Isla Mujeres is a small island just off of the coast of Cancun that is extremely popular with tourists to Cancun for a day trip or longer. Isla Mujeres boasts some stunningly beautiful water colors, a quaint village, and an overall safe and carefree vibe different than Cancun. The island may be small, but it does pack a number of great Isla Mujeres Instagram spots into its small side. Read on for all of the best Isla Mujeres Instagram Spots, Isla Mujeres Things to Do, and Isla Mujeres Hidden Gems on this amazing little island.
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Where is Isla Mujeres?
Isla Mujeres is located about 8 miles (13 km) from the mainland coast of Cancun, and the island itself is 4.3 miles (7 km) long and just 0.4 miles (0.65 km) wide. The eastern side of the island directly faces the Caribbean Sea, causing it to have a strong surf, rocky coastline, and minimal swimming and other watersports opportunities. The western side, where you can see the tall buildings in Cancun in the distance, has plenty of soft white sand, coral reefs, and stunning turquoise waters.
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How to Get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun?
There are a number of ways to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun, however the most popular by far is to take the ferry boast service that is offered by two different companies between Isla Mujeres and Cancun’s Playa Tortugas, the main Cancun port of Puerto Juarez, and Playa Caracol at the north end of the famous Hotel Zone.
Most tourists will find it easier to depart from either Playa Tortugas or Playa Caracol. On Ultramar Ferry the cost is $256 MXN ($12.50 USD) per direction. You can save marginally if you have a car or are transiting from Cancun town to reach Puerto Juarez with a cost of $231 MXN ($11.30 USD) per direction. Jetway also offers a ferry service from Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres that costs $214 MXN ($10.45 USD) per direction, with a small savings for booking roundtrip.
Be sure to keep an eye on the time though as the last ferry of the day can be as early as 5:00 PM, leaving towards the Cancun Hotel Zone. The last ferry can vary by day of week and time of year, so be sure to check for and updated schedule online and double check at the ferry terminal when you leave on Isla Mujeres for the day.
Alternatively, many people also choose to visit Isla Mujeres as part of a tour, often on a catamaran, including snorkeling, and more. One of the most popular Isla Mujeres Catamaran tours also includes an open bar for everyone, and options to add on a lunch buffet and transportation directly to and from your hotel. Note that the tours generally do not include the $15 USD Port tax, which must be paid in cash.
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Best Way to Get Around Isla Mujeres?
There are a couple of popular options for visitors to get around Isla Mujeres once they arrive. The majority of people just choose to walk, and you can easily explore the village of Isla Mujeres and walk the main beaches without any issues.
If you plan to explore the full island, including the beautiful rugged eastern coast, and the lighthouse and the southern point of the island, it’s best to look into renting a golf cart or moped. These can easily be rented for the day from any number of vendors that are available as soon as you exit the Isla Mujeres ferry terminal.
We highly recommend renting a golf cart to explore the island for it’s fun-to-drive characteristics and ease of packing along your belongings all over the island. The rates vary quite a bit between vendors, with some only offering full or half day rentals and others renting by the hour. You should expect to use the golf cart a minimum of two hours, which may cost you between $30 to $50 USD.
Top 5 Isla Mujeres Instagram Spots
Without wasting any more time, here are the top Isla Mujeres Instagram spots that you can’t miss during your day on this special island.
Lighthouse at Punta Sur
Starting at the southernmost portion of Isla Mujeres, the lighthouse at Punta Sur is definitely worth a visit! It’s one of the most popular attractions on the island partly due to it’s amazing view (you can see Cancun!) as well as it’s small collection of nature trails to explore, and small shops to buy souvenirs, snacks, or a refreshing drink.
Location: Lighthouse at Punta Sur
Hours: No clear hours, but it will open daily for tourists to visit.
Best Time for Photos: Any time of day. Early in the day is great for fewer other visitors, however you can also have great views of Cancun anytime throughout the day.
Tips: Bring a wide-angle lens to get an up-close photo of the whole lighthouse! Also be sure to explore the nearby viewpoints for other Instagram-worthy views.
