ISLA MUJERES ACTIVITIES:
Isla Mujeres has many enjoyable activities that range from relaxing on the beach
with an icy cocktail, to tangling with a mighty sailfish on a sport fishing excursion
to swimming with dolphins and whalesharks. You can also take advantage of the islands’
proximity to many other great excursions such as Tulum.
SNORKELING AND DIVING:
There are many snorkeling and diving operations that take tourists out to some of
the local reefs for some fantastic snorkeling. In most cases a reservation is not
necessary to arrange a trip. Equipment is usually included in the price and the
guides are very knowledgeable about the local reefs and marine life. Private and
public trips are available.
If you are interested in scuba diving, there are several great dive facilities located
on Isla Mujeres. Diving around the island provides a wonderful experience for beginning,
intermediate and experienced divers. There are reefs in shallow, low current water
for the new divers to reef drift dives for the more experienced. For the truly experienced,
try the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks on one of the local shipwrecks like Ultra Freeze.
At least a one day notice is required for most dives. Information is readily available
Carey Dive Center.
WHALE SHARK TOURS:
Swim with the Ocean's largest fish in the pristine, crystal-blue waters of the Caribbean
near Cancun. Whale sharks are harmless, gentle fish which enjoy their interaction
with people who swim with them. Their migration patterns bring them to the Isla
Mujeres area from May through September. For more information about whale shark
GARRAFON NATURAL REEF PARK:
Garrafón Natural Reef Park is a snorkel park located at the southern tip (Punta
Sur) of Isla Mujeres. This park is unique as there is a reef located just a few
feet off the shore with many colorful fish. This makes for wonderful snorkeling
without having to book a trip or get on a boat. For those not interested in snorkeling
there are lots of hammocks and chairs for resting, a huge pool for cooling yourself
and plenty of staff just waiting to bring you snacks, lunch or drinks!! This is
a great day trip for families with small children.
There are several outfits willing to take passengers out for a day's fishing excursion,
either bottom fishing for a great dinner, or a sport fishing adventure to fight
mighty sailfish. Talk to any of the excursion vendors for more information, or just
ask around down by one of the marinas.
Ever dreamt of being up close and personal with the most interesting intelligent
creatures in the ocean? Through the programs offered from Dolphin Discovery you
can be in the water, touch and even kiss the most loved of all sea creatures!
THE TURTLE FARM:
Sea Turtles are endangered and endearing creatures. The Turtle Farm organization
is assisting in increasing the turtle population by protecting them while laying
their eggs as well as protecting the eggs and baby turtles until they are out of
This nearly uninhabited island 15 miles north of Isla Mujeres serves as an important
bird sanctuary. Licensed tour services bring visitors in each day to see the island's
beauty and lounge on its powdered beaches. Tours generally include a stop at an
underwater national snorkeling park as well as a fresh fish lunch.
EXCURSIONS FROM ISLA MUJERES:
Take a day or more trip to see some fantastic Mexican sites. Anything from a day
trip shopping in Cancun’s Malls and Mercados to trips to view the ruins of Tulum
will make an exciting addition to your vacation. The Cancun-Tulum corridor(Riviera
Maya) provides all sorts of excursions. Here, there are a couple of natural parks
as well as quaint cities such as Playa del Carmen (ferries depart daily from Playa
These excursions can be arranged near the ferry dock in Isla Mujeres and are wonderful
options for families and vacationers looking for new adventures.
The Riviera Maya Mexico host Xel-Ha a Mexican caribbean natural theme park with
water activities like dolphin swimming, snorkel, snuba, and more ecological activities.
Xcaret Eco Theme Park is full of Mexico; mayan culture, flora and fauna, archaeological
tours, water attractions and swimming with dolphins. All this located in Playa del
Carmen, 45 minutes from Cancun Mexico in the Riviera Maya, where Xcaret is proof
that development, conservation, culture and entertainment are not opposite concepts.
TULUM AND RUINS:
About 80 miles south of Cancún is the small town of Tulum, best known for its ruins,
which overlook turquoise colored waters and soft sandy beaches on the Caribbean
coast. Tulum is easily accessible by road from Cancún or Playa del Carmen and if
you like archaeology, should be included as a fun trip, with the chance to see some
delightful scenery and have a great lunch al fresco and a refreshing swim. Tulum
was built during the dying days of the Mayan empire, and was actually a fort. It's
quite tame in comparison to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, but it does
have one overwhelming attraction: its location next to the sea. There are no resorts
or fancy hotels nearby - you can come here for a day, enjoy the ruins and then walk
down to the great beaches and crystal-clear water for sunbathing, paddling, swimming
or snorkeling. Spend a whole day in the area or an evening at one of the nearby
hotels in Tulum. Besides the experience of staying at a good hotel, you'll be able
to enjoy Tulum outside of the peak hours, arriving early at the park, long before
the day-tripper buses arrive and before the heat of midday sun.
Getting To Tulum
Tulum is very easy and inexpensive to get to from Cancun. Plan to take a taxi to
the downtown Cancun Bus Station and from there take the bus to the ruins... and
bring your bathing suit! Tulum is located 131km (81 miles) south of Cancun, about
a 1½ hour drive. Taking the bus may require you to transfer in Playa Del Carmen,
but it's a very simple thing to do. Bus fare from Cancun is cheap, only about $10
- 15 USD per person. I do not suggest travelers do the Tulum/Coba day trip combination
offered by the companies. It makes for a very long day with little time to enjoy
The Mayan ruins at Tulum date from 564 AD. They comprise of a walled-in fortress
perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. This is the picturesque site that you
see used in many of the Mexico travel brochures. A complete tour of the ruins doesn't
take very long (about 3 hours) and the cost of admission is inexpensive ($4-6 USD)
You can access the real Tulum beach (not that small one at the ruins) by walking
or taking a taxi about 1km down the coastal road beside the ruins. This is a must-see
while in Tulum. The beach is breathtaking. The water is crystal clear, clean, and
that fantastic neon-blue color. On the beach you can find some restaurants and if
the urge takes you, book a cabana for an overnight stay. There are bus stations
both downtown and at the ruins, so getting back to Cancun is easier than ever.
Cenotes are limestone sinkholes, filled with water. They are unique to the Yucatan
Peninsula and an understandable attraction. You can swim, scuba dive and snorkel
in them, or simply admire their amazing beauty. Some amazing ones are very close
to Isla Mujeres and definitely worth a whole day excursion if you are adventurous!
You can find information about them near the ferry dock in Isla Mujeres.