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12 Things to KNOW Before Going Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

12 Things to KNOW Before Going Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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Just a short ferry ride away from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a little slice of paradise in the Caribbean known for its postcard-perfect beaches and laidback vibes. With crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, this island also offers some of the best snorkeling in Mexico!

Whether you’re a family looking for fun in the sun, a couple on a romantic getaway, or a group of friends ready for some adventure, snorkeling here is super accessible and one of my favorite things to do in Isla Mujeres.

With some of the most beautiful beaches in the Yucatán, Isla Mujeres has to be one of my top choices if I’m looking to take a Cancun day trip or go for a weekend escape. Having visited a few times now, Dan and I wanted to share some of our top tips for snorkeling here, helping you to have the most amazing trip!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Isla Mujeres is one of the top places to snorkel in all of Mexico – especially for beginners! We love this 3-stop snorkeling adventure that takes you to all the best spots including an underwater museum!

1. About snorkeling in Isla Mujeres

Bailey snorkeling in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
I love exploring the ocean!
A large sea turtle swims while snorkeling in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Sea turtle!

You know, there’s snorkeling, and then there’s snorkeling in Isla Mujeres. We’re talking about 24-29°C (75-84°F) water, which is a lot like swimming in a relaxing bath. Plus, once you’re all finished up in the water, you can spend your time relaxing on some of the best beaches in Mexico.

Underwater visibility is also incredible here, averaging around 80-115 feet (24-35 meters). It’s like the ocean just decided to put on its best show and you’ve scored front-row seats! And if you’ve got an underwater camera, you’ll be filling up that SD card in no time at all.

One of my favorite parts about snorkeling in this part of Mexico is that the local authorities do a lot to help protect the waters from overfishing and overtourism. This means that you can enjoy exploring the reefs knowing that you’ll be seeing them at their best!

With sea turtles gently passing by, and stingrays gracefully fluttering amidst the coral, the underwater world here is thriving and totally “Fin-stagram” worthy!

2. Why I love snorkeling in Isla Mujeres

Long thin fish swims past while snorkeling in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
So cool!

Although Isla Mujeres has an impressive snorkeling scene (and I’ll get to this soon!), one of the best things about the island is that it’s a super convenient starting point for exploring other famous snorkeling spots throughout the Yucatán Peninsula. With Cancun just a 20 to 30-minute ferry ride away, you’ve got easy access to other nearby snorkeling hotspots like Playa del Carmen and Akumal Beach!

But here on the island, there’s still plenty of treats. Whether it’s the famous MUSA (yep, that underwater museum) or the vibrant Manchones Reef, snorkeling here is nothing short of mind-blowing – and you don’t have to dive deep to see it!

Choosing a spot? Well, the choices are almost endless! Be it the well-loved El Farito reef or some of the island’s quieter spots, there are lots of options to choose from. Whether you’re a snorkeling pro or just starting to dip your toes into the underwater world, Isla Mujeres has something that’s just right for you.

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

Group of white fish swim in Isla Mujeres, Mexico on a snorkeling tour
Group of white fish swim in Isla Mujeres, Mexico on a snorkeling tour

The dry season, which stretches from November to April, is generally seen as the best time to go snorkeling in Isla Mujeres. With minimal rain and tons of sunshine, the visibility underwater during these months is out-of-this-world.

But hey, it’s also the peak tourist season, meaning the island is buzzing with visitors and accommodation prices can hike up. So, if you’re keen on keeping things budget-friendly and wouldn’t mind trading a higher chance of rain for a lighter hit on the wallet, consider visiting during the wet season, which runs from May to October.

Sure, it’s called the “wet” season, but most of that rain tends to arrive in the afternoons. So, if you hit the water in the morning, you’ll most likely find the weather to be pretty good and perfect for an unforgettable snorkeling experience!

Plus, if you decide to visit during the wet season, this is the time of year when you’ll find whale sharks in Isla Mujeres. These majestic creatures are a BIG draw and snorkeling alongside them really should be on your Mexico bucket list if it isn’t already!

They can be a little tricky to track down though and tend to hang out further offshore, which is why I highly recommend a curated whale shark watching tour like this one. I love this particular tour as it’s a small-group experience with a maximum of 10 participants, so the water doesn’t feel crowded at all. Plus the guides were super friendly and knowledgeable, what more could you want, really!

