Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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Isla Mujeres, Mexico: All You Need To Know

Reviewed by Lief Simon

Lief Simon is the managing editor of Global Property Advisor, Simon Letter, and Offshore Living Letter. He has purchased more than 45 properties, investing in 23 different countries around the world.

Isla Mujeres in Mexico
AdobeStock/jdross75

Isla Mujeres, Mexico, is a sort of quieter Cancún. It lies 10 kilometers from the coast of Cancún and is surrounded by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second largest barrier reef in the world). For reference, there are approximately 13,200 people.

Visiting Isla Mujeres will have you whisked away to an idyllic tropical island destination.

As a popular tourist destination, Isla Mujeres has pristine beaches and world class diving amidst beautiful turquoise water.

Most importantly, if you are looking for a great place to sit back, enjoy the sun, and occasionally partake in an island activity, then Isla Mujeres is the place for you.

Here is everything you need to know about Isla Mujeres, Mexico…

Scuba Diving, Fun And Sun

Cost Of Living In Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Living in Isla Mujeres can be much cheaper than you would expect.

A single person can live on a budget of US$1,500 per month, with access to the simple amenities and island lifestyle.

A family a four can live on a budget in Isla Mujeres upwards of US$2,000 per month.

Renting apartments can be expensive on this small heavenly island since real estate is in high demand and in low supply.

That being said, you can find nice two bedroom apartment for upwards of US$1,150 per month. You can find larger houses or apartments for anywhere between US$1,500 and US$3,000 per month.

While rent will most likely be the biggest part of your cost of living in Isla Mujeres, the rest of your budget can be very reasonable.

If you are interested in owning a place in Isla Mujeres because you want to live their full time, or just for real estate investment purposes, then this will cost a fair bit of money. Most places on the island are upwards of one million dollars.

Although, you can still find very nice apartments or houses in Isla Mujeres for between US$350,000 and US$700,000.

The rest of your cost of living in Isla Mujeres will be spent on groceries, utilities, and entertainment.

While most of the entertainment on the island is free, you may find yourself wanting to go out for a nice dinner, taking scuba diving lessons, or renting a boat and visiting the surrounding waters.

In Isla Mujeres, you will spend money on food, bills, and fun.

Most fun activities in Isla Mujeres are free, but you may want to have a fancy dinner or try scuba diving lessons. You can also rent a boat to explore the nearby waters.

You can expect your utility bill (depending on how many people you are, the size of your apartment, etc.) for basic utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.) to be between $50 and $200 USD per month.

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Your internet plan on the island may vary, but there are opportunities for it to be as cheap as US$30 per month, or as high as US$80 per month.

The cost of living in Isla Mujeres depends on how well you budget yourself, where you are shopping, and what you are doing.

Also, you can easily get by on a slimmer budget. For example, rent prices are comparable to, or less than, most places that you can find in New York City. In short, they are much nicer and in a much more attractive location.

You can expect to pay between US$300 and US$400 per month on groceries.

For reference, a gallon of milk costs a little more than US$4, a loaf of bread about US$2, and a dozen eggs around the same as a loaf of bread.

While you can find cars and taxis on Isla Mujeres, most people get around by walking or on golf carts.

A half day rental for a golf cart is US$50, and a full day rental is US$80 (prices are standardized, so be sure to look for the best customer service and product).

The last thing you may want to know the price of is a meal out, or a pint of beer. A nice three course meal for two people can cost upwards of US$50 (although you can find cheaper meals at more local places and food stands for around US$10).

A pint of beer at your local pub will set you back about US$2 to US$3.

Check foreign currency exchange rates here.

Health Care in Mexico

Most expats in Mexico prefer to have private health care, which means paying for private health insurance.

Private health care in Mexico comes with many benefits. The standard of the hospitals is high.

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The Life Aquatic

Whale shark and woman diver near Isla Mujeres, Mexico
AdobeStock/Subphoto

Things To Do In Isla Mujeres, Mexico

There is always something to do in Isla Mujeres. The ocean and island life makes it simple to spend your days relaxing, go for a swim, and catch up on your reading in Isla Mujeres.

Visiting Isla Mujeres truly brings you to a relaxing paradise. Lounging on the beach, taking yoga lessons, or spending the day in the spa are among the activities you can do that will revitalize you before heading home.

Expats In Isla Mujeres

While most people choose to visit Isla Mujeres and stay there for a short period of time, there a few hundred people out of the 13,000 or so that live there that are expats living in Isla Mujeres full time.

Expats in Isla Mujeres fill their days by immersing themselves in the local communities and culture, becoming small business owners, or just spending their retirement fund leisurely and enjoying all the comforts that Isla Mujeres has to offer.

Adventures At Sea

At Isla Mujeres, you can enjoy countless aquatic adventures and sports. There is great swimming, world-class diving, you can rent boats and go fishing, or rent a catamaran for a day from Cancún and take a tour around the island seeing all the hotspots.

Any water sport you can think of, and Isla Mujeres definitely has it, so if you are an ocean lover then this is the place to be.

Renting a catamaran is a one day all included trip that leaves from Cancún. Therefore, when you only have one day at Isla Mujeres this is the way to go.

You get less freedom to visit sites at your pace, but there is food and beverages while you cruise around the island on your luxurious catamaran.

The scuba diving in the area is world class. As a result, divers come from all around the world to experience the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

On top of that, there is an underwater sculpture museum that you absolutely cannot miss.

