If you are planning to visit Isla Mujeres, this guide on where to stay in Isla Mujeres will help you plan the perfect trip.
Isla Mujeres (‘the island of women’) lies eight miles off the Cancun coast on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The small island measures just eight kilometres long and less than one kilometre wide, so it is easily explored on a short getaway.
Isla Mujeres offers not only a quieter, more casual vibe to the busy resorts of Cancun but also several world-class attractions of its own.
Playa Norte white sand beach is one of the best in Mexico, and the calm, crystal clear seas surrounding the island provide some of the best snorkelling and diving locations in the country.
Add in Mayan ruins, scenic coastal walks, over and underwater sculpture parks, fine dining and high-end hotels, and it is easy to see why Isla Mujeres is such a fantastic year-round destination.
Isla Mujeres Map
Where To Stay In Isla Mujeres Mexico
Are you wondering where to stay in Isla Mujeres that suits your travel preferences, style and budget?
This article covers the best areas to stay in Isla Mujeres with recommendations for the best Isla Mujeres hotels for each area. Although the island is small, it has distinct areas, with each area offering its own attractions, accommodation and dining options.
Where is the best place to stay in Isla Mujeres Summary:
Playa Norte | It’s where to stay in Isla Mujeres for the best beach.
Mia Reef | Best place to stay on Isla Mujeres for exclusivity.
Downtown Isla Mujeres | Great central location for nightlife, restaurants and beaches.
Mid Island | One of the best Isla Mujeres places to stay for quiet & budget accommodation.
South End | Excellent for nature lovers.
#1 Playa Norte: Best Place To Stay In Isla Mujeres For Beach Lovers
If the beach is the most important aspect of your vacation, you will be looking for where to stay in Isla Mujeres with the best beach access. Bustling, popular Playa Norte fits this criterion.
Playa Norte (or North Beach) is situated in the north of Isla Mujeres and is the most visited part of the island. It is the arrival (and departure) point for ferries to Cancun and has a variety of accommodation surrounded by lots of bars, cafes and restaurants.
Playa Norte is worth visiting just for Playa Norte beach, an idyllic powdery white sand beach with a gentle incline into incredibly clear blue-green warm water abundant with marine life. The one-kilometre-long beach is considered to be one of the world’s best beaches and is undoubtedly the best beach on Isla Mujeres.
Things to do in Playa Norte include partying or relaxing at a beach club, joining a sightseeing or snorkelling boat trip, or enjoying water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding. Alternatively, hire a golf cart and explore the rest of the island.
Restaurant recommendations for Playa Norte include the local’s favourite, Loncheria La Lomita, a budget-friendly restaurant famous for its clay pot bean soup. If you love tacos, don’t miss Los Tacos de Humo, which is best known for its award-winning fish tacos.
PROS – Playa Norte has a convenient location, a ten-minute walk from the ferry port, a pristine seaweed-free beach and excellent tourist infrastructure.
CONS – Playa Norte beach gets very busy with tourists, especially day trippers from Cancun. Visit early in the day to enjoy a quieter beach.
Ixchel Beach Hotel – One of the best hotels in Isla Mujeres.
This 5-star hotel on North Beach features an outdoor pool, a restaurant and a bar. Tours and activities can be arranged on-site.
Luxurious rooms vary from standard double rooms to one and two bed sea view suites with kitchenettes and balconies that can sleep up to six people. This is the best of the Playa Norte Isla Mujeres hotels.
Book your stay at the #1 beach hotel in Isla Mujeres:
Nautibeach Hotel – One of the best places to stay in Isla Mujeres for self-caterers.
The 3-star Nautibeach Hotel on North Beach features a swimming pool, a garden, a restaurant, a bar and an airport shuttle.
The hotels’ tropical-style double rooms and one to two-bed apartments have garden or sea views, a well-equipped kitchenette and a separate living and dining area.
Book your stay at the cheapest rate here:
#2 Mia Reef: Best Place To Stay In Isla Mujeres For Exclusivity
Mia Reef is a small island off the northern tip of Isla Mujeres, at the end of Playa Norte beach. It is joined to the mainland by a private pedestrian pier, and it is a five-minute walk to downtown Playa Norte and a 15-minute walk to the ferry port.
Mia Reef island is a mini paradise. It is surrounded on all sides by the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, so the accommodation here has uninterrupted sea views. It is the only location on Isla Mujeres where you can see both a sunrise and sunset.
Mia Reef accommodation provides a tranquil, secluded and exclusive stay.
