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How to Get to Isla Mujeres

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If you’re travelling around Mexico then you may have heard some people mention this beautiful island but you might be wondering to your about how to get to Isla Mujeres. Well, look no further!

In this guide we will share the best tips on how to get to the island because Isla Mujeres is definitely worth a visit whilst you’re in Mexico. Generally speaking, most people will get the Ultramar ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.

This is the most popular way to travel to Isla Mujeres but there are other options available to you. If you’re coming from Tulum, Cozumel or Playa del Carmen then one of these other options may be better suited for you.

There are also private options for you to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres so if you’re travelling as a group this might be a better option for you.

Ultramar ferry from Cancun Puerto Juarez.

Below you will find some quick facts on the best way to get to Isla Mujeres and the prices but underneath that we’ve shared more information and plenty of tips to make your journey as smooth as possible.

Quick Facts for Visiting Isla Mujeres

From Cancun Airport:

  • Take an ADO bus to Downtown Cancun and then a collectivo to Puerto Juarez where you can catch the Ultramar Ferry.
  • If you’re renting a car then you can drive to Puerto Juarez where you can take the UltraCarga ferry from the Punta Sam terminal which you can take your car over to Isla Mujeres.
  • Alternatively, take a taxi straight to Puerto Juarez to catch the Ultramar ferry.

From Downtown Cancun:

  • Take a collectivo to Puerto Juarez and take the Ultramar Ferry to Isla Mujeres.
  • If you’ve rented a car then you can drive to Puerto Juarez and take the UltraCarga ferry from the Punta Sam terminal which transports you and your vehicle to Isla Mujeres.
  • Take a taxi to Puerto Juaraz to get the Ultramar ferry.

From Cancun Hotel Zone:

  • Head over to Playa Tortugas to catch the Ultramar ferry to Isla Mujeres.
  • Take the Ultramar ferry to Isla Mujeres from Playa Caracol.
  • Use the XCaret Xailing ferry from El Embarcadero

Where is Isla Mujeres?

Isla Mujeres is a small island just off the coast of Cancun that attracts millions of travellers every year. This small Mexican island translates to ‘The Island of Women’ and is truly an island of paradise.

It is only possible to get to the island either by ferry, water taxi or taking a day trip from Cancun but it is definitely worth the visit. In our opinion, it is one of the best places to visit within Mexico itself and that is saying a lot!

Isla Mujeres, like Cancun, is part of the Quintana Roo state of Mexico which is one of the most popular states in Mexico for tourists.

You’ll find that during Spring Break, thousands of Americans will flock to Isla Mujeres and Cancun to let their hair down before going back to school.

How to Get to Isla Mujeres?

There are quite a few different ways to get to Isla Mujeres. You will only be able to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun no matter which mode of transport you use to get there.

Beautiful Playa Norte beach in Isla Mujeres with the golden sandy beach and crystal blue water.

We would recommend spending a couple of days in Isla Mujeres at least. Amy spent about 3 weeks in total on the island when she visited and she didn’t want to leave. It truly is an absolute haven for anyone looking to relax or potentially even learning to dive in Isla Mujeres.

Below, we will share with you how to get from different parts of Cancun to the different ports that you can use to get to Isla Mujeres.

We will then share the different public ferry and private water taxi options including the ferry schedules so that you can find your way there easily.

Cancun to Isla Mujeres

As we mentioned, the only way you can get to Isla Mujeres is from Cancun so if you’re staying in Tulum or Cozumel then you will need to find your way to Cancun first so that you can get to Isla Mujeres.

However, you may want to stay in Cancun if you think it worth a visit for you before heading over to the island. It makes it much easier to get to Isla Mujeres that is for sure!

There are 4 different companies that offer a ferry crossing from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. The most popular port to use is Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres with the Ultramar ferries. The ferry crossing is cheap and it is a journey that we’ve done around 10 times now so we know that it is reliable.

We’ve shared below the easiest ports for you to get to depending on where you’re coming from in Cancun.

Cancun Airport & Cancun Downtown to Puerto Juarez

If you’re travelling from Cancun Airport to Isla Mujeres then you will need to take a bus or a taxi to the Puerto Juarez port.

