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How To Get From Cancun To Isla Mujeres 2024

Are you planning a trip from Cancun to Isla Mujeres? You’re in for a treat! Isla Mujeres is one of Mexico’s best kept secrets, and it’s the perfect spot for a day trip from Cancun. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know before traveling from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, including transportation options, what to pack, and tips for making the most of your day trip. So get ready for an unforgettable journey from Cancun to Isla Mujeres!

Overview Of Cancun And Isla Mujeres

Cancun is a world-renowned tourist destination located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. This vibrant city is situated on the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and is known for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and rich cultural heritage. Isla Mujeres, on the other hand, is a small island situated just 13 km off the coast of Cancun. Despite its small size, Isla Mujeres is a popular tourist destination in its own right, offering visitors stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and an array of water-based activities.

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Getting from Cancun to Isla Mujeres is easy and hassle-free, with a range of transportation options available to suit all budgets and travel preferences. Whether you are looking for a private boat or a public bus, there is an option that will suit your needs. In this article, we will explore the different transportation options available for traveling from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, as well as tips and recommendations to make your journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Transportation Options

If you’re looking to travel from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, you have several transportation options to choose from depending on your budget and preference. Below are the transportation options you can consider for your journey:

  • Ferry: Taking the ferry is the most popular option and a convenient way to travel from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. The ferry leaves from the Gran Puerto Cancun terminal and takes about 20-30 minutes to reach the island. You can buy tickets at the terminal or online in advance to avoid waiting in long queues.
  • Private Boat or Yacht: For those who prefer a luxurious option, hiring a private boat or yacht is the way to go. You can book a private tour or rent a boat with a captain for a more personalized experience.
  • Private Transfers: If you want to avoid the hassle of public transportation, private transfers are a great option. You can book a private transfer online or through your hotel to get to your destination comfortably and conveniently.
  • Public Bus: The public bus is a budget-friendly option, but it may not be the most comfortable. The bus leaves from the Cancun bus terminal and takes about an hour to reach the ferry terminal. From there, you’ll need to take the ferry to reach Isla Mujeres.
  • Renting A Car: If you prefer driving yourself, you can rent a car in Cancun and take it on the ferry to Isla Mujeres. However, you should note that parking on the island is limited and renting a car can be expensive.
  • Colectivo (Shared Shuttle): A colectivo is a shared shuttle that operates on a fixed route and can be a cheap and convenient way to travel from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. The colectivo leaves from the Cancun bus terminal and stops at various locations on the island.
  • Taxi Or Uber: Lastly, you can take a taxi or book an Uber to get to the ferry terminal in Cancun. Taxis can be expensive, but you can negotiate the price before getting in. Uber is a newer option in the area, but it’s gaining popularity.

No matter which transportation option you choose, be sure to consider the time and cost of each one before making your decision.


One of the most popular and convenient ways to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres is by ferry. The Ultramar Ferry operates from Puerto Juarez and Gran Puerto Cancun and runs every half hour from early in the morning until late at night. The ferry ride takes about 20-25 minutes, depending on the weather and the time of day.

There are different types of ferry tickets available, depending on your preferences and budget. The most common options are round-trip tickets, one-way tickets, and tickets that include a golf cart rental on the island. You can also purchase tickets online or at the ferry terminal, although it’s recommended to book in advance during peak seasons.

The ferry has two levels, the lower level is air-conditioned and the upper level is open-air. Both levels offer beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea, so make sure to bring your camera and sunscreen. The ferry is equipped with bathrooms, comfortable seating, and refreshments are available for purchase on board. Once you arrive at the ferry terminal on Isla Mujeres, you can easily find transportation to your hotel or destination. There are taxis, golf carts, scooters, and bicycles available for rent. Some hotels also offer shuttle services to and from the ferry terminal.

Overall, the ferry is a safe, reliable, and affordable way to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. It’s also a great opportunity to enjoy the scenic views and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Don’t forget to check the ferry schedule in advance and to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure to avoid long lines and delays.

Private Boat or Yacht

For a luxurious and exclusive way to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, consider renting a private boat or yacht. This is the perfect option for those who want to travel in style and have the means to do so.

