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Isla Mujeres, Mexico - General Overview

Isla Mujeres is a top destination for honeymooners and couples who want to spend quality time together.  Its serene atmosphere, unparalleled beaches and calm turquoise waters make Isla Mujeres the ideal location for a wedding.

Isla Mujeres or “Island of Women” sits in the Caribbean Sea near Cancún.  Visitors often prefer the slower pace of Isla compared to Cancún and its locals’ warm hospitality is unfettered. 

Scuba diving and snorkeling around Isla Mujeres is unforgettable.  The Manchones Reef begins just off of Isla's shore and the Cuevones and Banderas Reefs are nearby. 

For an awesome dolphin experience, Dolphin discovery is well known for allowing visitirs to interact and swim with dolphins in an enclosed area.

Isla Mujeres, known for it’s quaint and wonderous charm! 


Most Popular Beaches

Isla Mujeres has several fine stretches of beach. The northern end of the island is Playa Norte which has a wide swatch of sand that is lined with palm trees and also a few beachfront restaurants and bars.  The soft white sand and level beach area make for an ideal beach volleyball court.  Playa Sol is at the northwestern tip of the island and is the neighboring beach to Playa Norte.  Playa Sol is the best location to watch the sunset and is usually a little less crowded than the neighboring beach.


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc) How to get there - Various tour boats will take you to Isla Mujeres from Cancún, but for a cheaper and more authentic trip, just jump on one of the ferries.  Puerto Juarez near downtown Cancún is the cheaper one that the locals use, but can be a bit crowded.  Gran Puerto Cancún is located in the hotel zone and is a bit more expensive, around 150 pesos.

If you're in a hurry and have cash to spare, you can charter a Cessna from the delightfully named Aerobanana (tel. 998 87-25040).  Common destinations include Isla Mujeres, Chichen Itza and Playa del Carmen.

Isla Mujeres is pretty small and isn't too far to walk from the ferry ports to the main beaches.  But to see more of the island, the best way to go is to rent a scooter.  Like everything in Mexico, you should be able to haggle a decent price.  There are two main roads that run from end to end of the island.  Be aware that when driving on the Caribbean side of the island, there are occasional strong gusts of wind that can really take you by surprise on a scooter, as can the many topes, or speed bumps. {Source – Wikitravel}

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - Traveling to Isla Mujeres, México doesn’t require a passport only an official ID.  However, effective December 31, 2006, passports are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to or from the United States regardless of destination. 

If you are not a citizen of the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, or most Western European countries, you will need to have a visa. 

Languages Spoken / official language – Spanish is the official language spoken in Isla Mujeres.

Currency – The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Isla Mujeres.  (You should do your money exchange on the mainland, as the rate will be better.  However, the majority of shops and restaurants in Isla Mujeres accept US dollars but may give you change in pesos).

Tipping – Since most travelers in Isla Mujeres, Mexico come from the United States and Canada, it's considered best (and is generally the practice) to tip the same people one would tip in the United States or Canada.  Ten to fifteen percent is a good tip for good service. 

Even though All-inclusive tours say that tips are included, it’s always appreciated in Isla Mujeres if you tip for good service, whether in the bar, restaurant, or other service. In an All-inclusive, where there is no value guideline for meal service tipping, a tip at each meal and for the bellboy is always appreciated. {Source – Trip Advisor}

Taxes – Sales tax in Mexico is known as IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado).  Mexico has two sales tax rates: Zero and 15 percent.  The current rate of sales tax on all goods and services classed for the application of IVA is 15 percent. {Source – Mexperience}

Electricity - 120V 60 Hz

2 parallel flat prongs - "American" type

Other (immunizations, health issues) - It’s highly recommended that you buy bottled water during your visit to Isla Mujeres.  Bottled water, depending on size, typically costs 30 - 50 pesos ($2.77-$4.62 USD).  Otherwise, do not drink the water unless your hotel has a water purification system.  Most of the resorts in Isla Mujeres have purified water at all of the facilities located inside the resorts including the bars and restaurants.  The upper-scale restaurants usually have purified water as well, but the water outside of these areas is not safe to drink. {Source – Wikitravel}

