How to get to Isla Mujeres – Mexico – complete guide
If you are not sure how to get to Isla Mujeres, worry not! In this post, we’ll cover all the ways you can use to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. Let’s get started!
In case you’ve never heard of it, Isla Mujeres is a stunningly beautiful island in Mexico that is just a 30 minutes ferry ride away from the Cancun coast. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend visiting. The island sports spectacular white sand beaches, an underwater museum, a rugged coast on the ocean side, and a lot of other beautiful sights that you should see at least once.
There are so many things to do in Mujeres that you’ll never get bored. You can swim with whale sharks, visit the underwater museum, go snorkeling, rent a golf cart to ride around the island (since there are no car rentals), and so much more. Not to mention that the beaches in Isla Mujeres are some of the bests you’ll see anywhere in Mexico!
Now, after an introduction like that, you might be wondering how to get to Isla Mujeres. First of all, you need to know that Isla Mujeres can only be reached by ferry from Cancun. So in this post, I will cover all the possible ways to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun.
How to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres
One of the best ways to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres on your own is to use the ferry service; I’ll tell you why. The ferry ride will take only 20 minutes and, hands down, you will be crossing one of the most beautiful spots of the Caribbean ocean. The ocean is a mesmerizing shade of turquoise, and the views are so beautiful that the whole ferry ride in itself is extremely enjoyable.
You can catch a ferry from different terminals in Cancun. Don’t worry if you miss one because the Isla Mujeres ferries run on a 30-minute schedule, starting from before 7 am and lasting until midnight. If you’re planning to visit Isla Mujeres and get back within one day, that gives you a very wide window of time to do so without worrying about how you’ll get back.
There are a lot of different ferry terminals situated along the coast in Cancun, so you’ll have no trouble finding a convenient one nearby.
Take the Ferry to Isla Mujeres from Cancun Hotel Zone
There are 3 ferry terminals in Cancun Hotel Zone from which you can get a ferry to Isla Mujeres.
- Isla Mujeres Ferry Terminal Playa Caracol
- Isla Mujeres Ferry Terminal Playa Tortugas
- Isla Mujeres Ferry Terminal El Embarcadero
Whichever terminal you use, the price for the trip will be the same. 15USD for one way and 21USD for a round trip.
In case you’re not staying in the hotel zone, you can find cheaper options at other ferry terminals. For your convenience, I’ve highlighted all of the departing points on the map below. All terminals follow roughly the same schedule.
How to reach the Isla Mujeres Ferry Terminal in the Hotel Zone
If you’re staying in the Cancun Hotel Zone then you can reach the Playa Caracol or Playa Tortuga terminals by hopping on a bus (R1) from your hotel. If you’re staying in Downton Cancun, it’ll be much more convenient for you to call a taxi (Uber is not available in Cancun nor anywhere else in Quintana Roo).
Puerto Juarez Ferry to Isla Mujeres
Puerto Juarez has 3 ferry terminals to Isla Mujeres:
- Terminal Ultramar: This is the most practical terminal because of its frequent schedule. Not to mention that it is significantly cheaper compared to the terminals in the hotel zone (190 MXN vs 300 MXN one way.). Kids below 1.20m (3.9ft) pay 150 MXN, and infants younger than 1-year can accompany you free of charge (although the boarding pass is required). Check schedule and prices on their official web.
- Terminal Punta Sam: If you want to take your car to Isla Mujeres then this terminal will be your only option. You also need to be alone because they only accept the driver, with no accompanying people. Before departing for this terminal, check their prices and schedule on their website. If the schedule on their website isn’t up to date, you’ll have to contact them directly.
- Terminal Maritima Puerto Juarez: This terminal is situated only 400m away from the Ultramar terminal. There are two companies that operate ferries from here. One is NEVAGANTO; at the time of writing this, they’ve temporarily suspended their service for maintenance. The other one is a smaller company, and I don’t have their details, but you have that option in case you want to use them. However, I am sharing this just for the sake of information because I believe the Ultramar is the best option overall.
How to get from Cancun Airport to Isla Mujeres
If you want to get to Isla Majores as soon as you land in Cancun, you have 3 options to get to a ferry terminal. I’ll cover them from the cheapest to the most expensive.
- If you’re on a tight budget, take the ADO bus from the bus terminal at the airport to the ADO terminal in Cancun. From there, you can take a collectivo (shared) bus to Puerto Juarez nearby.
- You can pre-book a shared shuttle from the Cancun airport to Puerto Juarez. A ferry leaves Puerto Juarez every 30 minutes and, at the time of writing this, the last ferry of the day leaves at 11pm.
- Lastly, you can pre-book a private transfer from the Cancun airport to Puerto Juarez. This will be the most expensive option, by far. But it’ll be faster and safer than the previous two, and will also be much more convenient if you arrive at the airport late at night.
How to get Isla Mujeres from Tulum
If you’re currently in Tulum, you’ll first need to get to Cancun and catch a ferry to Isla Mujeres.