There are various private boat and yacht rental companies in Cancun, offering a range of vessels from small speedboats to large yachts. Prices will vary depending on the size and type of boat, as well as the duration of the rental and the number of passengers.
Renting a private boat or yacht offers flexibility in terms of departure times, and you can also customize your itinerary to include other activities or stops along the way. You can also opt for a guided tour with a captain who can take you to the best spots for snorkeling or fishing.

It’s important to note that renting a private boat or yacht does come with certain risks and responsibilities, as well as strict regulations and permits from local authorities. Make sure you do your research and only rent from reputable companies with proper licenses and insurance.

Additionally, keep in mind that weather conditions can impact your rental and it’s important to check the forecast beforehand. Rough seas and strong winds can make for a less enjoyable and potentially dangerous trip, so always prioritize safety. Overall, renting a private boat or yacht is a great way to travel in style and enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Just make sure to do your due diligence and take all necessary precautions to ensure a safe and memorable experience.

Private Transfers

If you’re looking for a hassle-free option, then private transfers may be the way to go. With private transfers, you will have a dedicated driver who will take you directly from your hotel or airport in Cancun to the ferry terminal or dock in Isla Mujeres.
Private transfers are a great option if you’re traveling in a large group or with a lot of luggage. It can also be a good option if you want to avoid the crowds and lines associated with taking the ferry or public transportation.

Many companies offer private transfer services from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, so it’s important to do your research and compare prices. Some popular companies include Cancun Shuttle and Amstar, but there are many other options available as well. When booking a private transfer, make sure to specify your pickup and drop off locations, the number of passengers, and any special requests you may have. Prices will vary depending on the size of the vehicle, distance traveled, and additional services such as meet and greet or baggage handling.

While private transfers may be more expensive than other transportation options, they offer convenience, comfort, and personalized service. If you’re traveling with a group or looking to start your trip off on the right foot, private transfers are definitely worth considering. Just make sure to book in advance and confirm all the details with the company to ensure a smooth and stress-free transfer.

Public Bus

Another budget-friendly option to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres is by taking the public bus. The bus station in Cancun is located near the ADO bus station, which is easily accessible by taxi or bus. From there, take a bus heading to Puerto Juarez, where you can catch a ferry to Isla Mujeres.

The bus ride from Cancun to Puerto Juarez takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic. The bus fare is only a few dollars per person, making it an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. Keep in mind that the bus may not be as comfortable as other options, but it’s an efficient way to reach the ferry terminal.

When taking the bus, it’s important to note the schedule, especially if you’re planning to catch a ferry to Isla Mujeres. Buses to Puerto Juarez run frequently throughout the day, but schedules may vary on weekends or holidays. Be sure to arrive early to ensure you have enough time to buy tickets and board the ferry.

Overall, taking the public bus is a good option if you’re traveling solo or on a tight budget. The bus ride is straightforward, and you’ll get to see some of the local sights along the way. Just be prepared for potential crowds and delays during peak travel times. If you’re unsure about taking the public bus, there are plenty of other transportation options available. Keep reading to find out more about private transfers, colectivos, and taxis.

Renting A Car

If you’re looking for the flexibility and convenience of your own set of wheels, renting a car might be the way to go. Many car rental companies have offices in Cancun, including international chains like Hertz, Avis, and Budget, as well as local options like Easyway, Europcar, and Mex Rent a Car. Prices for a standard car rental range from around $20-$50 per day, depending on the make and model of the vehicle and the time of year.

Before you decide to rent a car, there are a few things you should consider. Firstly, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license from your home country (or an international driver’s license). Most rental companies also require a credit card for the deposit and payment. Secondly, keep in mind that driving in Cancun can be chaotic and unpredictable, especially if you’re not used to the local traffic and road conditions. Road signage can also be inconsistent, so it’s a good idea to have a GPS or navigation app handy.

That said, renting a car can give you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace, without having to rely on public transportation or private transfers. You can take your time and stop off at any of the scenic viewpoints or hidden beaches along the way. Plus, if you’re traveling with a group, renting a car can be a more cost-effective option than booking multiple taxis or shuttles.