So in a nutshell: Isla Mujeres is pretty great for snorkeling year-round, but for crystal-clear waters, aim for the dry season. On a budget? The wet season, with a strategic morning dive, would be my choice.

4. What can you see when snorkeling in Isla Mujeres?

A large turtle swims to the surface at Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Turtles!
A sting ray at The Beach while on a snorkeling tour in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Stingray!

Well, what can’t you see?!

Sea turtles? You bet! Even snorkeling on the surface, you’ll likely bump into a few shelled locals, including the graceful green turtles, the uniquely patterned hawksbill turtles, and even the famous loggerhead turtles. Nothing really comes close to snorkeling with turtles, except with whale sharks!

Amidst the stunning coral structures and captivating shallow caves, you’ll find yourself in the company of sleek and gentle reef sharks as well as majestic manta rays. For the fish enthusiasts out there (and who isn’t one!), you’ll see a whole tapestry of colors and patterns, with parrotfish, sailfish, barracuda, butterflyfish, angelfish, and so much more swimming by.

And here’s the thing: while you might start your snorkeling adventure with certain expectations, the ocean always has a way of surprising you with new discoveries. So, who knows what you’ll find!

Related Read: Snorkeling is one of my favorite things to do in the Riviera Maya, but there’s a whole lot more to try too!

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

MUSA reef in Cancun on a snorkeling tour
MUSA reef on a snorkeling tour

El Garrafon Natural Reef Park

Located on the southern end of the island, El Garrafon Natural Reef Park isn’t just a treat for the eyes but also plays a crucial role in marine conservation in the region. With waters that are perfect for both novice and experienced snorkelers, this park grants you a front-row seat to admire some magnificent elkhorn coral and the bustling life that calls it home.

There is also a recreational water park here that’s perfect for couples or families bringing the kids along for some fun in the sun. Open from 10 am to 5 pm, Garrafon Natural Park serves food as well and offers a bunch of fun activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, ziplining, and more!

You can grab regular admission to Garrafon Natural Park for around $71 USD per person, however, I recommend upgrading to these VIP tickets for $112 USD per person, which includes access to the VIP lounge, as well as an open bar, unlimited ziplining, and a whole host of activities.

MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte)

With more than 500 unique underwater sculptures, MUSA is where art and ocean life meet, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind gallery! Dan and I actually went scuba diving here, and I saw plenty of people having a blast snorkeling on the surface. We went around midday and found this to be best for visibility, so make sure to visit around this time if you can.

Don’t forget to snap a picture with the “VW Beetle” too – it’s a crowd favorite! This half-day snorkeling tour starts from their dive center right in town, where you’ll then head out on a boat ride to explore the MUSA museum as well as Manchones Reef (more on that below!). Tickets for this experience are also pretty inexpensive at just $55 USD per person and can be booked online here.

Manchones Reef

You’ll find the Manchones Reef southwest of Isla Mujeres, offering an underwater world going down to depths of around 40 feet (12 m). It’s accessible for all experience levels, with generally calm and clear conditions. I saw some seriously huge corals and sea fans here which made for some epic photos!

There are a ton of great tours that visit Manchones Reef – it’s one of the most popular spots after all. That said, our personal pick would be this 3-hour snorkel tour, which has three epic stops packed into the itinerary. The tour didn’t feel rushed at all, with plenty of time to explore, snorkel, and chill out on the boat. It’s a top-rated choice (over 1,000 5-star reviews!) so it’s a solid pick for seeing this gorgeous reef.

Two fish on the ocean floor while scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
So cute!
A rock lobster under a rock in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Rock lobster!

Playa Norte

One of the most popular beaches in Isla Mujeres, Playa Norte is famous not just for its vibrant beach life but also for its easygoing snorkeling conditions! Positioned on the northern end of the island, its shallow, clear waters are perfect for beginner snorkelers and families with kids.

This has to be one of our favorite snorkeling spots where you can easily just walk out from the beach and try snorkeling for yourself. There are also plenty of spots near the beach where you can buy or rent out some snorkeling equipment if you don’t have any.

With a beach as gorgeous as this, don’t forget to allow an hour or two (or three!) to simply sit back and relax once you’re all finished up with snorkeling.

