Isla Mujeres Mexico: 5 Things You Should Know Before You Go
We just got back from a great trip to Isla Mujeres. It was the first time we had been to Mexico together. The Island is beautiful and feels removed from the bustle of nearby Cancun. We had a lot of fun and would definitely go back. What are some tips you should know before you visit? Below are five things you should know before traveling to Isla Mujeres. Number 5 is very important. Seriously. It almost cost us big.
1. Isla Mujeres Is A Small Island
Isla Mujeres is a small island close to Cancun. To get to Isla Mujeres, you fly into Cancun and take a thirty-minute ferry ride to the island. It's only 5 miles long but there is plenty to see and do. You can snorkel, swim with whale sharks, visit a sea turtle sanctuary or just enjoy the beach. It's very easy to get around the island, and it doesn't take very long to get a feel for the place. Whereas Cancun can be crowded and busy, we found the small size of Isla Mujeres lends itself more to a relaxing trip.
2. Head South For Quieter Beaches
Playa Norte, or North Beach, is the most popular beach on the Island. It's picturesque and the water is gorgeous. However, all that beauty brings in the crowds and boats. Playa Norte is worth a visit but if you want a more private spot, head south. At the very southern tip of the island is Punta Sur. Punta Sur is an ecological park with cliffs, caves and Mayan ruins. On your way south, all along the road, ther are long stretches of public beaches. You can just pull off and enjoy yourself without anyone bothering you. How do you get around the Island though? Tip number 3.
3. Rent A Golf Cart
Becuase of the small size of the Island and the narrow streets, locals and tourists alike travel around on golf carts. You can rent carts all over the Island. It costs about 50 dollars a day, regardless of the company you choose. We rented one for two days and it was worth it. It was so fun to zip around the island on the carts. You can park just about anywhere, and it's more convenient than taxis. There's no better way to tool around Isla Mujeres.
4. Convert Your Money To Pesos
Just about everyone accepts American dollars. It's convenient but it comes at a cost. When you checkout, most places offer two prices. The price in pesos is almost always cheaper. For example, our first cab ride from the ferry cost five dollars or fifty pesos. The exchange rate is nineteen Pesos to one dollar. So by paying in dollars, the cost was almost doubled. We found this to be the case all over the island. It certainly pays off to get some local currency.
Where is the best place to get Pesos? Avoid getting Pesos in advance at your local bank or at the airport ATM's. Both of these locations will charge you higher fees. Your best bet is to wait and find an ATM inside a local Mexican bank. You'll get the best exchange rate at a bank, and the fees will be lower. We paid an eighteen dollar fee to withdraw the money and my local bank charged me three dollars. The airport ATM fee was thirty-six dollars. Be sure to pay attention to the fees before you withdraw or exchange your money.
5. Triple Check The Ferry Schedule
To get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun, you have to ride the ferry. It's cheap and convenient. But make sure the ferry schedule matches up with your travel and airfare times. We almost found this out too late. Our flight back home from Cancun was early. We had a 7 am flight. However, we didn't check the ferry times until a few days before our trip. The earliest ferry was at 5:30 am and we were over an hour from the airport. Thankfully we checked! There's no way we would have made our flight. Be sure to check the ferry times before you book your flights. Also, if you take a day trip to Cancun, make sure you're back in time for the last ferry at night.
If you're looking for a perfect beach vacation, Isla Mujeres is where you should go. Because of it's proximity to Cancun, flights are cheap and abundant. The beach is fantastic and relaxing. Definitely check it out if you get the chance. Have you ever been to Isla Mujeres? Let us know below in the comments.