To get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun by car, you’ll need to drive to Puerto Juarez, where you can catch a ferry across to the island. The journey takes around 25-30 minutes, and there are several parking lots available near the ferry terminal where you can leave your car for the day. Just make sure to factor in the cost of the ferry tickets (around $8 USD per person each way) and any parking fees when you’re calculating the total cost of your trip. Overall, renting a car can be a great option if you’re comfortable driving in Cancun and want to explore the island on your own terms. Just be sure to read the fine print on your rental agreement and take precautions to ensure a safe and stress-free journey.

Colectivo (Shared Shuttle)

Another transportation option from Cancun to Isla Mujeres is to take a colectivo or shared shuttle. This option is often popular among budget-conscious travelers who don’t want to splurge on private transfers or taxis. Colectivos operate similar to public buses but they are typically smaller and can accommodate up to 12 passengers. These shuttles can be found at specific pickup locations throughout Cancun, such as at the ADO Bus Terminal, Plaza Las Americas, and the Hotel Zone. You can also pre-book a colectivo through your hotel or tour company.

One advantage of taking a colectivo is that it’s more affordable than private transfers or taxis. The cost per person is around 150-200 Mexican pesos, which is equivalent to about $7-$10 USD. However, keep in mind that you will have to share the shuttle with other passengers and may have to wait until the shuttle is full before departing. The downside of taking a colectivo is that it can be time-consuming. You may have to make several stops along the way to pick up other passengers, which can add up to an hour or more to your travel time.

Overall, a colectivo is a good option if you’re on a budget and don’t mind a longer travel time. It’s also a good way to meet other travelers and locals. However, if you’re short on time or prefer a more comfortable and private ride, a colectivo may not be the best option for you.

Taxi Or Uber

Another transportation option from Cancun to Isla Mujeres is taking a taxi or Uber. Taxis can be found at the Cancun airport or on the streets of downtown Cancun, while Uber operates in the area as well. Taking a taxi is a convenient option for those who prefer to avoid the crowds at the ferry terminal and want a more direct route to Isla Mujeres. However, be aware that taxi prices can be negotiable and some drivers may try to charge higher fares. It’s always a good idea to agree on a price before getting into the taxi.

On the other hand, using Uber can be a more affordable and reliable option as the prices are set and the driver’s information is available on the app. Keep in mind that not all taxi drivers may be happy with the presence of Uber in the area, so it’s important to use your own discretion when requesting an Uber ride. In terms of travel time, taking a taxi or Uber can take around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the traffic conditions and the location of your destination in Isla Mujeres. The cost can vary depending on the type of vehicle and whether it is a taxi or Uber ride.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to keep in mind that safety should always be a priority. Always check that the driver is licensed and use a reliable company or service to avoid any issues. With these considerations in mind, taking a taxi or Uber can be a comfortable and hassle-free way to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.

Travel Time And Costs

The time it takes to travel from Cancun to Isla Mujeres varies depending on the mode of transportation you choose. Generally, the quickest option is a private boat or yacht, which takes about 15-20 minutes, while the ferry takes around 20-30 minutes. The ferry is the most affordable option, with tickets starting at around $8 USD each way. Private boat or yacht charters can range from $100-500 USD depending on the size of the boat and the number of people.

Private transfers, which usually include transportation to and from your hotel, can cost anywhere from $50-150 USD depending on the number of passengers and type of vehicle. Renting a car can also be an option, although you will need to take a car ferry to get to the island. The cost of the car ferry is around $30-50 USD, and car rentals start at around $30-50 USD per day.

The cost of a colectivo or shared shuttle varies depending on the company and number of passengers, but typically ranges from $10-30 USD per person. Taxis and Ubers are also available, but can be more expensive. The cost of a taxi can range from $50-100 USD, while Uber rates can be lower, but may not be available in all areas.

When planning your trip, be sure to factor in the cost of transportation to and from the ferry or boat dock. You may also want to consider booking your transportation in advance to avoid any last-minute scrambling. Overall, the cost and time it takes to travel from Cancun to Isla Mujeres will depend on your budget, schedule, and personal preferences. With so many transportation options available, there’s sure to be one that fits your needs.

