Find out how to get to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, including helpful travel tips on how to save money and time.
If you’re booking a trip to Cancun, definitely consider spending some time on Isla Mujeres. This paradise island is an easy 15-minute ferry ride away from the mainland, yet offers something totally different to Cancun’s glitzy resorts.
On Isla Mujeres you’ll find white sandy beaches, a laid-back way of life, a bohemian vibe and lots of colorful street art. I’ve been a few times now, and always remember the bright aqua shade of the water as you travel from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. It’s SUCH a vibrant shade and totally crystal clear. There are plenty of gorgeous spots to see, from the buzz of Playa Norte, to the beautiful Punta Sur on the southern tip.
Lots of day tours visit this area for snorkeling, before stopping on the island for lunch. A day trip to Garrafon Natural Reef Park is also popular, although this isn’t something I’d recommend, as I spotted dolphin encounters on the list of options, which I’d never endorse.
If a day trip doesn’t take your fancy, you could book a hotel on Isla Mujeres and stay a few days. It’s an easy destination to reach by ferry and makes a great dual-trip vacation in the sunshine.
Whether you’re travelling from Cancun Airport, Downtown or the Cancun Hotel Zone, this guide is full of travel tips on how to get to Isla Mujeres.
Travelling From Cancun Airport To Isla Mujeres
Most people who visit the island catch a flight to Cancun International Airport. The island is really close to Cancun, so it’s an easy journey to make.
From the airport, you’ll need to book a transfer or catch a taxi to Puerto Juarez where you can hop on board a ferry to Isla Mujeres. As you’ll know if you’ve landed at Cancun Airport before, as you exit into the arrivals area, there are a number of transport companies with booths, all vying for your attention. Then there are the private taxi firms. It can feel a little overwhelming, but stay calm! There are some set prices, or you can try to negotiate in person. You could also book a transfer before your trip so it’s waiting when you land.
If you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, you can also take the ADO bus (Mexican coach service) to Cancun’s Downtown area. From there you can catch a taxi to the ferry dock or take another bus. If it’s your first time in Mexico, and you’re worried about getting around, I’d book a taxi or transfer to make things hassle free.
If you’re already in Cancun, you can catch the R-1 to Puerto Juárez, which drops you right at the terminal.
How To Get To Isla Mujeres By Ferry
Once you’ve arrived in Puerto Juarez, you’ll need to make your way to the Ultramar ferry terminal which is located at this address: Terminal Marítima Ultramar, Av. López Portillo SM-84 M-5 L-6 Puerto Juárez, Cancún 77520, México.
There are several ferries a day (6 last time I checked) and they run every few hours. The prices for tourists are:
Adult: $160 MXN one way, or $300 MXN for a round trip
Child: $130 MXN one way, or $250 MXN for a round trip
Things change according to season, so I’d recommend checking out the exact times and routes here.
Getting to Isla Mujeres from Cancun is very simple. Here is everything you need to know about to get to Isla Mujeres.
Arriving From the Cancun International Airport
Isla Mujeres is an island, so the most common way to get to Isla Mujeres is by ferry boat.
You have to book transportation from the Airport to the ferry pier. You will need to have your driver take you to Gran Puerto where the Ultramar boats departure from or to the Puerto Juarez Ferry Terminal, where Naveganto boats leave from.
You can book your transportation online or directly at the exit of the airport. The price is usually around $39 USD one way and $69 USD for a round trip for up to two people. You do have the option for private or shared transport shuttles. You cannot take a regular taxi from the airport. Also, Uber is not an option since they are are not allowed into the airport or in Cancun. You can organize your airport transport with CARM Cancun and Riviera Maya Tours, a highly reliable pick up service that we like to recommend.
The ride is approximately 40-50 minutes from the airport to the pier. However, between 9 to 10 am and 5 to 6 pm, during rush hour traffic, it can take up to an hour and a half to get to the ferry terminal.
The ADO Bus from the Airport
If you are on a tight budget, feeling adventurous or not in a rush you can also take the ADO bus option directly from the airport. The bus costs $94 Pesos ($5 USD in 2020) and departures every 2 hours starting from 10am, and with pick ups from all terminals.
You can book your ticket online at the ADO Website or you can look for the red ADO sign at the airport exit and buy your ticket there.
The bus takes about one hour to get to the ADO Central Bus Station in downtown Cancun. From there you will ned to grab a taxi to either Puerto Juarez or Gran Puerto, about a 15 -20 minute drive. Be aware that taxis charge between $50 – 70 pesos ($3 – 4 USD) for locals and calculate that they may try to charge you up to $150 – 200 pesos ($7 – 10 USD) in some cases. If you don’t look local, grab your tequila and your poncho and at least try to pretend!
Ferry Services That Cross from Cancun to Isla Mujeres
There are three different ferry companies that cross regularly to the Island: Ultramar, Naveganto and UltraCarga which is mostly for vehicles. There are regular departures, almost every 30 minutes.
