Isla Mujeres Day Trip from Cancun

  • 01 of 10

    Take the Local Ferry to Isla Mujeres

    Ferry to Isla Mujeres. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    Cancun is a busy and highly developed tourist area, with restaurants, shops and clubs galore in its famous 24-kilometer Hotel Zone. Many families stay at all inclusive resorts in Cancun, or at one of the luxury (non-all-inclusive) resorts that embrace family vacationers.

    Meanwhile, just a short distance away is the laid-back small island of Isla Mujeres, which makes an easy and enjoyable day trip from Cancun.

    Take an inexpensive 20-minute ferry ride from the dock at Puerto Juarez, close to downtown Cancun. Ferries run every half-hour. Find a seat on the top deck and enjoy the view plus some live musical entertainment during the ferry ride.

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  • 02 of 10

    Ferry Dock on Isla Mujeres

    Dock on Isla Mujeres. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    This dock area, where the ferry from Puerto Juarez arrives, is about as busy and developed as things get on Isla Mujeres. After that twenty-minute ferry ride, Cancun is a world away.

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  • 03 of 10

    Rent a Golf Cart to Explore Isla Mujeres

    Golf cart, on Isla Mujeres. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    Isla Mujeres is a small island, just 7 km (less than 5 miles) long and 650 meters wide. From the dock that foot passengers from Cancun, visitors can walk to Playa Norte (North Beach) or explore small streets lined with shops and restaurants. Visitors can also sign up for snorkeling excursions.

    Visitors can also conveniently rent a golf cart to explore the island. Families with older kids could also rent bikes.

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  • 04 of 10

    Explore the Streets and Lanes of Isla Mujeres

    Cute restaurant in Isla Mujeres. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    A golf cart makes it easy to discover more of the island beyond the lanes and beaches closest to the ferry dock. Keep an eye out for whimsical and quirky sights.

    See the interactive My Island Map for shops, golf cart rentals, restaurants, places to stay, points of interest, and more.

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  • 05 of 10

    Garrafon Natural Reef Park

    Visitors snorkeling in Garrafon Natural Reef Park. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    Garrafon Natural Reef Park has a beautiful setting near the southern tip of Isla Mujeres, but the name is somewhat misleading: the focus of this park is activities, and admission is sold as packages that include restaurant meals and various activities. Guests can swim in the sea or pool, kayak, snorkel, bike, try the zip-line... Some of these activities require small extra charges. Plan to spend several hours at the park to make the admission fee worthwhile. Garrafon offers dolphin encounters also.

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  • 06 of 10

    Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres: Sculpture Garden

    Sculptures at Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    Punta Sur is the southern tip of Isla Mujeres. Drive your golf cart as far as the road will go (about 15 minutes) and you'll arrive at the parking lot for Punta Sur. For a modest admission price, visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery -- dramatic cliffs and turquoise sea-- and a Sculpture Garden. (Guests at Garrafon can reach Punta Sur by a walkway along the cliffs.)

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  • 07 of 10

    Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres: Mayan Temple

    Punta Sur, Isla Mujeres: Mayan Temple. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    Visitors at Punta Sur can also walk out to a small temple that's dramatically perched over cliffs and sea and dedicated to Ixchel, an important Mayan goddess.

    Walking on the paths to see the sculptures and the temple can quickly get hot; fortunately, drinks are available on-site at Punta Sur's restaurant, where visitors can also enjoy a meal.

    Kids will like seeing the many iguanas sunning near the path that leads to the temple.

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  • 08 of 10

    Isla Mujeres: Lunch at a Beach Restaurant

    Beach restaurant, Isla Mujeres. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    Guests touring the beautiful little island of Isla Mujeres by golf cart can take a lunch break at a laid-back beach restaurant with tables and chairs right on the white sand. Playa Lancheros, for instance, has tables under palapas, and fresh seafood is a specialty.

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  • 09 of 10

    Isla Mujeres, Shops at Dusk

    Isla Mujeres - Shops at Dusk. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    Isla Mujeres has a busy little commercial area full of shops within walking range of the ferry dock. Use My Isla Map has all the details.

    Kids, however, will probably be more interested in ice cream than shopping.

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  • 10 of 10

    Gelato Shop, for Authentic Italian Ice Cream

    Gelato Italian ice cream shop, on Isla Mujeres. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
    ••• Photo © Teresa Plowright.

    The Italian owners of this gelateria moved from Bologna to create this little shop on Isla Mujeres where visitors can enjoy real Italian-style ice cream and espresso.