There are many airlines that fly to the Cancun International Airport. The majority of international flight use Terminal 3 though some (i.e. charters) use Terminal 2. Read through our Cancun airport walk-thru so you'll know what to expect.
Your first decision is which mode of transportation to use to get yourself to Puerto Juarez where you will board a ferry to take you to the island.
From the Cancun airport there are 3 ways to get to the Puerto Juarez ferry docks that will take you to the island. The bus, shared airport van or a 3rd party pre-booked private van/car.
Once you exit the airport terminal you’ll be in the arrivals/pick-up area, you’ll see many companies holding signs. If you have pre-booked a private transportation look for a sign with your name on it, if not you will have to purchase a shuttle or bus ticket,
ADO Airport bus.: Look for the stand with a large “ADO” sign in red to purchase your ticket to downtown Cancun (around $5 usd per person). The bus runs every half hour. From the downtown bus station you can take a taxi to the ferry (around $5 usd total) or if you are really feeling adventurous catch the "Ruta 13" bus that will drop you off at Puerto Juárez near the ferry dock. This is the most economical way for one or two people.
Airport Transportation. Shared airport transportation is still somewhat economical but be prepared to wait. The van won’t leave until full plus you will most likely be the last to be dropped off unless everyone else in the van is also going to Isla Mujeres. Private airport taxis are also an option but are quite expensive, over $70 usd one way.
Pre-booked private transportation. This is by far the most popular mode of transportation for families and groups of friends. The cost is per vehicle not per person and there is no waiting. You can purchase one way or round trip tickets online.
Discovery Mundo Transfers and Tours offers a special 5% discount in roundtrip transfers, for clients coming from Isla-Mujeres.net. To get the discount, go to their website: Discoverymundo.com and enter the following coupon code when requested: ISLAMUJERESNET
Luxury Van Transportation offers one-way, round-trip and all-inclusive door to door transportation services from the Cancun Airport to Isla Mujeres in a private, air-conditioned luxury van. They have been providing ground transportation and private tour services for over 18 years, serving Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and the rest of the Riviera Maya.Luxury Van Transportation
The Gran Puerto Cancun (Ultramar) ferry dock is located in Puerto Juarez, a few minutes from downtown Cancun. The boats leave every half hour from 5:00 am until 9:00 pm and every hour after that. The crossing takes about 15 minutes.
When you arrive there are porters waiting to help you with your luggage and load it on the ferries.
UltraMar Service from Gran Puerto, Puerto Juarez
The facilities at Gran Puerto are very comfortable with nice bathrooms, an Oxxo (like a 7/Eleven) as well as a bar, a small food stall selling quesadillas and a tourist clothing shop where you can get hats, sunglasses, beach bags and beach clothes. You can buy a one-way ticket for 160 pesos or round-trip ticket for 300 pesos.
If you are carrying your own luggage, you will be directed to the back of the boat. It is crowded and during high season, the luggage and bags are piled high. Its best to let the porters (“maleateros”) load everything. Please don't forget to tip!
Beer, soda, water and snacks are for sale on the boat. If weather permits (which is most of the time) sit outside on the top deck - you will never forget your first ferry ride to the island.
The first crossing TO Isla Mujeres is at 5:00 AM. Ferries run every half hour until 8:30 pm, then every hour until 11:30 pm (9:30, 10:30 and 11:30).
The first crossing FROM Isla Mujeres TO Cancun is at 5:30 AM. Ferries run every half hour until 9:00 pm and then every hour until 12:00 AM (10:00 pm, 11:00 pm, 12:00 am).
During peek times (i.e. Easter weekend) they will add more boats to handle the extra people. Visit the Ultra Mar Ferry website to confirm schedule and fares: www.ultramarferry.com/en/routes-and-departures
It is not recommended to take rental car to Isla as parking on the island is very limited and it’s much more fun to walk and/or rent a golf cart. But if you must there is a car ferry service at Punta Sam just 10 minutes north of Puerto Juárez
This is your only option if you plan to bring a vehicle to Isla Mujeres. The fair includes one driver with additional costs for each passenger. Buy your tickets before boarding. The lines can be long at times, so it is best to arrive at least one hour before departure.
Prices and schedule can change so please check at their website: www.maritimaislamujeres.com/en/
The UtraMar also have boats from Cancun’s hotel zone to Isla. The fare is more expensive ($14 usd one way) and there are fewer crossings. The ferry leaves from three locations in the hotel zone: Playa Tortugas, EL Embarcadero and Playa Caracol. Check the timetable at: www.ultramarferry.com/en