  • ADO Bus to ADO Terminal in Cancun & then a Collectivo or Taxi to Puerto Juarez

For any travellers that are on a tight budget, we would recommend using the ADO bus service from Cancun airport to the ADO terminal within downtown Cancun. From there, you will need to arrange to either get a collectivo or a taxi to Puerto Juarez which is the closest port.

  • Taxi from Cancun Airport to Puerto Juarez

Alternatively, you can arrange to get a taxi from Cancun airport or downtown Cancun, straight to Puerto Juarez which we have done numerous times. If you’re travelling alone in Mexico make sure that you take note of the Cancun taxis to ensure that you’re getting in a verified taxi.

  • Pre-book airport Transfer from Cancun to Puerto Juarez

If you would rather pre-book your transport from Cancun Airport or downtown Cancun to Puerto Juarez then you can book airport transfers through Viator or Get Your Guide. We’ve shared a couple of transfer options below for you.

TRANSFER FROM CANCUN AIRPORT TO PUERTO JUAREZ

Cancun Puerto Juarez Terminals to Isla Mujeres

Once you have arrived at Puerto Juarez, you will have a choice of different ferry options to travel onto Isla Mujeres.

There are 3 different ferry terminals from Puerto Juarez for you to choose from:

Terminal Ultramar

By far the most popular terminal at Puerto Juarez. You will be able to purchase tickets for the Ultramar ferry either at the ticket office or online in advance.

If you’re travelling during peak seasons then we recommend purchasing in advance to avoid disappointment.

Ultramar Ferry Prices for Isla Mujeres

Ultramar Ferry

We would personally recommend the Ultramar ferry to Isla Mujeres as we’ve used them quite a few times and never had a bad experience.

The Ultramar ferries run every 30 minutes from 05:30am – 11:00pm so you will have plenty of choice on which ferry you want to take and you won’t need to wait around long.

If you’re returning from Isla Mujeres to Cancun then the first ferry departs at 06:00 and the latest ferry departs at midnight.

At the time of writing this, the cost of a roundtrip from Cancun to Isla Mujeres with the Ultramar from Puerto Juarez costs $540MXN ($32USD / £25GBP).

Ultramar Ferry timetable from Cancun to Isla Mujeres

UltraCarga from Punta Sam Terminal

For anyone that wishes to take a vehicle with them to Isla Mujeres, you will need to get the UltraCarga ferry from the Punta Sam terminal at Puerto Juarez.

The UltraCarga ferries are a lot less frequent than the Ultramar so this will take a little more planning if you’re arriving into Cancun airport on the same day.

UltraCarga timetable from Punta Sam Terminal from Cancun to Isla Mujeres

The prices can vary for using the UltraCarga ferry depending on the vehicle you’re planning to take and the weight of the vehicle. Due to this, it is best to check the UltraCarga website for prices so that you can work out what is applicable to you.

Terminal Maritima

One of the cheaper options to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun is using Jetway Ferries. At the time of writing this in March 2024, Jetway are scheduled on a break. However, as the peak season draws closer, they may re-open again so we will keep updated with news on this and updated this page as soon as possible.

Jetway Ferries

Previously, you would be able to take a Jetway ferry from this terminal to Isla Mujeres which was a little bit cheaper than the Ultramar. At the time of writing this, Jetway have posted that they will be back soon so it is worth checking to see if they have returned if you’re looking for a cheaper option.

Hotel Zone to Port

If you’re staying in the hotel zone then you may not want to go all the way to Puerto Juarez to get a ferry to Isla Mujeres. It is about an 11 minute drive from Cancun’s hotel zone to Puerto Juarez which isn’t long if you arrange a taxi.

However, if you’re on a budget and looking to get to Puerto Juarez from the Cancun’s hotel zone then you can get the R1 bus there. Not all the R1 buses go to Puerto Juarez so you will need to check that the bus is marked to go there.

Boats on the water coming into Isla Mujeres.

Alternatively, when you get on the bus you can ask the driver if they are going to Gran Puerto (another name for Puerto Juarez) and they will be able to confirm.

The R1 buses are not very frequent so if you have trouble getting one marked for the port then head into downtown Cancun and then get the ADO bus to Puerto Juarez from there.

