Isla Mujeres is the perfect place for a day trip during your stay in Cancun. Located just 13 km (8.1 miles) from Cancun, the island is accessible by a short, 20-minute ferry ride. Whether you want a peaceful day in the sun, an adventurous day of zip lining and kayaking, or a chance to swim with marine mammals, the “Women Island” has a little something for everyone.
1. Rent a golf cart to cruise around the island
You will realize once you step off the ferry, just how small Isla Mujeres really is. In fact, the only way to get around the island is by golf cart! Sure, there are plenty of beaches and shops within walking distance of the ferry dock, however, renting a golf cart for the day allows you to drive around the whole island in a short amount of time, and get you from point A to point B, much faster. There are quite a few different golf cart shops around the island for you to choose from, that are all affordable and convenient. One of the top-rated shops is Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Rentals. Here’s what one visitor had to say about her experience with this particular shop:
“This is the ONLY company you should be renting with on Isla! Alex is the absolute best! Our golf cart stalled in the middle of a downpour and he personally came to get us, drove us to grab dinner and then followed up when our cart was ready. Completely unexpected and exceeded our expectations 100%. Thanks, Alex and the crew at Pepe’s, we will be back!!!” - Nikki
Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Rentals
Address: Meteorológico, Salina Grande, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Website: Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Rentals
2. Take a dip at Playa Norte
If white sand, warm water, and hot sun is your thing, you will have no problem spending a full day at Playa Norte, the most popular beach on Isla Mujeres. Located just a ten-minute walk from the ferry pier, Playa Norte is the perfect location to be your first and last stop, of your day. While it does get crowded with tourists, it is the best beach to take your children, as the water is very calm and shallow for a long distance out.
While you are there, make sure to check out the various bars and restaurants along the beach, some of which deliver your food and drinks to you, out in the water! Can you think of a better scenario than that?
“Of the best beaches I have visited. Their colors are stunning and crystal clear waters. Recommend to bring your viewfinder, you can find many fish of all sizes and colors.” - Alan
3. Test your bargaining power at the local shops
Isla Mujeres has tons of little shops and stalls to explore, during your stay on the island. From local art to cold drinks, to traditional clothing, there is something for everyone. While you can definitely find something worthy of bringing back to your friends and family, beware of inflated prices, presented to foreigners. Pushy vendors can sometimes charge more than triple the price of souvenirs to tourists, however, you can usually bargain for a better deal. If you have never bargained before, give it a try! You never know what kind of treasures you might leave with.
4. Indulge your taste buds at Olivia
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
While it may be easy to find cheap street food in Mexico, Olivia is where you want to eat if you’re looking for something a little more high-end. The prestigious chefs create mouth-watering Greek, Moroccan, Turkish, and Bulgarian fusion dishes your taste buds will thank you for. In addition to the delicious food, the inviting ambiance is what keeps guests staying for hours. Outdoor seating is available in the garden, which is lit up once the sun sets, making it the perfect romantic setting for a date. Convinced yet? Make sure you call for a reservation, as the line can sometimes go out the door.
“Excellent dinner. We have been here twice and will probably make it our place for our romantic date night each time we visit Isla. The staff is very helpful, attentive, polite and just generally good at their job. The food is delicious and there is a pretty good wine selection. If you walk past before they open, your nose will tell you there is something very good going on in that kitchen. They do fill up, so if you do not make a reservation there is a good chance you will be waiting a bit.” - Michelle
Address: Matamoros 11 Sm 1 Lote 9 M2, Centro, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Q.R., Mexico
5. Dive into adventure at Garrafon Park
Garaffon Park is a great place to visit if you are traveling with children. This adventure park offers a variety of activities for you and your family to enjoy, all day long, such as zip lining, kayaking, swimming with dolphins, and bike riding. The cheapest packages start at 89 USD per person, which includes your ferry ticket, breakfast, lunch, and basic access to snorkeling and zip lining activities. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the most expensive package is 209 USD, including VIP access to breakfast and lunch, access to activities, and admission to Punta Sur, which you will read about later on.
“Activities for everyone. A full day fun, food and relaxing if you choose zip line, biking, snorkeling, walking and swimming. Even the dolphins are there to swim with.” - Beth
Address: Camino Sac Bajo, Lote 26, Paraíso Laguna Mar, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Q.R., Mexico
Website: Garrafon Park
6. Play with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery
Experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with dolphins, sea lions, manatees, and sting rays, in the warm waters of Isla Mujeres, while learning about each one from the knowledgeable marine mammal specialists. Dolphin Discovery offers several exciting packages ranging from 95 USD to 205 USD per person, each including experiences that will last you a lifetime. For those of you who enjoy the finer things in life, Dolphin Discovery also offers a VIP Dolphin Lounge, where you can cool off in the infinity pool and enjoy a seafood buffet and thirst-quenching drinks from the bar.
“Dolphin Discovery was great. Forty-five minutes in the water with the dolphins. Such wonderful creatures of the sea.” - Laura
Address: Camino Sac Bajo Lote 26, Fraccionamiento Paraíso Laguna Mar, 77400 Isla Mujeres, Q.R., Mexico
Website: Dolphin Discovery
We at Trip101 support cruelty free tourism, thus we suggest that before visiting the Dolphin Discovery, visitors look into how these beautiful animals are treated, as we have read reports of the animals being required to do tricks. We believe that the best place to see animals is in the wild in their territory that we help protect through national or regional parks.
7. Take in the majestic views of Punta Sur
Punta Sur is a popular tourist site, located on the southern tip of the island, 65 feet (19.8 meters) above sea level and boasting incredible views of Cancun in the distance. While the views alone are simply majestic, Punta Sur also has a sculpture park that was created to embody the Mayan Civilization. If you choose to visit Punta Sur and the southern tip of Isla Mujeres, make sure to bring your camera!
“A beautiful park with local artists’ sculptures. If you’re able, at the point, take the stairs and walk along the water. ” - Erin
8. Experience extreme serenity at Guadalupe Chapel
Guadalupe Chapel possibly has the most beautiful view of any church in the world. Visitors note you don’t have to be religious to appreciate the backdrop over the ocean. It’s a cool and peaceful spot right across the road from a cafe. The clean and serene environment is a nice place to relax for a few minutes.
Address: Payo Obispo, Meteorologico, Isla Mujeres 77400
9. Support local art and browse the Women's Beading Cooperative
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The Women’s Beading Cooperative offers a chance to see the beading work while they make it. They make all sorts of jewelry, and supply purses, keychains, and other items. They don’t offer guided tours, and the women will carry on working while you’re in the shop. But the making of the beadwork is fascinating to see. Pick up some unique handcrafted items for yourself as a memento. Browse for a few gifts to take back home.
Women's Beading Cooperative
Address: La Gloria, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Website: Women’s Beading Cooperative
Fall in love with the island life
There’s no doubt you’ll fall in love with Isla Mujeres, from the moment you step off the ferry. Its eclectic culture, white sand beaches, and calm waters are unmatched and will leave you wanting more. While relaxing on the beach is a top priority for most tourists, make sure to spice up your trip by experiencing these unforgettable island adventures. You won’t regret it!
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