ISLA MUJERES FERRY SERVICES
As most people know, the small island of Isla Mujeres that sets about 3 miles off Cancun’s shores is primarily accessible by water. You must traverse from the Cancun International Airport to the ferry dock and then take a 20-minute ferry ride over to the island.
Your initial reaction may be, “that’s a lot of work to get to my hotel!” Truthfully though, it’s not that bad at all. Take into consideration that you may have to shuttle 2 or more hours to get to some Mayan Riviera destinations. It’s much less than that to get to Isla, and you get a stunningly scenic boat ride to boot.
Once have the details and know your options, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to your tranquil, tropical paradise!
FROM THE CANCUN AIRPORT
This is always a reliable option if you have no other alternatives, or if you’re arriving at an ungodly hour! An air-conditioned cab will take you directly from the airport to the ferry terminal in Cancun. It will be a 20-30 minute cab ride and will probably be the most expensive option you will find. Taxis are readily available at the airport. (You will get solicited by about 20 taxi companies before you ever make it outside!)
SHUTTLE/PRIVATE VAN SERVICE
There are many options for a shuttle or transfer service, and this is a great way to go especially for groups of 4 or more people. This requires advance planning, but you can rest assured knowing the driver will be waiting for you at the airport with your name on a little sign, and your group won’t have to cram uncomfortably into a taxi! It will also more than likely be a cheaper option. A couple of reputable and more reasonably priced transfer companies are USA Transfers and Best Day Travel.
This is the cheapest option but the most complicated! You can take the comfortable, air-conditioned ADO bus from the airport into downtown Cancun, and then catch a city bus that can get you to the ferry. This method comes with a lot of on-and-off and waiting. It is doable though, if you so prefer.
CANCUN AIRPORT TO ISLA FERRY
There are two main ferry terminals in Cancun that will take you to the island of Isla Mujeres. The main terminal is called Gran Puerto, on Puerto Juarez. This port is home to the large blue and yellow Ultra-Mar ferries.
Ferries run from Cancun to Isla Mujeres every half-hour starting at 5:00 A.M. and go until 11:30 P.M. During high season (March-April), extra ferries are added to the schedule, especially on weekends.
The fee currently is $70 pesos one way per person on Ultra-Mar. There is a ticket counter at the entrance where you will purchase your tickets.
TIP: There is no discount on round-trip purchases. If you do purchase a round-trip ticket, make sure that you don’t lose it!
The terminal is fairly new and comfortable. There a several shops there as well as a convenience store. Nice bathrooms are available at the terminal and there are bathrooms on the ferry as well.
Once on the ferry, you have two options: to sit in the air-conditioned lower level or in the open-air upper level with much more scenic views. The water averages only about 30 feet in depth between Cancun and the island This shallow water is generally very calm–almost like a lake–which makes for a great boat ride.
This is the only car ferry to Isla Mujeres. Located a couple miles further north of Gran Puerto, this is where to go if you’re in need of taking your vehicle, car or motorcycle etc. over to the island.
The current schedule is below. Please note that it is subject to change, so it’s advisable to double-check prior to your trip.
Cancun to Isla
Monday – Friday 7:15 9:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:30 20:15
Saturday 7:15 11:00 14:45 17:30 20:15
Sunday 11:00 15:00 20:00
Prices (based on length of vehicle)
Compact Cars – $292 Pesos
Sedans/Suburban’s/Pickups Etc. – $425 Pesos
Motorcycle- $99 Pesos
Bicycle- $93 Pesos
Passengers- $40 Pesos
TIP: If you are staying in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, there are other ferry options, but are typically more pricey for getting you back and forth to the island for day trips and the like. There are currently 3 ferry ports along the Hotel Zone.