10 Things to do on a Solo trip to Isla Mujeres
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING YUCATAN PENINSULA
Are you planning a 2 weeks trip to Mexico Yucatan? You are in the right place. I will let you discover my Ultimate Travel Itinerary, the best parts of it, and errors I’ve made and I wish I knew before.
On my two-week trip in Mexico in the Yucatan peninsula, I’ve mostly seen men traveling on their own and only two girls that were each of them traveling solo. The guys traveling alone were mostly Europeans, whilst the women were from Latin America, used to that kind of insecurity.
It’s better to make your research thoroughly before going to Yucatan Peninsula if you want to have a nice vacation.
How many days do I need to explore Yucatan Peninsula?
You will need a minimum of 2 weeks in Yucatan Peninsula, but 3 weeks are recommended to enjoy the pristine white beaches, delve into the Maya history and ruins, dive into the abyss of the blue cenotes and enjoy the exquisite local Mexican food.
What is the best time to visit Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico?
The best time to visit the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is during the dry season. The dry season in Mexico runs from December to April. The weather is at its best, you’ll enjoy clear skies and warm temperatures.
From March, temperatures turn quite hot, therefore sunscreen and water are more than a necessity.
However, it is also the busiest time of year, when accommodation and transportation prices go up. Make sure to book in advance.
From May to June and October to November are the periods less crowded due to rain, especially in the afternoon. You could still enjoy nice weather with fewer tourists around and rates considerably lower.
Pick the right time for you because you will enjoy it either way.
How safe it is to go to Mexico?
The Yucatan peninsula is located on the Mexican Gulf coast and includes 3 Mexican states:
- Yucatan (capital Merida)
- Quintana Roo (capital Chetumal)
- Campeche (capital Campeche)
Most of the resorts and popular beaches, are actually in Quintana Roo. The general public knows the region as Yucatan Peninsula, not the states. The driving distances between the states are also quite important.
Good to Know!
From November to March, the state of Quintana Roo is 1 hour ahead of the Yucatan and Campeche states.
I went from Cancun to Chichen Itza and I was so confused why I had 2 different hours on my two cells when I came back. One I put on airplane mode when I was in Chichen Itza to save battery and the other was connected to the Internet the entire time. At the Hotel I realized that the hours do not match until I put my phone from airplane mode to Wi-Fi.
In terms of safety, there is a big difference between the states also. Yucatan and Campeche provinces are safer, with police, known as Guardia Nacional, driving at a fast pace in their cars with bulletproof vests and high-caliber firearms. At first glance, you could feel alarmed and question what is going on, but bear in mind they are there to protect the tourists. Once I understood that, I felt much more secure and relaxed. Of course, I also took precautions not to go alone during the night, not walking on isolated streets or less safe barios.
In Quintana Roo you will find more corruption and gangs. Be aware of your surroundings and stay in populated areas, securing your belongings at all times. You can still be safe here as well, you don’t have to worry about that. As a Solo traveler, I recommend opting for organized trips where they are in charge of your safety.
Is it safe to drive in Yucatan Peninsula?
You can definitely drive safely and in good conditions in Mexico, especially in Yucatan Peninsula. Just stay out of the roads during the night as much as possible, especially if you go off the beaten path. The roads are in good shape, just be aware of TOPES – speed-reducing road bumps that are quite high and can destroy your car. They are installed to limit the speed and secure the roads, which is a good thing.
If you decide to rent a car to get around, know that Yucatán has restrictions on drinking and driving of 0.08% BAC limit. during the night there is a significant number of state police and even medical personnel, taking breath samples in their quest to keep drunk drivers off the road.
BE AWARE OF SCAMS!
There is a lot of corruption, especially in Quintana Roo, so you will deal with policemen that stop you for no reason, just to get a bribe. They will invent some charges on you, but just stay calm, try to negotiate, or if it doesn’t work try to call someone, a local. They will back off.
At the Gas stations you might be a victim of scams as well, so better watch at all times that the counter is at zero when you start filling your car.
