Monday 11 March 2019
MEXICO: Visit Isla Mujeres, But If Caught With Marijuana Or Drunkenness Police Intimidate You To Get A Bribe
Isla Mujeres was a Mayan sanctuary to goddess Ixchel for about a thousand years. In around 1850 the first modern inhabitants moved to the island and established the village of Dolores.
The climate is tropical, with year-round hot, humid weather. Peak season is during the winter months when temperatures are cooler.
Summer temperatures are sweltering, with blazing sun and highs well over 32 °C (90 °F), although summer visitors from mid-May through September have the opportunity to see whale sharks which gather in nearby waters in groups that can contain up to 400 sharks.
Isla Mujeres is an island in the Gulf of Mexico, about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) off the Yucatan Peninsula coast. The island is some 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long and 650 metres (2,130 ft) wide.
To the east is the Caribbean Sea with a strong surf and rocky coast, and to the west the skyline of Cancun can be seen across the clear waters. In the 2010 census, the namesake town on the island had a population of 12,642 inhabitants.
The island is part of the Isla Mujeres Municipality in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico.
In Pre-Columbian times the island was sacred to the Maya goddess of childbirth and medicine, Ixchel. When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century they named it "Isla Mujeres" because of the many images of goddesses.
The first information available about Isla Mujeres is from the period between 564–1516 AD, when it was part of the Maya province called Ekab. There were 4 Maya provinces in what is today the State of Quintana Roo.
The Maya also exploited the salt that the island produced in the salinas or small interior lagoons. The salt was used not only for the preservation of food and medicine but also as a generally accepted currency for commerce of goods along the whole Maya region.
The Maya goddess Ixchel had a temple in what is today the Hacienda Mundaca or Mundaca's Plantation House.
A small Maya temple was once located on the southern tip of the island. However, in 1988, Hurricane Gilbert caused extensive damage, leaving most of the foundation but only a very small portion of the temple.
Since the 1970s, along with nearby Cancun, there has been substantial tourist development in Isla Mujeres.
Transportation on the island of Isla Mujeres consists primarily of taxis or golf carts and moped scooters. As of 2005 there were 121 taxis, 500 golf carts, and 1500 moped scooters.
There is also a bus service that runs from the downtown to the different neighborhoods, called colonias in Spanish where most locals live.
Unfortunately the island used to be served by Isla Mujeres National Airport but the airport and landing strip is no longer used for more than a place to get exercise, as many locals, military personnel, and/or tourist can be seen jogging up and down the runway at various times throughout the day.
There are two main ferry boat companies namely UltraMar and Marinesa that run to the island from Puerto Juárez, Cancun, or Gran Puerto on the mainland. There are also party boats of all sorts that make day trips to Isla Mujeres.
The island is popular with day trippers, but activity quiets down in the evening after the tour groups leave.
There are numerous places to eat fresh seafood cooked with local and traditional recipes, and other restaurants offer Mexican, Yucatecan, Italian, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Israeli, French, Thai, Cuban, and Maya cuisine.
Hotel prices vary from cheap to very expensive at the resorts on the southwest end such as Hotel Villa Rolandi, and Playa Norte.
In the north is El Centro or downtown, whose central axis, Hidalgo Street, is the main dining and entertainment area. Also located on the north end is a famous beach called Playa Norte, which has recovered quickly since Hurricane Wilma hit the area in 2005.
Besides these attractions, swimming with dolphins can also be experienced at the Island.
The island of Isla Mujeres is located close to one of many coral reefs such as the one located in Garrafon Park, which is an area popular for its snorkeling and scuba diving.
The Cancun Underwater Museum, created by English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, is located off the western coast of Isla Mujeres.
Isla Mujeres is also home to a population of sea turtles. Because of the recent endangerment of sea turtles in the area, a facility was set up on the southern end of the island for their rehabilitation and breeding. This facility is open to the public.
The island's relative proximity to Cuba has made it one of the favorite stepping stones of Cubans trying to reach the United States in recent years.
There are various boats that will take you there. From Cancun you can get a boat. Ferries leave from 4 different locations in Cancun:
Puerto Juarez: located in Av. Jose Lopez Portillo MZ 84 M 5 L 6 Puerto Juárez, Cancun. Operated by UltraMar has departures every half hour from 5:00 AM to 9:30 PM and then hourly till 11:30 pm, for 300$MXN round trip with open return.
