3 days in Isla Mujeres – perfect itinerary to the Island of Women

Isla Mujeres is a great alternative to Cancun with beautiful beaches, crystal-clear sea, no seaweed, and a much more local feel. Here’s how to spend 3 days in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Plan your trip to Isla Mujeres

👩🏻 Best guided tours in Isla Mujeres

🏝️ Where to stay in Isla Mujeres

Imagine calm, turquoise waters, delicious tacos, and folks getting around by a golf cart.

That’s Isla Mujeres.

While the beaches in Riviera Maya are fantastic, Isla Mujeres is generally quieter and more affordable. Plus, it has that island vibe on top of those crystal clear waters and white, powdery sand!

Ready to find out how to spend 3 days in Isla Mujeres?

Let’s go!

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About Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a small island, about 7 kilometers long and a 30-minute ferry ride from Cancun.

It was once a sacred site for the Mayan goddess Ixchel. Today, it’s home to charming hotels, stunning beaches, and cozy beachfront dining.

Isla Mujeres is known for its whale sharks that swim off the shores every year from June to mid-September.

You can actually go snorkeling with them, which you totally should – it’s such a fun experience!


How to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun

If you arrive at Cancun Airport, head to the Puerto Juarez ferry terminal where the Isla Mujeres ferry is. From the airport, you’ve got three ways of getting there:


Find the “ADO” sign and grab a ticket to downtown Cancun (about $5 USD). Buses run every 30 minutes. From downtown, take a taxi to the ferry (around $5 USD).

Shared and private driver

Shared airport vans are cheaper but might wait to fill up. A private driver is pricier, over $40 USD one way, but you won’t have to wait or stress about missing your ferry.

The ferry to Isla Mujeres

The Ultramar Ferry from Gran Puerto Cancun in Puerto Juarez leaves every half hour from 7:00 am until 2:00 pm, then hourly.

The trip is about 30 minutes and costs 270 MXN ($15.67 USD) oneway or 540 MXN ($31.27 USD) return.

Isla Mujeres itinerary

Day 1 at Isla Mujeres

Relax at Playa Norte

It’s your first day on the paradise island so naturally, you should head to the beach.

Playa Norte is the best beach in Isla Mujeres, and you’ll find beach bars and loads of hammocks here.

It’s amazing for a relaxed day, sipping drinks in the shallow water or just hanging out.

Top 5: Mexico's best beaches by the Caribbean Sea
Playa Norte is a beautiful white sand beach

Rent a golf cart

Renting a golf cart is the way to explore Isla Mujeres.

There aren’t many cars in Isla Mujeres, so this is how you can easily get to places like Punta Sol or Garrafon de Castilla.

There are loads of golf carts around, sometimes more than cars. Just drive sober and stick to the rules.

Drive around this beautiful island in a few hours

Visit Punta Sur

Punta Sur, at the southern end of Isla Mujeres, is a scenic spot on a cliff.

It’s got a lighthouse, sculpture garden, and ruins of a Mayan temple to Ixchel, the goddess of midwifery and medicine.

Isla Mujeres gets its name from the pilgrimages to Ixchel’s temple, which was once the highest point in the Yucatan. Now, it’s a tourist spot with souvenir shops, restaurants, a huge iguana statue, and even real iguanas.

While the temple is gone, it’s still a great place to check out on your Isla Mujeres tour, especially if you’re exploring the whole island.


Garrafon National Reef Park

Garrafon Natural Reef Park is famous worldwide for its stunning reefs and cliffs, set against the backdrop of the turquoise Mexican Caribbean Sea.

You can easily spend over three hours here.

There’s wildlife, water fun, and places to eat. You’ve got ziplines, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming in the ocean or pool, and much more.

Don’t miss the Temazcal steam baths, rooted in ancient traditions.

Book a tour from Cancun – Garrafon Reef Park Admission with Ferry Tickets

Top 5: Mexico's best beaches by the Caribbean Sea

Spot the Seashell House

Near the southern tip of the island, look for the Shell House, a famous Airbnb you can’t miss.

It’s really distinctive and easy to spot from the road. We found it without even trying while cruising around in our golf cart.

This cool house has two shell-shaped places and a pool – it’s all sea-themed inside!


Go out

We had so much fun partying in Isla Mujeres, so I recommend you go out for a drink, too.

