Isla Mujeres – Your Perfect Beach vacation with a Baby
Isla Mujeres is Mexico’s best kept secret. I first heard about Isla Mujeres when my sister-in-law chose it as her wedding destination. I was a bit nervous about traveling to Mexico with 2 babies under two. But this little island turned out to be incredibly family-friendly! Isla Mujeres is a 4-mile long island in the Caribbean Sea. It’s my new favorite destination to beach with a baby. And it’s easy to get to. A quick 20-minute ferry ride from Cancun will whisk you away to this laid back island with warm turquoise waters, swaying palm trees, and pristine white sandy beaches. Here are 6 tips for traveling to Isla Mujeres with your family. They are simply based off our own experience. I hope they help!
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1. Rent a Golf Cart in Isla Mujeres, Mexico!
In Isla, the locals drive motorcycles and mo-peds, and vacationers drive golf carts. I highly recommend renting a golf cart for your family. Its a great way to explore the island and get away from the crowds. And it happened to be my son’s absolute favorite activity on the island. Every morning, we would wake up early (because that’s what babies do), hop on the cart, and go find breakfast at one of the local restaurants. There are many golf cart rental companies, but Golf Cart Indios seems to be one of the best and most trustworthy.
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2. Visit Playa Norte (North Beach)
This is the main beach on the island and it’s a great spot for families with children since the water is calm and shallow. There are many restaurants and bars along this beach. And the many palm trees and umbrella chairs provide lots of shade making it a perfect spot to beach with a baby.
3. Hire Fiona! – the best local Baby Sitter in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This was a first for Will and me. It is always a big step to trust a stranger to watch your babies. I contacted Fiona, with Isla Babysitting, before we left Arkansas and I immediately felt at ease with her. Although, I did have my “helicopter” mom moment and spent hours researching all of her reviews as well. Fiona is a school teacher from Australia, and has been living in Isla for 5+ years. It was so wonderful having her take care of the kids while Will and I were able to get a bit of freedom to explore the island. Also, just having an extra set of hands, while vacationing with babies, is so crucial. Fiona was happy to tag along, wherever, to help with the kids, as well as stay in the hotel room with them while they napped. Isla Mujeres is extremely family friendly, but having Fiona is what made our trip so amazing! Click here for Fiona’s business Facebook page with information about Isla Babysitting.
4. Don’t stay in an All-inclusive resort
I understand the sentiment to want to go “all-inclusive” for your beach vacation when traveling with babies. But in Isla Mujeres you will miss out on the whole feel of the island if you stay confined behind the walls of an all-inclusive resort. You might feel the need to stay at the all-inclusive resort to get your money’s worth on food and drinks. In turn, you will miss out on experiencing the local culture and food. There are reasonably priced hotels all over the island and the local restaurants are inexpensive yet delicious! We stayed at the Playa Arena. It was a great location. And it’s walking distance to Hidalgo Street with tons of local restaurants, bars and shops. The hotel also had an infinity pool and a central Bar & Grill right on the beach.
5. Explore the island! – Lots of activities other than just lounging on the beach with baby
With a golf cart, you will have the luxury to go and explore. Here are some of our favorite things we did:
- -Punta Sur lighthouse
- -the Mayan Temple and sculpture garden
- -stroll Hildago Street
- -the Sea Turtle Sanctuary
- -the Ice House Bar
- -live music at the Joint.
- -There’s also swimming with whale sharks (the season is July and August), snorkling, Zip-lining, and loads of day trip excursions (such as Mayan Ruins) you can book. The activities are endless.
6. Arrange Transportation to the island beforehand.
We used CARM Tours and Transfers. Click here for a link to their website. After going through customs, and exiting the airport, a Carm Transfer employee will be waiting with a sign with your name on it. They even had 2 car seats installed and ready to go for us. They will take you to the ferry port and hand you your ferry tickets. There, you will hop on the ferry over to Isla Mujeres. From there you’ll just catch a cab to your hotel or property.
Bonus – Mom tip:
This inflatable bumbo is my new favorite travel tool for the beach (or traveling anywhere really). A friend of mine loaned me the inflatable bumbo right before our trip. Emily was not quite sitting up on her own yet, and we used the regular bumbo at home all the time. I had no idea there was an inflatable version. We used it as a baby floating device in the ocean, just sitting on the beach, or in the room while we would get ready for the evening. Best part is, it took no space in the suitcase.
If you are thinking about trying a different spin on your typical family beach vacation, Isla Mujeres is a great choice! You can’t beat that turquoise blue Caribbean sea, white sandy beaches, and the island culture.
Happy and Safe Travels!