El Farito

Located just a short boat ride from the northern tip of Isla Mujeres, El Farito is often called the “Little Lighthouse Reef,” and is a must-visit snorkeling spot! This natural reef is full to the brim with colorful corals, sponges, and a whole host of marine life. It’s a picturesque spot both above and below the waves, so make sure to fill up your camera while you’re here.

This 3-hour VIP snorkeling experience has received some pretty stellar reviews and with an itinerary packed with four different snorkel spots, what’s not to love? It’s capped to just 7 people per tour, so if you’ve got a few friends with you, it might just be completely private! This tour also visits the MUSA museum, Sac Bajo Reef, Manchones, and of course, El Farito.

With tickets costing $84 USD per person, I personally think it’s worth the slightly higher price for a more personalized and private experience. That said, there is also a $5 USD docking fee that goes towards protecting the marine ecosystem, so make sure to bring the cash along with you. You can book the experience online here.

6. Is snorkeling in Isla Mujeres safe? 

Bailey under the water while snorkeling in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
I felt safe the entire time!

Yes, snorkeling in Isla Mujeres is widely recognized as safe and accessible for all levels! The waters surrounding the island are generally very calm, especially during the dry season.

While adventuring out to the reefs, you might encounter the occasional reef shark, but they’re typically more inquisitive than threatening. Nevertheless, safety should always be a priority. Make sure to keep an eye out for the beach flag warnings and only venture out if you’re comfortable with the conditions.

If you’re unsure, or simply prefer guided experiences, then consider taking a tour! Professional tour operators cater to your skill level, ensuring safe and comfortable explorations of the underwater world. They provide a secure presence and valuable insights, making sure you have the best experience possible.

Related Read: You might be wondering – Is Mexico Safe? Check out our blog for things to look out for, but generally, this part of Mexico is considered to be very safe

7. Can beginners snorkel in Isla Mujeres?

Bailey above the water with a snorkel on during a tour in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
They sure can!

You bet! The island is famed for its tranquil waters, particularly in the North Beach area, providing a safe and calming environment for those new to snorkeling. The clear, warm waters allow newcomers to easily get up close to the vibrant marine life without having to navigate strong currents or overly deep waters.

One of the best parts about snorkeling is that it’s accessible to a wide range of people with various levels of fitness, so if it’s your first time going snorkeling, I think there’s no better place to try it out than here in Isla Mujeres.

Related Read: Snorkeling in Playa del Carmen is so much fun too! It’s one of my favorite beginner-friendly spots, and there are a ton of great scuba diving schools if you fancy taking things up a level.

8. What are the best snorkeling tours in Isla Mujeres?

Whale shark swimming through the water Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Whale shark swimming through the water Isla Mujeres, Mexico

3-Stop Snorkeling Adventure

One of my favorite things about snorkeling is that it’s pretty inexpensive, while still being a whole load of fun! This 3-stop snorkeling adventure is exactly that, lasting around three hours in total with a maximum of 15 people per tour. With stops at El Farito Reef, MUSA, and Manchones, you’re checking off some pretty stellar snorkeling spots we’ve highlighted already in one go!

Tickets for this 3-stop tour cost just $48 USD per person, however as is customary with boat tours in Mexico, there is an extra $5 USD dock fee per person which will need to be paid in cash. This is a really well-rated tour with hundreds of 5-star reviews and you can book your spot on the tour online here!

4-Hour Private Sunset Cruise

Nothing says “memory-maker” more than a sunset cruise, and this 4-hour private sunset cruise is definitely just that! One of the best ways to wind down after a busy (or maybe not so busy!) day, we love that this tour is a great mix of relaxation along with some snorkeling and time to watch the sun go down over the horizon. The staff here are also so welcoming, you’ll feel like one big family in no time.

It costs $450 USD to rent out the boat, however, this is for a maximum of 8 people, so the more people that go, the cheaper it is for everyone! With delicious fruits, snacks, beers, and plenty of water included, this is the ideal pre-dinner event with friends and family. To get the best dates, I’d recommend taking a look online and booking your sunset cruise in advance.

Small-Group Whale Shark Tour

I can’t think of anything quite like snorkeling with whale sharks, so if you’re in town during whale shark season (May to mid-September), you can’t miss out on a whale shark tour! This 6-hour whale shark experience makes for a full day of fun, with the chance to see a whole host of wildlife along the way, like flying fish, manta rays, and more.