If you’re in Isla Mujeres and your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations. {Source – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Travel}


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

Provided below are the required documents and procedures for a civil marriage in Isla Mujeres:

  • 1. Request for Civil Marriage form. Filled out completely and signed.
• 2. Original and copy of the birth certificates of the bride and groom with apostille attached.
• 3. Original and copy of the bride and groom's valid passport and additional photo ID (driver's license).
• 4. Blood test results (can be done on Isla).
• 5. Mexican entry visa (issued upon entering the country).
• 6. Four Witnesses (with official identification and copies).
• 7. Present the documentation 8 days before the ceremony.
• 8. Payment of $ 5,000.00 pesos


Notes

  • a. Witnesses are required to provide a valid passport, entry visa and an additional photo ID. 
• b. The ACTA DE MATRIMONIO (your proof-of-marriage certificate) is recognized by the United    States, Canada, Francs, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and many other countries.  For a    complete list please inquire at the Civil Registry office. 
• c. It is possible to request the forms for marriage before you arrive on Isla Mujeres.  Send a fax with your request to:
The Civil Registry
Tel/Fax: (998) 877-0751
LIC. MIGUEL MARRUFO PIÑA
OFICIAL 01 DEL REGISTRO CIVIL DE ISLA MUJERES
Or
you may request the marriage form via e-mail by writing our office 
• d. For the day of the wedding, a translator must be present to translate the ceremony from  Spanish to English.
• e. Specify if the wedding will be in the registry office, hotel, restaurant, convention center, beach, etc. Final payment may change due to the location of the wedding.
• f. If either the bride or the groom is divorced, a year must have passed from the date of the final  papers and copies must be provided.
• g. Prenuptial analyses can be done on Isla Mujeres two days before the wedding.


Official Certification of Documents for  Acceptance by Mexian Officials

All foreign documents (ex. Birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce papers, college and professional diplomas, transcripts, etc) which are to be submitted to Mexican Officials for any legal procedure within the country, or for accreditation purposes must be certified by an APOSTILLE

An apostille is an internationally recognized notary certification.  It must be done in the country of origin of the documents, and is usually issued by the State Department of each country.  In the United States, you can get your documents sealed with an apostille by contacting the department of state of the state in which you live.  Usually these are located in your state's capital.  When you speak to someone in the State Department of your state you must ask for the section that gives apostille seals.  These seals are usually quite expensive, and can take some time in order to expedite, so make sure you give yourself time to have your documents properly sealed before you make plans for a wedding, divorce, etc.  In México, if your documents are not sealed with an apostille they are not legally valid and will not be accepted for the purposes for which you intend them to be used. {Source - Tourism office Isla Mujeres}


Tourism Office Information

Tourism Office of Isla Mujeres
Av. Rueda Medina No. 130
Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico
C.P. 77400
Tel: (998) 877-0307 & 877-0767 Fax: (998) 877-0307
Website: www.isla-mujeres.net/tourism/home.htm


Other Travel related Web sites for the country or location

www.islamujeres.info

www.isla-mujeres.com.mx

www.islamujeresturismo.com


Climate Information

The climate on Isla Mujeres is very much like that of Cancún; Hot and humid, but the humidity is not as drenching as it can be in some other places in Mexico.  July through October is hurricane season in this part of the world - and the weather becomes more changeable and less predictable during these months.  The rainy season is May through October. {Source – Myexperience}

High & Low Season for travel - High season for Isla Mujeres starts at the end of November and lasts until the first week in April.  Between December 15th and January 5th, however, hotel prices are at their highest - and may rise as much as 30 to 50 percent above regular rates.

If you plan to visit during Christmas, spring break or Easter, you should book at least three months in advance.


Link to a good Map

Map of Isla Mujeres


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

The scuba diving and snorkeling around Isla Mujeres is unforgettable.  The Manchones Reef begins just off of Isla's shore and the Cuevones and Banderas Reefs are close by.  The waters are calm and clear - perfect for the beginner as well as the advanced diver.

