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Isla Mujeres Diving (the best tours & dive spots on the island)

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Isla Mujeres diving is an experience unlike any other and one that you definitely need to tick off of the bucket list if you’re heading to Mexico.

Situated just a short ferry ride away from Cancun, this island is a beautiful destination in Mexico to visit and has so much to offer. The name of the island literally translates to the ‘island of women’ and is a small slice of paradise.

You will find that there are some amazing tours in Cancun to Isla Mujeres but we would recommend spending more than a day there. You’ll find that Isla Mujeres is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Cancun so you’ll definitely want to spend a few days there.

With that in mind, Isla Mujeres also has a lot of marine life and beautiful dive sites to bring to the table too. During Amy’s trip to Mexico, learning to dive in Isla Mujeres was one of her highlights! Not just that but there are so many amazing things to do in Isla Mujeres too that you can’t miss out.

From snorkelling with whale sharks, diving to see the underwater statues to being able to swim with turtles in Isla Mujeres, it has plenty to keep a keen diver occupied!

The beautiful sea between Cancun and Isla Mujeres.

Where is Isla Mujeres and how do I get there?

Isla Mujeres can be found just off the coast of Cancun and is really easy to travel to. We would really recommend spending some time in Cancun too as there are plenty of things to do in Cancun.

There are so many things to explore in Cancun which is why it is worth visiting before you leave Cancun. However, Cancun can get a bit busy and it’s always worth having some time away to relax. This is where Isla Mujeres comes in!

You will get to enjoy the beautiful beaches like Playa Norte, explore around the small town, rent a golf cart and enjoy some snorkelling or diving in Isla Mujeres.

The easiest way to get to Isla Mujeres is to travel from Cancun. You will be able to get a ferry from Puerto Juarez where you will need to catch the Ultramar ferry. It will take approximately 30 minutes to arrive in Isla Mujeres from Cancun.

If you’re planning to catch the Ultramar ferry then you can purchase your tickets directly at the port. It will cost approximately 300 pesos for a round-trip which equates to around £14 / $18.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to arrive in Isla Mujeres in style, you can arrange a private transfer to the island. This is an option that also works really well if you’re travelling as a group too.

You can look at booking a private boat tour from Cancun to Isla Mujeres by finding more information on the water taxis below.

Isla Mujeres Diving is one of the most incredible things you can do so that you can see incredible marine life like a stingray in this photo.

Where Should I Stay in Isla Mujeres?

There are so many different amazing places to stay in Isla Mujeres that it can be overwhelming for choices.

After staying at around 10 different places on the island, we’ve created a small list below that are our favourite places to stay. If you’re travelling alone to Mexico then it might be worth considering to stay in a hostel.

When you’re staying in a hostel, you will find that it is much easier to meet new people and explore together.

No matter where you choose to stay, the island is absolutely stunning and you will most likely not want to spend a lot of time at your accommodation anyway.

You can use the booking.com search form below to check out other accommodations that are available in Isla Mujeres.

Is Scuba Diving in Isla Mujeres Worth it?

Now onto the exciting part and the reason why you’re here; scuba diving in Isla Mujeres!

If you’re planning to do some scuba diving in Isla Mujeres then you have absolutely made the right choice! This is one of the reasons that makes Isla Mujeres worth visiting.

Amy learnt to scuba dive in Isla Mujeres and it was one of the best decisions that she could have made.

Whilst Isla Mujeres is close to Cancun, there are still a lot of different dive sites that fall under Isla Mujeres itself that you don’t want to miss. Even the MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art) there are some areas that fall under Cancun and some that fall under Isla Mujeres.

Amy after she's been scuba diving with very evident mask lines around her face.

Another reason why scuba diving in Isla Mujeres is totally worth your time is that there are so many incredible animals that you can see along the way.

We dive deeper (forgive the pun) into the different types of marine life that you will see during your scuba diving experience in Isla Mujeres in another section below.

We’ve broken down a little list here of the reasons why Isla Mujeres should be the destination that you choose for your next scuba diving adventure.

  1. Affordable Scuba Diving
  2. Exciting Marine Life
  3. Interesting Dive Sites

We’ve only just scratched the surface on how amazing diving in Isla Mujeres is but this is a great place to start!

Is It Safe to Go Scuba Diving in Isla Mujeres?

One of the biggest worries that Amy had when she was planning to learn how to dive abroad is “will it be safe”? She felt no different when it came to go diving in Isla Mujeres and the question changed to “Is it safe to go scuba diving in Isla Mujeres”?

The short answer to this question is yes! It is absolutely safe to go diving in Isla Mujeres. However, just like any other destination, there are things you need to be careful of when diving in Isla Mujeres.