You can also get a taxi which will be much easier but this can be a little bit more expensive than using the public bus so it will completely depend on your budget.

If you’re not wanting to go all the way to Puerto Juarez then there are 3 ports in the hotel zone that go to Isla Mujeres. These ferries in the hotel zone do not run as frequently and can be a little bit more expensive so it is worth doing your research on what is most cost effective for your budget beforehand.

Playa Tortugas

From Playa Tortugas, you can get the Ultramar ferry to Isla Mujeres which is a good affordable option if this is the closest port to you.

It will cost around $540MXN ($32USD / £25GBP) for a round trip from Playa Tortugas to Isla Mujeres.

It is worth bearing in mind that the ferries from Playa Tortugas do not run as frequently as they do from Puerto Juarez so it is worth planning well in advance.

Timetable and Prices for the Ultramar ferry from Playa Tortugas to Isla Mujeres

We would also recommend booking your ferry tickets in advance during peak seasons in Mexico to ensure that you can board the Ultramar without any fuss.

The ferry doesn’t run as frequently as it does in Puerto Juarez so if you’re quite flexible on timings then this will be a perfect option for you.

The first ferry leaves Cancun’s Playa Tortuga at 09:30 am and the last ferry leaves at 06:30pm. If you’re coming back from Isla Mujeres to Playa Tortugas then the first ferry leaves Isla Mujeres at 10:30am and the last ferry leaves at 07:00pm.

Playa Caracol

If Playa Tortuga is too far from your hotel then you also have the option of Playa Caracol to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.

This ferry service to Isla Mujeres is also ran by the Ultramar so once again it will cost around $540MXN ($32USD / £25GBP) for a round trip from Playa Caracol to Isla Mujeres.

Timetable and Prices for the Ultramar ferry from Playa Caracol to Isla Mujeres

Similar to Playa Tortugas, it does not run as frequently as the Ultramar service from Puerto Juarez. However, if you’re not on a huge time crunch then this will be a good option for you.

The first ferry leaves from Playa Caracol in Cancun to Isla Mujeres at 09:45am and the last ferry leaves Playa Caracol at 05:45pm. If you’re returning from Isla Mujeres to Playa Caracol then the first ferry leave Isla Mujeres at 10:30am and the last ferry leaves Isla Mujeres at 07:00pm.

El Embarcadero

Your last option for a ferry from Cancun’s hotel zone to Isla Mujeres is from El Embarcadero. These ferries are ran by XCaret which you may have heard of after the popular adventure parks in Cancun.

You will be looking for the XCaret Xailing ferry and is slightly cheaper than the Ultramar too.

As this is a less popular ferry to Isla Mujeres, you will find that it is usually less crowded making it a perfect option to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.

At the moment, the XCaret Xailing ferry doesn’t run as often as the Ultramar from Puerto Juarez but there are still more timings than if you went via Playa Tortugas or Playa Caracol.

The XCaret Xailing ferry runs on the hour every hour from 09:00 up until 07:00pm in Cancun. If you’re catching the XCaret Xailing ferry back from Isla Mujeres then they also run every hour starting from 10:00am until 08:00pm from Isla Mujeres.

It will cost you around $538.29MXN ($27.96USD / £21.89GBP) for a round trip from El Embarcadero in Cancun to Isla Mujeres.

Whilst this is not an option that we’ve tried ourselves, it is definitely going to be the ferry that we use the next time we visit Isla Mujeres.

Water Taxi

If you’re planning to go to Isla Mujeres as a group then it may actually be cheaper for you to arrange a private water taxi for you all instead of paying out for individual ferry tickets.

At the time of writing this, we do not have any current recommendations for a water taxi as we’ve not used them ourselves yet. However, we have heard of lots of other travellers in groups using them on occasion.

Day Trip from Cancun to Isla Mujeres

If you’re only planning to visit Isla Mujeres for a day trip then you may not want to use the ferry to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun.

There are lots of different day trip options from Cancun to Isla Mujeres where you can go on a group boat trip and enjoy activities such as snorkelling and diving in Isla Mujeres.

Boats on the water departing from Cancun.

We’ve shared below some of our favourite options for day trips from Cancun to Isla Mujeres so that you can make the most of your time there.

BEST TOURS TO ISLA MUJERES FROM CANCUN

How to Get to Isla Mujeres from Playa del Carmen

If you’re already in Playa del Carmen then you may be wondering how to get to Isla Mujeres from here instead.

Essentially, you will need to travel from Playa del Carmen to Cancun and then choose one of the ferry options that we outlined above. The easiest ferry option if you’re travelling from Playa del Carmen will most likely be the Ultramar ferry from Puerto Juarez.

It will take just over an hour to drive there if you’re getting a taxi to Cancun but be mindful that this can be a bit of an expensive option. If there are a few of you travelling though then this might be the most cost effective way to get from Playa del Carmen to Cancun.

Alternatively, you can get an ADO bus from Playa del Carmen to the ADO bus terminal in Cancun. This will take around an hour and 10 minutes. It can cost between $85MXN ($5USD / £4GBP) up to $240MXN ($14USD / £11GBP) depending on the time of day that you’re travelling. From there, you will be able to get a taxi or a collectivo to the port.

Alternatively, you can arrange for a day tour from Playa del Carmen to Isla Mujeres. This will include all the transportation to Cancun and the ferry too so that you don’t have to worry about a thing.

We’ve popped a couple of day trip recommendations below so that you can make the most of Isla Mujeres.

DAY TRIPS TO ISLA MUJERES FROM PLAYA DEL CARMEN

How to Get to Isla Mujeres from Tulum

Similar to Playa del Carmen, you will need to get to Cancun from Tulum so that you can visit Isla Mujeres. You will most likely want to get the Ultramar Ferry at Puerto Juarez if you’re not staying in Cancun as this will be the easiest option.

If you’re taking a taxi from Tulum to Cancun then this will take around 2 hours so make sure that you leave in plenty of time to be able to get the ferry if you’ve got any commitments in Isla Mujeres.

If you’re on a budget then it is worth considering getting an ADO bus from Tulum to the ADO bus terminal in Cancun. It can cost between $240MXN ($14USD / £11GBP) – $420MXN ($25USD / £20GBP) depending on the date and time you’re travelling.

Multi-coloured Tulum sign with Amy sitting on the L shape.

You will then need to get either a collectivo or a taxi from the bus terminal to Puerto Juarez before getting on the Ultramar ferry to Isla Mujeres.

Equally, if you’re only planning on spending a day in Isla Mujeres then you may want to look at a day trip to Isla Mujeres from Tulum instead.

There are only a few of these tours around because of the distance from Tulum so we’ve shared them below for you.

BEST TOURS TO ISLA MUJERES FROM TULUM

How to Get to Isla Mujeres from Cozumel

It is most common to visit Cozumel from Playa del Carmen because it is so close by. There are ferry options with Ultramar between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.

If you’re looking to visit Isla Mujeres from Cozumel then you have a couple of options. You can either take the ferry back to Playa del Carmen and then get the ADO bus to Cancun like we mentioned in the Playa del Carmen section. Then you will need to get a collectivo or taxi to Puerto Juarez to catch the Ultramar ferry.

Alternatively, as Cozumel has it’s own airport, you can fly directly to Cancun airport and then get the ADO bus to the bus terminal in downtown Cancun. From there, you will then need to get a taxi or collectivo to the port.

It is not the easiest option to get from Cozumel to Isla Mujeres but we can assure you that it is certainly worth the effort.

I’ve got to Isla Mujeres, what now?

Now that you’ve learnt the best ways to get to Isla Mujeres you must be wondering what to do now. As we mentioned, Cancun really is the best way to get to Isla Mujeres but if you’re coming from Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Cozumel then you will need to make your way to Cancun.

Isla Mujeres is a beautiful island and it is a really safe destination to visit. No matter where you’re visiting, there are always some things that you need to keep an eye out for so ensure that you read our guide on things you need to watch out for in Isla Mujeres before visiting.

Isla Mujeres sign with Amy standing in the middle.

Once you take the ferry over to Isla Mujeres, you will be able to bask in the Mexican sun on Playa Norte, try your hand at some diving in the beautiful Caribbean sea and enjoy the beauty of the town in Isla Mujeres.

It really is a beautiful island of paradise set for relaxation that you will come away from Isla Mujeres feeling a lot more at peace than when you arrived.

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