Isla Mujeres Basics
Money – using pesos
Most places will take U.S. dollars, but it’s better to convert your currency to pesos. You’ll get better deals and it is the currency of Mexico. Many people get pesos from their bank at home before travel. We normally use ATMs when we arrive at the Cancun airport. We use a seperate ATM card from our main bank account, that way if your card does get compromised, the thieves don’t have access to all your money! We are also able to add money to this account as needed online and we are also have the ability to change the pin number after each use. Knock on wood, we have never had our ATM card compromised. I usually use the CI Banco ATM.
On our last trip we used a service called Xoom, I think we’re sold on this! You get the app on your phone and have money sent to you in Mexico from your bank, you can then pick up pesos at Banco Azteca inside the Elektra store on Isla Mujeres. You must bring your passport and confirmation transaction from Xoom, we just showed them our phone.
Xoom is a paypal company and very secure.
I have a currency converter app on my phone, Dollars to Pesos is a free app that I use, available on Google Play or itunes.
You can also bring cash with you and exchange it for pesos at a money exchange or at CI Banco. You must bring your passport to the bank to exchange your currency to pesos. The drawback for me in doing this is, I don’t like having all of my vacation cash on me. If it’s lost or stolen, there’s no way to get it back.
Spanish is the language of Mexico, but you do not need to know Spanish to travel to Isla Mujeres. Most people working in the tourist industry know English or at least enough English to communicate with you. It’s always fun to use whatever level of Spanish you know to communicate.
A passport is required to travel to Isla Mujeres
The nice thing about Isla Mujeres is that it’s very casual. For a week long trip you basically need a swimsuit, (or 2), a couple pairs of shorts, 4-5 cool tops, maybe a casual dress or 2, sandals (flip flops) and a pair of better walking shoes. I like to buy a beach towel or sarong once I get there. Usual toiletries, sunscreen and mosquito spray. With the wind and humidity, ladies, leave the the hair appliances at home, they won’t do you any good! I like to bring a few ziplock bags also. Don’t worry, if you forget anything, you can get most everything you need on the island at Chedraui. Throw in a small flashlight.
A fun way to get around the island is to rent a golf cart. Unless you are staying on the south end of the island or have mobility issues, you don’t need a cart for your entire stay. It’s fun to rent one for the day and do a tour around the island. A golf cart tour map is included in the four map set of MapChick Map & Travel Guide.
You can reserve golf carts in advance during high season, otherwise, you can get one when you arrive. Golf cart companies only accept reservations for week-long or longer rentals.
Do not drive your golf carts or scooters on the malecon! The malecon is the wide sidewalk along the East side of the island. It is not a small street, it is a pedestrian walkway.
Isla Mujeres has a zero tolerance drinking and driving law, this also means no open containers, even passengers! If you are caught there is a very hefty fine!
Contact Isla Driver Robby on facebook to be your personal driver if you want to do an island bar hopping day!
Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t flush toilet paper.
- Do drink bottled water.
- Do tip your maid, servers and people who sack your greoceries at the store.
- Don’t drink and drive a golf cart or scooter.
- Don’t drive on the malecon.
- Don’t litter.
- Do use pesos, it’s the currency in Mexico and it’s kinda fun.
- Do pack your patience, relax, sometimes things take a little longer.
- Do try to speak some Spanish if you know how.
- Do be respectful and follow laws, there are families who live there.