There is a lot to do in Cancun to keep you busy while you’re visiting, and even more to do if you expand your search just a little bit outside of the popular tourist destination. Fascinating Mayan ruins, enchanting cenotes to swim in, Magic Towns where you can experience authentic Mexican culture, and stunning beaches up and down the coast are just a few of your options. Another option that takes about an hour to get to is Isla Mujeres, and there are six good reasons you should visit Isla Mujeres during your Cancun vacation
1) Underwater Museum Of Art (MUSA)
MUSA, or the Underwater Museum of Art, is exactly what it sounds like, a museum underwater that consists of hundreds of sculptures made out of concrete. These sculptures can be seen by taking a glass-bottom boat for about $50 per person, but many tourists choose to get in the water to see them. You can book a scuba diving trip that will cost between $90-$160 or a snorkeling trip that includes a glass bottom boat tour for around $70.
2) Isla Mujeres Golf Cart Tour
One of the best ways to see Isla Mujeres is by taking a golf cart tour of the island, which will cost around $35-$40 for the day. It will give you the opportunity to see authentic parts of the island, like the center, where many locals live in colorful houses. You’ll also be able to drive along the road that runs between the ocean and a lagoon, as well as along the west coast with views of the Cancun mainland.
3) Unique Shopping
Isla Mujeres is a fantastic place to shop for souvenirs for yourself and everyone on your list. You’ll find boutiques selling authentic Mexican handicrafts like clay works, clothing, candy, Talavera earthenware, hammocks, and leatherworks. Many of the shops are located on the main avenue frequented by tourists, Avenida Miguel Hidalgo, where you will likely spend some time anyway.
4) Seafood and Mexican Restaurants In Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is known for its food scene that includes restaurants serving seafood and authentic Mexican food and has even been referred to as a “foodie destination.” On the island, there is something for every budget and appetite. A few popular options include Zama Beach Club, where you’ll find seafood dishes like ceviche and seafood tacos, Mango Cafe, where you can indulge in specialties like coconut French toast and chicken chipotle quesadillas, and The Municipal Market, where you’ll find cheap eats like chilaquiles and fresh fruit juices at open-air food stalls.
5) Isla Mujeres Bird Sanctuary
On the uninhabited island of Isla Contoy, you’ll find a bird sanctuary with more than 150 different species of birds, as well as other animals like turtles and reptiles. The island is just over 5 miles long and is located north of Isla Mujeres, about 18.5 miles away. Tours can be booked that will take you on the hour-long journey to the island for around $100 and will include snorkel gear, lunch, water, beer, and soft drinks.
6) Avenida Miguel Hidalgo
Avenida Miguel Hidalgo is the heart of Isla Mujeres, and you’ll find plenty to do in and around this busy avenue in the El Centro area, which is the center of town. It isn’t uncommon to hear live music coming from the many restaurants and bars, and there is an active nightlife in the evenings. This is also where you will find many of the souvenir shops and a collection of smaller hotels.
Isla Mujeres is much more laid-back than Cancun and offers a unique experience. You can easily get to the island by taking a taxi to the ferry port and then a 15-minute ferry ride that will cost about $20 roundtrip. Typically ferries run every hour, but during the busy winter season, it runs every 15 minutes, making now the perfect time to visit Isla Mujeres.
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