Garafon Park on the southern side of Isla Mujeres lacks a sandy beach but offers snorkeling where fish abound and the crystal clear water makes for an enjoyable swim.

Dolphin Discovery located on the northwest side of Isla Mujeres, on the Penninsula of Sac Bajo, is a small amusement park well known for allowing visitors to interact and swim with dolphins in an enclosed area.

One does not need to shell out the large sums of money to go sport fishing on Isla Mujeres.  Just talk to the local hotel/guesthouse employee and they can set you up with a local fisherman who will take you out fishing.  Prices are about $40/person for 3-4 hours of fishing.  

Although Isla is a relatively small island, it’s fun to rent a gold cart for the day and explore.  Because most folks don’t venture outside the tourist area, they don't find the eastern or southern coasts.  You can rent a golf cart for around $45 for 24 hours.

Isla Mujeres’ nightlife is a lot more laid back then Cancún's but there are still good options.  From small, laid back bars to clubs that go late - you can find what you want. If you want a dosage of Cancún nightlife, jump on an express ferry heading to Cancún in the evening, party the night away and take the first ferry back to Isla at 5 a.m. {Source – Wikitravel}


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Welcome to Casa de los Sueños, the newly opened Resort and Spa Zenter, Luxury Boutique Hotel with only eight rooms in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  Exclusivity is guaranteed with eight originally decorated rooms all with an ocean view terrace, plus a dream Villa with an atmosphere designed to heighten the senses and promote total well-being.  Wake up to tranquility and discover the flavors of nature, comfortable luxury, Mexican hospitality, and Mayan culture.

Ixchel Beach Hotel is a two wing, two phase condotel complex with 117 rooms.  Both properties are designed in a mexican casual and modern stylish buildings located at the beautiful North Beach on the colorful island of Isla Mujeres (Women Island).  Ixchel for the Mayans was the Goddess of love, fertility and the moon.  Walking a few steps from downtown of this friendly island and facing the most beautiful white sand and powder touch beaches of Isla Mujeres, in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican Caribbean, Ixchel Beach Hotel offers warm personable service in an upscale, intimate island experience perfect for families and romantics.

Palace Resorts is pleased to introduce all-inclusive Isla Mujeres Palace, the latest addition to the Palace Resorts' line of all-inclusive luxury resorts and our first venture onto the island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  This new resort is slated to open fall of 2007 and resides in the heart of Isla Mujeres, the 62-superior deluxe-room all-inclusive Isla Mujeres Palace, combines sensational luxury and charm to sweep visitors away. Here, guests will be able to bask in the tranquility of this picturesque island nestled between the breathtaking Cancun coastline and the Caribbean Sea.

Na Balam means The house of the Jaguar in the Maya language.  Na is for house and Balam for Jaguar. The jaguar was a deity for the old Mexican cultures. Mexican people have a strong cultural tradition for hospitality embodied in the saying "mi casa es su casa" – my home is your home. So as a guest of Na Balam, the House of the Jaguar is your house. The Caribbean Sea and its sunsets within the Maya world can be taken with you with your inner wish to come back home. Na Balam is a refuge for the soul in the Mexican Caribbean on Isla Mujeres, a small island only a 20 minutes from Cancun, it is a site chosen by nature to enjoy every sunrise in México.  The Na Balam Hotel is located on the most magnificent beach in the Mexican Caribbean with tropical gardens and hammocks under beautiful palm trees.

Visualize an expanse of clear blue sea; picture the sun warming your body and the breeze tickling your senses. Imagine yourself, at perfect peace in such a setting...  too good to be true?  Not so, you have just visualized the hotel Cristalmar located on tropical Isla Mujeres, one of the jewels of the Mexican Caribbean. The Cristalmar Resort and Beach Club is a retreat to peace and tranquility in every sense of the word.  The pool side restaurant, La Palapa del Huinic, offers superb international cuisine with Mexican Caribbean flair and our staff is warm and caring, perfect examples of the kind a hospitality for which Mexico is famous. The hotel offers many additional services including an on-site dive shop, game room, golf cart, moped and bike rentals, fishing trips, guided tours of all sorts, and special packages for newlyweds.