Playa Tortugas: located in the hotel zone of Cancun, Blvd. Kukulcan. Km 6.5. It has only 8 departures per day, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every hour.
Playa Caracol: located in the hotel zone of Cancun, Blvd. Kukulcan. Km 9.5. It has only 6 departures per day, from 9:00 AM to 4:45 PM every 1 hour 15 minutes.
El Embarcadero: located in the hotel zone of Cancun, Blvd. Kukulcan Km 4. It has 6 departures per day, from 9:15 AM to 4:30 PM every 1 hour 15 minutes.
Be advised that ferry tickets price may vary a little from each of the departure spots available.
If you are staying in Cancun, Puerto Juarez is quite close to downtown Cancun, but not within a walking distance. From ADO Bus Station: Cross the road, close to the Mc Donald’s you may get in the public bus Ruta 6 (R6) that goes to Pto Juarez.
When you see the bus coming just flag the conductor - 10 pesos. Get off at UltraMar, pay 300 pesos return. departures every 30 mins.
Puerto Juarez can be reached by small yellow colectivo vans with Ultramar ferry advertisements. In January 2018 we found these colectivos queuing up about 4 blocks north and 1 block east of the downtown Cancun ADO bus station. I.e., leave ADO station and go north on Av. Tulum and then turn right on Av. Chichen-Itza or Carr.
If you are just arriving to Cancun Airport and staying in Isla Mujeres, you need to be taken to the chosen departure spot. You can either prebook private transportation or make the line to hire it once you are there. Be aware that no regular cabs are available at Cancun Airport.
Some well known companies on the area are:
- Discovery Mundo
- Best Day
You can also take the ADO Bus that departs from Cancun Airport and goes Downtown, and take one of the previously mentioned colectivos to Puerto Juarez Ferry, or just a public cab.
Ultramar Ferry. For more information on departure schedules. The journey takes about 25 minutes. Luggage is being stored at the back of the feery. You may sit upstairs and enjoy the beautiful view with live music or take a spot inside the ferry which is air conditioned. 300 pesos both-way open ticket.
If you're in a hurry and have cash to spare, you can charter a Cessna from Aerobanana or, if you are the adventurous type, try hitching a ride with a local in their plane.
The island is about 7km (4.3 mi) in length. The north end sees the most tourist action with the main town area which is extremely compact and walkable and the ferry while the south end is host to mostly private homes and guest houses.
Many locals live in the central part of the island. Taxis from the ferry terminal will take you anywhere in town for 30 pesos, but for multiple excursions to the south end of the island, the best option is to rent a scooter or golf cart.
Like everything in Mexico, you should be able to haggle a decent price - assume $25 USD a day as a starting price for a moped rental. The roads are all paved and the main road makes a loop the whole way around the island.
Be aware that when driving on the Caribbean side of the island, there are occasional strong gusts of wind that can really take you by surprise on a scooter, as can the many topes, or speed bumps.
Turtle Farm (Tortugranja), Sac Bajo, North of Playa Paraiso. 9-17. Government-sponsored hatchery for endangered sea turtles. See young turtles in tanks. 30 Pessos for a person.
Hacienda Mundaca, Located on the road to Garrafon, 3.5 kilometers before Playa Lancheros and Playa Paraiso. 19th century hacienda built by Caribbean pirate Fermin Mundaca. The hacienda includes walls, arches, exotic plants, gardens, birds breeding place, cattle and orchard.
North Beach (Playa Norte). The stretch of beach that runs along the northern end of the island. It has shallow waters and stunning white sand.
The beach is full of fun restaurants and bars as well as several hotels. This is where the majority of travelers will spend their beach time so it can get crowded during peak season. As of November 2016, Playa Norte has been badly eroded with much of the beach missing.
Playa Sol. At the northwestern tip of the island and is the neighboring beach to Playa Norte. Playa Sol is the best location to watch the sunset and is usually a little less crowded than the neighboring beach.
Although it is less crowded, the water is not as shallow and clear as Playa Norte. One other advantage is that drinks are less expensive along Playa Sol.
Punta Sur, at the southern tip of the island. A small ruin that was once a lighthouse and temple to Ixchel, goddess of fertility. There's a modern art sculpture park in the area as well. Free after 5 o'clock. 30 Pessos per person.
Whale Shark Tours. From mid-May through September hundreds of whale sharks gather in the waters near Isla Mujeres, with peak season in July and August.