Start at Hidalgo Avenue and then head to OM, Poc-Na, and La Luna if you’re looking for DJ music. You can also join a golf cart pub crawl – it sounds hilarious.

Book here – Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Bar Crawl

Isla mujeres
bucket list Things to do in Isla Mujeres

Day 2

Swim with whale sharks

The absolute best experience on Isla Mujeres is swimming with whale sharks! It’s something I still think about often because it was such a powerful encounter.

From June – mid-September, you can take a tour to the shores of Isla Mujeres where you’ll swim with these huge and totally harmless whales. You can’t scuba dive or touch them, but snorkeling alongside these gentle giants is unforgettable.

Just remember to bring seasickness pills (everyone in our boat threw up, including the guide)!

Book here – Swim with whale sharks from Isla Mujeres


Stroll down Avenida Miguel Hidalgo 

Avenida Miguel Hidalgo is Isla Mujeres’ pedestrian-only “downtown”. It’s the go-to spot at night for its amazing vibe.

It’s lined with shops selling all sorts of souvenirs, bustling restaurants, and tour operators.

Visit the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art, or MUSA

On the seafloor near Isla Mujeres and Cancun, you’ll find MUSA, an underwater museum with over 500 statues!

You can dive, snorkel, or even take a glass-bottom boat tour to see it.

Book it here – Isla Mujeres MUSA Snorkeling Experience

Day 3

Indulge in the delicious food

Heading to Mexico means you’ve got to taste the amazing Mexican food. It’s practically a travel must! And on Isla Mujeres, you’re in for a treat with loads of tasty options. Try these:

  • Cafe Mogagua: Amazing chilaquiles.
  • Taqueria Medina: Best tacos, opens at 7 pm.
  • Cafe Mango: Top spot for breakfast.
  • La Lomita: Tasty Mexican food, great prices.
  • Street Stall at Calle Bravo/Miguel Hidalgo: Must-try grilled quesadillas and ice cream.

Visit the Tortugranja, a turtle conservation center

Next up is the Tortugranja, a government-run turtle sanctuary. They breed endangered turtles, help sick ones, and release them into the wild.

For about 30 pesos, you get a guided tour and might join a turtle release ceremony.

If you’re here between May and July, you might catch loggerhead turtles laying eggs on nearby beaches!

They also have cute baby turtles
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Go snorkeling

Snorkeling is one of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres.

You can either rent snorkel gear and explore the beach ourselves, or you can join a half-day snorkeling tour.

This 5-star rated, beginner-friendly tour lets you dive into Mexico’s Caribbean Sea at three spots, including the underwater museum (MUSA) I mentioned above, and the massive Manchones coral reef.

You’ll also get a fresh seafood lunch at a beach club.

Book here – Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour Adventure

Cancun, Mexico

Visit Dolphin Discovery

At the Dolphin Discovery, you can meet dolphins, sea lions, manatees, stingrays, and sharks.

If you’re not into that, you can pay a small fee and enjoy unlimited drinks, a buffet, and chill by the pool all day instead.

Things to do in Roatan

FAQ – 3 days in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

How many days should you stay in Isla Mujeres?

For Isla Mujeres, I recommend spending 3 to 4 days to explore the island’s main attractions and relax.

What should you be careful of in Isla Mujeres?

In general, Isla Mujeres is very safe, but you should still use common sense. These are the things to be careful of in Isla Mujeres:

  • Sunburn and heat exhaustion: The sun here’s super strong. You can get burned or dehydrated quickly.
  • Mosquitos: Bites are annoying, so wear bug spray.
  • Jellyfish: Watch out in the water. Their stings really hurt.
  • Strong currents: They can pull you out to sea fast. Be careful swimming.
  • Theft: Keep an eye on your stuff. Things can get swiped, especially in busy spots.
  • Traffic: Not every tourist drives a golf cart responsibly. Accidents happen.
  • Scams: Easy to fall for dodgy deals and lose cash.
  • Water safety: Stick to bottled water to avoid getting sick.

Is Isla Mujeres worth going?

Yes, Isla Mujeres is definitely worth visiting for its beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere, and unique attractions. I personally love this island!

Is Tulum or Isla Mujeres better?

It depends on what you like: Tulum has a bohemian vibe, Mayan ruins, and eco-friendly resorts, while Isla Mujeres has an island atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Both are great destinations.

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