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Escape To The Wonderful Isle Mujeres

Isle Mujeres is the island we all have in our minds when we think of a Carribean island. White sandy beaches, palm trees, and warm breezes. The first time I visited the Carribean I went to a beach like this and it made a lasting impression. Since the beach is my happy place I seek out new beaches to try as often as possible. Isle Mujeres is one such island with remarkable beaches. This is an island to relax on. There’s nowhere you need to be, just wander on your own time and relax and enjoy the view.

boats in the water, Isle Mujeres
The island feels like a little fishing village

To get to Isle Mujeres you can fly to the island or take a ferry from Cancun. We took the high-speed ferry. Just a 20-minute ride and $21 US dollars per person/round trip and we were on Isle Mujeres. While the ferry is traveling to Isle Mujeres workers come around to ask if you’d like to rent a golf cart. It cost $50 US dollars as long as we returned the cart by 6 pm. We really enjoyed tooling around the island on our own, stopping where we wanted and exploring. Even though the girls were facing backwards they had a great time.

enjoying the golf cart
Riding backward and all is good!
turtle crossing Isle Mujeres
Turtle crossing

Tortugranja, Turtle Sanctuary

turtle sanctuary on Isle Mujeres
Turtle sanctuary

After we picked up our golf cart our first stop was the turtle sanctuary. For only 30 pesos a person, you can visit this turtle refuge. We didn’t have a tour however it was still a lot of fun to see all the different turtle they were working with. There are indoor and outdoor pools for different turtles. The area that fascinated me the most were the nests. I found out that people actually dig up the turtle nests and relocate them to the sanctuary. By putting wire mess around the nests they can stop the babies from immediately swimming out to sea. By allowing them to grow a bit at the sanctuary prior to being released they have a better chance of living to adulthood.

A related post you may like: Xcaret! A Natural Water Park

turtle sanctuary
Outdoor tanks with turtles

We also purchased food for the turtles and the girls really enjoyed feeding them. Seeing the different species of turtles was pretty unique. Having the ability to go outside and see the enclosures for the nests and the tanks with turtles was pretty special too.

turtle nests Isle Mujeres
Turtle nests

Turtle Sanctuary

Some Local Wildlife on Isle Mujeres

We found a place for lunch that was a bit unique. They protect the blue crabs that call their restaurant home. The girls were a bit nervous the crabs would come out and nip at their toes during lunch. However, the crabs were more afraid of us than anything. I had to be quiet and still for them to come out to get these photos.

blue crabs on Isle Mujeres
Blue crabs

Punta Sur or South Point

Have you gone to the easternmost point or westernmost point of a country? I have, a few times. For the United States and its territories the easternmost point it Point Udall on St. Croix. For Mexico, the easternmost point is Punta Sur on Isle Mujeres. This south tip of Isle Mujeres is rugged and more desert-like than the north half of the island. Walk around the point with its sweeping views of the Carribean Sea. There is a Mayan Temple you can see while exploring the rugged shoreline. But don’t miss getting your picture taken with the giant iguana statue.

Iguana statue on Isle Mujeres
Punta Sur
coral rock
The coral rock that makes up the southern tip of Isle Mujeres
Punta Sur
Walking back to the shops and lighthouse
Punta Sur Isle Mujeres
Rugged coastline
Punta Sur Isle Mujeres
The point with the temple

Punta Sur is also home to the Garrafon Natural Reef Park, which is one of the largest reefs in the world. You can go snorkeling here but on the day we went the seas were rough and there weren’t any boats out. However, the iguanas were out in full force, baking themselves on the hot rocky cliffs.

Punta Sur

Playa Norte or North Beach

After our frozen fruit treat, (did you watch the video?) we headed to the beach. Of course, we thought we would stop along the way on the east side of the island to have a dip in the water. Unfortunately, the waves were a bit big for the rocks and coral along the coast for us to manage. So it was off to North Beach with its white sandy shoreline and calmer waves.

Playa Norte
Yes, they love to build sandcastles

We did pay to use the lounge chairs and umbrellas but it was worth enjoying the pristine calm waters of North Beach. The north beach area is lined with hotels and some of the beach areas are for hotel guests only. If you have a blanket and don’t want to pay, try and lay your blanket where there aren’t any chairs.

Playa Norte
The girls swimming -yes we picked up the plastic cup they were using to build sandcastles

The girls honestly could have spent the whole day on this beach and not batted an eye. It is a beautiful beach and oh so relaxing.

Playa Norte Isla Mujeres
Selling baskets

As in typical Mexican fashion, people came by with everything you can imagine to buy, from cut-up mango to blankets to baskets. At that point, I knew we were in Mexico.

Playa Norte

Centro, The Town on Isle Mujeres

Make sure to leave time in your day to meander the small area called ‘Centro’. All your touristy shops selling everything you can image are here. Along with lots of restaurants. This is the ‘happening’ part of the island. And if you don’t already have one, buy your Mexican blanket here. I saw one for sale for 300 pesos. I would have gotten one but I still have my blanket from when I was in high school! They last forever, that’s why you should have one in your home. We ended up getting the girls new dresses here.

