This article is from the November 1996 The Mexico File
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Isla Mujeres Island Info
Hotel Posada Del Mar: Av. Rueda Medina No. 15. Tel: (987) 70300 or 70044. Fax: (987) 70266. Air conditioning and ceiling fan, restaurant/bar, pool. Rooms were $40US off-season, but some were able to negotiate a better price. This hotel is not on the Playa Norte, the best beach.
Na Balam: Zazil-Ha 118 (there are hardly any street signs in town). Tel: (987) 70279. Fax: (987) 70446. This is the town's finest hotel, on Playa Norte. Numerous amenities, a step up in class than all the others. Low season rate is $70-$95US. High season is $90-$105US.
Cabanas Maria Del Mar: Av. Carlos Lazos No. 1. Tel: (987) 70213. Fax: (987) 70173. This is my personal favorite. Get a room in the "tower" building, which is actually three floors. Great beach and meeting place. The cabanas seem a little dark and further from the beach. Off season rate was $33US. They seemed open for negotiating a price for in-season.
Budget Options: There are quite a few cheaper hotels in town, most within three or four blocks of one another. It is easy to check out these options upon arrival to decide which you like best. I heard the best reports on the Hotel Francis Arlene on Av. Guerrero, but there are others that looked good as well.
MOTOS AND GOLF CARTS
Scooters can be rented all over town, but shop around. The sign at the ferry and at the office at the Maria Del Mar showed prices which were much more expensive than almost everywhere else. I paid $15US for an eight-hour rental on a scooter. For twenty-four hours the price was only $5US more, but who really wants it overnight? These prices were fairly consistent everywhere except for the two places mentioned above. The golf carts were more expensive, but if there are three are four of you it could be the better choice. There is absolutely no need for a car rental.
If you fly into Cancun airport, take one of the shuttle vans to downtown Cancun. It's much cheaper than a taxi and these are your only practical choices. I was quoted a fare of $7US by the ticket seller, but when I asked for the fare in pesos it was 40 pesos, which converted to $5.20US at that time. So pay in pesos. From Cancun you can easily flag a taxi to take you the short distance to Puerto Juarez for around $4US. Or you can take the bus (Ruta 8) for far less money.
The one-way fare on the "slow" boat (forty minutes) is less than $2US. The "fast" boat (twenty minutes) is $3.50US. Take the slow boat for reasons previously stated.
If you have a car, the car ferry leaves from Puerto Sam, two miles north of Puerto Juarez, and runs five or six times daily. You really don't need a car for Isla.
FLIGHTS TO CANCUN
Sometimes the tour operators in the U.S. with package deals to Cancun (hotel included) will have some "air only" fares available that are better than the regular scheduled fare. Check the Sunday travel section in the newspaper of your nearest large city and call these tour specialists. Also look for a travel agency that is a "consolidator," offering discount tickets. They buy blocks of tickets at a time and can usually provide a good price on air fare.
Personal Tip: High season on Isla Mujeres is December through May and the month of August (that's when the Europeans travel). I would avoid these months which are more crowded and more expensive. I was there in October and although there was a little rain, the temperature was perfect. The high was never over 85 F.
I got this information from a med student volunteer who was there for a month. There is an English trained physician, Greta Shorey, at the Red Cross clinic. She is available 9-5 daily, 24 hours for emergencies. All the taxi drivers know the clinic and the doctor. She is willing to help all who come to her.