I also like that this tour doesn’t bait or feed the whale sharks but respects the animals, giving them plenty of space. This tour company has a really high success rate of finding whale sharks and after snorkeling near these gentle giants, I have to tell you it’s awe-inspiring. Plus the crew provided us with tons of fun facts and tips along the way. With lunch, soft drinks, and hotel pickup/drop-off included, tickets for this experience cost $155 USD per person and can be booked online here.

Snorkel, Parasail, and Jet Ski Experience

If you’re like us and love to be a little adventurous, then it doesn’t get more action-packed than this 3-in-1 water sports combo experience. With jet skiing, snorkeling, and parasailing all on the menu, it won’t be long before you’re feeling like the star in your favorite action movie! Absolute beginners are welcome, as you don’t need any experience to take part – all instruction is given on the day.

Starting off with a 5-stop snorkeling tour, you’ll get to explore the beautiful coral reefs, shipwrecks, and the amazing marine life surrounding Isla Mujeres. This will then be followed up by an adrenaline-fuelled flight up with a parasail, and finally a 30-minute ride on your very own jet ski!

Lasting around 4-5 hours in total, tickets for this tour start from $219 USD per person, although it’s important to keep in mind that a $15 USD docking fee will also need to be paid per person on the day. You can check available dates and book your spot on the tour online here.

Local Fishing Plus Snorkeling Tour

When I heard about a tour that combined fishing with snorkeling, I knew this was something we’d have to check out! Meeting up with our local captain, this 4-hour fishing and snorkeling experience was an absolute blast – now I totally get the appeal. You get to spend around two hours fishing before hopping into the water, so I’d say this would be great for a group of friends or even a family with kids looking to burn some energy.

This is a private experience, with all the fishing and snorkeling equipment you’ll need included in your ticket. Speaking of tickets, it costs $409 USD to charter out a boat that fits up to five guests, so the more people you bring, the cheaper it will work out! You can look up dates and book your experience online here.

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, read our complete Viator review to learn more about what we think about Viator.

9. Is a trip to Cancun worth it for the snorkeling?

A sting ray while snorkeling in Cancun, Mexico
How cool!?

Given that there are so many prime underwater spots that are comfortably accessible from Isla Mujeres, I probably wouldn’t head over to Cancun for snorkeling alone. Isla Mujeres genuinely holds its own when it comes to offering unbeatable snorkeling experiences with its rich marine life and clear waters!

However, and it’s a big however, Cancun has its own charm that goes beyond underwater exploration! If you’re the type to chase after new culinary experiences or love immersing yourself in vibrant nightlife after a day of peaceful snorkeling, then yes, Cancun is totally worth the boat ride.

Cancun isn’t just a city; it’s a mood that brings together cultures, flavors, and sounds into one package! There are so many incredible restaurants in Cancun, offering everything from cozy, low-key eateries serving local dishes to upscale restaurants with international menus.

With tons of epic things to do in Cancun, no trip to Isla Mujeres would be complete without some time spent exploring its famous neighbor, so definitely stop by if you have time!

10. Is snorkeling in Isla Mujeres suitable for children?

A fish swims under a turtle off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico
I love snorkeling with turtles!

Oh, absolutely! Isla Mujeres is not only a haven for experienced snorkelers but also a fantastic playground for young adventurers. With generally calm, warm waters, especially in more sheltered areas like Playa Norte, and a variety of snorkeling spots with shallow reefs, it’s perfectly suited to family-friendly fun.

Many of the snorkeling tour operators on the island offer family-friendly excursions, ensuring safety and fun with experienced guides who know how to keep the kiddos engaged and excited. They’ll bring you to spots where the waters are calmer and the sea life is abundant, providing an underwater spectacle that’s manageable and mesmerizing for young snorkelers.

11. Scuba diving vs snorkeling in Isla Mujeres

Daniel at the catalina islands scuba diving off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico
So many fish!
Bailey and daniel scuba dive past a huge coral in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
How clear is the water!?

When it comes to exploring the underwater world around Isla Mujeres, you’ve got two great options: snorkeling and scuba diving, each with its own perks. Snorkeling is easy and fun – just grab a mask and a snorkel, and you’re good to float on the surface, taking in the underwater sights below. It’s super straightforward, doesn’t break the bank, and folks of all ages can get in on it.

