Isla Mujeres with Kids: How to do a Day Trip from Cancun

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Are you planning a trip to Cancun and want to do a one day trip to Isla Mujeres from Cancun? A day trip to Isla Mujeres is a great way to spend the day, with lots of fun things to do on the island. A day trip to Isla Mujeres with kids is a popular excursion for those visiting the Cancun area in Mexico. Isla Mujeres is a beautiful island located in the Caribbean Sea, known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and great local food. We have visited the island twice, once in 2017 and then again in 2023 and had a blast exploring the island each time.

Where is Isla Mujeres and how do you get there from Cancun?

Isla Mujeres is a Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, just a 15 minute ferry ride from the Cancun area. The island is only 4.3 miles long, making it very easy to explore. Easily accessible by the Ultramar ferry aka the Isla Mujeres ferry from Cancun, an Isla Mujeres day trip is a great way to spend the day while in Cancun. Adults pay $19/round trip and kids $13.  Milana sat with her cousin on the ferry and watched the scenery out the window. Isla Mujeres with kids is a great way to spend your day while in this part of Mexico.

Pro tip: If anyone in your family gets sea sick, be sure to take some Dramamine to prevent sea sickness on the boat.

How to get around Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a golf cart island, making it super fun to explore Isla Mujeres with kids. Once on the island, we rented a golf cart from one of the Isla Mujeres golf cart vendors. There are many Isla Mujeres golf cart rental companies you can rent from directly across the street from the ferry terminal.  You don’t need to make advance reservations, just simply pick one and walk up to them.  It costs around $60 for the entire day.  We chose Rentadora Joaquin (look for the giant golf cart suspended in the air) and had a good experience both times we visited the island.  They accept credit cards, while some others did not.  Milana loves golf carts, and remembers when we’ve rented them in Ambergris Caye, Belize and the Pearl Islands in Panama.

GolfCart1
GolfCart2
Our 2017 visit
Same photo, 6 years later!

There are cars on Isla Mujeres, however you will see more golf carts and mopeds than anything else.  Here are some photos from downtown, golf cart heaven!

Downtown2

Tips for visiting Isla Mujeres

  • Cash is king here, many places did not accept credit cards at all and those that did, added an absurd charge to process them. It’s been a while since we have been to a place where we didn’t use credit cards/Apple Pay so just know that you will need cash for almost every shop and restaurant on the island.
  • Bring a towel and change of clothes. Once you see the beautiful lagoon in front of the Mia hotel, you’re going to want to play in the water a bit. Bring a wetbag for wet swimsuits so you can easily take them back to your hotel.
  • It’s going to be hot! And you won’t get much reprieve from the heat being in the golf cart so bring some cooling towels to drape around your neck.

What to do in Isla Mujeres with kids

If you’re looking for the best Isla Mujeres itinerary, you most likely won’t find one. That’s because we recommend just picking up your golf cart and exploring at your own pace without an itinerary in mind. We decided to just pick a direction and drive, with no itinerary in mind. The island circles around so you will end up right when you started when you complete the circle.  The first stop was the Isla Mujeres sign, where we took pictures.

Sign

Here are the views you will have while driving around the island:

Shortly after, we stumbled upon a road stand selling fresh coconuts, so of course we had to stop and have one!  It was cold and the perfect treat on the hot day.

Coconut

There are also ice cream vendors all over, selling freshly made ice cream.  We got some and took in the beautiful island views.

IceCream2

Something interesting you won’t see in many places, they had beer to go sold in many different places.  I pulled over, and Dave got some to drink in the golf cart while I drove.  Not the best idea, given all the speed bumps on the road, but it worked out!

Beer

One of the first stops for us was Punta Sur.  They claim to have the best views, and they surely didn’t disappoint!  Milana loved the giant lizard statue and asked to have her picture taken with it.  There were also a ton of huge lizards walking around, so if you have a reptile lover, this place is for you!

PuntaSur1
PuntaSur2

Afterwards, it was time for lunch so we headed towards downtown to the Mango Cafe.  Milana ordered the cheese and corn quesadilla and Dave and I shared the fish tacos, which were really good! We also had watermelon and mango agua frescas.

MangoCafe1
MangoCafe2

Across the street from the cafe, is an ice cream store selling ice cream and homemade popsicles.  Milana’s favorite fruit is mango, so of course she chose that one.

Popsicles

We were full and ready for some shopping, so we headed a little bit down the road towards downtown.  There are lots of shops and street vendors here on the weekends, making it a great area to explore.  Milana and her cousin shopped and chose some treasures to take home.

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Shopping2
Downtown

There are lots of shops in the center of the island, so walk around and see what treasures you can find.

There was a crepe vendor there, so we shared a nutella banana one. We purchased our treat and headed a block away to the beach, where we got to enjoy it in front of the beautiful ocean.