You have three options of getting from Tulum to Cancun. The first is to catch the ADO bus, which will take you directly to Cancun; the entire trip will take about 2h and 30m. Alternatively, you can take a collectivo (shared) bus, which will take about 2 hours to get you to Cancun. Lastly, you can take a taxi which will cost around 1400 MXN, and get you to Cancun in 1h and 30m. Make sure you negotiate with the taxi driver first. They are kind of scammy sometimes. You can also read my guide on how to get from Cancun to Tulum and vice versa for more detailed info.
How to get to Isla Mujeres from Playa del Carmen
Just like from Tulum, you’ll first have to get to Cancun from Playa del Carmen if you want to go to Isla Mujeres.
Your options will be the same here. Take either the ADO or the collectivo bus from Playa del Carmen to Cancun, and then take a taxi to the ferry. There are plenty of taxis available to take you from the bus station to the ferry, and vice versa; just make sure to negotiate the fare beforehand.
Day trip to Isla Mujeres
If you want to take a trip to Isla Mujeres on tour, you will have a lot of options. I’ll cover those below.
The most budget-friendly option is to head to Puerto Juarez and, right before the terminals, there are a lot of people selling tours. These tours are organized by the local fishermen on their boats; there’ll be a lot of stops along the way where you’ll get the opportunity to snorkel if you want to. They also make a few stops along the coast of Isla Mujeres. They’re much cheaper than the fancier tours on a catamaran, and the per-person cost will be around 700 MXN (at the time of writing this).
Isla Mujeres Catamaran tour
A catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres will cost more, but you’ll also get a more luxurious experience. Just like the boat tours, you’ll make a few stops along the way to snorkel and then some stops off the coast of Isla Mujeres. Depending on the nature of the tour, you will get off the catamaran when you reach Isla Mujeres and explore the island on your own. Usually, you can enjoy an open bar after snorkeling on the catamaran tours.
Let’s look at some of the options when it comes to catamaran tours.
Sailing Experience to Isla Mujeres in a Catamaran with Open Bar
This tour will give you to a full Isla Mujeres inclusive catamaran experience. After snorkeling at a coral reef, you will dock at a private beach club for a delicious buffet lunch and some downtime. Then you’ll visit Isla Mujeres downtown and you’ll get plenty of time there to explore and shop. You can also include transfer from your hotel in Cancun or Playa del Carmen when you make the reservation.
Beach Escape: Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres with Snorkelling, Breakfast and Lunch
This tour will take a full day and will also take you to the untouched island of Contoy, before reaching Isla Mujeres. You will have the option to snorkel at a coral reef location, birdwatch at a nature sanctuary in Contoy, and enjoy the pristine beach of the uninhabited Contoy island. After snorkeling, you’ll dock at a private beach club for a delicious buffet lunch and some downtime.
Once you reach Isla Mujeres, you’ll have plenty of time to explore around and shop. Like the previous tour, you can include transfer from your hotel in Cancun or Playa del Carmen when you make the reservation.
Catamaran Tour to Isla Mujeres and Snorkelling in the Underwater Museum of Art
If you love scuba diving, this will be a very unique experience. This tour will let you visit the famous underwater museum of art at the Isla Mujeres. In addition, your day will be filled with sailing, snorkeling, and enjoying the sights at Isla Mujeres.
FAQ: How to Get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres?
Can I fly to Isla Mujeres airport?
No, you can’t. While the island does have an airport, it’s not available for commercial use. The airport is primarily used for general aviation, and by the Mexican Armed Forces. The nearest airport from Isla Mujeres is the Cancun International Airport, which is located on the mainland.
Can I rent a car in Isla Mujeres?
There are no car rentals. But you can rent golf carts to explore Isla Mujeres, which is a really fun way to get around on the island.
How long is the ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres?
The ferry ride takes about 20 minutes and features stunning sights that make the trip extremely enjoyable.
How much does it cost to go from Isla Mujeres to Cancun?
The price of the ferry ride can vary, depending on where you take it from. From Puerto Juarez, the Ultramar ferry costs about 8 USD each way. From the Cancun hotel zone, the ferry cost is 15USD one way and 21USD round trip.
Are cars allowed in Isla Mujeres?
Cars are allowed in Isla Mujeres and you can choose to take your own car there via a ferry. However, Punta Sam terminal in Cancun is the only terminal that’ll let you take your car there and you’ll have to be the only person (as the driver) to travel with the car.
How to get from Playa del Carmen to Isla Mujeres?
You have a lot of options when it comes to getting from Playa del Carmen to Isla Mujeres. You can take a tour, and most of the tours also have the transfer included. You can also use an ADO bus or a collectivo to first travel from Playa del Carmen to Cancun. Then, from the Cancun bus terminal, you can take a collectivo again to Puerto Juarez Ferry Terminal.
If you love traveling in comfort, like I do, you can take a private transport from Playa del Carmen directly to Puerto Juarez. This will cost around 50USD or 1000 MXN.
That brings this article to a close! I covered a lot of ways to get to Isla Mujeres from a bunch of different locations, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. I hope you found this article helpful. Please let me know if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover or if you have any questions. I hope you love your trip to Isla Mujeres as much as I did!