Isla Mujeres


If you are a beach person and don’t mind a tourist-y vibe, Playa del Carmen is a must. There are so many beautiful beaches close by from Playa 88 in the Colosio to a little further a field in Akumal, Xpu-Ha or the surrounding Islands.

We didn’t spend much time downtown on 5th Ave and ate a lot at home but still managed to rack up an expensive month with two overnight trips and activities but it was worth every penny!

Rent (see our apartment here) $773
Other Accommodation (hotels for 2 x weekends away – see below) 388.35
Cellphone $29.96
Groceries $186.84
Eating Out $333.42
Activities $336.82
Toiletries/Pharmacy $14.14
Laundry (we had a washing machine in our apartment) $0
Transport $395.82
Total for 2 people for 28 days $2458.35

Weekends away

We have included in the costs above two week trips we took while in Playa del Carmen as we don’t think a trip to PDC would complete without them.

1) Isla Mujeres – see our post about getting from Playa del Carmen to Isla Mujeres here

Isla Mujeres is a laid back island with stunning beaches, 20 minutes ferry from Cancun. We spent two nights on Isla Mujeres at the Ocean Drive Hotel.

The biggest cost here were:

  • The hotel which cost MXN$4030.10 / USD$193.17,
  • a day pass for Garrafon (a waterpark/resort type of thing) MXN$1964 / $94.14 which included unlimited food, drinks, snorkelling and a zipline.
  • and we also hired a golf cart which was MXN$1,200 / USD$57.52.

2) Cozumel

Cozumel is another Island but this one is closer to Playa del Carmen – a 45 minute ferry from downtown. Cozumel is more geared toward diving and is much larger than Isla Mujeres.

Here we had one of the nicest hotels we’ve ever stayed in and it was completely unexpected! The hotel had recently completed a newer building next door to its original which was adults only and we were given an upgrade to the new section (yay).

The hotel we stayed at was Hotel B and cost us USD$175.39 for two nights!

Other costs on Cozumel were:

  • Car hire for two days MXN$2,200 / USD$105.45
  • Snorkelling for two MXN$1980 / USD$94.91

Activities breakdown

Turtle in Akumal
Bike Tour of Playa del CarmenMXN$808.62 / USD$38.76
Akumal Snorkelling with TurtlesMXN$1415.09 / USD$67.83
Snorkelling at CozumelMXN$1980 / $94.91
Yal Ku Cenote in AkumalMXN$860 / $41.22
Garrafon (Isla Mujeres) Day PassMXN$1964 / USD$94.14

Transport Breakdown

Bus to Cancun, ReturnMX$260 /USD$12.46
Ferry to Isla Mujeres from Cancun, ReturnMXN$798 / $38.25
Golf Cart in Isla Mujeres for 24 hoursMXN$1,200 / $57.52
Ferry to Cozumel, ReturnMXN$1,200 / $57.52
Car Hire for 2 days in CozumelMXN$2,200 / $105.45
Taxi to Akumal, ReturnMXN$1,200 / $57.52
Taxi to Xpu-Ha Beach, ReturnMXN$1,200 / $57.52
Taxis Around Playa del CarmenMXN$600 / $28.76

Isla Mujeres to Cancun

Getting to Isla Mujeres is easy. If you’re coming from Playa del Carmen you’ll need to take the bus to Cancun. Go to either of the ADO stations and take the bus to Cancun downtown NOT the airport.

ADO Terminal Turistica Playa Del Carmen
AddressCalle Quinta Avenida LTE 2,
Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R.

Playa del Carmen Alterna
AddressCentro, 77710
Playa del Carmen, QROO

Cancun to Isla Mujeres 

Once you’re in Cancun you’ll to take a taxi to Ultramar, there are two Ultramar terminals Puerto Juárez and Hotel Zone, we’d recommend going to Puerto Juárez – it’s closer to the busy station and taxis are expensive in Cancun. It should cost your roughly $200 pesos, although I’m sure if you walk a block or two away from the bus station the prices will drop. 

We picked up a ticket once we arrived at the ferry terminal but if you are travelling during high season and want to ensure your seat you can also book online.

One you’re on the ferry it’s a quick 20 minute trip across to Isla Mujeres.

Getting Around on Isla Mujeres 

Everything in download Isla is super close so if you’re staying in the central downtown area you shouldn’t need a taxi.

As you get off you’ll be bombarded with people trying to rent golf carts to you and if you plan on exploring more of the island we’d suggest you to pick one up.

We used GoMar II which was a block or two back from the main strip, $1200 pesos for 24 hours and had no trouble whatsoever.

As I said, everything downtown is really close and the island is small so 24 hours should be enough time to explore. A second loop takes roughly an hour to an hour and a half. We drove round twice – once to get a feel for where everything was and visited the Turtle sanctuary and Punta Sur (the lighthouse) and on the second go round went to Garrafon, more on that below. 

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