There is a little piece of heaven in the Caribbean, only a few miles off the coast of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Isla Mujeres is a five-mile-long tropical sanctuary, a boat journey away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun’s Avenida Kukulkan, yet a world different regarding natural beauty and the speed of life.
Throughout the ages, Isla Mujeres has been known as a sacred site dedicated to the Mayan fertility goddess Ixchel. It was founded in the 19th century as a fishing community. This formerly sleepy fishing village is now a bustling tourist destination with chic hotels, picture-perfect shores, and beachfront eateries. Its location close to the Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second-largest coral reef system, makes it a paradise for outdoor activity.
Top Resorts & Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres Impression by Secrets
Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets, the company’s newest all-inclusive resort to open in the Mexican Caribbean, is exclusively for adults; away from the crowded Playa Norte, the five-star resort is situated in a secluded area in the southern part of the island. It has amazing restaurants, and The Top, its rooftop bar and lounge, is the place to go, according to Rabinor. In addition, the hotel runs a noteworthy environmental initiative called Save Our Sharks, which aims to save the local shark population.
Exclusive Aluxes Hotel
Situated on the sun-kissed beachfront of Playa Norte, the Privilege Aluxes Hotel is ideal for those who like to be near town. It is only a short stroll from the town center. The adults-only, five-star resort offers a selection of opulent suites, each with a private pool or Jacuzzi and views of the Caribbean Sea.
Go no further than the chic, contemporary Hotel Izla to take in the breathtaking sunrises on the island. The resort’s beautiful rooftop infinity pool offers infinite views over the Caribbean, but its main attraction is its 123-room beachfront pool and little beach.
Isla Mujeres Belo
With 65 guestrooms and suites, Belo Isla Mujeres is a small boutique hotel on the sweet North Beach shoreline. Reserve the Luxury Ocean Front Villa, which offers views of the azure Caribbean Sea, two bedrooms, a living area, a dining room, and a kitchen. Avoid dozing off in the rooftop pool on the fifth level, which has hot tubs, a bar, private Bali beds, and a live DJ rotation.
Top Activities in Isla Mujeres
Despite its small size (five miles in length and half a mile in width), the island offers a diverse choice of activities and sights to visitors as they make their way from north to south. Playa Norte, one of Mexico’s most stunning beaches and a hub of exciting nightlife, can be found at the island’s northernmost point. Punta Sur and Garrafon Natural Reef Park are accessible from the southern tip of the island, which is much more peaceful, rocky, and lonely.
The Underwater Museum of Isla Mujeres
The Underwater Art Museum is a must-see for anybody visiting Cancun or Isla Mujeres. It is located just off the island’s southern shore. To help protect the natural coral reef, the Isla Mujeres Underwater Museum has more than 600 sculptures, as described by Mitzunaga.
Go Whale Shark Swimming
If you want to swim with whale sharks in Mexico, Isla Mujeres is a great option. Between May and September, these gentle giants congregate in the seas known as The Blue, which are accessible by a two-hour boat voyage from the island. This gathering of whale sharks is extraordinary in size.
The Beach Is Fun, So Have Fun
Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres is widely regarded as among the finest beaches in Mexico and maybe the whole globe. Isla Mujeres is most proud of its beaches, which provide a variety of lively beachside cafés and restaurants, luxurious hotels, exciting water activities, and beautiful, powder-soft sand. The western shore of the island is sheltered thus, the water is usually calm, transparent, and sargassum-free.
Take a Tour of the Island by Bike (or Golf Cart)
Isla Mujeres, unlike neighboring Isla Holbox, allows automobiles. Golf carts, scooters, and bicycles, however, are the preferred methods of getting about the island. This transportation is efficient and fun since tourists can take in the sights as they go. Life on Isla Mujeres, like life at the beach more generally, goes leisurely. If you want to ride around the island, Rabinor suggests getting an early start so you can beat the heat and humidity of the day.
