Isla Mujeres Getaway on a Budget
The beautiful island of Isla Mujeres can be found off the coast of Cancun. Isla Mujeres is known for its clear bright blue waters, local feel, and stunning sunsets. Whether its a day trip or a weekend getaway if you find yourself in Cancun you must check it out. In this guide, you will learn how to enjoy Isla Mujeres on a budget featuring accommodation, transportation, and tips.
Transporation to Isla Mujeres
To get to Isla Mujeres you are going to have to arrive by boat. The most affordable way to do this is to take the Ultramar ferry at the port. The ferry will take you about 20 minutes one way and is quite an enjoyable ride with the wind blowing in your face. The ferry is usually 20 USD for a round trip journey and runs daily from 8 am to 9 pm. Depending on the time of day the price can vary. I recommend purchasing your ticket there for the most accurate pricing and times as results online may be incorrect. On the ferry, you will find storage for your luggage and personal items.
Once arriving at Isla Mujeres you see many taxis at the port. All the taxis on the island is all have red cars and are clearly labeled. This makes it easy to ensure you are taking the safe ride. Also in my experience, the taxis tended to be pretty fair with all my rides being between 2 to 10 USD max. It is not necessary to schedule a ride when arriving in the island there are plenty of taxis waiting at the ferry. Taxi is the only way to get around the island unless you rent a golf cart or a scooter.
Throughout the island, you will about 8 hostels and 20 or so hotels. However, my favorite accommodation was Nomads Hotel Hostel and Beach Club. Nomads recently opened about a year ago and is the new island hot spot for solo travelers and couples. Nomads is located on a fabulous private beach with a dock and bar. Perfect for stargazing and watching the sunset.
In the hostel rooms, you will find 2 bathrooms, 2 sinks, and bed curtains for privacy. The bedding is the finest I have ever seen in a hostel with usb ports and plugins in each bed. A hostel bed per night costs $25 to 35 USD depending on the room you choose. For the best price I would book through Hostel World.
For a hotel room, they start at $200USD with the luxury suits being $250 a night. The design of Nomads is like something from Bali with palm trees everywhere and sand between your toes as soon as you enter.
Another advantage of Nomads is the cleanliness of the hotel and attentive staff. It was always a pleasure drinking at the hotel bar and the signature drinks were only $5-$7 USD. The hotel also offers competitive pricing on the best attractions in Isla Mujeres such as scuba diving, crawls, and more. Overall this place is excellent if you are looking to unwind and relax without a care in the world.
Tips and Other Recommendations
While staying in Isla Mujeres I came across an authentic Mexican restaurant. The place is called Pollos Al Carbon is and is a mom and pop type of place. From the hand fried chips to the mouth-watering salsa, everything is made from scratch daily and offers a taste you won’t forget. This not a typical place with menu ether. The items entrees change daily and have sides being homemade rice, beans, and tortillas. While eating there I received a full chicken with sides for only $10 USD. The chicken was enough to feed about 2 to 3 adults at least. The food was absolutely delicious so I did go back a few times while visiting.
My other favorite restaurants are:
Lastly, the top 3 things to do to prepare for Isla Mujeres:
- Bring bug spray, the sand flies can be vicious and you can find yourself leaving with many bites.
- Don’t miss a sunset, even on the days, the sky looked cloudy the sunsets turned out stunning.
- Expect slow wifi and data, you are on an island so no matter the hotel or service they all tend to be pretty slow here because of the location. (TelCel is the best network here)
- Bring cash many places on the island do not take card.
- There are no Walmarts so bring toiletries.
- Eat tons of fish and sea food the island has the freshest
“A ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it’s built for.”Albert Einstein
For more insight on traveling Mexico check these out:
- Best Hostels in Cancun & Playa Del Carmen
- Best Hotels in Tulum, Mexico
- Staying Safe in Mexico Guide
- Air Travel Guide for Mexico Post – COVID