Trips can be booked anywhere on the island, but official operators who have agreed to uphold certain standards and implement safety measures to protect the sharks operate mostly out of dive shops and charge a set price of $125 (2011) with possible discounts available for multiple trips.
Street vendors will charge as little as $80 per trip, but be aware that these are not official tours.
Tours will generally include breakfast, snorkeling gear, 8-10 people per boat, a 45-60 minute trip out to the whale shark area, and then 3-4 trips in the water with the sharks for 2-15 minutes each time, depending on the number of sharks, more sharks, more time in the water.
The return trip includes lunch, ceviche, and a snorkel at a local reef. All passengers must wear life-jackets in the water unless you have your own wet suit, a useful tip since it is much easier to swim with the sharks in a wet suit than it is in a bulky life jacket. $0-$125.
Garrafon Park. The southern side of the island lacks a sandy beach but offers snorkeling where fish abound and the crystal clear water makes for an enjoyable swim.
The reef that lies within the protective buoys has been severely damaged by storms and years of careless treatment by snorkelers, but a revamp of the park several years ago has created a healthier environment for the coral, and it thrives more with each passing year. Entrance to the park is expensive.
Tour boats from Cancun bring hordes of day-trippers who mostly stay within the park, so it can become quite crowded during the peak of the day.
A useful tip for those staying on the island is that you can snorkel in the waters adjacent to the Garrafon park for about 60 pesos, and the sea life is still very impressive.
Dolphin Discovery. Located on the northwest side of the island on the Peninsula of Sac Bajo is Dolphin Discovery. It is a small amusement park with cahins in other pasts of the Caribbean including Cozumel well known for allowing visitors to interact and swim with dolphins in an enclosed area.
The park has a list of activities ranging from dolphins to other marine mammals. If traveling from Cancun, visitors can take a bus or taxi to Playa Langosta which is located at Boulevard Kukulcan Km. 5. It is between the Casa Maya Hotel and Vacation Club International.
There, Dolphin Discovery representatives can check visitors in and direct them to a ferry which takes 40 minutes to get to the docking area of Dolphin Discovery.
Scuba diving and snorkeling. around Isla Mujeres is unforgettable. The Manchones Reef begins just off of Isla's shore and the Cuevones and Banderas Reefs are close by.
The waters are calm and clear, perfect for the beginner as well as the advanced diver. With 50 accessible sites, Isla Mujeres is a great option and a little unknown with all the hype that Cozumel,its large neighboring island.
Those staying in Playa Norte may enjoying snorkeling in the lagoon next to the Avalon Hotel which has a respectable number of fish in an easily-accessible location.
Aqua Adventures, Booking office on Calle Hidalgo, actual dive center at Marina Paraiso. Nice and relaxed dive shop that advertises itself as the only PADI-certified shop on the island.
Snorkel tour in Isla Mujeres, Boulevard Kukulcan km 15.3, Zona Hotelera. Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7.00 am to 8.00 pm. An all-inclusive day trip to isla mujeres: snorkeling, lunch and fun in the sun on the island. A great option for families and sun lovers.
Squalo Adventures, Smaz 001 Mza 018 Lote 0160, Av. Hidalgo #27, Col. Centro, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico. in front of Rooster Cafe. 08:00 - 20:00. PADI Dive Resort on Isla Mujeres, offering Scuba Diving, Snorkeling and PADI Courses
Mexico Divers PADI Dive Resort, Av Francisco I Madero # 10, Centro, Hidalgo y Guerrero, Isla Mujeres, Q roo, Mexico. Next to OXXO Store. 08:00 - 20:00.
Mexico Divers PADI Dive Resort #22901 is a family-owned Dive Center with the knowledge, quality and professionalism that a diving operation requires to make your vacation in Isla Mujeres a safe and memorable experience.
Go Fishing. One does not need to shell out the large sums of money to go sport fishing on Isla. Just talk to the local hotel/guesthouse employee and they can set you up with a local fisherman who will take you out fishing. Prices are about $40/person for 3-4 hours of fishing.
Whatever fish you catch, you can take to a local restaurant and they will prepare the fish however you like.
Wreck diving, Boulevard Kukulcan km 15.3, Zona Hotelera. Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7.00 am to 8.00 pm. One of the best dive sites in Cancun is to explore the C-58 sweeper immersed with eagle rays, turtles and schools of snappers.