Cliffs of Isla Mujeres
The eastern edge of Isla Mujeres directly faces the Caribbean Sea and as a result received large waves and wind which have contributed to its rough, rocky shoreline. The dramatic coastline does make for a great Isla Mujeres Instagram spot against the brilliant turquoise water. This spot is often just driven past, however it is actually a great Isla Mujeres hidden gem.
Location: Cliffs of Isla Mujeres
Hours: This Isla Mujeres Instagrammable location is open all day.
Best Time for Photos: The best time for photos here is between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The color of the water is at its brighteset whe
Tips: It can be very windy on this side of the island. Don’t leave any hats unattended!
Isla Mujeres Sunset on Playa Centro
While Cancun isn’t really known for its sunsets because it faces east, Isla Mujeres on the other hand does have beautiful sunsets with the sun setting over the water. You will be able to see the sunset from all of the main beaches around Playa Norte. Anywhere on Playa Centro is great for watching sunset, as are the many beach restaurants along Avenida Rueda Medina.
Location: Playa Centro
Hours: Sunset time varies by season, so be sure to check the sunset time earlier in the day so you’re at the beach when it goes down!
Best Time for Photos: Right at sunset
Tips: Isla Mujeres becomes significantly less busy beginning in the afternoon, but there are still a large number of tourists that will stay on the island for dinner and to watch the sunset.
Las Casitas Colorful Buildings
The streets of Centro area of Playa Norte are bustling with tacquerias, bars, restaurants, and more. Many of the buildings are brightly colored which makes walking the streets a lot of fun to find the perfect Isla Mujeres Instagram spot amongst the streets of Playa Norte.
Location: Colorful Buildings
Hours: You can take photos at this Isla Mujeres Instagram spot any time of day.
Best Time for Photos: Mid to late morning before too many other tourists arrive on the island.
Tips: Walk the streets and get lost! The island is so small that you can’t walk for very long in one direction before reaching the water. This means you can happily wander aimlessly through the streets without worrying of ever being more than 15 minutes from where you started.
MUSA Underwater Museum of Art
You may not know about MUSA, but if you’ve ever seen an amazing sculpture underwater or some other out of this world underwater scene, it is most likely from MUSA! Located off the coast of Isla Mujeres you will find an underwater art gallery bigger than you ever could have mentioned.
To visit MUSA, you will need to go through a tour operator. There are many different options that leave from Cancun and from Isla Mujeres directly. You will definitely have to be comfortable in the water snorkeling or an accredited diver to visit the MUSA museum.
Location: MUSA Underwater Museum of Art
Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day.
Cost: Snorkeling tours of MUSA start at $50 USD. Scuba Diving tours of MUSA start around $150 USD.
Best Time for Photos: You likely won’t have too much flexibility on timing given that you will be on an organized tour, but anything during midday is great to allow for the most light underwater.
Tips: There are so many different sculptures at MUSA that you won’t be able to see them all. Do some research beforehand so that you know which ones interest you the most before you get there.
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Other Things to Do on Isla Mujeres?
If you’re looking for even more things to do on Isla Mujeres, there is no shortage of great activities to keep you busy for a few hours or a few days. Most people have fun exploring the streets of Centro, finding a new favorite tacqueria, gelateria, or souvenir shop.
The beaches of Isla Mujeres are one of the most popular Isla Mujeres Things to Do. Our personal favorite is the Playa Norte public beach near the Mia Reef Isla Mujeres resort. On the northern end of Playa Norte, there is a large shallow area of water that is easy to explore.
For those that arrive early on Isla Mujeres, be sure to stop by Mango Café for one of the best breakfasts and brunches on Isla Mujeres. The cool hangout spot serves up a great mix of Mexican and American breakfast items.
Of course there are nearly limitless things to do around Cancun, so if you’re bored on Isla Mujeres, check out our recommendations of the best Cancun tours to plan your next day!
Top 5 Isla Mujeres Instagram Spots Summary
We hope you enjoyed these amazing Top 5 Isla Mujeres Instagram spots and are ready to plan your next trip to the beautiful Isla Mujeres! This small island is perfect for a daytrip from Cancun, or even an overnight adventure!
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