For those who are a little more adventurous, you might find snorkeling to be a little restrictive, as you’re only getting a surface view of all the cool stuff the ocean has to offer. That said, the areas around Isla Mujeres are so full of life that you still get a pretty great show even from the surface!

Scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, while requiring a bit more from you in terms of training and gear, throws you right into the heart of this beautiful underwater world. You get to dive deep, mingle with marine life, and explore spots that snorkelers can’t reach. It’s more of a commitment with training and it’s pricier, but the up-close experience is sooo memorable and if you’re like us, you’ll treasure these moments forever!

If you’re a complete beginner to scuba diving, then this beginner scuba experience is designed just for you. The instructors are so supportive and it’s super important to make sure your first diving experience is with a reputable company. You’re in safe hands with this team as you learn the basics on the beach in shallow water before heading to the MUSA museum to explore! It’s $150 USD and you can add on a second tank of air for $25 USD if you want to do another dive!

For those of you who already have your PADI certifications, this two-tank dive experience is really well-rated, and it’s easy to see why! Lasting around 4 hours, the experience includes all your dive gear, tanks, and weights, with a maximum of 12 divers per tour. Based around the MUSA underwater museum, you’re free to explore and get up close to all the amazing sculptures! Tickets cost $120 USD per person.

12. Is snorkeling in Isla Mujeres worth it? 

Two people swim with a turtle at Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Yep!

Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres is a must-do! Whether you’re exploring the gorgeous reef at El Farito or navigating the underwater world of the MUSA museum, there’s so much to see and do here. With crystal-clear water and tons of aquatic life to see, you’re really in for a treat.

It’s really easy to get into and very cost-effective, so whether you’ve got a few hours to spare or want to make a day of it, it’s the perfect activity to try out here in Isla Mujeres.

Other Activities to do While You’re in Isla Mujeres

Bailey in a bikini on a catamaran cruise from Tulum, Mexico to Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Arriving at Isla Mujeres!
Bailey walks along Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
The sand is so white!

With plenty of epic snorkeling spots around the island, it’s no wonder people come from around the world to explore for themselves! Of course, there are also tons of other things to do here in Isla Mujeres, so if you’re looking to create the ultimate island itinerary, here are some of our top picks.

  • 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. 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!

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 $40 USD per night, and you can book a private room for around $125 USD per night. To secure your stay in advance, I’d recommend booking online either on Booking.com or Hostelworld

Casa de los Sueños (Kin Ha) – $$

Located right next door to the fantastic Kin Ha restaurant and beach club, Casa de los Sueños is a boutique hotel that offers a stunning range of contemporary rooms, massages, as well as direct access to the Caribbean Sea! During your stay, you’ll also have access to all 4 swimming pools (including one just for guests), as well as some of the tastiest food at Kin Ha.

Rooms here typically start at around $200 USD per night, with room types ranging from double rooms up to the presidential suite, which is perfect for special stays and honeymoons! You can check available dates and book your room online here.

Izla Beachfront Hotel – $$ 

Izla Beachfront is a luxurious 4-star hotel with private beach access. It is absolutely gorgeous, super comfortable, very clean, and they have amazing service. They also have a pool, solarium, wellness center, two on-site restaurants, room service, and WIFI! You can book a room here at Izla Beachfront for around $350-400 USD per night.

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 offers everything you can expect from a 5-star hotel that’s located right by the beach (and then some more!). Their rooms are very fancy, and their beach club is fancier still. If you’re looking for a high-end experience, this is it.

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.

Rooms here at Lotus Beach start at around $480 USD per night, but this can be higher during the higher season. I’d suggest booking Lotus Beach Hotel online in advance to avoid missing out!

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! 

Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!

We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.

They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)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!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!

Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie in a golf cart on Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Thanks for reading!

Thanks for diving into our guide – we hope you’ve had a super fun time learning about all the best snorkeling spots here in Isla Mujeres! Dan and I love spending time here and we’re sure you’ll have a blast here too.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other Mexico blogs – I’ve also included three below that I think you’ll find particularly helpful:

21 BEST Mayan Ruins in Mexico and How to Visit Them

22 Things to Know BEFORE Renting a Car in Mexico

12 Things you NEED to Know about the Day of the Dead in Mexico