For this trip, I wanted to see Mexico, but I wanted to see it in a different way. I have spent many vacations in Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Riviera Maya so a trip to a “new to me” island that wasn’t that difficult to travel to from the mainland was the ideal choice. With a little over 12,000 inhabitants, Isla Mujeres (so named because of the many images of the Maya Moon Goddess, IxChel) is quite small. Located only a few miles from popular Cancun, you can cover the distance of the island heading 5 miles up/down its length and going 2.5 miles across.
Isla Mujeres is definitely more laid back than Cancun and I would recommend it less for families and more for couples, honeymooners, and those that crave more down time than nightlife. But it does offer the perfect middle ground — do nothing at all or fill your day with shopping, exploring, snorkeling, scuba diving, or just soaking up all the beauty that will surround you in Isla Mujeres.
Getting to Isla Mujeres & Zoetry Villa Rolandi
Although only a few miles from Cancun, you can’t arrive to Isla Mujeres directly by land. A short 20-minute ferry or boat ride will hop you over to the exclusive island in no time. After landing at the Cancun airport, you can take a cab ride or shuttle over to Puerto Juarez where the Ultramar Ferry departs every half-hour.
Since we were staying at the Zoetry Villa Rolandi, their private yacht would be our “ferry” across the waters where we would dock right in front of our home away from home. It was a convenient bonus to our all-inclusive stay where we would spend a luxurious 4 nights.
With only 35 suites you will most likely come across every other person staying at the resort during your time there. The staff comes to know you on a first name basis and they cater to your every need. Whether it is ensuring our favorite corner table at breakfast overlooking the turquoise beach and white sands was available or setting up any rental or excursion needed.
The resort is all-inclusive so all meals, drinks, and some non-motorized water sports were at our disposal. We didn’t miss breakfast and aside from one evening, we spent most of our dinners at the on site Casa Rolandi or ordering from the equally tasty room service menu.
Things to Do Around Isla Mujeres
We decided to rent a golf cart for two of the days my husband and I were there, so we could actually leave the resort (which I am a big proponent of) and see what the island had to offer. There was a point where we thought we had gotten lost. Hilarious. But don’t worry — all roads eventually lead back to where they began.
Located on the north end of the island, Isla Town is where you’ll find one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever had the pleasure of swimming in. You can spend an entire day lounging on Playa Norte. There are cabanas for rent and several on-beach restaurants and bars to grab a quick lunch and to enjoy plenty of cocktails.
For a little adventure, pay a visit to MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte), the largest underwater sculpture museum. It was formed in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc and contains over 500 statues of human figures. What a sight to see.
The area is also popular for fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Head to El Garrafon Submarine National Park on the south end of the island for more underwater fun. Here you can explore flourishing coral reefs and bustling underwater marine life. On the island’s west coast you’ll find Tortugranja, the island’s turtle sanctuary and rehabilitation center. And did you know that Isla Mujeres is also one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks?!
Whether you enjoy your visit on land or in the sea, Isla Mujeres offers a plethora of options for adventure, fun, or good old-fashioned relaxation!