an absolutely stunning property, complete with a huge pool and outdoor bar and restaurant area. Sometimes they even host events like yoga, live music, or even DJs! It’s the perfect place to socialize and meet travelers from all over the world.

You can choose either shared or private accommodations. The private rooms range from budget to luxury – almost like a 4-star hotel stay!

A bed in a dorm here starts at $35 USD per night, and you can book a private room for $93 USD per night. To secure your stay in advance, I’d recommend booking online either on Booking.com or HostelWorld

Izla Beachfront Hotel – $$ 

This is a luxurious 4-star hotel With private beach access, its own pool, wellness center and much (much) more, Izla Beachfront Hotel is a luxurious 5-star hotel that’s perfect for those with a moderate budget looking for a super relaxing stay.

The grounds are absolutely stunning (it’s like its own slice of Eden!) and the staff are brilliant too. If you fancy working on your tan when you’re not out there enjoying some dives, then there’s also the nearby Paraiso Beach and Lancheros Beach which I really recommend exploring.

Rooms here at Izla start at $294 USD per night with a range of room types on offer. This is a really popular hotel though, with room types booking up quickly, so I’d suggest reserving your room online in advance here.

Lotus Beach Hotel – $$$ 

The Lotus Beach Hotel is definitely not the cheapest option on this list, but it is by far one of the most luxurious hotels in Islas Mujeres. Located right by the beach (hence the name!), the rooms here are super fancy, and their beach club is fancier still. So, if you’re looking for an ultra high-end experience, this is it!

You’ll find all of the amenities you could possibly want here, from pools to bike rental, snorkeling, beach equipment, and more. In addition, they also offer relaxing services such as massages, couple massages, solarium, hiking, and driving, among others.

That being said, you can find some pretty great deals here, especially during the low season. Rooms here can start as low as $483 USD per night for a jacuzzi suite (which is heaven after a busy day), so don’t forget to check out the latest prices and book over on Booking.com.

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

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 Cancun in 2023, 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 rental will be much cheaper! 

Thanks for Reading!

Daniel and Bailey scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Thanks for reading!

Isla Mujeres may be small, but it sure packs in a whole bunch of amazing activities, with scuba diving being one of my all-time favorite things to do here. If you get the chance, I really recommend going out for a day trip in Cancun. It’s super close and there’s a ton of things to try!

I hope you had a blast reading this and have an awesome time out there exploring the reefs. I’d love to hear all about it, so let us know how you got on in the comments below. If you’re itching to learn more, here are three more blogs I’ve written that I think will be really useful for you:

22 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Chichén Itzá

21 BEST Things to do in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Is Mexico Safe? Safety Info about Traveling in Mexico

12 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Cancun Sunset Cruise