Just 15 minutes off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a tiny island that is simply stunning and sargazo free! With its picturesque beaches, it makes for an incredible day trip from Playa del Carmen. Although it’s somewhat of a trek to get there, it is definitely worth it! It’s best to start the day early and then you can spend a full day there relaxing on the beach or exploring the island.
Meaning “Island of Women,” Isla Mujeres was named by the Spanish when they first arrived to the island and found many images of goddesses dating back to the time when the island was sacred to the Mayan goddess of childbirth and medicine. Nowadays, the island is much more commercial but it is still a nice escape from mainland Mexico.
Isla Mujeres is less than 5 miles long but still offers plenty of restaurants, shopping, and all-inclusive resorts. The prettiest beaches can be found on the north side of the island, most notably Playa Norte, where you will find the most stunning turquoise water and white sand beaches – it definitely makes for a jaw-dropping first impression!
If you don’t have a car, the easiest way to get to Isla Mujeres from Playa del Carmen is to take the Playa Express, which is a shared van service to Cancun. You can get on the Playa Express at Calle 2 and Avenida 20. You’ll take the Playa Express all the way to the end (about an hour drive), which is the ADO bus terminal in Cancun and the cost is $42 pesos ($2 USD) per person.
Once you get off the bus, there will be a line of taxis waiting at the terminal. From here, you can take a taxi to Puerto Juarez, which is the Ultramar ferry terminal to go to Isla Mujeres. The taxi should cost around $100 pesos (~$5 USD).
Exploring Playa Norte
How much does it cost to go to Isla Mujeres?
Here’s a breakdown of how much it cost us to spend the day on Isla Mujeres:
- Playa Express to Cancun: $42 pesos each way
- Taxi to Puerto Juarez: $100 pesos each way
- Ultramar Ferry (roundtrip ticket): $300 pesos
- Beach bed rental: $200 pesos
- Optional food and drink