Ferries to Isla Mujeres
Various passenger ferries (and also a car ferry) leave for Isla Mujeres from Cancún every day. Those leaving from the Zona Hotelera are more expensive and take longer but may be more convenient. Note that during the high season, additional departures are occasionally offered.
UltraMar (Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 4, tel. 998/881-5890, www.granpuerto.com.mx, US$10/15 one-way/round-trip, 30 minutes). Departure: hourly 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Return: hourly 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Barcos Mexicanos (Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 4, tel. 998/849-7515, US$10/15 one-way/round-trip, 45 minutes). Departure: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Return: 11:50 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
UltraMar (Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 7, tel. 998/881-5890, www.granpuerto.com.mx, US$10/15 one-way/round-trip, 30 minutes). Departure: hourly 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Return: hourly 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Barcos Mexicanos (Blvd. Kukulcán Km. 7, tel. 998/849-7515, US$10/15 one-way/round-trip, 30 minutes) Departure: 9:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:45 p.m. Return: 11:50 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
Passenger ferries operating from this pier (and neighboring Puerto Juárez) are faster, more frequent, and cost half as much as ferries in the Zona Hotelera. To get here, take the red R-1 bus (US$0.75) on Boulevard Kukulcán or Avenida Tulum; continue past the downtown bus terminal and north out of the city. You’ll know Gran Puerto by its tall observation tower. The modern outdoor waiting area has an ATM, minimart and gift store, and even a McDonald’s. Be aware that you may be approached by people dressed in UltraMar uniforms who are in fact selling time-shares.
UltraMar (Av. López Portillo s/n, tel. 998/881-5890, www.granpuerto.com.mx, US$6 each way, 15 minutes) boats feature comfy seats in an air-conditioned cabin and an open-air deck, with televisions playing a short promotional program on Isla Mujeres. Departure: every 30 minutes 5 a.m.–11:30 p.m. Return: every 30 minutes 5:30 a.m.–midnight.
Two blocks past Gran Puerto, Puerto Juárez is the original Isla Mujeres ferry pier, but the boats and waiting area are older and less comfy than at Gran Puerto.
Transportes Marítimos Magaña (Av. López Portillo s/n, tel. 998/884-5479, US$6 each way, 15 minutes). Departure: every 30 minutes 6 a.m.–11 p.m. Return: every 30 minutes 5:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Punta Sam (Vehicle Ferry)
The lumbering vehicle ferry to Isla Mujeres is run by Marítima Isla Mujeres (Av. López Portillo s/n, tel. 998/877-0065, 45–60 minutes). Rates are according to vehicle: US$18.50 for cars, US$23 for SUVs and vans, US$7 for motorcycles, and US$6 for bicycles. Rates include the driver only — passengers (including walk-ons) are US$1.50 each way. Punta Sam is located on Avenida López Portillo, about five kilometers (3.1 miles) north of Gran Puerto. The red R-1 bus also goes there (US$0.75). On Isla Mujeres, the car ferry pier is a few hundred meters south of the passenger piers, past the naval dock. At either dock, arrive about an hour early to get in line; tickets go on sale 30 minutes prior to departure. Departure: 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. Return: 6:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., and 7:15 p.m.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition