Snorkelling Garrafon Natural Reef Park – Image courtesy of Garrafon Natural Reef Park
Introducing Isla Mujeres, Cancun
Take the 20-minue ferry ride to Isla Mujeres off Cancun's coast and spend a relaxing day at Garrafón Natural Reef Park snorkelling, kayaking, swimming or helmet diving.
Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery and sunbathe at Playa Norte, the island's best beach. Or rent a bicycle and tour the island. The island is also home to a pretty village with several small shops, restaurants and several accommodation options.
Isla Mujeres Tortugranja
– See several hundred sea turtles at this farm dedicated to protecting the sea turtles’ breeding grounds, which lie along the island's calm western shore.
Wire cages are first placed around the turtles nesting sites to protect their eggs against predators. Once hatched, the little turtles live in three large pools for up to a year, before being tagged for monitoring and released.
Most of the turtles that leave this protected beach return each year, and their offspring receive the same protection.
Founded in the 1980s by local fisherman, the facility is just 5km south of the town and is easily reached by taxi. Admission: US$30; Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Cancun Underwater Museum
– Swim, snorkel or take a glass-bottom boat to view this aquatic museum featuring some 400 sculptures by Jason de Caires Taylor. Submerged at various depths in the shallow waters between Cancun and Isla Mujures, the lifelike statues serve as artificial reefs to attract marine life.
Getting to Isla Mujeres
You can take the public ferry from Puerto Juárez (15 to 20 minutes); shuttle boat from Playa Linda or Playa Tortuga (60 minutes, with irregular service); water taxi (expensive, but quick), next to the Xcaret Terminal; and a choice of daylong pleasure-boat cruises, most of which leave from the Playa Linda pier.
The ferry docks in downtown Isla Mujeres near all the shops and Playa Norte. You'll need a taxi to get to El Garrafón park located at the other end of the island.
Discover the best hotels in Isla Mujeres – find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say at TripAdvisor.
Location: 8km offshore from Cancún
Admission: Garrafón Natural Reef Park – all-inclusive entrance M$69, includes transportation from Playa Langosta in Cancún; meals; open bar with domestic drinks; access to the reef and use of snorkel gear, kayaks, swimming pool, facilities and showers.