Beach Volleyball. Isla Mujeres has several fine stretches of beach. The northern end of the island is Playa Norte which has a wide swatch of sand that is lined with palm trees and also a few beachfront restaurants and bars. The soft white sand and level beach area make for an ideal beach volleyball court.
The main volleyball-playing area on Playa Norte in front of Buho's swing bar is now gone, a victim of changing tides and a diminishing beach which locals attribute to the moving of sand from the surrounding ocean floor to build back Wilma-damaged Cancun's beaches.
The big, beautiful pre-Wilma Playa Norte is no longer, though there is hope that it will eventually come back.
The town and townsfolk. Do not stay on Isla Mujeres if you insist on a corporate, highly structured vacation. The tourists are the visitors on the townsfolk's turf, and it truly helps to have a little Spanish language ability. Do not be afraid to eat the food, even from the very small and humble-looking restaurants.
For instance, for 5 bucks American you can get a half roasted chicken skin crispy and marinated in Achiote, beans, rice, home pickled peppers and carrots, pickled onions, and a stack of tortillas, more than 3 or 4 people can eat.
If you go in late spring through summer, stay on the northeast coast. Even though it's rocky and not swimable, the refreshing and constant breezes off the ocean keep that side of the island nice and balmy. The town has a fair-sized population of dogs and cats running loose.
If you eat on Hildalgo St. the main drag closed from traffic, you will find many restaurants, and most folks sit outside in warm weather, and the puppies and kitties discreetly position themselves for the occasional dropped morsel.
Don't let them upset you. The whole town is very laid back, and if one goes with the flow, it works well. If you treat the local folks with respect, you will be treated in kind.
Rent a golf cart/bike/etc. Although Isla is a relatively small island, it is fun to rent a golf cart for the day and explore. Because most folks don't venture outside the tourist area they don't find the eastern or southern coasts with their own tucked away private beaches or the other villages on the island that have great food and activities.
You can rent a golf cart for $45 for 24 hours, and official prices for mopeds are $25 for a day.
You have the typical items available for purchase such as blankets, jewelery, stone carvings, pipes. Silver is the item to look for and good prices can be found, especially if buying in quantity. The majority of shops and restaurants accept the US dollar but may give you your change in pesos.
Hidalgo Street is full of restaurants catering to the tourist crowd and tends to be the most lively and also the priciest, while the central portion of the island is where the locals tend to eat and has slightly lower prices.
Beach restaurants are also plentiful, with options near the ferry terminal being more lively while those on Playa Norte and other beaches featuring a more relaxed atmosphere.
Fish is fresh and bountiful, and dishes like ceviche are popular and delicious. A signature island dish is Tik-n-chik, which is a whole fish marinated in achiote and grilled. Dining options include everything from an exquisite lobster dinner to a slice of pizza.
Some of the best food on the island comes from carts: taco stands and vendors selling corn on the cob and tamales in the town square. Be aware that eggs, corn, or milk is rarely refrigerated here because of local tradition.
Amigos, Av. Hidalgo. Amigos' menu specializes in Mexican dishes. There are a few vegetarian dishes, like most places on the island.
Asia Caribe, Avenida Hidalgo, SM1, Sma. 18, Plaza Los Almendros, Centro Isla Mujeres Mexico. 4-11PM. Chef Peter Krinsky uses fresh Mexican ingredients - chili, lime, coconut, pineapple, fresh fish, jicama, cilantro and more - to create delicious Asian cuisine.
Thai-style fresh and fried spring rolls, Tom Yum and Tom Khaa Kai soups, Drunken Noodles, Coconut Shrimp, Fish a la Bangkok, and Sticky Pork Ribs are just a few of the menu options. Vegetarians have a whole page of dishes to choose from that can be served with or without tofu.
Fish is purchased almost daily from the local fisherman. $10-20 US.
Bahia Tortuga (Restaurant/Bar), Prol Aepto M88 Lt11 Isla Mujeres, QRoo, Mexico 77400 On the bayside mid-way down the airstrip. Water front palapa bar and pool. Serving daily 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm.
American and Mexican dishes including fresh local Grouper, USDA Top Sirloin Burgers ground on-site, Philly Cheese Steak, Chicken Enchiladas and Fajitas, Hand-cut French Fries, and much more. Signature drinks: Habanero and Mango Margaritas and Mojitos. $5 - $20 US.
