Isla Mujeres, a gorgeous island just off the coast of Cancun, is one of the prettiest beach destinations in Mexico. While I thought the beaches, especially North Beach, were absolutely stunning, it still didn’t capture my heart as much as Zipolite did.
While I will say the beaches of Isla Mujeres are prettier than those of the Oaxacan coast, I prefer the Oaxacan coast because it is much less touristy than Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is full of souvenir stores full of items made in China. And the owners stand outside as you walk down the street begging you to come inside their stores and restaurants. This gets rather annoying pretty quickly. I did start wearing headphones as I walked down the street which made it easier.
Also, while North Beach was indeed one of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever been to, I wasn’t a fan of the many beach bars that lined the beach playing loud music. The chairs went to the very edge of the ocean, so a walk down the beach was next to impossible. There were also many people who tried to sell you trinkets, massages, and other items as you walked the beach. I did find relief, however, on the northeast side of the beach where the beach bars were further back, and there were fewer people.
Even though, it wasn’t my favorite destination in Mexico, I still enjoyed it, and I’d recommend it, especially if you are already visiting Cancun. My guide to Isla Mujeres will help you navigate this island and all it has to offer.
After arriving in Cancun, the most affordable way to get to the ferry terminal is to use a shuttle. (A taxi to the ferry terminal can cost up to $50.) I used Super Shuttle to the Puerto Juarez ferry terminal. The shuttles leave every thirty minutes, and there’s a small restaurant where you can have a drink or a meal while you wait for the ferry.
If you are staying near North Beach, you can easily walk to the beach and the many bars and restaurants. If you want to explore the rest of the island for a day, you will want to rent a golf cart. It’s quite pricey, at $50 a day, so if you just want to visit a certain beach or restaurant outside of North Beach, you may just want to take a taxi.
Where To Stay
I stayed at a very basic AirBnb, and there are a lot more AirBnb’s in Isla de Mujeres to choose from than there are hotels. While there, I looked at this Airbnb listing, attached to an incredible yoga studio, where I would stay if I visited again. For a discount with Airbnb, click here.
What To Eat In Isla Mujeres
I have to say, I thought that Isla Mujeres was one of the best food destinations in all of Mexico. I absolutely love seafood, and the seafood here was some of the best. From lobster, shrimp, and fresh fish, Isla Mujeres had it all. Also, it was home to some of the most creative cocktails I’ve ever seen. For my food recommendations, make sure to check out my tips for Isla Mujeres restaurants at Eating The Globe.
Yoga, Sound Healing, And Massage
Yoga was big in Isla Mujeres, and my favorite yoga studio was Red Buddha Yoga. Owned by the lovely Meg, I loved both the yin yoga and sound healing class that I took there. It’s a lovely spot to take a break from the sun and do some self-care. I also had a great massage here. They also have a small organic market once a week. Definitely make sure to check this place out!
I wasn’t a big fan of most of the touristy souvenir shops here, but I did find a couple of special stores that carried jewelry and items made by local artists.
Galeria L”Mento arte was a very special store found on Av Hidalgo, and carried copal incense, handmade jewelry, dream catchers, and art.
Pablo Valadez Mitotes was at A.V Matamoros between Guerrero and Hidalgo streets and the artist there made beautiful jewelry and sold other special items that I didn’t see at most of the other stores on Isla Mujeres.
While Isla Mujeres is touristy, there are plenty of hidden gems, a beautiful beach, and great food to give you an enjoyable vacation. Feel free to leave your own Isla Mujeres tips in the comments below!