The fabulous island is conveniently located, just half an hour by sea from Cancun. The main sea ferry terminal on Isla Mujeres is located in the Hotel Zone in the Port of Juarez. You can get there by city bus or taxi.
The unique geographic location ensures that there are no waves, as this part of the island is protected by a natural relief barrier from the impact of the ocean.
Opposite, the so-called, outer part of the island is open to ocean winds and waves. Almost everywhere there are rocky shores, there are many large volcanic formations in the sea, and the rough surf will not allow you to swim comfortably. The local scenery is breathtaking, but this area is more suitable for walking. Let’s get to know the beaches for which tourists from all over the world come here.
Central Beach is closest to the ferry terminal. Many consider him a worthy competitor to the famous Playa Norte. It is wide enough, and there is all the necessary infrastructure – restaurants and cafes, changing cabins, toilets, etc.
In general, this is a popular, classic «Caribbean» beach with fine white sand, turquoise water, and palm trees. You won’t find strong waves here. You can hide from the sun in the shade of palm trees, but if you want to be closer to the water, you can rent a sun lounger and an umbrella. There will be no problems with lunch either, local facilities do not skimp on barkers who will walk along the beach and convince you of choosing one or another cafe.
- Location next to the marina.
- Can be crowded.
A little further than Central Beach, at the northernmost tip of the island, is North Beach. This beach is considered the most beautiful and romantic beach in Isla Mujeres.
Both beaches, by the way, have the Blue Flag mark – the highest international rating in terms of ecology and convenience for vacationers.
You can visit this beach endlessly, and each time there will be new impressions. The color of the water changes depending on the light, the sea is always calm, and the yachts lined up behind the buoys complete the romantic landscape. You can sit in the shade of palm trees, there is always enough of it. You can also rent umbrellas and sun loungers from the beach bars. Toilets are also available in the bars.
Hotel Mia Riff is located at the northernmost point of the island. In front of it is a shallow lagoon with flowing heated water. A perfect place to relax with children thanks to the wide area of shallow water where coral fish swim! A bridge on wooden piles is laid across the lagoon.
There are several smaller beaches near these two beaches. Although they have their own names, most often the same as the name of a nearby bar or hotel (for example, Playa Los Cocos), we consider them only a part of the Central and Northern beaches.
- The beach is perfect for both family vacations and romantic photo shoots.
- A very popular place and can get crowded with tourists. It also affects the cost of using local infrastructure.
How to get there:
When you reach the end of the street, you will see a monument to the dead fishermen. Turn right and then left onto any street leading towards the sea. A maximum of 15 minutes walk from the ferry terminal and you are on Playa Norte.
The rest of the Isla Mujeres beaches are best reached either by golf cart or taxi. The island is not that big, and it takes half an hour to drive from one end to the other. Taxi fares are very low and if you are going to lie on the beach all day, you don’t need a golf cart at all.
You won’t find it on Google maps, but it’s worth checking out. In addition, this is the only beach on the east side.
Yes, we remember that the sea there is sometimes restless. Still, the surrounding rock formations protect against large waves, but often the surf can be a hassle if you are not a very good swimmer. This beach is also called Playa de la Media Luna, after the name of a nearby hotel. You can navigate to the hotel if you decide to look here.
Not far from the hotel you will find the statue of the goddess Ixchel, another attraction of the area.
The sandy strip is small but very clean. The water is likely to be chillier than on the opposite side of the island. Facilities on the beach are available only to guests of local hotels, but it is not crowded here.
- Picturesque and calm beach.
- Lack of infrastructure, may be rough seas.
Next, we will discuss the beaches located along the «inner», the eastern part of the island:
They are very similar to each other. They are almost always supported by a nearby beach club. Do not forget that all beaches in Mexico are public (well, almost), and you can sit on any beach. However, you will have to pay for the use of umbrellas and sunbeds.
Tiburon means «shark» in Spanish.
Well, the beach itself is so named because there is a small «zoo» of sharks and other marine creatures that swim behind special fences right off the coast. For just a couple of dollars, you can take a photo or swim with a small shark, and even hold it in your arms.
The shark nursery has made this beach very popular. Large tour groups often stop here, so it makes sense to come here early so as not to waste time in line.
Pretty modest beach compared to others. The sandy strip is very narrow, in some places the trees come right up to the water. Umbrellas, sun loungers, and even tables and chairs can be rented. Amenities are located only in the beach club and in the hotel.
About 1,8 mi away is the archaeological zone Ekab Maya, which will also be interesting to visit.
The beach is located next to the El Pescador club. Quite a big and broad beach, there is enough space for everyone. A well-developed tourist infrastructure is conducive to active recreation near the water. There will be plenty of entertainment for both adults and children.
It may seem to some that the local landscape is spoiled by several wooden piers, but generally, this is a completely balanced combination: relaxation under palm trees and fishing motives.
From the highway to the beach, there is a road through dense thickets, and if you are going to walk along the paths, sometimes you will have to make your way through thorny bushes. But this beach is filled with its romance, so many vacationers prefer its noisy central beaches. The beach area is constantly cleaned by employees of nearby restaurants, and large starfish come across the shore.
Another small beach, better known for the restaurant of the same name located here. Beautiful sea, fitted territory, you can sunbathe in hammocks, and it is rarely crowded here.
There is also a small tourist shark nursery, waterslides, and numerous waterside bars.
Entirely a pretty pleasant place to stay, and if you’re willing to drive quite far from the center of Isla Mujeres, this beach won’t disappoint you.
It is located much closer to the southern tip of the island. This beach is for those who love beautiful Caribbean landscapes: rocks covered with palm trees. This small beach is also surrounded by rocks and mangroves.
This beach is the opposite of other Caribbean beaches, which are all like twins from the same advertising brochure. This creates a feeling of complete unity with nature, enhanced by lush Caribbean vegetation and a real sea. The sea here can be restless, but it looks like a real living sea! On the central beaches, snorkeling is not always exciting. As a rule, there is just a sandy bottom with rare guests in the form of randomly swum fish from the reef. On Garrafon, the underwater world is much wealthier, and it is here that tourists come to swim with a mask and snorkel. You can also practice active sports, ride a zipline over the water or go sailing.
Entrance to this beach will most likely be paid for since it is privatized. But very close to it is Punta Sur Park with many strange but interesting sculptures, a lighthouse, and magnificent views.
From the beach, you can walk there in 10-15 minutes.
And if you want to stay here longer and the local rocky beaches suit you, you can stay in one of the local villas. Although it is worth remembering that going down into the water on your own can be quite a daunting task due to the rocky terrain. Therefore, guests in local villas prefer pools overlooking the sea but not the sea itself.
Beaches on the east side:
In some sections along the route, you can find relatively safe patches of land where you can go into the water without risking breaking your leg. Although, given the breaking waves, we strongly do not recommend doing this, or at least using special shoes. However, if you want to enjoy the sea and the sun in complete solitude, most likely, you will easily find such places on this not-a-very-popular stretch of Isla Mujeres.
You may need more than one visit to Isla Mujeres to decide on your favorite beach, and we are completely sure that a visit here will leave you with the most pleasant experience. Just don’t forget good sunscreen.