Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Isla Mujeres is a small, energetic island off the coast of Cancun. Isla Mujeres is reachable by ferry from Cancun. Most people stay on Isla Mujeres for just a couple nights as part of a larger trip. The wifi on the island is decent and there are enough coffee shops to work remotely here for a month or more. Many full time residents of Cancun and Playa del Carmen go to Isla Mujeres as a weekend party trip. There are also party boats and yacht tours that visit the island, docking for a few hours before returning to the mainland. Tourists and expats have been flocking to the island for decades. Many people honeymoon here and do couples weekends. Isla Mujeres is growing in popularity among the digital nomad crowd looking to mix it up and try different locations in Quintana Roo.
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NOMAD & EXPAT COMMUNITY IN ISLA MUJERES
Isla Mujeres is 100% reliant on tourism. There are tons of options for hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs. Most tourists come here to spend a weekend or just a couple days. Of all the cities in Quintana Roo, Isla Mujeres is probably the place with the lowest average duration of visit. The island is very livable and you could spend longer here. There are many restaurants and activities. It is a small island, though, and you will get bored eventually. You are going to see a lot of foreigners here, and you can assume that most people are short term visitors. You won’t see too many long term island resident gringos, but of course there are a few. Not too many expats chose to buy a house here. Digital nomads will find the island reasonably well adapted for nomads. There are many good coffee shops with wifi, gyms, sim card vendors, and every other amenity that you will need for a comfortable stay.
WHERE TO STAY IN ISLA MUJERES
In the center! Isla Mujeres is small but smoewhat spread out. If you are staying on the southern part of the island, you will feel far from the action. Isla Mujeres is much smaller than Cozumel. If you want quiet, stay in the south of the island. If you want to party and be social, stay in the centro. The centro is the north part of the island.
WHEN TO VISIT ISLA MUJERES
The best time of year to visit is between October and April. During this time you will experience drier, cooler weather that is much more tolerable. The weather feels more mild than it is because there is always a sea breeze on the island. You will also be avoiding hurricane season. December to March is high season. Prepare to book in well advance if you are coming in this time frame. In high season, sometimes it can feel like Sayulita and just too overcrowded for the infrastructure. If you are doing a 10+ day trip, try to do Isla Mujeres either as the very first location or very last location on the trip. That way you’ll be close to Cancun and the airport.
DAY TRIPS & THINGS TO DO IN ISLA MUJERES
Rent a bicycle. There are bike rental places all over the island. This is a great way to see everything in one day and circumnavigate the island.
Visit Punta Sur, the southernmost tip of the island.
Visit the Parador Fotográfico, where you can get a photo with the ‘Isla Mujeres’ sign (those big letters).
BEST CAFES & COWORKING IN ISLA MUJERES
Isla Mujeres has several good coffee shops with fast wifi. Isla Mujeres is very touristy so the cafes can get busy and noisy. Try to go early in the morning to get remote work done and avoid the hungover tourist word.
Cafes that My Latin Life recommends:
Café Mogagua: One of the most popular cafes in Mogagua.
Rooster: More of a restaurant than cafe, fast wifi.
Aroma lsla: Good coffee and good wifi.
BEST BARS & NIGHTLIFE IN ISLA MUJERES
You’ll be able to find a party in Isla Mujeres. It’s no Tulum but there’s still fun to be had. You may end up partying with a rag tag crew, drinking on the street, but it’s a still a good vibe around here. The best area to party is in the centro. The centro is on the north of the island, on the ‘downtown’ side of the ferry terminal.
Bars in Isla Mujeres that My Latin Life recommends:
Rock Bar, Facebar, Fayne’s Bar, Aluxe’s bar or anything near the intersection of Miguel Hidalgo and Matamoros. You can also party at the hostels as well (such as Iszla Hotel and Selina).
COST OF LIVING IN ISLA MUJERES
The locals must be getting by for pretty cheap. There’s a lot of (crappy_ housing stock on the southern part of the island. Most local accommodations are fairly run down. It would be difficult to estimate what a monthly apartment rental would cost here, and could range dramatically.
IS ISLA MUJERES SAFE FOR NOMADS AND EXPATS?
One time I fell asleep on the beach in Isla Mujeres and woke up without a phone. The girl woke up without her purse. We went to breakfast and some random guy also fell asleep on the beach and also got robbed. If you can avoid sleeping on the beach you should be fine.
HOW TO GET TO ISLA MUJERES
The best way to get to Isla Mujeres is to take a ferry from Cancun. The ferries leave very frequently. There is a small airport on Isla Mujeres but it must be private but no one is really arriving on the island that way. Everyone arrives on a ferry or a private boat. There are many private boats and smaller transportation companies. The sure thing is just to use the big ferry (Ultramar).
IS ISLA MUJERES OVERRATED?
At this point Isla Mujeres is probably in the middle. It’s probably underrated among the digital nomad crowd. It’s probably overrated among the boomer crowd who remember the Isla Mujeres of the 1980s. It’s fun for a weekend, but you’ll want to leave after 5 days.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ISLA MUJERES
Isla Mujeres packs a pretty good punch for a 7km long island. There’s great beaches, good partying, seafood restaurants, and all types of activities to do. The wifi works well and the restaurant prices are reasonable. Isla Mujeres is definitely worth visiting. Spend a weekend and enjoy!