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On our second trip, we had lunch at Coco Snack Beach Bar before returning our golf cart. It’s located at the end of the main street, right by the water. Their tacos are really good here, we tried the fish tacos and shrimp tacos.

The best find on our little island exploration was North Beach.  It’s directly in front of the MIA hotel, you can’t miss it!  The lagoon has no waves and is shallow all the way out, making it the perfect place for kids to play. I would head in this direction first, we wish we had more time to play here!

NorthBeach1
NorthBeach2
NorthBeach5

Do we think a day trip to Isla Mujeres is worth it? Absolutely! If you’re in Cancun, don’t miss this little island.  It was definitely the highlight of our trip! Visiting Isla Mujeres for one day is great but you can also have a great family vacation in Isla Mujeres so consider staying longer if you have the time!

29 Comments

  • paulinaontheroad

    Wow Isla Mujeres looks like a tropical paradise. So many things to do…especially for the kids! Will be on my bucket list 😉

  • Arzo Travels

    I have never heard of that island before.It looks like a great place for a family vacation.Now, I need to make it to Cancun so I can head there, too.

  • CJ Haughey

    It appears that Milana is living my Latin America travel dreams! She sure seems to be enjoying her fill of ice-cream too! I didn’t actually hear about Isla Mujeres before but damn is it pretty. That crystal clear water sure is enticing!

  • Jean

    Oh I love that you can get golf carts so easy. It does make for a fun day out. That water looks like so much fun. So jealous that Milana got to enjoy it!

  • Only By Land

    I’ve been to Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula but never maed the trip out to Isla de Mujeres. I didn’t realize it was only a 20 minute ferry ride away, the ferry looked comfortable too. It looks like a fun day trip, with lots of fun to be had with kids.

  • Tania Mukherjee

    Milana and her cousins are so cute. I would someday love to be in a town where golf carts are almost synonymous with cars! I would have taken a picture with the giant lizard too if I were there! Haha! 😀

  • LP

    I’ve never heard of this place but it looks like not only a great place to get away but also has some great spots to go visit! Thanks for sharing

  • Vicki Garside

    What a fabulous day trip, only 20 mins away makes it accessible for most people – and it is very cool you can ride around in golf carts all day! So nice for Milana to have her cousin to enjoy the day with too!

  • Cat

    How fun! So easy to explore in a golf cart! I like how you took it easy with no itinerary in mind. Looks like you had a fabulous time there with your family 🙂

  • therainbowroute

    Isla Mujeres is such a gorgeous island! It sure has grown since I was last there. This makes me want to go back and really explore the island.

  • skohl967

    I love the golf carts! And the idea that they’re more common than cars makes me want to hop on a plane right now and go live there. Of course, those beach shots are also very convincing.

  • stylishtravlr

    Isla Mujeres seems like such a nice place to visit! I love this crystal blue water! I really wanna visit Mexico, hopefully soon so maybe I will check it out as well! Great photos ! seems like you had an amazing day !

  • FoxintheForest117

    Look at those kiddos having a blast! Seems like a great spot to relax, unwind and enjoy some fam time! Looks awesome!

  • Joy Generoso

    Oh that beach is so pristine! I’m sure that little girl had a great time in the waters and with ice cream too. She’s very adorable little one. <3

  • travelerettenyc

    I’ve never been to Isla Mujeres, but I love Mexico so I’d like to go. The food looks delicious and the beach is beautiful. I am interested in reptiles so I think I would be excited to see that too.

  • snowtoseas

    Awesome and informative post about visiting this little Caribbean Island! I really love the colour of the water at North beach! It’s absolutely perfect – I think I would spend all day there.

  • CreativeTravelGuide (@CTGTravelGuide)

    Looks like such a lovely place and it is great you could experience it with the kids 🙂 Would love to visit!

  • Bethany @ Dose of Discovery

    I love that you can drive a golf cart around the island! I had never heard of it before, so thank you for sharing!

  • Maria Angelova

    Yummy so much delicious food in this post! 🙂 And I definitely love the idea of a place full of golf carts instead of cars!

  • Andrea Mujica

    what a beautiful trip your family went one! I remember going when I was younger and its still one of my favorite places!

  • Emily

    I love how kid friendly Isla Mujeres is! Looks like a lot of fun.. especially driving around on those golf carts!

  • minnesotayogini

    What GORGEOUS family photos for memories of this trip! Love this! Would love to take my kiddos here! Looks like a great place for a family vacation!

  • Ketki

    Look at Milana – she makes such an amazing traveler posing for the right pictures. Never heard of this place before but looks like a great vacation getaways.

  • ARIANA DEL RIO

    you are making me jealous with all those Island views and mexican food and aguas frescas and helados. Sooooo much FUN!

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