Once at the pier, you can purchase a ticket. We don’t recommend buying round trip tickets since you will be bound to return on the same boat. It would be a hassle if the boat was full and you would not be able to departure unless you bought another ticket from another ferry company.
There are a few different ports from which the ferries head to Isla Mujeres. The biggest port with the most frequent departures is Gran Puerto, followed by Puerto Juarez and Punta Sam. Playa Tortugas, Playa Caracol and Embarcadero on the other hand are located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun.
Out of all the ports, the most common and popular is Gran Puerto from Ultramar, so let’s start with them.
Punta Sam is the ferry terminal for most of the comercial transport to Isla. Ultracarga transports all kinds of vehicles to the island, from small cars to specialized machinery. Tourists however can also ride along on the Ultracarga.
Where is Punta Sam?
Puerto Juarez is 55 minutes away from the International Airport of Cancun and 30 minutes away from the ADO Terminal.
Punta Sam is on the Continental Zone of Isla Mujeres. Here is a map:
What Time Do The Ultracarga Ferries Go To Isla Mujeres?
From Punta Sam
to Isla Mujeres
Mon-Wed-Thu-Sat 9:00 am
Tue-Fri 8:00 am
From Isla Mujeres
to Punta Sam
Mon-Wed-Thu-Sat 4:00 pm
Tue-Fri 10:00 am
How Much Does The Isla Mujeres Ultracarga Ferry Cost?
One Way $150 Pesos ($8 USD)
One Way $100 Pesos ($5 USD)
Crossing With Your Car
We don’t recommend coming to the Island with a vehicle. The island is very small and there are not a lot parking spaces! The streets are narrow and everything is walkable. But, if for any reason you would like to take your car, you can do so with the Ultracarga at Punta Sam.
One Way $280 Pesos ($14 USD)
One Way $400 Pesos ($20 USD)
Other Questions Related to the Ferries
How Long Does The Isla Mujeres Ferries Take?
On average the ferry takes 22 minutes to make the crossing from the moment it departures from the pier. But, if you take into consideration buying the ticket, standing in line, boarding the boat and leaving the terminal, the whole process can be about 45 minutes in total.
In the case of the car ferry, the crossing takes 40 minutes and the total trip time is approximately 60 minutes. It is recommended to go early and secure your ticket.
Will I Get Seasick On The Ferry To Isla Mujeres?
The ride to Isla Mujeres is usually very calm. The boats are big, spacious, very stable and it is a very short ride! The probability to get seasick is very low.
Where do you park to take the Isla Mujeres Ferry?
There is a Parking Garage at the Ultramar Gran Puerto Terminal right at the entrance. The cost is $200 pesos per day. If you are planing to spend many days however, it can become quite expensive! In this case, we recommend using one of the other parking lots across the street. Located in front of Puerto Juarez, 2-3 blocks away, but they are around 80 pesos a day. At the Punta Sam dock there is free parking at the terminal lot.
Do the Ferries Have Air-Conditioning?
All of the ferries have air conditioning inside the cabin. If you want to be in the fresh sea breeze, you have the option to ride on the upper decks.
Do the Isla Mujeres Ferries Have Bathrooms or Food?
The Ferries on Ultramar and Ultracarga have a variety of snacks, cafe, waters, sodas and beers available on board. All ferries have bathrooms on board.
Are the Ferries Handicap Accessible?
Yes, the ferries have handicap accesible ramps and bathrooms. Get in contact with one of the operators upon arriving so they can assist you.
Other ways to get to Isla Mujeres
Ports from Ultramar on the Hotel Zone
Ultramar departures from the Hotel Zone on a regular basis from three different spots, Playa Tortugas, Playa Caracol and Embarcadero. Here is a list of departures:
What Time Do The Ultramar Ferries Go To Isla Mujeres?
From Hotel Zone
to Isla Mujeres
From Isla Mujeres
to Hotel Zone
How Much Does The Hotel Zone Ultramar Ferry Cost?
One Way $300 Pesos ($15 USD)
Round Trip $420 Pesos ($21 USD)
One Way $200 Pesos ($10 USD)
Round Trip $300 Pesos ($15 USD)
Organized Tours From Cancun or Playa del Carmen
If you are not planing to spend more than a day on Isla, another option is to take one of the Boat Tours or Catamarans that cross over for a day trip. However, this is not a recommended way to visit if you want some freedom to explore the island. These tours are usually packed with people and even though they can include lots of extras, they are very limited in the places you can visit and the things you can do while on Isla Mujeres.
Organized Water Taxi Transport via Hotel or Concierge
Want to skip the hassle and take the most exclusive ride to Isla Mujeres? You can inquire at your hotel about the private water taxi from Mexico Divers for you and your group! You can also book directly here: Water Taxi Service.