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The Ferry to Isle Mujeres

On our way to Isle Mujeres, the ferry came at it’s regularly scheduled time. However, we were told to arrive at the ferry by 6 pm for our return ferry. Unfortunately, that ferry didn’t get there until 7 pm which was a bit strange to us and we weren’t the only ones told this. So my advice is to double-check with the ferry terminal in the morning so you aren’t waiting for an hour when you can be out exploring.

We had a great day on Isle Mujeres. Next time we are in Cancun, I think staying on Isle Mujeres for a few days is in order!

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Have you ever been to Isle Mujeres? What was your favorite part? Did you stay on the island?

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Lori Nielsen

    Isle Mujeres sounds like a perfect way to spend a day! I’m all for anything with a beach, every time. Add to this the turtles, crabs, and iguanas, and what could be better?

    1. Leeanne

      I would say the only thing to add is to stay overnight.

  2. Lisa

    THat turtle sanctuary looks amazing! I would love that! I’m glad you had such a fun time in Mexico!

  3. jen

    This appears a perfect place to take my inner pirate and have a proper pirate adventure!

    1. Leeanne

      I’m sure you would find some good treasure too.

  4. Lee Anne

    Perfection!! I would go just for the turtles but everything looks so relaxing and beautiful! Besides the snag in the timing of the ferry, it sounds like the perfect day trip!

  5. Al Gordon

    Just got back from Cancun but we didn’t know about this place. Maybe next time…

    1. Leeanne

      It is definitely worth a visit. We loved the vibe of this little island oasis.

  6. alison

    That sounds like a perfect day trip minus the rough seas and no snorkeling. Love the turtle sanctuary, how cool for your girls to see efforts for their longevity.

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, definitely. Plus my younger daughter has a special interest in sea turtles fueled by one of her friends so it was super special.

  7. kmf

    I go to Mexico once or twice a year. Last year was our first time we stayed in Isla Mujeres…just looked at the calendar and the countdown is now 75 days…will have to check out a few of these experiences on our return.

    1. Leeanne

      Oh, I’m so jealous. I’m sure you will enjoy your next visit even more.

  8. Hera

    We loved Isla Mujeres! Been there twice. Great beaches and the fresh fish for lunch. Fun for couples and families!

    1. Leeanne

      Agreed. The island certainly has a laid back vibe to it which is great.

  9. Taci- Life Beyond Zebra

    This sounds like a perfect get away! I will add this to my list for sure!

    1. Leeanne

      You won’t be disappointed.

  10. Wendy Robinson

    Isla is gorgeous. We lived in Playa del Carmen for 5 months awaiting the birth of ou littlest, and it’s really such a rare find. That island is really special. Looks like you guys loved it too

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, we did love it. We can’t wait to go back.

  11. Amanda

    I’m all about that turtle sanctuary! Looks like so much fun in the Isle Mujeres.

    1. Leeanne

      Seeing how much effort and care that goes into taking care of the turtles is amazing.

  12. Tara

    I haven’t been to Isla Mujeres in so many years! It does look like it’s changed a bit…perhaps a bit more commercial than it use to be. I love all of your photos; great addition to the blog post!

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks. Isn’t it always the way that the commercial stuff comes in. I’m glad however that the island is still quiet and very laid back.

  13. Missy

    We have not visited Isle Mujeres yet. I would enjoy laying on that beach. Visiting the sea turtles would be great too.

    1. Leeanne

      That beach was the best ever. Such calm warm waters. The stuff that dreams are made of.

  14. Theresa

    What a beautiful place! It looks so relaxing and wonderful! The turtle sanctuary looks adorable! Thank you for sharing this wonderful slice of the world with your readers; I can’t wait to see more!

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, Isle Mujeres is amazing and the turtle sanctuary was really cool.

  15. erin

    This looks amazing! We’ll definitely have to add it to our list!

    1. Leeanne

      I’m sure you will love it. It’s a very special island.

  16. Carol

    I have never heard of Isla Mujeres, in spite of two? visits to Cancun. It’s probably because I only stayed for a day each time while in port on a cruise. My husband and I are always looking for someplace special to get away – putting this one on our list for sure! And – loved the videos!

    1. Leeanne

      Isla Mujeres is worth the trip if you don’t need to rush back to a cruise. Our ferry back wasn’t when they said it would be. But going to Cancun and then to Isla Mujeres is great.

  17. Manisha

    You think of a Caribbean vacation and you dream about white sand, gorgeous beaches. Isla will be a beautiful addition to our itinerary. Have not seen sea turtles before. Thank you for sharing this wonderful information with us. Keep writing more!

    1. Leeanne

      I’m glad you liked the post. Sea turtles are very special. I’ve swum with then in a few locations. some on a catamaran tour and some just snorkeling around on our own. It’s always very special when you see them in the ocean.

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