The biggest concern that Amy had when picking to dive in Isla Mujeres is whether she will understand the instructions prior to diving and if there will be a language barrier.

When it came to the first few dive sessions, this fear was quickly alleviated and the instructions were crystal clear.

There are so many beautiful fish to see when you're diving in Isla Mujeres.

There are not many animals that are considered dangerous either so you won’t have any issues with safety when it comes to marine life. Of course, you need to remember that we are in their living space so animals can be unpredictable.

No matter where you choose to go diving, this will be the same scenario. You will need to keep your wits about you wherever you go diving and listen or watch out for instructions.

Your dive master will inform you of anything that you need to be cautious of and any animals that you need to keep an eye out for.

When is the best time to go Scuba Diving in Isla Mujeres?

When you’re going on a diving trip, the last thing you want to happen is for it to be called off last minute because the weather is not in your favour.

The best time to visit Isla Mujeres is between December to March because you will be able to avoid the ‘rainy season’.

In terms of diving, you will find that December – April is generally the best time. Even though in April you will find some downfalls of rain, there are usually just small showers and shouldn’t disrupt your dive trip at all.

The reason why it is a good period to go diving is that you will find that there are not as many tourists during this period of time due to work and school schedules.

Alternatively, If you’re looking to do some diving and snorkelling then you may want to visit during Whale Shark season in Isla Mujeres. The Whale Shark season tends to be between May – September so this can also be a good time to go diving.

Swimming with Whale Sharks is one of the top experiences you can do in Isla Mujeres.

You will find that there are some downpours of rain during this season but it is rare that you will find that it will stop your diving trip.

Amy went diving and snorkelling with the Whale Sharks in June and didn’t have any issues with her trips being cancelled. She only started to notice downpours of rain around September time in fairness.

Generally speaking, going diving in the Caribbean Sea is pretty good all-year round. You just need to take some time to see what you would rather and which animals you would like to see whilst you’re diving in Isla Mujeres.

It might also be worth looking at things that you would like to do outside of your diving time. We always recommend visiting outside of peak season to most destinations so that you can see as much as possible. Follow this guide for visiting Isla Mujeres so that you can plan your trip in advance and learn more about what the island has to offer.

Whale Shark Snorkelling Tours

Learning to Dive in Isla Mujeres

If it’s your first time learning to dive then we can say from first hand experience that Isla Mujeres is one of the best places to do it.

Amy with her diving instructor Kai outside of Sea Hawk Divers.

Amy first learnt to go scuba diving in Isla Mujeres with a dive company called Sea Hawk Divers. This was, in her opinion, one of the best companies to go diving with.

Her instructor Kai was friendly, reassuring, patient and ensured that all instructions were explained clearly.

Another amazing thing about learning to dive in Isla Mujeres is that you will get to try your closed water diving in the shallows of the Caribbean. Amy can remember that one of the best experiences was perfecting some scuba diving skills and pregnant stingrays were swimming below.

As there are different types of dives that you can perform in Isla Mujeres, this is one of the best places to learn as you will be able to enhance all the skills you require.

What Can You See Diving in Isla Mujeres?

Whilst you’re diving in Isla Mujeres, you will get to see a plethora of different marine animals.

Of these animals, there will be plenty that are on most divers bucket lists. Whilst Amy was completing her PADI Open Water Diving Certification, as she done a CECA, she got to swim with turtles in Isla Mujeres.

This was one of the most incredible experiences and also a very lucky experience for such a new diver. Throughout Amy’s time diving in Isla Mujeres she was lucky enough to see stingrays, manta rays, turtles, groupers, lionfish and plenty of beautiful fish.

A huge manta ray whilst snorkelling in Isla Mujeres.

Of course, as Amy was learning to dive in Isla Mujeres, her attention was also on passing her course.

Whilst you’re exploring the waters of Isla Mujeres, you can also have the chance of seeing animals such as whitetip reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, dolphins and much more.

If you’re planning on doing some snorkelling then you will be able to swim with the friendly giants of the sea; Whale Sharks. This is one of the top bucket list experiences that you can have whilst you’re in Isla Mujeres.

If you’re lucky, you may also be able to see them whilst you’re scuba diving in Isla Mujeres. It really is overwhelming how large these beautiful animals are and an experience unlike any other.

We’ve included a handy guide below which will show you all the animals that you could potentially see when scuba diving in Isla Mujeres and the possibility of seeing them. You will be able to add this image to your interest board to come back to later.

If you’re an avid diver then why not purchase our diving animals bucket list to check off when you’ve encountered these marine animals in the water?!

Isla Mujeres Dive Sites

Overall, there are actually 9 dive sites for you to enjoy whilst you’re in Isla Mujeres. The best part about it is that all of the dive sights offer something different from the others.

