Isla Mujeres Net
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The most common question asked about traveling to Mexico is:
"Can I drink the water?"
Isla Mujeres has an extensive water purification system but, no
one on the island drinks the water from the tap. Bottled water
is readily available at all Restaurants, Hotels and grocery
stores. There is no problem brushing your teeth using tap water
and don't worry if you swallow a bit in the shower. Nine times
out of ten the dreaded "tourista" is caused by too much sun and
overindulging during "Happy Hour" and too few glasses of water
to keep yourself hydrated. Use common sense and be sure to drink
lots of bottled water!
From the United States Government "Tips for Travelers to Mexico"
A very useful and informative
Check List from
the Cancun Airport
Thank you to
www.mexperience.com for many of these great travel tips!
What to Bring
Clothing and Personal Items
A pocket-size English/Spanish dictionary
A small first aid kit
Camera and Film
Suntan Lotion with a high SPF
Traveler's Checks & ATM cards
Casual Clothes Clothes for Nightlife and Fine Dining
Copies of your favorite Mexico Travel Guide pages! Sunglasses &
Travel Documents: Passport & Driver's License, Tickets,
Basic summer clothes. Be sure to bring a light jacket or
sweater, it can sometimes get a bit chilly at night. Isla is
very casual, t-shirts and shorts are fine anywhere, but you
might want to bring something dressier for evening.
Sunblock with a high SPF lotion, a travel size mosquito repellent (especially in
summer), your toiletry items such as shampoo, shaving gear,
deodorant, tooth brush and paste, etc. If you forget anything
the stores on Isla stock all of these items but the selection is
Make your own first aid kit. Band-Aids, rubbing alcohol, cotton
balls, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, Benadryl pills
(great for bug bites-but may make you tired-so I use the
children's formula !!!)
If you need any medication take your prescription from your
Bring instant hand sanitizer to Mexico and keep a small bottle
with you to clean your hands before meals and throughout the
Carry baby wipes, non-scented, for wiping hands before and after
a meal or after touching handrails.
If you wear contact lenses, take disposable ones on vacation.
You won't have to take all the storage and cleaning items and
you won't have to worry about losing one.
If you wear glasses/contacts, bring your most recent eye exam
When traveling, always take a dental repair kit with you in case
a filling or crown becomes loose or falls out.
Your Travel Documents
Everyone traveling to Mexico must have a valid passport.
Citizens from some countries might require an entry visa as
It is a good idea to make copies of your
passport as well as your tickets and keep them separate from
your travel documents. You can also scan your travel documents
(passport, tickets, photo ID, etc.) and send an email to
yourself with the scanned documents attached.
The Mexican Immigration form (Tourist Card) which you will be given at the airport
when you check in or on the plane. One tourist card form is
required for EACH PERSON. Be sure to completely fill
out the Tourist Card before you land in Mexico, it will save
time at immigration. Put your Tourist Card in a safe place, you
will required to present it when you depart Mexico.
The Customs Form which will also be given to you at the airport
or on the plane. One customs form is required per family. The
customs form basically declares that you are not bringing any
merchandise for sale, or illegal items into Mexico.
Travel Documents for Minors:
A valid passport no matter what their age. When a minor is
traveling alone, they must have a notarized letter signed by the
parents or legal guardians giving them permission to travel.
When a minor is traveling with one adult, provide a notarized
letter signed by the parent or guardian not traveling giving
them permission to travel with the other parent or guardian.
If the minor is in the custody of one parent, a notarized
custody document should be provided.
If one parent is deceased, provide the death certificate. It has
been reported that minors do not need the above documents, only
a valid passport, check with your airline to be sure.
As dumb as this sounds...bring a pen or two! You need one in
order to fill out the custom forms on the plane.
Most airlines allow 2 pieces of luggage per person. If you are
traveling on a charter it is a good idea to check with the
company. Some charters only allow 1 piece of luggage per person.