Bally Hoo. Located on a dock a few hundred yards north of the ferry dock. The open air restaurant serves fresh seafood and some of the best margaritas on Isla Mujeres.
BoBo's Fish & Chips (Bobo's), Avenida Matamoros. Between Cafe Cito and Hotel Vistal Mar, across the street from Restaurant Olivia. Great Fish & Chips, Burgers, Chicken Wings and Caeser Salads. Small takeout restaurant with a few places to sit.
Amazing food, cooked when you order it, in front of you. Owned by a couple of friendly Canadian guys. Under $100 Pesos.
El Poc-Chuc, corner of calle Abasolo and av. Chuarez. Cocina economica, serves good food for a nice prices.
Freddie's, on north end of Hidalgo Ave. Doesn't look like much, but they know how to cook a fish and do up shrimp. They make an excellent garlic-butter catch of the day.
La Lomita, av Juarez - Ascend the av. Juarez from Allende. It is at the top on the small hill. Family restaurant for locals. Cheap and excellent food.
Miguels Moonlight. Located on Madero just off Hildalgo Ave, Miguel's serves up great food and drinks. The Seafood special includes lobster, shrimp and fillet of fish for $15USD.
The owner, Miguel, makes excellent drinks. Miguel is also the nicest owner on the island; he talks personally with his guests and will remember you if you ever return!
Minino's, north of the ferry terminal on the beach. Located right next to the docks, this restaurant features huge drinks, an extensive seafood menu, and what locals described as the best ceviche on the island. Tables are right on the sand, service is prompt, and the patrons include a mix of locals and tourists. $10-$15 per person.
Picus. This small restaurant is on the beach next to the ferry dock serves fresh seafood that is brought in by the fisherman right in front of your eyes. Main entree $4-12USD.
Rolandi's, Av. Hidalgo. Offers pizza, calzone, veal, and other Italian food. They actually deliver to the hotels - call the desk, and a man with a long gray ponytail will hop on a scooter and zip the pizza over to you. Prices are a tiny bit more than the Mexican joints, but sometimes, you just need a pizza.
Sunset Grill, (Playa Norte). This upscale option is great for a sunset dinner. It's right on the beach, and one can either eat in the open/bar-restaurant area on in the sand with torches to light your meal.
Two romantic tables are set right along the water with torches and can be reserved for 200 pesos. Seafood dishes are high-quality and well-prepared, service is excellent, and the ambiance is unbeatable. $20-$25 per person for dinner.
Tacos Campos. A small taqueria located in the La Gloria community at mid-island. Serves many different varieties of tacos for about $0.75USD each and includes a salsa bar with many different types of salsa and mexican condiments. It is open late, sometimes up to 4AM.
Qubanos, Av. Hidalgo. Authentic Cuban cuisine. Consistently ranked one of the island's best. Lunch and dinner only.
Isla's nightlife is a lot more laid back than Cancun's but there are still good options. The livelier nightlife seems to be found on Hidalgo Street, while the beach bars are more relaxed.
Also, like all beach towns in Mexico, it is usually Happy Hour someplace, and beer is 2 for about $3, mixed drinks, 2 for $5. The beach bars on the north end have rotating happy hours.
Try a michelada, which is a beer mixed with fresh lime juice and a variety of other sauces, the perfect delicious island drink. If you want a dosage of Cancun nightlife, jump on an express ferry heading to Cancun in the evening, party the night away and take the first ferry back to Isla at 5AM.
Bahia Tortuga (Restaurant/Bar), Prol Aepto M88 Lt11 Isla Mujeres, QRoo, Mexico 77400 On the bayside mid-way down the airstrip. Water front palapa bar and pool. Serving daily 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm. Signature drinks: Habanero and Mango Margaritas and Mojitos.
Menu: American and Mexican dishes including fresh local Grouper, USDA Top Sirloin Burgers ground on-site, Philly Cheese Steak, Chicken Enchiladas and Fajitas, Hand-cut French Fries, and much more. $5 - $20 US.
La Adelita, Av. Hidalgo. Isla's only tequila bar with over 150 different tequilas.
Buho's, Av. Carlos Laza. Located right on Playa Norte, this laid-back bar has swings, hammocks, and an impressive wooden canopy. Those looking for a good place to enjoy the sunset may particularly enjoy this bar. Snacks are served until 5PM, with the bar staying open much later.