Of course one of the most popular dive sites is visiting the underwater statues at MUSA as this is a unique attribute to Isla Mujeres and Cancun. However, diving in Isla Mujeres has so much more to offer than just that.

Whale shark eating plankton from the surface.

Where possible, we would recommend trying to visit the Shark Cave in particular as this is more of an adventure dive. As you may be able to tell by the dive site name, it inhabits different breeds of sharks which means you’re more likely to encounter bucket list animals in this area.

Out of the 9 dives in Isla Mujeres, 6 of these dives are reef, 1 is a drift dive and 1 is an Ocean dive. Due to this, there are plenty of different dive types for you to experience.

Below, we have listed some of the best dive sites that you can experience and more details about them so you know which ones to choose.

Manchones Reef (National Park)

This is one of our favourite Isla Mujeres dive sites especially as it is a perfect spot for any beginner divers.

Throughout this national park, you will find plenty of independent dive sites. In some of the dive sites of this national park, you may find some of the statues for MUSA which is close by.

It makes a good spot for new divers because the maximum depth is 10ft / 32 feet. Another great reason for visiting this dive site is for the animals that you will get a chance to see.

Gorgeous fish whilst Isla Mujeres diving.

You will have the chance of seeing loggerhead turtles and at times potentially Eagle Rays.

This is one of the spots where Amy did some of her PADI diving and it was the most incredible experience to see turtles swimming around, especially as a new diver.

MUSA

It comes as no surprise that one of the most popular dive and snorkelling sights in Isla Mujeres is MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art).

This is a really unique spot to go diving and not one that you will find anywhere else in the world. Whilst you’re diving in Isla Mujeres, make sure that MUSA is on your list as you don’t know when you’ll have the chance to do this again.

You can find 12 different galleries in the museum and is still a work in progress after it opened in 2010. There are over 1,364 artificial habitats which aims to create a better environment for the marine life. This will help to offset from the amount of tourists and increase the biomass of the reef system.

Not only is this a really awesome place to visit and spot as many statues as you can but it is also an art movement to make a positive change to the environment.

If you’re spending some time diving in Isla Mujeres then we would really recommend planning a visiting to MUSA.

Beautiful whale shark close to the surface in Isla Mujeres

Shark Cave

This is a wonderful dive site in Isla Mujeres for any shark enthusiasts. As the name suggests, you will often find sleeping sharks in this cave to spot. This particular dive site is better suited for advanced divers as opposed to beginners.

This area tends to attract reef sharks in particular and it is thought that when they swim through the cave that this calms the sharks behaviour.

If you do choose to dive at this site then it is important to ensure you are alert at all times. Whilst the sharks are a lot more placid, you are still diving in their territory.

As an advanced diver, you will already know to listen carefully to any instructions and how to react in an emergency.

This is an amazing dive site and if you manage to get some good shots whilst you’re diving here on your GoPro then be sure to tag us on Instagram as we’d love to see your shots!

La Pared

Another great dive site to enjoy from Isla Mujeres is La Pared where you will get to see an array of Caribbean fish.

One highlight for diving in La Pared is that you will also have the chance to see Nurse Sharks and Sea Turtles.

This dive is a shallow drift dive and would be ideal for beginner divers.

Chitales Reef

If you’re a turtle enthusiast then this is one of the best Isla Mujeres dive sites for you to visit. For any lucky divers, you may also get to see some stingrays too!

It is quite a shallow dive of only 6-11 metres / 20 – 35ft so it is another dive site that is well suited for any beginners. This dive site is located closer to Cancun but is still accessible from Isla Mujeres.

Whale sharks in the distance on the surface of the water.

C-58

One of the most exciting dive sites close to Isla Mujeres is the C-58 wreck.

You will find that this dive site is much better suited to advanced divers as it is a drift dive and you won’t always have a descent line to the wreckage.

There is a lot of history about the wreckage of C-58 which dates back to WWII but the ship was only sunk in 2000.

In this area, you can expect to see plenty of groupers and barracudas who frequent the wreck site. If you’re lucky you may also get to see some Moray Eels too!

This is a really interesting dive site to visit and definitely should be on your scuba diving bucket list in Isla Mujeres.

Best Diving Tours in Isla Mujeres

If you’re going to do some scuba diving in Isla Mujeres then you will need to know where to get the best diving tours from.

When we are planning a diving trip, we often use Viator, Get Your Guide and TripAdvisor to pick some of the best diving tours.

Below you will find a list of some of our favourite diving tours from Viator in Isla Mujeres that we would recommend for an ultimate experience. For anyone that’s skipped straight here, you can find a list below of the best scuba diving tours and then more details lower down.

Another boat trip on a diving tour.

