12 Unmissable Isla Mujeres Activities: Isla Mujeres is a small island just 20 minutes away from bustling Cancun and is an increasingly popular holiday destination in Mexico. The island is renowned for its turquoise ocean, laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals, favored by holiday-makers looking for a tranquil beach escape. Despite the relaxed and peaceful vibe, there are still plenty of fun activities to enjoy in Isla Mujeres. We’re breaking down our top 15 Isla Mujeres activities you simply cannot miss out on during your stay!
Land-Loving Isla Mujeres Activities
Enjoy a beach picnic
A beach picnic is a must-do on any beach vacation and Isla Mujeres is no exception. We highly recommend sampling some of the local cuisine from street vendors or cafés and enjoying your lunch on the palm-lined, white sandy beaches. Your hotel could also most probably arrange a picnic basket for the beach filled with flavorful local favorites.
Rent a golf cart or bikes
The island is surprisingly only 13 miles to fully circle it and 2.5 miles wide, so there is no need for a car. However renting a golf cart or bicycle is a great way to get around the island and see all the sites. You can find the rental companies near the pier that the ferry leaves from in town. You’ll have the option to rent the cart for a half day or full day, but we recommend renting it out for a full day so you don’t have to rush any of your sightseeing activities. This is one of the Isla Mujeres activities that should not be missed!
Visit Playa Norte
Playa Norte, commonly known as North Beach, is a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of beach brimming with restaurants, bars and beach cafés. The beach can get quite packed as the day goes on, so we would recommend making Playa Norte your first stop of the day. Whether you read a book on the beach, take a dip in the warm waters or sip cocktails at one of the many beach bars, the views are something you won’t soon forget.
See the turtles at Tortuga Granja Turtle Sanctuary
If you’ve got kids with you, one of their favorite Isla Mujeres activities is always visiting the Turtle Sanctuary. The island happens to be the ancestral hatching ground for giant sea turtles. The turtle sanctuary collects the eggs and keeps them safe. Between August and October, the baby turtles are released back into the ocean by the island kids, a magnificent occasion to witness! The sanctuary is also home to a variety of other aquatic life including tropical fish, manta rays and seahorses. Your entrance fee goes towards keeping the sanctuary open and to assisting the local community save hundreds of turtles every year! The turtle farm is open from 9am to 5pm daily.
Pay a visit to Punta Sur
Positioned at the southern tip of the island, Punta Sur is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise over the horizon. Here you will find the ancient Mayan Temple that honors the Mayan Moon Goddess. Grab a bite at the snack bar and take in the views of the bay and neighboring Cancun.
Isla Mujeres Artist Fair
Every Thursday between 4pm and 9pm, local artisans showcase their work at the Cultural Centre. Expect to find artists, street food vendors and local non-profits to get a real taste of the local culture and possibly go home with a special keepsake.
The hacienda was built by a “retired” pirate in 1858 and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. In 2015, a number of Mayan ruins and artefacts were found in the hacienda including volcanic glass, jade, skeletons and human skulls. A truly fascinating and somewhat eerie spot to visit.
Water-Based Isla Mujeres Activities
Go snorkeling at Garrafon Natural Reef Park
Garrafon Reef Park offers visitors a number of exciting activity packages and experiences. We recommend their all-inclusive packages where you will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch inspired by local flavors, an open bar, snorkeling equipment, kayaks, your own comfy hammocks, access to the sparkling infinity pool and park amenities PLUS a pass to Punta Sur and the Sculpture Garden.
Explore MUSA Underwater Museum
Look hard enough through the crystal clear water and you’ll spot the extraordinary MUSA Underwater Museum – the largest one in the world! The museum was built to counteract the effects of climate change to encourage coral growth and marine life to flourish. You can access the sculptures via a snorkelling or scuba diving tour. Alternatively you can see certain section of the museum from a boat.
Go on a scuba diving adventure
Isla Mujeres activities that adventure-seekers love include an unforgettable scuba diving experience. The still, clear water make Isla Mujeres perfect for beginners, however for advanced scuba divers there are dives around shipwrecks and night dives. Dive operators that come highly recommended include:
- Agua Adventures
- Cruise Divers
- Delfin Diving
- Sea Hawk Divers
- Squalo Adventures
Swim with Dolphins and Whale Sharks
Dolphin encounters are one of most tourists’ must-do Isla Mujeres activities. Dolphin Discovery offers this once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the gentlest, friendliest sea creatures around. Give the beautiful dolphins a hug and kiss, get your photo taken and soak in the incredible experience over a tasty buffet lunch, included in your package.
Between June and September there is also the opportunity to swim with docile whale sharks. Searious Diving Whale Shark Tours and Delfin Diving Whale Shark Tours are among the best operators with value-packed packages.
Try out some Sport Fishing
The island is known as a fishing paradise with a diverse population of fish including mahi-mahi, red snapper and dorado to name a few. Choose between full-day deep sea fishing charters, glass bottom boat fishing tours, in-shore fishing or spear fishing, depending on your preference. Expect a catch ranging in the double-digits if you’re a regular. Beginners can also be guaranteed a catch, a great confidence boost!
These are just a few of the best Isla Mujeres activities this tranquil island has to offer. You will very quickly fall in love with the views, the beaches and the caring locals. Whether for a group trip, romantic getaway or family vacation, you can’t go wrong with Isla Mujeres.