Chi-Chi & Charlies, Playa Norte. A perfect spot to watch sunset and share a drink with Tomas, the coolest toothless bastard you've ever met. Make sure you try the high octane jet fuel and learn about the two basics.
Chuuk Kay Restaurant Bar and Grill, Cancun side, on the canal water, south of the Junior High School. 11-11. Located mid-island next door to Gym Tonic in Colonia Electricistas. Featuring live music on the weekends and a variety of delicious meals. Try the ceviche! Open 11AM - 11PM
Nitrox Club, Av. Vicente Guerrero esq. Matamoros. W-Su, 9PM to 3AM.
OM Bar and Chill Lounge. A unique new bar with beer on the tap at each table, wines and jazz.
Pocna Hostel Bar. Bar within the Pocna Hostel. A cool palapa bar that is on the beach. Open late and serves cheap beer/drink specials. Great international crowd.
Romi's Bar. Romi, and Isla legend and owner, serves up fantastic drinks. Located at the Posada Del Mar Hotel.
She Bar. A popular night time spot for both tourist and locals.
Barlito, bakery & market cafe, SW Corner of Hidalgo & Abasolo. 8am to 3pm. A little breakfast & lunch spot on a busy corner on Hidalgo. All bagels, breads, cinnamon rolls & cupcakes made fresh daily.
The menu includes breakfast items, huge fresh salads, paninis & sandwiches with daily specials. Take out available too. Closed on Sunday & Monday. $25 pesos & up.
The Soggy Peso (Bar). Great friendly bartenders! Great food and drinks too.
Miguels Moonlight., Av Francisco Madero. Best drinks! Happy hour (6pm - 10pm) - two same drinks for 70 pessos.
Hotel La Joya. Great hidden place to relax and get away from the busy tourist side of the island.
Pocna Hostel. Dormitory style rooms, a few singles and a campsite right on the beach. Great bar on the beach and has cafe that serves simple meals and complimentary toast and coffee breakfast.
They also offer dance lessons, Spanish classes, magic shows, and volleyball tournaments for free throughout the day and evening. There are nightly parties at the bar. $9-15 per night, singles are $30, camping is $6 per night per person.
XS Hostel, Plaza Isla Mujeres Segundo Piso, entre la Av. Hidalgo y Av. Juarez. Offers six private/semi-private rooms each equiped with bathroom, air conditioning, four beds and bed linens and a blanket are included.
Beds are bunk bed style and they have a safe and storage area - safe, locker, storage area. Access to the recreation room and patio equipped with games and cable TV. $17-20.
Hotel Sueno Maya, Av. Madero Lt. 12 At the north end of Madero street. checkout: 12:00. Nice and clean and cheap hotel, close to the city centre. Some rooms may not have windows. Room no. 9 has a chromebook at your disposal. Safety box may be hired for refundable $500 MXN.
More expensive rooms (900 MXN) have much more space and even a kitchenette. Reservations can be made through hotel website. $600-900 MXN for doubleroom.
Bahia Tortuga (Restaurant/Bar - Hotel - Marina), Prol Aepto M88 Lt11 On the bayside mid-way down the airstrip. Bahia Tortuga is a unique 5-room boutique hotel with onsite Palapa bar serving a large assortment of American and Mexican dishes including fresh Grouper.
USDA Top Sirloin Burgers, Philly Cheese Steak, Conch Fritters, Chicken Enchiladas & Fajitas. Restaurant is open 12:00 noon-10:00 pm.
Bucaneros Hotel & Suites (Hotel), Miguel Hidalgo Ave. Lt08, M14, SM01. On downtown main pedestrian street that goes from the main square to famous North Beach.
Hotel & Suites Bucaneros is a small family run 17-room hotel with on-site terrace, Restaurant Bar "Compadres" serving a large choice of Mexican Food, Sea Food, Steaks, Pasta & Pizza, also, the hotel is equipped with a small meetings room available upon request.
A continental breakfast included for two people in your room rate. In order to reserve contact them directly at their website. If you prefer that they call you just send them your phone number and they will gladly contact you.
Their room rates range from $72 usd/night for a small standard single rooms with A/C to $93 usd/night for a large double room with a King Size bed with balcony, four rooms categories in total. Restaurant is open from 7:00 am to 11:30 pm.
Belmar, Av. Hidalgo. Nice and clean rooms, but could not store bags after check-out. $46 US per night.