QUICK FACTS: Scuba Diving Tours in Isla Mujeres

PADI Discover Scuba Diving for Divers without Certification

If you’ve never tried scuba diving before and you’re not sure what to expect then this is the perfect diving tour for you to try in Isla Mujeres.

On the day, you will learn all about the safety of scuba diving and basics to diving. You will be able to try diving in two different diving locations including Manchones Reef where you will be able to look out for some turtles.

All equipment is included as well as some fruit and water to keep you hydrated. This is a great way to try some diving if you don’t have any experience and see if it’s something you would like to do.

Scuba Diver Certification Course

If you’re still uncertain if Scuba Diving is for you and would like to do a certification course then this is a great tour to try in Isla Mujeres.

With this, you will become certified as a Scuba Diver which means that you will be able to explore underwater with the supervision of a PADI professional.

This course will take 2 full days of training for you to become fully certified. You will learn the basic principles of scuba diving such as clearing your mask, checking your buoyancy and safety when diving.

You will also get to enjoy a 2-tank dive in the National Marine Park learning more about becoming certified as a Scuba Diving and appreciating marine life.

As this enables you to become certified as a scuba diver, this is different to being certified as an open-water PADI diver. You can find out more about the differences between a scuba diver and open-water PADI diver here.

PADI Open Water Diver Course

Scuba diving manuals from Amy learning to get her PADI open water diver certification.

As we mentioned in the last scuba diving tour, you can become fully certified as a PADI Open Water Diver in Isla Mujeres.

We would recommend this course if you are a beginner to diving as you will then become qualified to dive with a buddy and up to 10 metres.

This course is also completed over the course of 2 days where you will learn everything you need to know about becoming a fully qualified open-water diver.

One of the best parts about this course is that whilst you’re completing your certification, you will be able to explore around MUSA (Museum of Underwater Art). This is one of the most awesome places to learn to become a PADI Open Water Diver.

With this course, your PADI Certification fees, scuba diving equipment and your e-learning and online theory.

2-Tank Dives MUSA and Manchones Reef (Certified Divers)

For those that are already certified, this is a great dive for you to enjoy in Isla Mujeres.

You will get to explore the MUSA (Museum of Underwater Art) where you will see the different statues making for a unique experience.

This is a half-day tour lasting approximately 4 hours with a small group. The group usually consists of around 12 people so you will be surrounded by other divers with open-water certifications and above.

This is especially helpful if you’re still a newer diver as you will feel secure with other people that have a variety of diving experience.

Then you will get to enjoy exploring around Manchones Reef to spot the different marine life that swims around the national park.

If you’ve not visited Isla Mujeres before then we would recommend taking part in this 2-tank dive as you will get to visit 2 of the most popular Isla Mujeres dive sites.

2-Tank Wreck & Drift Reef Dives

For an epic diving adventure in Isla Mujeres, this is the scuba diving tour for you!

You will be able to enjoy diving around the shipwreck of C-55 or C-58. This is a wonderful diving experience within Isla Mujeres unlike any other with so much history behind it. You will be able to find more information about the C-58 dive site higher in this article if you’ve skipped straight here!

Ending the dive with a drift reef dive, you will get to see a plethora of marine life. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, eels and vibrant colourful fish.

For more advanced divers, we would recommend doing this dive site in Isla Mujeres as it will pose more challenges than most of the other dives.

What are you waiting for? Start your diving adventure in Isla Mujeres!

Scuba diving in Isla Mujeres is one of the best experiences that you can have and we really recommend taking advantage of the underwater exploration as much as possible!

Amy completed her PADI Open-Water Diving Certification in Isla Mujeres and it was the best thing that she done!

How many people can say that they completed their diving certification seeing the MUSA and finish it with a sea turtle swimming in front of them?

Sign for Sea Hawk Divers.

You will have an absolutely amazing time scuba diving in Isla Mujeres and we really hope that you enjoy every moment!

Comment below if we’ve missed any other amazing dive sites that you would recommend in Isla Mujeres!

Isla Mujeres Resources

Cancun Resources

Mexico Resources

Isla Mujeres FAQs

Does Isla Mujeres have good diving?

Absolutely! Isla Mujeres is one of the best places to go Scuba Diving. There is so much beautiful marine life and some great dive spots to enjoy including a wreckage with a boat dating back to WWII.

Is it difficult to get to Isla Mujeres?

No, it’s not difficult to get to Isla Mujeres at all. You just need to get a ferry from Puerto Juarez in Cancun and it takes around 30 minutes to arrive in Isla Mujeres.

Are there sharks in Isla Mujeres?

Yes, you can find lots of beautiful sharks in Isla Mujeres including whale sharks. During some seasons, you may catch a glimpse of nurse sharks, hammerheads and tiger sharks.

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