If you find yourself bored of the typical all inclusive stay in Cancun, Mexico and in need of some adventure head over to the Isle of Mujeres, otherwise known as the Island of Women. This island, a part of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo boasts many adventures from sea turtle farms to the world famous MUSA, the world’s largest underwater museum.

Car Ferry To Isle of Mujeres

Pigs Join Us on the Car Ferry

After booking an all inclusive stay at the five star resort, Playa del Palmer, my husband and I found ourselves in need of some adventure and elbow rubbing with some nationals. I read about the Isle of Mujeres and was shocked to find that the car ferry was within walking distance of our resort. In addition to grabbing some free bottled water, a change of clothes, and some sun block, we packed snacks like protein bars and goldfish to help us save money.

Car Ferry Going to the Isle of Mujeres

Car Ferry to the Island, $2

Transportation To The Island

There are three options to get to the island: a car ferry or the two faster paced people ferries. The car ferry left less than a mile from our resort and was only two dollars each way. To take a cab there from the hotel zone is about $15. If you are already in the hotel zone take one of the faster ferries which leave more often. The Magana Express leaves from Puerto Jaurez and the UltraMar from Gran Puerto which will be about eight dollars each way. The car ferry is very slow and can take up to an hour just to load. Be prepared to see anything from motorcycles to pigs pile on. The people ferries are fancier affairs and offer live music and a bar. Once on the water the car ferry takes about 45 minutes to get to the island and the people ferries only take fifteen minutes.

Cement Truck Loading onthe Car Ferry to the Isle of Mujeres

A Cement Truck Loads on the Car Ferry

Transportation On the Island

Once on the island you can rent a golf cart for $50 for an entire day. There are also moped options which are cheaper and can carry two people. It is suggested that you be extra careful because of speed bumps all over the island and the crazy driving! We choose to rent a golf cart for the day and really enjoyed exploring the island. It never hurts to try to get the cost down of the golf cart or moped rental. I believe we only paid $47 for the day because we mentioned we would look elsewhere. Some golf carts carry two people, others that are more expensive carry four. Gas is included.

Departing to the Isle of Mujeres on a Car Ferry

Leaving for the Island on the Car Ferry

Turtle in the Turtle Sanctuary on the Isle of Mujeres

Turtle at the Sanctuary

The Turtle Sanctuary/Farm

In addition to simply driving around and enjoying the island you can stop at the Turtle Farm which holds hundreds of sea turtles of all sizes. The Isle’s Turtle Farm is a lot of fun for only $3 per person and you can purchase additional food to feed the turtles. We had fun just watching others feed the turtles and snuck into a back room which held turtles in tanks the size of a thumb! The Sanctuary helps save turtles by providing safe places for them to lay eggs. Inside are hundreds of small turtles and outside you can find the larger, older turtles. A store offers snacks and turtle souvenirs.

Baby Turtles in the Turtle Sanctuary on the Isle of Mujeres

Baby Turtle

Punta Sur: The Cliff of Dawn

Punta Sur is a famous destination on the Island. The easternmost part in all of Mexico, one can walk out onto the Cliff of Dawn and enjoy old Myan ruins. If you visit before the sun rises, you’ll be the first to see the sunrise in all of Mexico! (Cool in theory, but really? We aren’t the crowd to wake up and get there at that time) We paid the $3 to walk out to the cliff and got some great pictures of the crystal blue water hitting the rocks. There are trails around the cliff leading to the water and you can spend a lot of time admiring the Mexican sculpture garden. There are many shops to purchase souvenirs (which are overpriced) and a restaurant that includes a good stocked bar. Dustin and I grabbed an ice cream drum stick to beat the heat and enjoyed the many promised Iguanas that were sun bathing. There are many signs on the island that lead you to this attraction. It’s a really great thing to do on the island; just make sure you bring sunblock and lots of water to stay hydrated and beat the heat. They will charge you to use the bathroom here as well. A pro travel tip includes bringing grapes and putting them on a stick to feed the huge iguanas. They love them and will try to get them off the stick like a cat, using their claws!

Iguana Enjoying Grapes at Punta Sur on the Isle of Mujeres

Iguana Enjoying Grapes on a Stick at Punta Sur

Sculptures at Punta Sur on the Isle of Mujeres

Sculptures at Punta Sur

Restaurants On the Island

There are many places to eat on the island. We stopped at a little restaurant on the water and both ordered veggie fajitas. The prices are kind of high because of the tourists and because it’s an island but the food was ok. It’s best to drink bottled water and always eat a place where there are a lot of people. (That way you’ll know it’s good). Some of the featured restaurants on the island include Mama Rosa’s, Buho’s, Cafe Cito, & Sunset Grill.

Ocean View from the Isle of Mujeres

Water on the Island

MUSA 

MUSA is the world’s biggest underwater museum and is off the Island of Mujeres. Jason deCaires Taylor worked to design hundreds of sculptures with the help of marine biologists. The sculptures themselves work as artificial reefs and the designers hope they will help to deter tourists from the natural ones in the area which are damaged. You can view some of the sculptures while snorkeling but some require scuba diving to see them. The largest piece, known as Silent Evolution, features over 400 life sized human figures.

Clear Water Near the Isle of Mujeres

Clear Water for Snorkeling/Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling 

There are very many companies that host scuba diving and snorkeling off the island. Although we didn’t go snorkeling (we ran out of time) we enjoyed learning about all the opportunities on the Island and would like to go back. Isle Dive Guide.com offers a great overview about diving in the area and some of the notable diving companies include Sea Hawk Divers, Mundaca Divers, Cruise Divers, and the Carey Dive Center. The Cave of Sleeping Sharks was discovered by Carlos Garcia Castillo about 50 years ago. You can discover the cave, 65 feet under water, where sharks go to sleep but don’t come out for awhile according to the story. Garrafon National Reef Park is also a great place to snorkel. There are great natural reef formations and snorkel guide tours. Again, we didn’t get to experience this part of the island’s atmosphere but enjoyed our time there nonetheless.

Swimming with Dolphins 

 Swimming with dolphins is a wonderful opportunity on the Island of Mujeres if you have the budget for it. Dolphins can hug, high five and even offer kisses and The Dolphin Discovery at Garrafon National Park. At about $130 per person depending on the package this is an activity that costs but may be worth it to get a dolphin hug. Even if you don’t get to experience this; you’ll still enjoy the island.

Myan Ruins at Punta Sur on the Isle of Mujeres

Myan Ruins at Punta Sur

Other Activities

 Other activities on the island include whale shark tours, scuba diving at ship wrecks, and yoga classes. Not for the easily skirmish, for about $100 you can swim with the largest shark in the world, the whale shark! This activity is dependent on the season but can be a great one that includes an authentic lunch. Scuba diving at local ship wrecks involves certification and much planning. It’s not for the typical traveler. Yoga classes are many and is embraced on the island. Simply look up yoga and the Isle of Mujeres to find an instructor.

 

Sunburned and Driving on the Isle of Mujeres

Dustin Sunburned and Driving Around the Island

In conclusion for a small island there’s a ton to do on the Island of Mujeres. Keep your adventure sense strong and jump out of your comfort to meet locals and snap pictures with huge iguanas. In addition to a day visit you can choose to stay overnight on the island. Perhaps I’ll write more about that later but for now I think you have plenty to look forward to!

Driving around the Isle of Mujeres

It's Us Driving on the Island