Propina (Tips) – as soon as they see you are a foreigner they will take everything from you. They will impose 20% Propina but know it is not legal to do that.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ISLA MUJERES
You can either go on a day trip from Cancun to Isla Mujeres or take the Ferry and stay there for at least one night.
I did the first, I suggest you do the latter. I will explain why.
We’ve spent too much time on the Catamaran drinking cheap alcohol and dancing and less time on the beach, getting to know the surroundings and enjoying what a small island life has to offer.
I took the day trip because there was also free diving included, which I absolutely wanted to do. But due to the weather conditions, we were not allowed to dive. I understood of course, but I was disappointed as I wanted to do both. I could’ve just taken the ferry and gone to Isla Mujeres and from there to book a diving trip, which they would have told me is not possible due to the weather.
Because of that, I was unable to dive that day and had no time to explore the island as I wanted.
On small islands like this one, it is mandatory to stay overnight. The vibe, the bars, and the people having fun is priceless.
How to get from Cancun to Isla Mujeres
If you plan to visit Isla Mujeres, the ferry system in Cancun is at hand. Ferries run all day between the island from three different docks in Cancun: El Embarcadero, Playa Tortugas, and Playa Caracol, all located in the Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera). Service is from 9 am to 9 pm at each departure location and ferries run every 30 minutes. Ferry fares typically cost $/€19 for adults and $/€ 14 for kids for a round-trip ride.
HOW TO GET FROM CANCUN AIRPORT TO ISLA MUJERES
You have different options to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun Airport:
- by bus
- by taxis at the airport
- private transportation booked before your arrival.
To get from the Cancun airport to Isla Mujeres, the cost of the whole van would be $/€55 one-way, or $/€105 round trip.
THINGS TO DO IN ISLA MUJERES
1. Relax at Playa Norte Beach
2. Rent A Golf Cart to explore the island
3. Admire The Sea Wall Murals
4. MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art in Isla Mujeres)
6. Swim With Whale Sharks
7. Visit Mercado Municipal
9. Sunset Cruise on a Catamaran
10. Join a Cycling Trip
BONUS: WHERE TO EAT in MEXICO
My favorite restaurants in MEXICO
- Restaurante MEXTREME in Zona Hotelera, Boulevard Kukulcan Km 9.5
Very tasty fruits, a great breakfast, and an amazing atmosphere during the dinner service
- Bah Bah! Holbox Restaurante
Best spot for breakfast. Delicious pancakes. Good cappuccino.
- The Hot Corner
Excellent for an afternoon beer or an evening cocktail with live music. Best place to go out in the evening and have fun.
3. PLAYA DEL CARMEN
- Choux Choux Cafe
Best place for a royal morning breakfast or late brunch. Everything is so tasty.
- La Bodeguita del Medio
Actually, it is a true Cuban restaurant, but it is the best place to be in Playa del Carmen. Great Mojito, the best I’ve ever had in my life and life Cuban music with people dancing and having fun. Just go there if you are in Playa del Carmen.
- Raw Love Town – Pueblo
This was by far my favorite place in the entire Yucatan. Fresh and tasty Buddha Bowl, exactly how I like it, with fresh juices and a chill atmosphere.
- Taqueria Maya – Pueblo
If you want cheap tasty local tacos, this is your place
- La Pizzine – Pueblo
Very nice place, with good pizzas, if you want to try something else than tacos
- Casa Jaquar – Zona Hotelera
Very fancy place, expensive, and 20% propina mandatory, but good tasty food and full of high-class people
- GITANO restaurant – Zona Hotelera
Same standing as Casa Jaguar.
WHERE TO STAY IN ISLA MUJERES
CHECK OUT THE BEST Isla Mujeres tours
DID YOU FIND THIS ARTICLE USEFUL?
Tell me in the comments section if you’ve been to Mexico and what was your experience. If you are planning to go on solo travel ask me for some useful tips that are not in this article.