Tips And Recommendations

Traveling from Cancun to Isla Mujeres can be a smooth and enjoyable experience if you follow a few tips and recommendations. Here are some of the things to keep in mind before you embark on your journey:

  • Plan Ahead: Before you travel, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead. Decide on your mode of transportation, book your tickets in advance, and know the departure and arrival times of your chosen transport. This will help you avoid unnecessary delays and save time.
  • Dress Appropriately: Depending on the mode of transportation you choose, you may need to dress appropriately. If you’re taking the ferry, for example, make sure you wear comfortable shoes and light clothing. If you’re renting a car or taking a taxi, dress comfortably, and don’t forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
  • Carry Enough Cash: While credit cards are widely accepted in Cancun and Isla Mujeres, it’s always a good idea to carry enough cash with you. You may need it to pay for small purchases, like drinks and snacks, or for tips and gratuities.
  • Stay Hydrated: It can get hot and humid in Cancun and Isla Mujeres, especially during the summer months. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids.
  • Respect The Environment: Isla Mujeres is home to several marine and wildlife reserves. As a responsible traveler, it’s important to respect the environment and follow eco-friendly practices. Avoid littering, don’t disturb the marine life, and be mindful of your impact on the ecosystem.
  • Be Mindful Of The Weather: Cancun and Isla Mujeres experience tropical weather throughout the year. While the weather is generally sunny and warm, it’s important to be mindful of any changes in weather patterns, like sudden rainstorms or strong winds.
  • Don’t Forget Travel Insurance: While you may have planned your trip meticulously, it’s always wise to be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you purchase travel insurance before you embark on your journey. This will provide you with peace of mind and cover any unforeseen expenses, like medical emergencies or trip cancellations.

By following these tips and recommendations, you can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. Have a safe and memorable journey!

How Far Is Isla Mujeres From Cancun?

Isla Mujeres is a beautiful island paradise located just a few miles away from Cancun. It’s easy to reach and a great destination for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Cancun for a day or more. The distance between the two locations is just over 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles), and there are several ways to get there.

If you’re traveling by ferry, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach Isla Mujeres from Cancun. The ride is comfortable and affordable, making it a popular option for tourists and locals alike. Private boats or yachts can also be hired to reach the island, which may take slightly longer but offer a more luxurious experience.

If you’re taking a shared shuttle or a taxi, the journey may take longer due to stops or traffic. Depending on your transportation mode and the time of day, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to reach Isla Mujeres.  However, if you rent a car and take the road through the Hotel Zone of Cancun, you will have to travel up to Punta Sam to catch the ferry, which can take up to an hour depending on traffic conditions. Taking a public bus is also a possibility, but it will take longer and you’ll need to transfer at some point to reach the ferry.

Travel time may also be impacted by the ferry schedule and waiting time. Ferries run every 30 minutes during the day, but if you’re traveling early in the morning or late at night, the frequency may be lower. Make sure to check the schedule ahead of time to avoid waiting for too long.

In terms of distance, Isla Mujeres may seem like a stone’s throw away from Cancun, but depending on your transportation options and other factors, the travel time can vary greatly. Regardless of your choice, the journey is definitely worth it as the island offers stunning natural beauty and an array of activities and attractions.

The Bottom Line

When planning a trip from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, there are plenty of transportation options to choose from. The right choice for you will depend on your budget, preferences, and time constraints. If you’re looking for an affordable and straightforward option, the ferry is the way to go. However, if you’re after a more luxurious and customizable experience, you may want to consider renting a private boat or yacht or hiring a private transfer.

Regardless of which mode of transportation you choose, it’s important to plan ahead and do your research to avoid any unexpected expenses or delays. Be sure to consider factors like travel time, costs, and availability when making your decision. Ultimately, a trip to Isla Mujeres is an unforgettable experience that’s well worth the effort of getting there. With crystal clear waters, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant culture, this tropical paradise is a must-visit destination for any traveler in Cancun.

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