Whether it is your first trip to Isla Mujeres or your tenth trip, there is so much to discover on this little island just across from Cancun. Many go for the island life, that laid-back chill tropical paradise that has you more relaxed than you imagined. Other go for the activities and restaurants, something that Isla Mujeres has a lot of! Guaranteed, there is also lots to see and do in just 72 hours or you can enjoy just a whole lot of chilling if you want.
Renting a golf cart to tour the island is one of the most popular activities. If you are looking for a bit of a closer look, rent a bike. Whichever mode of transport you choice, you will get up close and personal with Isla Mujeres. Golf carts, bikes and little mopeds can be rented by the ferry pier. All you need is a piece of identification, money and off you go. The island is 8 kms/5 miles long and 1km/less than a mile wide.
Stop in at the Turtle Sanctuary – Tortujana – Learn about sea turtles, tropical fish, sea horses and starfish. Give yourself about 30 to 45 minutes for this stop.
Head up to Punta Sur where the blue waters of the Caribbean can be viewed at the most southern tip of the island. Visit the Ixchel Ruins, walk the south point. Take a break and just take in the beautiful scenery.
Head north on the east coast of the island. Watch out for the Shell house, a house sculptured in the shape of a conch shell, dream about living in the glorious houses that overlook the sea. Take a break or have a late breakfast at Caribbean Breezes, a lovely little restaurant that has the best huevos rancheros we think we have ever had. Their margaritas are also very good (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere). Meander in the local neighborhoods as you head to north beach. Watch for outdoor art and fabulous murals that cover the residential landscape and downtown core of Isla Mujeres.
Some of our favorite places on north beach are the local Municipal Market (great lunch spot at one of the small taco places) the artisans market, the cemetery, and the town square. Head south again and take a few hours at Playa Lancheros. If you are in the mood for lunch or a snack, Tix and Chix Restaurant has some of the best fish on the Island.
Head back to the center, drop off your golf cart (golf carts are due back by 5:00 pm unless you have a multiday rental) and stroll down Hidalgo on the pedestrian walkway. This is a much smaller version of Playa del Carmen’s 5th Ave with only local crafts people and restaurants, no international brands. Start at the town square and head north. You will love the local feel and the restaurant options for dinner.
The next 24hours should be spent exploring the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean. Garafon Park is a great way to spend the day. Snorkel, kayak, paddle board, zipline. Basic entrance includes a buffet lunch, the VIP option has a VIP buffet lunch and open bar, and more activities.
Located on a small section of the reef, you will be mesmerized for hours in the sea, with hammocks for an afternoon nap.
A large part of the beauty found on Isla Mujeres is the community. Understanding the island is becoming a part of the community. Unlike other 72 Hour Adventures, this adventure suggests volunteering for a day, or a few hours while exploring Isla Mujeres. There is a list of charities and community groups that would love to have a helping hand for the day on the Explore Isla Mujeres website. If volunteering is not your thing, check out the Women’s Beading Cooperative and see what they are up to today.
If you happen to be on the Island during their monthly Artists Fair check out the local artists. This is a community event that should not be missed.
Make sure you check out the sunset at north beach. This is a nightly activity that should be part of your Isla Mujeres experience!
For a complete selection of restaurants and activities on Isla Mujeres, check out the Loco Gringo Directory for Isla restaurant and activity details.