Hello there! Something amazing happened during our trip to Cancun – I took a ferry and visited the first island in my life. Isn’t it exciting? Isla Mujeres is a beautiful small island located just 8 miles off the coast of Cancún. All it takes is 15 minutes ferry ride to get there. To be honest, when I was doing the research, I found nothing but amazing reviews about Isla Mujeres. Besides, the pictures/videos were breathtaking, the island was not far from Cancun, and there were so many things to do there. Based on that my expectations were high. Truth be told, our experience was far from perfect. So, I decided to take time and share all the good things about Isla Mujeres along with everything I wish somebody wrote about so we would be prepared.
- we took the ferry from Gran Puerto port located in Puerto Juárez. It was one of the best decisions because there was less crowd than in Zona Hotelera;
- it cost us 300 pesos per person for a round trip ticket with Ultramar.
- The ferry is available every 30 minutes, so there is rush;
- if you have a car, the covered parking is available just outside the ticket office, which is very convenient. (you can pay with card or cash when you leave);
- you can bring your own drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and food. Some people even brought coolers.
- the atmosphere on the ferry is amazing – the view is beautiful, you can see sky-blue water while listening to the live performance of some of the most talented local singers;
- the port of arrival of located very close to the beaches and restaurants, so you don’t have to walk a lot (we stayed at Playa Norte). If you would like to explore the rest of the island, you can always rent a golf cart;
- we paid only 300 pesos per day for 2 chairs and umbrella;
- it is pretty safe there, we did not have any issues;
- the beach is beautiful, and the walk around the island is so worth it.
- due to a storm the day before we were not able to do any activities like visit the famous dog or swim with the sharks;
- the prices are way higher on the island than in Cancun. However, the closer to the port, the better and cheaper it is;
- the quality of food is relatively poor comparing to Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It’s just one of those “made for tourists” places.
- we did not expect to see that many drunk people riding the golf carts;
- it’s not as clean as we hoped it’d be. For example, I stepped on the glass as we were walking down the streets of Playa Mujeres.
- bartenders, salesmen and every person that offers you anything will make sure they take full advantage of you and try to overcharge you as much as they can. (we were speaking Spanish all the time, the prices go up when you speak English). Ask for a price in advance several times and make sure they tell you before you order. Otherwise, you may end up paying 300 pesos for the coconut that costs 50.
- I could live with everything I have just mentioned and I would visit Isla Mujeres again, BUT! It started raining badly, so we packed our staff and decided to come back to Cancun. When we walked to the port, the line for a ferry was so long, that it was hard to see where it started. We didn’t mind that, everyone was wet and cold and had to come back. We stayed in line for 30 minutes, then another 30. There was no ferry. It took 1.5 hours for the first one to arrive. Did I mention there were 2 lines – equally long “the priority” and regular one? The ferries that run between Cancun and Isla Mujeres are relatively small, so there was a limited amount of people it could take. Long story short, we spent 4 hours in line. Wet, cold and exhausted we arrived in Puerto Juárez and got sick the next day.
I hope your experience will be really good and you will avoid “the bad” part of this article. I just want you to be aware of the things I wish I knew before visiting Isla Mujeres.