Best Isla Mujeres Nightlife
Isla Mujeres is as gorgeous as it is adaptable, with a vibrant nightlife that doesn’t have to shut down when the sun goes down. Playa Norte is where you’ll find the greatest barefoot beach clubs, and Avenida Hidalgo is where you’ll want to be after dark.
Try one of the many regional delicacies from around Mexico on the menu at Xantolo, and then stick around to enjoy the salsa dancing and people-watching. Every night at 10:30 p.m., salsa music begins and continues until far past midnight.
Stingray’s casual atmosphere is what draws many visitors. That, and the swinging seats that line the perimeter of the bar. But the music makes this popular restaurant on Avenida Hidalgo so popular in the first place. Live music is performed upstairs beneath the rooftop palapa at this two-story pub in the middle of downtown Isla, only a block from Playa Norte. Late-night karaoke brings out the performer in everyone. There are rumors of regulars who sing here till dawn.
A List of the Best
Low-slung white sofas, hanging lamps, and billowing white curtains furnish this rooftop paradise, available to Impressions by Secrets guests. The stunning ocean vistas are the only thing that can compete with the ambiance here.
The Best Restaurants in Isla Mujeres
It’s surprising how many excellent eateries there are on a little island like Isla Mujeres.
Marbella is a must-see, according to Mitzunaga. “Go here for the high standard of its meals, access by yacht, and its sandy beach club,” according to her. The barefoot luxurious experience serves grilled seafood, crudo, & a gorgeous raw bar, all while overlooking the beach.
Resort & Yacht Club ZaZa
ZaZa’s is more than just a place to eat; it’s an experience in and of itself. ZaZa’s is the kind of place you can spend the whole day, with its own dock, enormous saltwater pool, direct beach access, and palapa-covered eating area. Guests can book a standard day admission or splurge on an all-access pass.
Alexia and Geovanny’s Lunch Counter
It’s not necessary for every experience on Isla Mujeres to be intellectual. If you’re looking for authentic, home-cooked local cuisine, Rabinor suggests trying out Loncheria Alexia & Geovanny. Excellent tacos and fresh seafood make this one of the most popular restaurants on Isla Mujeres. This place is close to the Municipal Market.
The Beach Club and Restaurant Coco
Coco Restaurant & Beach Bar is a great place to watch the sun go down because of its prime location on Playa Norte. The fresh fish, steak, and shrimp skewers would go well with the flaming, painted sky. The finest time is upstairs with a tropical drink in hand.
The Ideal Time to Go to Isla Mujeres
Although you may go to Mexico at any time of the year, the ideal time to visit Isla Mujeres is between the months of December and March, when the days are warm and sunny and the nights are cool and breezy. During these months, a daytime high of 83 degrees is typical. In February or March, Isla Mujeres hosts the five-day-long Isla Carnival, a dance, parades, and entertainment celebration.
January through April is peak season, with pleasant temperatures but higher-than-average costs. While you may expect to pay less at any time between May and December, the lowest prices will be found between the months of September and November. October is Isla Mujeres’ wettest month.
Finding Your Way to Isla Mujeres
Most tourists to Isla Mujeres arrive via the ferry terminal at Gran Puerto Cancun, while guests are welcome to dock their own boats and yachts at the island’s various clubs. The port is at Puerto Juarez, a short drive from Cancun proper. Ferry boats from Ultramar depart every half hour between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. and every hour after that. Getting across takes around 15 minutes.
You may also reach Isla Mujeres from the Cancun Hotel Zone, where you’ll find the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun All-Inclusive Spa Resort. By signing up with the pool concierge the night before, hotel guests may get free round-trip ferry tickets on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Local Layout Isle of Women (Isla de Mujeres)
Although cars are allowed on Isla Mujeres, most people use bicycles or golf carts for transportation. All across Playa Norte, you can hire golf carts and scooters. In roughly two hours, visitors can walk around the whole island, but they should allow more time since they will want to stop and explore along the route.