Welcome to our article on Isla Mujeres! We are Elena and Aaron – 20 year old students currently living in Nottingham, UK. We are about to start our third and final year of university and have recently created an Instagram travel account to help us remember and share our experiences with others.
Although both of us were born in London, we come from Italian families. Elena has always lived in London whereas Aaron grew up in Italy and then returned to London. We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, which then led to Elena moving to Aaron’s school in sixth form. Our passion for travel was inspired by our love for adventures and trying out new things.
Elena had previously fallen in love with Mexico when she visited with her dad over two years ago and she was determined to relive the experience for us as a couple. As our previous holidays had been cancelled due to COVID, we thought Mexico would be the perfect destination to start traveling again. We spent five days on Isla Mujeres and were left speechless!
The beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants, friendly locals and stunning street art makes it hard to not fall in love with the island. Overall we had a great time and are definitely looking forward to visiting Isla Mujeres again.
Favorite Place in Isla Mujeres: Playa Norte
One place we really enjoyed in Isla Mujeres was a beach called Playa Norte. It was by far the best beach we visited as it had the clearest and bluest waters that we had seen throughout our entire Mexico trip. We were also lucky enough to admire a breathtaking sunset at Playa Norte while having a romantic dinner, a very special and romantic moment for us as a couple.
As our second anniversary was during lockdown, we decided to wait and celebrate it in Mexico instead. Once we arrived on Isla Mujeres, we celebrated by having a romantic dinner at Playa Norte with an amazing sunset. This anniversary meant a lot to us, and being able to celebrate it on such a breathtaking island made the moment even more special!
5 Best Things To Do in Isla Mujeres
1. Snorkel with Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres
Swimming next to these colossal creatures forces you out of your comfort zone where you take part in an adrenaline pumping activity. We can honestly say that although the sharks make you feel powerless, they are unique creatures that make this experience unmissable. We were also lucky enough to see a large group of manta rays feeding close to us.
2. Visit the Breathtakingly Beautiful Playa Norte
Playa Norte is by far the most beautiful white sand beach on the island. Here you can enjoy swimming in the crystal-clear waters and watch an epic sunset. There are also many delicious and affordable restaurants nearby.
3. Visit Tortugranja – The Island’s Turtle Sanctuary
This small turtle sanctuary in Isla Mujeres has a 30 pesos ($1.50) entry fee. Once you enter the building you will be able to see turtles of different colours, including an aquarium section containing a range of tropical fish.
4. Rent a Golf Cart and Discover the Street Art
We highly recommend renting a golf cart and driving around the island to explore new areas and stop wherever you like. Golf carts allow you to move freely across the island without having to rely on taxis, costing around $60 USD for a 24 hour rental. We think it’s a must-do when visiting Isla Mujeres as it allowed us to admire all the incredible street art on the island.
5. Watch the Sunrise at Punta Sur Ecological Park
Punta Sur is a fantastic spot on the island to watch the sunrise as the ecological park overlooks the ocean. You can also pay a very affordable entry fee to explore the small Mayan ruins. Other attractions at the eco park include nice beaches, a lighthouse and several unique sculptures.
People, Culture & Food of Isla Mujeres
There are only around 20,000 people who live on the island. As we weren’t there for a long time and were fairly busy doing activities, the only way we were able to meet locals and experience some of the culture was through culinary experiences. The local people we did meet though were all super friendly and helpful, which made us enjoy the island that much more.
The food scene was one of our favourite aspects of the island as we found a big variety of highly enjoyable restaurants. Here, we encountered by far our favourite restaurant of our Mexico trip, a place called Fish & Gin. This restaurant offers extremely flavorful and sophisticated meals for affordable prices, alongside some of the friendliest staff we have ever interacted with.
We highly recommend trying out the cocktails as they are big and are prepared with a variety of tropical fruits. We also loved the fish tacos, lobster tacos and any of the dishes containing octopus – which were all among the best dishes we had during our three weeks traveling in Mexico.
Where to Stay on Isla Mujeres
We recommend staying close to Playa Norte. However, even if you stay in a different location like we did, it’s still easy to reach Playa Norte by taxi. Staying in a different part of the island will also be much cheaper, so if you are on a budget we suggest staying in a different area just like we did.
We stayed at an awesome place called Nomads Hotel & Beach Club. It also has a hostel section if you are looking to save some money. Other fantastic hotels on the island include Izla Hotel, Casa Alkimia and Hotel Secreto.
Need to Know Before you Go
- Taxis cost around 100-150 pesos
- Rent a golf cart to get around the island easier
- The best minimum duration of stay is three days
- Pay in pesos rather than USD as the exchange rate is better
- The best and most affordable way to get to the island is by ferry
- Bring plenty of cash as most places don’t take cards, and if they do they add a 4-5% charge
- If you are wanting to do whale shark snorkeling come between the months of May and September.