Getting There & Departing
Isla Mujeres does not have a commercial airport. Travelers fly into Cancún and take the ferry to the island. Ferries depart from the “Gran Puerto” dock at Puerto Juárez, just north of Cancún, or from the Embarcadero in the Hotel Zone. Ultramar (www.ultramarferry.com; [tel] 998/881-5890) runs fast boats leaving every half-hour between 5am and 8:30pm and hourly from 9:30-11:30pm from Puerto Juárez, making the trip in 15 minutes. There is storage space for luggage and the fare is 78 pesos each way. From the Hotel Zone’s Embarcadero at Playa Linda, located at Bulevar Kukulcán Km 4 on the northern tip of Cancún's Hotel Zone, Ultramar ferries to Isla Mujeres depart less frequently and cost $14 one-way. There are up to six scheduled departures per day. Depending on the season, Ultramar also operates ferries to Isla Mujeres from the Hotel Zone’s Playa Tortugas, at Bulevar Kukulcán Km 6.5, and from Playa Caracol at Bulevar Kukulcán Km 9.5.
You don't need a car to get around on Isla, but if you’re taking one to the island, you’ll use the Punta Sam port a little beyond Puerto Juárez. The 40-minute car ferry (http://www.maritimaislamujeres.com/pageH.html; tel. 998/877-0065) runs five or six times daily between 7am and 8pm year-round except in bad weather. Always check online or by phone to verify the schedule. Cars should arrive an hour before the ferry departure to register for a place in line and pay the posted fee, which is 256 pesos per car. A gas pump is at Avenida Rueda Medina and Calle Abasolo, northwest of the ferry docks. To get to Puerto Juárez and Punta Sam from Cancún, take the Ruta 1 city bus.
Note: Upon arrival by taxi or bus in Puerto Juárez, be wary of pirate "guides" who tell you either that the ferry is canceled or that it's several hours until the next ferry. They'll offer the services of a private lancha (small boat) for about 450 pesos -- and it's nothing but a scam. Small boats are available and, on a co-op basis, charge 200 to 350 pesos one-way, based on the number of passengers. They take about 50 minutes and are not recommended on days with rough seas. Check with the ticket office -- the only accurate source for information.
On your return to Puerto Juárez, you'll see taxi fares posted by the street where the taxis park, so be sure to check the rate before agreeing to a taxi for the ride back to Cancún. Rates generally run 120 to 150 pesos, depending upon your destination. Moped and bicycle rentals are also readily available as you depart the ferry. This small complex also has public bathrooms, luggage storage, a snack bar, and souvenir shops.
To get to Puerto Juárez or Punta Sam from Cancún, take any Ruta 8 city bus from Avenida Tulum. From the Cancún airport, take the shuttle bus to the pier (160 pesos).
The City Tourist Office (tel. 998/877-0767, -0307; www.isla-mujeres.net/tourism/home.htm) is at Av. Rueda Medina 130, just across the street from the pier. It's open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm, closed on Saturday and Sunday. Islander is a free publication with local information, advertisements, and event listings.
Isla Mujeres is about 8km (5 miles) long and 4km (2 1/2 miles) wide, with the town at the northern tip. “Downtown” is a compact 4 blocks by 6 blocks, so it’s very easy to get around. The passenger ferry docks are at the center of town, within walking distance of most hotels, restaurants, and shops. The street running along the waterfront and in front of the ferry docks is Avenida Rueda Medina, commonly called the malecón (boardwalk). The Mercado Municipal (town market) is by the post office on Calle Guerrero, an inland street at the north edge of town, which, like most streets in the town, is unmarked. The Carretera a Garrafón runs the length of the island southeast to Hacienda Mundaca, Parque Garrafón, and Punta Sur at the southern tip. The road continues northwest along the island's windward side, past handsome homes and rugged coastline to town
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.