Many travel to Cancun looking forward to spend relaxing days of sun, white sands and blue ocean. Even though all the elements for this ideal type of holiday are indeed present in Cancun, the Caribbean vibes one can feel in this Mexican resort destination might not always be as pacific as desired. Cancun is a popular destination for USA spring-breakers, large groups that enjoy the all-inclusive life-style and, as such, things can get loud and busy.
If you’d like to enjoy a more exclusive atmosphere nearby, soak up the sun without being surrounded by large hotel complexes and actually get to hear the waves roll in and out, head to Isla Mujeres!
How to Get to Isla Mujeres
This island is a short ferry ride away from Cancun. Even though the distance is only 8 miles, it feels like worlds apart! There are boats running all day from different locations around Cancun. Puerto Juarez, in downtown Cancun, is the easiest point of departure if you’d like to simply arrive and hop on the next available ride – there are ferries leaving every half an hour.
Departures from the touristic hotel strip are less in frequency and usually involve higher fares.
Having Fun In Isla Mujeres
Most tourists that reach Isla Mujeres aren’t looking forward to much more than quality beach time. There’s no doubt that the conditions around here are ideal for this. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other attractions to keep the more active travelers entertained.
Most visitors concentrate in the Northern side of the island, as this is where the boats arrive. The land extends for little over 4 miles in length, so exploring by foot is a great option. If the heat allows, do some beach-hopping. If not, rent a bike or golf-cart in the main street. Between the walks, rides and occasional dips in the rather warm Caribbean waters, a pleasant day can go by easily.
If you’re into water activities, you can choose from the wide range of available options. Thanks to the nearby reefs, scuba diving and snorkeling have an outstanding reputation in Isla Mujeres. There are many agencies in town offering tours. You will easily see them when you get out of the ferry upon arrival.
Whale shark tours are another highlight in Isla Mujeres, if you’re lucky to visit between mid-May and September. During that time of the year, hundreds of whale sharks concentrate around the island, making the typical sea creature spotting activities even more intense.
Eat Up the Island!
Most tourist oriented restaurants in Isla Mujeres are on Hidalgo Street. As this is the most obvious and busier food destination in the island, the prices tend to reflect that.
If you do want to make the day all about the beach, keep in mind that there are plenty of eating and drinking options by the water itself. Restaurants and beach shacks serve fresh fish, ceviches and, of course, the omnipresent tacos and tamales.
Overnight In Isla Mujeres
Most travelers visit Isla Mujeres as a day trip from Cancun. But the truth is that, once you are in the island, it is easy to feel like staying for longer. And why shouldn’t you?! There are plenty of affordable hotels in Playa Mujeres and if you spent a great day here, why not repeat it again and again?
Nightlife in the island is fairly chilled out. Once again, the liveliest restaurants and bars concentrate around Hidalgo Street, but many beach bars stay open after dark, catering to those who like sipping their drinks listening to the sounds of the sea.
If you’re looking for a laid back yet happening vacation spot in the Yucatan Peninsula, treat yourself and go to Playa Mujeres!
This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.