Day Trip to Isla Mujeres
With the standard work week being 6 days, the “normal” day off here is Sunday and we try to make the best of it.
We decided to head over to Isla Mujeres for the day. Isla Mujeres, translated as the Island of Women, is a tiny island located across from Cancun.
How to get to Isla Mujeres
You can access the island either via ferry or in an organized trip such as a catamaran.
The island is only 13 kilometers long (8.1 miles) and about 650 meters (2130 feet) at its widest point. It has lovely white sand beaches, turquoise waters and a quaint but colorful downtown area where you can shop, grab a drink or enjoy some fresh seafood.
From Playa del Carmen to the ferry is about 1 hour’s drive. You can opt to get the ferry either from Puerto Juarez or in the Cancun hotel zone. The ferries come frequently and are inexpensive.
We chose to take the ferry from Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres which was a quick 20 minutes. We sat in the outside section to feel the breeze and the sunshine and were even treated to live music on the way.
Once we arrived to Isla, we decided to rent a golf cart. You do have quite a few taxis around as well as scooters, but the majority of the traffic (if you can even call it that!) on this little island is due to golf carts.
Directly across the street from the ferry port is Rentadora del Caribe and I cannot say enough good things about them.
Golf Cart Rentals
You do have people at the exit of the ferry port waiting to “help” you and if they bring you to the rental area, they claim a commission. Just walk across the street yourselves.
There were 2 options for golf carts. The smaller ones had one bench facing forward and the other one facing back and
- The Smaller ones had one bench facing forward and the other one facing back and was 180 pesos for one hour (roughly $14US).
- The Bigger one. We decided to “splurge” on the bigger golf cart where all the seats face forward for 200 pesos for an hour ($16US). They also had options for daily rentals.
They did require me to leave my license so make sure you have it with you.
Touring the Island (& Cell Phone Disasters)
Now it was time to tour the island. I drove the golf cart and it is a pretty simple loop around the island that takes less than 1 hour if you only make a few stops for photos.
The views are spectacular, and I really enjoyed the golf cart cart aspect with the ocean breeze and slower pace.
Our first picture stop was right near Garrafon park, where you can zip line over the ocean and enjoy other activities like kayaks and snorkeling.
We stopped to by some “Cocos Frios” by the side of the road – and this is also where I realized that I had lost my cell phone OOPS. Major OOPS. But, on the up side, the view was stunning!
I really didn’t want to ruin the day for everyone else, so I sort of bit my tongue and floored that golf cart as fast as I could back to town – I think it went as fast as 15mph… living on the wild side people.
Seriously though, anyone who has lost their phone has that moment of panic.
Yes, for the actual phone, but mostly for the contacts, the pictures, and all the information in it. Despite the stressful situation, the surroundings were so pretty!
Here is one of the sights from the golf cart….
Lovely & Helpful Locals
We arrived back to the rental place and I first checked to see if I had forgotten it there. The staff were more than helpful and lent me their phone to ring mine.
Eventually, after several attempts, someone did answer and claimed to have found it on the side of the road. Again, the staff at the car rental place came to help me as this man gave them a point in the village where I could go pick it up. The agency manager even gave me written directions and sent me to a taxi.
I left my party behind and set off in search of my cell phone. Luckily, as we approached the random landmark I had been given as a meeting point, a man must have seen the stressed out gringa (disparaging slang for a foreign female) in the taxi and approached me. I did offer him a “reward” and was then handed my cell, which now had a totally smashed glass top. The taxi driver then drove me back into town where I joined the rest of my group on the beach for a well deserved, extra-strong margarita and a delicious shrimp cocktail.
Now, onto a more relaxing part of the day.
We wandered on the main road and stopped in an authentic gelato shop for some dessert. The mint chocolate chip was dreamy, I think I would have married it. And, let’s face it, ice cream makes everything better.
On to a few other shops to check out souvenirs. The “downtown” area in Isla Mujeres is really quite charming and easy to navigate.
We finished the day with a stop on Playa Norte beach.
This beach is open to the public and absolutely gorgeous. I even treated my nerves to a quick massage, not to best I’ve had in my life, but well worth the $20 that I paid for half an hour.
The ferry back was rocky but I loved the sea breeze and that particular turquoise hue the ocean has between Isla Mujeres and Cancun is stunning.
Overall, a great day – until our car broke down on the way home…. Ooops (again)!
Despite the hiccups in the day – overall – we loved our day trip to Isla Mujeres.
Well worth the visit!
If you prefer an organized tour to Isla Mujeres, get Get 10% off Garrafon Park here.
Have any experienced to share? Comment below.