It’s been a minute friends, but I just had to share our recent trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Let’s talk things to do, how to get to the island, how to get around the island, how much it costs, places to stay and food to eat. If you are a beach lover then this island is for you! Honeymoon, family vacation, group vacation, or parents only vacation, you will love it.
We went to Mexico for a wedding the beginning of May. This was a great excuse to take a solo trip without Julian, relax and soak up all the sun! I soaked up the sun alright… my skin said “girl, you need some shade.” But nonetheless, it was tons of fun sunburn and all.
Traveling out of the country can be overwhelming if you do not do it often. This was my second time to Mexico so I am a newbie. I am a fairly anxious traveler because I like everything planned out. I tend to travel on somewhat of a budget so if you fly by the seat of your pants with money this will only be good to know what to do, where to stay, and where to eat so just dismiss the money part.
A couple house keeping things- there is a supermarket on the island which is perfect for getting groceries and grabbing anything else you forgot or need to restock on. I recommend bringing your own toiletries. FYI, the pastries at the market are delicious.
Note: Do not forget, as of now you have to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering back into the United States. There are many options for COVID tests and it is $30-40 per test.
Do not forget:
-immigration form (your airline will send this or you can google it)
-customs form (airlines are going away with giving these on the plane so print it out ahead of time)
Our travels began May 2nd at about 7:00am and we got to Cancun at 1:30pm. To get to the island you fly into Cancun airport and then you need transportation to the Puerto Juarez ferry port to then get to Isla Mujeres. We used CARM transportation. I highly recommend this service! The cost was $60 per person and that includes a round trip ride to and from the airport to the ferry port and round trip tickets for the ferry to and from the island. They have great communication and will be waiting for you at the airport and the ferry port. This eliminates any day of travel stress. There are other options like taxis and buses that may be cheaper. A round trip ferry ticket is $20 a person I believe if you do not use CARM transportation. The ferry ride is 20 minutes to Isla Mujeres and then you finally made it to the island! Once you get off the ferry, exit the port and take a left until you reach the taxis (they are red). Take a taxi to your hotel/airbnb IF it is not within walking distance. The taxi ride is 100 pesos or $5 (don’t forget to tip).
Finally, you made it to your hotel! It seems like so much travel to get to the island, but trust me it’s not that bad. We stayed at Hotel Playa la Media Luna. If you are wanting a hotel (not a resort) with a beautiful view, spacious rooms, and a great outdoor area, then this hotel is for you! We paid $586 for a 4 night 5 day stay and it was well worth it. There are options for all inclusive if that’s more your style and also Airbnbs with a variety of price ranges.
So how do you get around the island? The best options are a golf cart or moped. We rented a golf cart one day and a moped another day and both were great to get around the island. There are so many rental places and the prices can vary. A golf cart is $65-80 for 24 hours. A moped is $35 from 9am-6pm. We rented the golf cart from Circo’s rental and it was $65 or 2500 pesos for 24 hours. I highly recommend renting from there. I do not remember where we rented the moped from, but it was right off Hidalgo Street. You do need a form of transportation to get around the island if you plan to leave the area you are staying. We didn’t need one for the whole week, but weekly rentals are an option. If you plan to go all inclusive or not explore much then you may not even need transportation, so that’s something to think about and factor into your budget. If I were to do it over again I would rent a golf cart for at least 2 days.
What forms of payment are accepted? American dollars, card, and pesos. I recommend you exchange to pesos because you get the most for your money. When we were on the island the exchange rate was 19pesos/$1. If you pay with cash or card at places it will always be more expensive. You don’t have to exchange pesos, but I recommend that you have at least some pesos. We exchanged $500 in pesos at first to see how far that got us and trust me it goes a lot faster than you would expect. We ended up spending just under $1000 for the week not including hotel, flights, and ferry transportation.
We are adventure travelers, so we always look for things to do anywhere we go. We do not sit and relax very well. Just us or are other people like that? This trip was an exception because we were with a group of people and it was nice to relax more than we usually do.
Let’s chat things to do. If you are traveling with a group of people I recommend a booze cruise of some sort. We did a Catamaran the first night we were there and it was tons of fun. The drinks were yummy, we swam in the ocean, and the company we had was the best time! The cost was $175 for two of us, I think. You have to go to Punta Sur and walk around. It is $3 or 60 pesos to get in. Go to Playa Norte to lay on the beach, swim in the ocean, and watch the sunset. We didn’t get to watch the sunset because I got fried the day we went, but this is on my list for next time. Explore the island on a golf cart or moped. Just drive around and see what the island looks like. The whole island is beautiful! Go to a beach club and just relax. There is almost always a cover or chair rental fee for beach clubs, but that typically goes towards food and drinks. There are tons all over the island, we went to ixi Beach Club and it was very relaxing. For our next trip I do want to go to Amazona Beach Club, which is a fairly new beach club. My husband and I snorkeled and it was a great time. We didn’t see tons of fish, but it’s the adventure that makes it worth it. The place where we snorkeled is called Garaffon de Castilla. It is a beach club, so you pay to get in and then you have to pay for snorkeling gear unless you bring your own. The total was about $50. It is very small and can fill up, FYI. One thing my husband really wanted to do was swim with the whale sharks, but the water was not warm enough for that at the beginning of May. The season to swim with the whale sharks is June-August/September. This would be an amazing experience and I’ve heard it’s unbelievable! You will have fun whether you’re doing all the things, eating all the food, or just relaxing by the beach. If you’re going to relax on the beach I was told the massages on the beach are amazing. I wish I would have gotten one, but I was way too sunburnt. They are $35 for an hour. There are other adventures around the island to experience as well, just do a little research.
Do not forget to stroll down Hidalgo Street and enjoy the vibes. Go shopping at the local small shops and support those that live on the island. You are enjoying their island after all 🙂 Plus there are some amazing souvenirs to bring home.
Where to eat? This is our favorite part and the part I research the most prior to traveling. The food is delicious and so fresh on the island!
Where we ate:
-Oh my Brunch
-Mariscos de Humo
-Churros & Coffee
-Tons of street food
New places I would eat:
-Samura Japanese Cuisine and Jungle Bar
The food is quite a bit cheaper than the states and its absolutely delicious. There are so many options to choose from. On our trip we ate 2 meals a day, so it doesn’t seem like we ate at many places. I recommend you research on youtube to see what places stick out to you or google/instagram. My must eat places I would recommend to everyone is Mango Cafe and Oh my Brunch and Churros & Coffee for dessert. Do not forget to stop at the fresh mango stand by Punta Sur!
So how much does it cost overall? All in all we spent about $1750 for our 5 day travels including airfare, hotel, transportation to and from the island, and spending money while we were there. We initially were planning $500 in spending money, but it goes much faster than you think. Also, renting a golf cart or moped was not factored into our initial budget. If you are a budget traveler you could do it for $1500. I think next time we would plan for $2000. The excursions are what costs the most money, so do your research ahead of time. It’s definitely worth every penny!
I’m here to say, take the trip. Enjoy yourself. Take time to relax. Eat the food you wouldn’t usually eat and do the things you wouldn’t usually do. Have fun! See you soon Isla 🙂