Things to do on Mia Reef include accessible snorkelling off the islands’ white sand beaches, scuba diving, swimming with whale sharks and boat trips. For freshly caught and cooked seafood, visit the high-end Cevicheria Restaurant.
PROS – Mia Reef is in a stunning, picture-perfect location close to Playa Norte but far enough away from the busy town to ensure a quiet, relaxing stay.
CONS – There are limited restaurants on Mia Reef island, so for a wider choice of dining options, you will need to walk to Playa Norte.
Mia Reef Isla Mujeres All Inclusive Resort – One of the best Isla Mujeres all-inclusive resorts.
The 4-star Mia Reef on Islote Yunque Island features a pool, a spa, a gym, a bar, an airport shuttle and a private beach area.
The all-inclusive rate includes a buffet breakfast, a la carte lunch and dinner, drinks and activities.
Light-filled deluxe family-friendly rooms sleep up to three, and all rooms boast ocean views. Spacious oceanfront villas have a kitchenette. The resort is one of the best and most luxurious all-inclusive resorts in Isla Mujeres.
Book your stay at the #1 All-inclusive resort on Isla Mujeres:
#3 Downtown Isla Mujeres: Where To Stay In Isla Mujeres For Restaurants And Nightlife
If you are wondering where to stay in Isla Mujeres to ensure a lively and varied nightlife, downtown Playa Norte or the ‘centro’ area around Hidalgo Street is your best option. Hidalgo Street is a long pedestrianised street crammed with busy bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Isla Mujeres nightlife has something for everyone. For cheap happy hour drinks with sunset views, grab a swing seat at Buho’s bar. If you love Latin – American and Caribbean music, head to Fayne’s and try one of their 100 brands of tequila. Alternatively, if you love cocktails, visit La Terraza.
PROS – This lively area has everything you need, from snack joints to high-end restaurants, from bohemian bars to thumping nightclubs. Its central location makes it a great base from which to explore the rest of the island.
CONS – If you stay here, you can expect late-night noise.
Isla Caracol – An affordable hotel in Isla Mujeres for families and groups.
The 3-star Isla Caracol features a seasonal pool, a sun terrace, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi.
Ensuite air-conditioned rooms include double, king and studio rooms, plus family rooms are available. Each room has a fridge, tv and fan. Some rooms have patios with garden views.
Book Isla Caracol at the cheapest rate here:
Suites Los Arcos – One of the best places to stay on Isla Mujeres for budget travellers.
This adults-only 3-star hotel is on Hidalgo Street Isla Mujeres, so it is surrounded by restaurants, bars and nightlife.
It features luggage storage and a front desk. Comfortable Queen and King ensuite double rooms have a microwave, tv, coffee machine, fridge, dining table and a balcony with city views.
Book your stay at #1 affordable hotel on Isla Mujeres :
#4 Mid Island: Best Place To Stay On Isla Mujeres For A Quiet Vacation
The Mid Island is, as the name suggests, located in the middle of Isla Mujeres. This is the place to stay if you wish to live and spend like a local.
The Mid Island is where you will find colourful residential homes and locally owned budget-friendly restaurants and cafes. Due to its proximity to both north and south Isla Mujeres, this cheaper area makes a great base from which to explore the island.
Things to do include shopping for locally made souvenirs on Avenida Rueda Medina, cycling and viewing the murals on the multi-coloured Crayola House.
The Mid Island is also home to some of the best restaurants Isla Mujeres has to offer. Treat yourself to divine seafood at Fuego de Mar or join the locals for breakfast or lunch at Mango Cafe.
PROS – This quiet area allows you to experience life like a local with budget-friendly costs.
CONS – You will need to travel to see Isla Mujeres tourist attractions and beaches.
Spacious sailboat – One of the most unusual places to stay Isla Mujeres has to offer.
If you’re wondering where to stay on Isla Mujeres with the wow factor, this gorgeous sailboat is it. The luxury air-conditioned sailboat offers free WiFi, a tv, a compact living and dining area, plus a well-equipped kitchen. There is a comfortable separate bedroom sleeping two in a double bed and an outside sun deck. The boat can sleep up to four in total.
Book your stay at the most unique place on Isla Mujeres:
Departamentos Coral – Excellent self-catering accommodation in Isla Mujeres.
The apartment complex is 700 m from Isla Mujeres beach and features free WiFi, a 24-hour front desk, free shuttle service around the island and car hire facilities.
Its air-conditioned ensuite apartments have one bedroom, a satellite tv and a well-equipped kitchen (including a washing machine). Towels and bed linen are available for an extra fee.
Book this fabulous apartment at the cheapest rate here:
#5 South Part: Best Area To Stay In Isla Mujeres For Nature Lovers.
