Easily accessible via an hour’s ferry ride from Cancun lies Isla Mujeres, a beautiful island that’s popular with tourists and locals alike. Isla Mujeres is known for its white sandy beaches, clear water, and active coral reefs that make for fascinating snorkeling. There are also some lavish resorts on the island, making it a top honeymoon destination in Mexico.
Is it safe to go to Isla Mujeres right now? Yes, it is. Since it’s such a popular travel spot, Isla Mujeres is generally considered a safe place. However, there are a few things you need to be careful of, just like in any other part of the world.
If you are planning a trip here, you are probably wondering, what do I need to know before going to Isla Mujeres? Read on for travel safety tips and 8 things to be careful of in Isla Mujeres.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Sunstroke
Isla Mujeres experiences an average temperature of around 80° year round. Sunny, clear skies are the norm even when it’s raining in nearby Cancun. Between December and March, the weather is at its best, hovering at a comfortable 81°.
In the summer, however, temps can jump to the mid- to high-90s. While the ocean breezes can provide some comfort, you can easily develop sunstroke or heatstroke if you’re not careful.
Make sure to pack sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every 2-2.5 hours and after swimming or sweating. Wear a hat and sunglasses and make sure to take shade breaks regularly or wade out into the water to cool down.
Drink plenty of bottled water and consider adding a hydration supplement that contains electrolytes for the first few days of your trip as your body adjusts to the climate (or if you are drinking a lot of alcohol) to avoid dehydration.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Swimming
In Isla Mujeres, you can spend your honeymoon on a beautiful beach every day, but not all are well-suited for swimming. The eastern side, for instance, is gorgeous to look at but wild and rocky.
The most popular beaches for swimming and snorkeling are on the north and west side of the island, where the water is calm and clear and the sand is white and powder-soft.
Although the public beaches will often have lifeguards on duty, not all of them do. It’s important to pay attention to any posted warnings and stay out of the water if you see any red flags. Currents are notably stronger on the Caribbean side of the island.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Riptides
One of the most dangerous things that can happen while swimming in the ocean is getting caught in a riptide. They form in shallow spots and are most powerful near the shore. Often when swimmers get caught in a riptide they panic and struggle against it, tiring themselves out too much to stay afloat as the current carries them further from the beach.
Red flags are posted on beaches where riptides are common so the best course of action is to avoid swimming at red flag beaches. If you do get caught in a riptide, float on your back and let the current carry you until you’re out of it, then swim parallel to the beach towards a calmer area where you can come back to shore.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Unfamiliar or Desolate Areas
Isla Mujeres is popular among Mexicans, expats, and tourists. It is a busy place with mostly friendly locals, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to exercise caution if you want to go exploring.
Make sure you know your route and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you want to go somewhere off the beaten path, ask locals or the staff at your accommodation for directions or to arrange transport.
Is Isla Mujeres safe to walk at night? Yes, it is, if you follow general safety guidelines. Try to walk in pairs or groups, and stick to well-populated and well-lit areas like Playa Norte. Other things to be careful of in Isla Mujeres at night are making sure you only go to ATMs that are inside banks, taking a taxi if you feel unsure about the area you’re in, and keeping an eye on your drink at bars. Make sure you only accept drinks from bartenders, and don’t leave them unattended.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Pickpockets
Pickpockets are common anywhere that experiences a lot of tourism. Crowds make it easier for pickpockets to grab something from you without you noticing, especially if your clothes are a little baggy or you have a bag that is open.
The best way to avoid losing something valuable to pickpockets is to leave it behind. Passports, expensive jewelry, and the like should be left in your hotel safe unless you need them. Only bring the credit card or bank card that you need with you and leave the rest behind, and don’t carry too much cash.
Try not to take money out of the ATM at night and avoid leaving your wallet in your back pocket. If you carry a bag, wear the strap across your chest, make sure it closes all the way, and keep it close to your body when you’re out and about. If you want to bring a backpack, look for one with a zipper on the side that presses into your back.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Tap Water
Can you drink tap water on Isla Mujeres? No, you can’t. Like the rest of Mexico, tap water in Isla Mujeres is not safe to drink. Even if you’re staying in a luxury 5-star resort, buy bottled water and keep it in your fridge.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Scams
Tourist destinations are crawling with dishonest people trying to scam travelers. Common scams are prepaid tours with guides that never show up, as well as overcharging for everything from activities to souvenirs to taxi rides.
If you’re not staying at a resort that provides tours, avoid scams by doing some research before you travel. If you know what kinds of activities you want to do, look up a few of the top-rated providers and see what they charge so you know how much you should expect to pay. You may want to go ahead and book in advance with top-rated guides.
Also, find out if prices change during the low and high seasons. This applies to taxis as well; know what the approximate fare should be and always agree on a price before you get in the car. This is where it is helpful to know at least a little Spanish.
Things to Be Careful of in Isla Mujeres: Bad Weather
Because of its location in the Caribbean, Isla Mujeres is susceptible to hurricanes. Hurricane season is from June to November, with the most active months being September and October.
However, the weather can be temperamental in tropical locations no matter the time of year, and extreme wind, rain, and flooding can occur quickly. Be mindful of weather advisories and always follow the instructions of local authorities in the event of extreme weather.
Avoid traveling during the hurricane season if you can. If you do go to Isla Mujeres during those months, be sure to purchase travel insurance for your trip, and pay attention to weather forecasts.
What is the best month to go to Isla Mujeres? For the best weather, visit in December, January, February, and March.