This one of a kind museum (MUSA) was designed to counteract the effects of climate change as the reefs and underwater plant life grow around and on the sculptures. It is truly a sight to behold.

There is also snorkeling for people who like to stay towards the surface of the water.

The nearest reef is El Farito. It boasts brightly colored reefs and fish to watch as they navigate the barriers.

Also, between late May and early September, you can go snorkeling with whale sharks that come to the area to mate.

There are also beaches if you prefer to stay land locked. Above all, the most famous beach in all of Mexico is on Isla Mujeres: Playa Norte.

Playa Norte has perfect white sandy beaches, with palm trees swaying in the wind overlooking pristine turquoise waters. It truly is a picture perfect beach and a great place to relax.

Other Things To Do

  • Punta Sur Park (fully equipped with Mayan ruins, hiking trails, local fauna and flora, etc.),
  • Parque de los Sueños at Kin Ha (a beach club with activities and events for island lovers)
  • Garrafon Park (an off the beaten track trail with great views and awesome snorkeling).

Also, you must visit Hacienda Mundaca, which was built by the famous pirate with the same name, and the turtle farm which is a privately funded sea turtle sanctuary.

Finally, you will be able to enjoy wonderful culinary delights all around the island. The fish is obviously locally sourced and extremely fresh, so be sure to try one of the islands famous fish dishes.

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Visa And Residence Information

How To Get To Isla Mujeres?

The answer to that question is very simple: you take the ferry. The ferry runs about every half an hour from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., and after that it runs for every hour. It only costs you about US$17 (300 Mexican Pesos) and you have arrived in your paradise.

Getting around on the island is simple. You can just walk everywhere or rent go-carts (the island is only about 5 miles long).

The islands have taxi services. But, just be sure to negotiate the price before taking off in the cab so as not to get overcharged.

That is all well and good, but you are probably wondering how to get to Mexico, not just the island once you are already there. The easiest place to get to Isla Mujeres is from Cancún.

You would land in the Cancún International Airport, which is about 22 miles from the ferry (35 kilometers) and takes anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour to drive to (depending on traffic conditions).

You can hire a private van service to take you from the airport to the ferry for upwards of US$40.

To visit Isla Mujeres, then you can do so for up to 180 days on a tourist visa without any issues. Simply book your flight, pack your bags, and head off to paradise.

To move to Isla Mujeres and Mexico, you need to start the residency process and getting your visa at your nearest Mexican consulate.

Getting a visa for Mexico is fairly simple, you just need to be determined as economically solvent. This essentially means that you need to show proof of a monthly income of at least US$3,275 per month over the last 6 months (some consulates ask for the past 12 months). Another way to go is to be able to show proof that you have had savings of at least $54,600 USD over the last 12 months.

For more information on getting a visa in Mexico, click here.

Get Ready For A Tropical Island

Average day and night temperature in Isla Mujeres Mexico
Weather-and-climate.com

Weather In Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a very tropical island. In short, it is very humid (76% to 100% humidity) and hot most of the year. That shouldn’t be a problem for people who enjoy warm weather and love cooling off in the water though!

Average temperatures throughout the year are between a high of 90°F (32°) and a low of 68°F (20°C). It rarely goes below 59°F (15°C) or higher than 93°F (34°C).

The hottest months in Isla Mujeres are from June to September, and the coolest months are from December to March.

An overcast of clouds is possible in Isla Mujeres. So, it is good to keep in mind that the clearest months are between late October and late May.

The dry season in Isla Mujeres runs from November to May, and the wet season from May to November. It rains the most in September-October.

It’s good to know that hurricane season in this Mexican area is from June to November but peaks around September-October.

However, there have been less than half a dozen hurricanes hitting the Yucatán Peninsula over the past 40 years.

What really can change your travel plans are the high winds coming off the storms and the heavy rainfalls.

Otherwise, there is no real need to worry about safety when it comes to hurricanes. Just be sure to get travel insurance in case a storm changes your flight plans.

What People Also Ask About Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres FAQs

Is Isla Mujeres Worth Visiting?

Isla Mujeres is the place to be for anyone wishing to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. It is a wonderful get away. And, if you are visiting Cancún but get tired of the party scene, then take a mini trip to Isla Mujeres. You will find an amazing haven to carry you away from your worries as you swim around and enjoy beaches and nature.

What Is Isla Mujeres, Mexico, Known For?

Isla Mujeres, Mexico, is known for its perfect beaches, amazing ocean views, its coral reefs, and its scuba diving. Most importantly, be sure to check out the underwater sculpture museum, the turtle sanctuary, and try and plan your visit to Isla Mujeres for when the whale sharks are nearby.

Is Isla Mujeres A Good Place To Retire?

Retiring to Isla Mujeres is perfect for any island and ocean lovers. Isla Mujeres is the perfect place for a retirement filled with sun, new hobbies, and swimming.

Why Should Americans Move To Isla Mujeres?

Americans should move to Isla Mujeres because the expat community there is always going to be happy to welcome someone else, and it truly is a paradise island from your dreams. And, if you don’t want to live there year-round, you can rent out your property the rest of the year and use it as a perfect snowbird vacation home.

While real estate can be a little pricey when buying (affordable rental options can be found, you just must look in the right place), it still makes a great long-term investment if that is what you are looking for.

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Is Mexico Your Dream Destination?


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