Ixchel Beach hotel, Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres. Located playa norte, on the beach. Depending on the season, from 55 US to over a hundred for a double room.
Rocamar Hotel Panoramico, Calle Nicolas Bravo y Entre Abasolo, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, 77400 Mexico. At Rocamar Hotel Panoramico in Quintana Roo, Mexico, you will enjoy the expansive vista of the sparkling aquamarine water and sandy coastline from your balcony.
Hotel Las Palmas, #20 Av. Guerrero. Canadian owned and operated. Located one block from North Beach, but far enough away not to hear it. Clean, comfortable rooms with either two double beds, one king bed or king with kitchenette studios available.
All pillow-top beds, fast working AC, hot water and pressure. Some rooms with mini fridge. Free, powerful, wide-bandwidth WiFi! Owners live on site. Rooftop terrace also includes a dipping style pool, sun lounges, hammocks, beach bed and many areas to sit and relax. US$60-90 taxes included, depending on time of year.
Playa la Media Luna Hotel. Small hotel on the northeast side of the island, near the Avalon Reef Club. The Hotel is quite charming. It has only 18 rooms, and it was designed so that each room feels as though you are isolated from your neighbors.
Each floor has a sitting room, with books all over the place. It is owned and run by a local family. Also, the famous fishing Captain Anthony Mendillo has his Keen M Deep Sea Fishing office there.
Seahawk Rooms. Low-priced rooms starting at US$40 are in an older building while the newer building has more luxurious rooms and suites, at prices up to US$225.
Casa el Pío Hotel, Av Miguel Hidalgo SM01 Mz23 Lote09 South of the main square. Hotel Casa el Pío is a tiny property of only 5 rooms. Situated just south of the main square on Isla Mujeres the hotel features large, quiet guest rooms and a communal roof top terrace for gazing at the Caribbean Sea.
It feels as if you are staying at your friend's beach house. Rooms feature AC, fridges, coffee makers, private bathrooms, clean drinking water, wi-fi, beach towels, beach bags, room safes, daily housekeeping. Reserve online at the website. USD80-USD95.
The private homes on Punta Sur make great options if your budget is greater. Located on the most sought after location, these incredible homes overlook the bay towards Cancun.
Hotel Cabañas María del Mar, Av. Arq. Carlos Lazo . All rooms are equipped with balcony/lanai/terrace, minibar, internet access, room safe, private toilet and bath. They also offer facilities like parking, restaurant/cafe/bar, spa and swimming pool.
Casa Vaya Vida,. This 3 bedroom home has a piano shaped infinity pool overlooking the bay. The master suite has ocean view. The palapa on the roof provides 360 ocean views. It is one of the top rated casa's on the island.
Casa Sirena Hotel, Av. Hidalgo, Centro 5 minute walk from ferry dock. checkin: 1:00 pm; checkout: 11:00 am. Six room Bed & Breakfast hotel located in a quiet residential neighborhood. Complimentary breakfast and happy hour (Mon-Sat). $105-$155 + tax.
Casa Vista Allegre Del Sur.
The police patrol the beaches looking for tourists to exploit. If you are caught with marijuana or public drunkenness, the police will intimidate you and try to get a bribe out of you. Stay calm and use a video camera to protect yourself. There are also fake police who do the same thing.
If they are not in full uniform, they are not real police! They are simply trying to scam you.
In addition to the above, some places work in cahoots with these "police" to try and sell you something you have no interest in and then claim you owe them money and therefore mobilize these "police" to pull out handcuffs and threaten you with arrest. Muelleazul on the left after you get off the ferry is such a place.
There are not too many ATMs on the island. One is located right across the port, and the next one in a supermarket just a few meters north. The Xpress Supermarket by the town square also has an ATM. By 2013, this is less true.
There are ATM's in the 7-11, the Chedraui, Banamex, HSBC and both the super markets and more are popping up regularly. Cash shortage was a problem as little as 2-3 years ago, but now seldom is.
The Cancun airport can be reached from the island for US $15-$20 with shuttle operators. For small groups of individuals it is cheaper to take the ferry to Puerto Juarez and then take taxi to the airport for 300 pessos for a whole taxi.
They tend to offer the taxi for about 700 pesos, but just tell them you want to go for 300. The whole journey from the island to the airport takes about an hour, but it may vary depending on traffic.