Searching for where to stay in Isla Mujeres to be surrounded by nature rather than hotels and bars? The south part of Isla Mujeres is the location for you.
This scenic region has a dramatic coastline with fewer hotels and just a handful of restaurants.
Things to do in the south part of Isla Mujeres include Punta Sur coastal walks, the Sculpture Park (consisting of 23 pieces of contemporary Mexican sculpture) and the Mayan ruins of the Temple of the Goddess Ixchel.
If you snorkel or dive, MUSA, the Subaquatic Museum of Art, is a must-visit. The underwater museum is home to 470 submerged statues, which are creating one of the world’s largest artificial coral reefs.
PROS – This is a quiet area with picturesque landscapes that is visited by fewer tourists than the rest of the island.
CONS – Fewer visitors means fewer choices of accommodation and dining options. You will also need to travel to the other end of the island for Isla Mujeres’ best beaches.
Casa de Los Sueños Hotel Boutique – One of the best places to stay Isla Mujeres has to offer.
This stunning 5-star beachfront hotel has four pools, a restaurant, bar and a spa. It offers free daily watersports. There is a paid airport shuttle, free WiFi, and bike hire is available. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Spacious air-conditioned rooms include two doubles or an extra large double bed, a kitchenette and a living area. Some rooms have a sea view.
Book your stay at the cheapest rate here:
Casa Azul Maya
Spacious and colourful one and two-bed air-conditioned suites have extra large double beds, flat screen tv and a fully equipped kitchenette. The suites can sleep up to four people. Family rooms are available, and breakfast is included in the room rate.
The Casa Azul Maya features an airport shuttle, a restaurant and free WiFi.
Book your suite at Casa Azul at the cheapest rate:
Best Things To Do In Isla Mujeres
Full-Day Whale Shark Snorkeling Adventure in Isla Mujeres
One of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres is a snorkelling trip to see whale sharks. The spotty, plankton-eating gentle giants are the world’s largest fish.
From May to September, visitors can snorkel amongst the world’s largest migration of whale sharks. You will also spot other marine life, such as manta rays and dolphins on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
After a short bus transfer from your Isla Mujeres accommodation, you will take a boat trip lasting around one hour to reach the snorkelling location.
Two people are allowed into the water with the whale sharks at a time (accompanied by a guide) to ensure minimal disturbance to these majestic animals.
The entire tour lasts for six hours, and the price includes all your snorkelling equipment, snacks, lunch and soft drinks.
Book your full-day shark snorkelling adventure here!
Isla Mujeres Snorkeling Tour with Lunch Included
Experience snorkelling in the best locations Isla Mujeres has to offer with this varied three-hour snorkelling tour.
The tour starts at El Farito Reef (also known as Lighthouse Reef), a shallow reef just five minutes off the islands’ coast.
The second stop is MUSA, the Subaquatic Museum of Art. This unusual underwater Museum, at the south of the island, is the world’s longest artificial reef and features 470 submerged statues, which together form ‘The Silent Evolution’, a permanent 30-foot-deep exhibition.
The tour ends at Manchones, the largest reef on Isla Mujeres. This reef lies 30 feet below the surface and features ‘The Bay Cross’, a bronze sculpture dedicated to people who have died in the ocean.
The tour then moves onto land to enjoy a fresh barbecued seafood lunch at a nearby beach club.
The affordable tour includes all your snorkelling gear, admission fees, restaurant lunch and bottled water (plus one alcoholic drink) on board the boat.
Book this incredible snorkelling trip before it sells out!
Scuba Diving Adventure WITHOUT CERTIFICATION!
If you do not have the time (or money) to complete a PADI certification, this one-day scuba experience is a perfect alternative. You may find yourself hooked on scuba diving after completing this day tour in some of the best diving conditions in the world.
Your day starts with a short 30-minute classroom session to learn scuba diving safety procedures and basic diving skills before moving on to apply your new knowledge in shallow water training.
After completing the shallow water training, you will travel by boat to diving locations at MUSA and Manchones to put your new skills, knowledge – and newfound passion for scuba diving – into practice. For first-time divers, these fantastic diving sites offer exceptional visibility and marine life.
If you decide to progress to a full diving certification, this one-day experience can be used as credit towards a full qualification.
This experience lasts around six hours and has a maximum of 4 guests. It is highly rated by previous guests.
Find out more about this 5-star rated tour here:
Privilege Experience Isla Mujeres Tour
If you are wondering what to do on Isla Mujeres, a boat trip is a fun activity. You will see the island from a different perspective and get the chance to enjoy the amazing snorkelling this region is known for.
