Isla Mujeres Playa Norte

Isla Mujeres: The Tiny Island With Some Of The Best Beaches You’ll Find Anywhere

Isla Mujeres is becoming more well-known now, but the first time we visited it seemed like we had a whole beach to ourselves. And it’s beaches are some of the best we’ve ever seen!

Should you pick Isla Mujeres for a beach vacation? It’s still a very quiet and small island, so depending on what you’re looking for on a beach vacation it could be a great fit.

A Smaller Island with a Laid-Back Vibe

Sign For Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres is a smaller island located just a 20-minute ferry ride from Puerto Juarez. Measuring only about 4 square miles, it’s a great place for families who prefer a more relaxed, intimate experience.

While we love visiting Isla Mujeres, we usually do it as a day trip from Cancun. Our trips to Mexico have been 5-6 nights with our kids and we prefer a larger resort for a stay that long. One of our favorite is the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, which we reviewed here.

Known for its calm waters and pristine beaches like Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres is a picturesque escape from the bustling Yucatan Peninsula.

Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres Boats Docked

The island has a charming downtown area and is mostly free of large crowds, except for day-trippers from nearby Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Taking the ferry over and renting a golf cart is one of the best ways to visit this island

Remember that there are no direct flights to Isla Mujeres, so you’ll need to fly into Cancun International Airport and take a ferry to reach the island.


Isla Mujeres Playa Norte
Isla Mujeres Beach

Isla Mujeres boasts some of the most beautiful beaches that we’ve seen, with Playa Norte topping the list.

This beach is famous for its white sandy shores, and shallow crystal clear waters. We could walk out hundreds of yards and still be in shallow water.

We took the picture above around 2010, so the quality isn’t great, but it’s still one of our favorites.

Jetty On Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Jetty on Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Water Activities

 Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

While Isla Mujeres might not be as well-known as Cozumel for scuba diving, it offers great snorkeling opportunities. The island’s shallow waters and coral reefs provide easy access to marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and manta rays.

Popular snorkeling spots include El Farito, Manchones Reef, and the underwater museum MUSA.

Isla Mujeres Beach
Isla Mujeres Beach

Whale sharks frequent the waters around Isla Mujeres between June and September, making this the best time for a whale shark tour.

Isla Mujeres Hotels

Isla Mujeres is known for its smaller boutique hotels, compared to the giant resorts in the mainland. Here’s some of the best.

Our Pick

Ixchel Beach Hotel

Ixchel Beach Hotel is a stylish and contemporary beachfront property located on the pristine sands of Playa Norte in Isla Mujeres. The hotel offers a range of comfortable accommodations, including suites and penthouses, ensuring a relaxing stay for couples, families, and groups of friends.

Second Pick

Mia Reef Isla Mujeres

Mia Reef Isla Mujeres is a stunning all-inclusive resort on a private islet connected to the main island by a wooden bridge. The resort boasts luxurious accommodations, breathtaking ocean views, and exceptional dining options, providing guests with an idyllic tropical paradise.

Getting to Isla Mujeres: Ferry from Cancun

Isla Mujeres does not have an airport, so you’ll have to fly into Cancun International Airport and then take a ferry to reach the island.

The ferry terminal is in Puerto Juarez, just a short shuttle ride from the airport. Ferries to Isla Mujeres run frequently, and the journey takes about 20 minutes.

Isla Mujeres Ferry


Isla Mujeres is a smaller, more laid-back destination with stunning white sandy beaches, perfect for families looking to relax and unwind.

While it’s a bit too quiet for our family for a longer stay, it may be a great fit for a shorter relaxing stay.

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