10 Things to do on Isla Mujeres

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Isla Mujeres in Quintana Roo was chosen one of the top five island destinations in Mexico and Central and South America by Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best rankings. Isla Mujeres is “a relaxing spot that is perfect for visiting,” and “a peaceful place surrounded by coral reefs.”

Isla Mujeres is located off the northeastern coast of Cancún and could make for an ideal day trip from the mainland, a long weekend getaway or a week long vacation. The beautiful beaches that line this island are characterized by white sand and framed by green, swaying palm trees and brilliantly blue water. Playa Norte is the main beach, which features calm waters, beach bars and chair and umbrella rentals. What's more, this island destination offers everything from snorkeling and scuba diving to Mayan ruins and a turtle farm that visitors can explore.

What Makes it Great: Bohemian, tranquil, utterly relaxed…Isla Mujeres is like a throwback to a gentler time, before tourism had its way with this gorgeous Caribbean coastline.

Many visitors come for the superior snorkeling and diving opportunities, others just love to chill out on the soft sands of Playa Norte, on the northern tip of the island. The warm, shallow waters are a hard-to-fathom shade of light turquoise and the beaches are crushed coral.

In 2001 SECTUR (Mexican Board of Tourism) put together a Pueblo Magico program to recognise Mexican towns that have a special appeal or magic about them in 3 categories natural beauty, historical and cultural. Isla Mujeres now shares the title with over 80 other towns and cities throughout Mexico. Isla Mujeres has a special charm to it, making it a place you will want to return to again and again. It shares the limelight with the charming cobblestoned village of Tepoztlan and its magical pyramid, San Miguel de Allende, San Cristobal de las Casas, Tulum and Taxco, to name a few.

  1. Playa Norte Beach Is a about a 10-minute walk from the Ferry. It is the main beach on Isla Mujeres and has been named one of the best beaches in the Caribbean! The water is shallow, crystal clear and calm making it a great spot for families or for a relaxing day at the beach.

  2. Local Restaurants there are a lot of restaurants on the island that offer a wide variety of food. There are many options to choose from in Mexico, so it comes as no surprise that the food in Isla Mujeres is amazing! Not to mention, this is an island so you can expect some delicious seafood options. Here are a few restaurants you don’t want to miss:

    • Polo’s Mango Cafe the eggs benedict or the macadamia nut french toast, you can’t go wrong with either and they have the best coffee on the island. Right across from Guadalupe Chapel.

    • North Garden for breakfast, lunch or dinner you won’t be dissapointed it is by the beach on Playa Norte

    • Madera Art Bar for the poke bowls, doesn’t matter which one they are all good or the burger (Good Too)

    • Javi’s Cantina get the black grouper with the hibiscus sauce and the moscow mule is fantastic too, tell him Shelley sent you

    • Limon’s the best steak on the island in my opinion, Sergio the owner is very passionate about his craft this is a must it it reservation only click on to go to their FB Page.

    3. Snorkeling on Isla If you are a beginner and haven’t done much snorkeling in the past, the best place to snorkel is El Farito. El Farito, to the north of the island, is shallow and perfect for beginners to see schools of colorful fish. If you are a novice at snorkeling you could explore some of the nearby dive spots, like the Ultra freeze wreck or the wonderful MUSA underwater museum, with its submerged sculptures.

    4. Underwater Scuba Adventures Isla Mujeres has some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean. Here you can enjoy some incredible caves, and an abundance of sea life – eels, groupers, snappers, turtles, parrot fish and numerous corals.

    A unique experience is diving at the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks where on the bottom of the ocean a large group of reef, bull, and nurse sharks can be seen sleeping. At a depth of 20-30 meters, this dive site is recommended for advanced divers.

    5. Swim With The Whale-sharks Another popular water activity in Isla Mujeres is to swim with Whale Sharks. During the summer months of June to September you can see this beautiful creatures. Whale Sharks can reach a length of 14 meters and they are really just gentle giants weighing in at around 15 tons

    Official regulating bodies have put a cap on tours at around $125 per person. The tours typically include swimming with the whale sharks, lunch, soft drinks, snorkel equipment and usually some time to snorkel the reefs and eat ceviche prepared by the Capetian and boat staff. It is illegal to touch the sharks and you must keep a distance of 2 meters.

    6. Deep Sea Fishing The best months for sailfish and marlin are from mid-December through to July. If you enjoy tuna fishing the best months are between April and August..

    7. Punta Sur is located on the southern tip of Isla Mujeres. Here you can visit the Pre-Colombian Mayan Ruins of Ixchel, or simply admire the stunning views.

    8. Turtle Sanctuary is aka La Tortuga Granja and is located on Sac Bajo. It is the safe place for the turtle eggs and hatch-lings of sea turtles on Isla Mujeres. From May to September these grand creatures lay their eggs in the soft sand where volunteers assist in gathering the eggs and placing them in pens to keep them safe from predators. From August to October, you can witness the local children and tourists releasing the turtles into the ocean. As with the whale sharks, it is recommended that you don’t touch the sea turtles. Entrance fee is $3.00 per person.

    9. Guadalupe Chapel This little chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe offers a little piece of heaven atop a cliff by the ocean, with a backdrop to a crucifix like no other! The church is serene and beautiful and elicits breathless praise for our Creator. A little gift shop next door also serves food and drink. Absolutely worth a stop and a prayer.

    10. Garrafon Natural Reef Park is well known all over the world for its astonishing reefs and cliffs right in front of the turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Just 25 minutes from Cancun, in the beautiful island of Isla Mujeres, this reef park offers recreation activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, zip-line and tours through the island; and relaxation activities, such as mayan sauna -temazcal-, panoramic pool, lounge chairs and hammocks.