Enjoy a slice of luxury on a seven-hour small group trip on a top-of-the-range catamaran.
The trip starts with shopping and sightseeing time in Isla Mujeres before boarding the luxury catamaran. Enjoy scenic views of the coast and Caribbean Sea before jumping in at different island locations for incredible snorkelling opportunities.
After a few hours on the sea, the catamaran arrives at a private beach club for sunbathing, relaxing and a delicious buffet lunch before returning by sea to your departure point on Isla Mujeres.
The tour includes round-trip transfers on land and sea, all your snorkelling equipment and towels, an open bar with unlimited drinks on board the catamaran, plus the beach club facilities and buffet lunch.
Book this premium tour at the best rate here:
Isla Mujeres FAQs
If you are planning your first trip to Isla Mujeres, the following section will help you effectively plan a smooth, fun trip.
Is Isla Mujeres worth visiting?
The short answer is yes, absolutely!
The island is undoubtedly a popular destination, but it is justifiably so. It may be small, but Mujeres Island offers visitors lots of things to see and do.
Is the year-round sun, soft white sand beaches, laid-back vibe, excellent tourist infrastructure, turquoise seas, coral reefs and accessible snorkelling reasons enough to visit the island of Mujeres?
Where is the best part of Isla Mujeres?
The answer to this question depends on your travel preferences.
If you like to party and have first-class beach access on your doorstep, head to Playa Norte. If you prefer quieter locations, visit Playa Sol in the south.
However, as Isla Mujeres is so small, it doesn’t take long to travel around if you want to experience a different location.
How long should you spend on Isla Mujeres?
How long to stay in Isla Mujeres depends on what you want to get out of it.
Exploring Isla Mujeres can be done on a day trip from Cancun; this is how most visitors travel to the island.
You can see a lot of compact Isla Mujeres in just one day, but staying on the island for a few days will enable you to slow down and plug into the island’s laid-back vibe.
In a few days, you can visit the best beaches Isla Mujeres has to offer, Mayan ruins, snorkel on coral reefs and enjoy at least one sightseeing boat trip.
When is the best time to visit Isla Mujeres?
The best time to visit Isla Mujeres is from January to April. The weather is pleasantly warm but not too hot, and there is very little rainfall.
May to September are the wettest months with high levels of humidity. October and November are the hurricane season.
How to get around on Isla Mujeres?
At only eight kilometres long, getting around Isla Mujeres is quick and easy.
It is not worth bringing a hire car to Isla Mujeres or hiring one on the island. Instead, pick up a bicycle from one of the many bike rentals Isla Mujeres has to offer or alternatively, if you want something quicker, which involves less exertion, golf cart rentals in Isla Mujeres are extremely popular (and easy).
Bikes and golf carts can be hired from the ferry port at Playa Norte. It is also possible to get to places by taxi.
How to get to Isla Mujeres?
The quickest and easiest way to get to Isla Mujeres is from Cancun.
Catch a ferry from the Gran Puerto Cancun ferry dock in Puerto Juarez. The ferry dock is a few minutes by car, taxi or public bus from the centre of Cancun. Island ferries arrive in Playa Norte, a 10-minute walk from downtown Playa Norte.
The high-speed ferry to Isla Mujeres lasts just 15 minutes, and ferries run 24 hours a day. The ferries have an indoor and outdoor area and a shop. The ferry schedule changes according to the season, so check the ferry schedule in advance of your visit.
If you must bring a car to the island, car ferries leave from Punta Sam near Cancun.
Is it safe to walk around Isla Mujeres?
Isla Mujeres is considered to be relatively safe, especially in comparison with other Mexico destinations. The U.S. Department of State ranks Isla Mujeres as a Level 2 (though this level encompasses the entire Quintana Roo state).
Although the island is considered to be safer than other parts of Mexico, it is important to exercise the usual precautions. For example, don’t walk alone in deserted areas at night (stick to tourist areas and well-lit streets) and don’t carry large amounts of cash or flash your valuables (use hotel safes etc.).
Where To Stay In Isla Mujeres Mexico Final Word
I hope this comprehensive guide to where to stay in Isla Mujeres has helped you discover the best hotel for your trip to the island.
Isla Mujeres is a fantastic destination that is worth visiting for more than just one day. Don’t think that the island is not worth visiting as it will just be a ‘mini Cancun’; this picturesque, idyllic island is a slice of paradise.
Stay a few days, immerse yourself in island life and make the most of Isla Mujeres’ beaches, world-class snorkelling and natural scenery. You won’t be disappointed.