Mark every piece of luggage inside and outside with your last
name and first initial only and the name and address of the
hotel you are staying at. Do not put your home address on the
Put something brightly colored on the outside of your luggage so
that it is easier and faster to pick it out on the luggage
Be sure all your travel documents, tickets, money, credit cards
and traveler's checks, medications, valuables and personal items
are in your carry-on or purse.
We recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry-on or
dress in layers. If your luggage is "delayed" at least you'll
have something to wear!
If you are bringing anything that can be ruined if it gets wet -
pack it in a plastic bag. Occasionally tropical rain storms soak
the luggage on its way from the plane to baggage claim. I
learned this the hard way :-)
Put your clothes into large Ziploc bags, roll out the air, seal!
This helps to create more space.
If bringing nail polish on a plane always put it in a Ziploc
baggie or it might explode on your belongings
Place your toothpaste in a Ziploc baggie so that it does not
explode in your luggage during flight.
Always put shampoo and conditioner (and any other liquid
containers) in plastic bags so they do not leak onto clothes
Pack a dryer sheet in your suitcase for long flights - this
helps to eliminate that musty "airplane odor" and you'll have a
"just washed" air to your clothes when you unpack.
Take a ten foot piece of light nylon rope (1/8") and a few
clothespins to hang clothes and swimsuits to dry on your
balcony. Clothespins are also good to close the gaps on hotel
drapes, making for better sleeping.
Bring light ponchos for rain gear. These can be purchased from
most camping stores. They are small and light and easy to carry
anywhere you go as a rain cloud can come in no time and dump a
monsoon on your head.
If you love snorkeling, purchase your own gear and bring it with
you on vacation.
Bring a small calculator to convert money exchanges.
Bring a small flashlight with you and keep it on the nightstand
in your hotel room during the night.
If you are planning to take advantage of shopping opportunities
on your visit, pack an empty carry-on or two in one of your
suitcases. This way you can fill it with your treasures for
travel back home. Be sure to tag it!
Important note from Isla Net:
Fill that "empty carry-on" with donations for the people and
animals of Isla Mujeres. Medical supplies, clothes and shoes
your children have out-grown, toys, puzzles, even half-used
color books are greatly appreciated. To find out how you can
PEACE ISLA MUJERES,
La Gloria English School, the Centro de Apoyo
Little Yellow School House) and
In your quest for a good time on your vacation, your eating and
drinking habits are often
radically different than what you're used to back home. In
addition, climate and altitude
changes can throw your system off. To ensure you enjoy your
vacation to its fullest,
consider the following: Be sure to drink lots of fluids;
especially the day before
Try not to go overboard your first night. Give your body a
chance to acclimate. Drink only distilled or bottled water.
Start eating yogurt daily before a trip and during your trip, it
will fight bacteria in your system and you'll have less of a
chance of getting Montezuma's Revenge.
Before heading out, stop by a health food store and buy a bottle
of grapefruit seed extract pills. Take one before every meal &
you will not have any problems with diarrhea.
Valuables and Credit Cards
Keep all your valuables in the room safe or in the hotel’s safe.
Only exchange a small amount of your currency/travelers checks
at a time...You don’t want to end up with a fist full of pesos
at the airport.
Make sure to write on all charge slips as you sign whether the
currency is in USD or PESO as both use the "$".
Write on the charge slip right away after purchasing something,
the amount, items, date, and place of purchase so you can read
it when the statement comes at the end of the month.
Digital Camera Tips
Clearly print your name, address, e-mail and phone number on a
piece of paper: Take a picture of the paper so it is the first
photograph on the memory card. Hopefully if the person who finds
your camera looks at the images on the card they will see your
contact info and return the camera to you.
WARNING - Be careful using your digital camera on the beach
because sand gets on the zoom-lens and when it closes the sand
can jam the zoom-lens making your camera inoperable. To avoid
this make sure the zoom-lens is free of any debris before
Buy batteries and memory cards before you go to Mexico. Yes you
can purchase these items almost anywhere in the Yucatan
Peninsula and especially Cancun and the Mayan Riviera but you
will find it is less expensive to buy these items at a discount
store back home.
Use the highest quality setting when taking pictures. Simply
carry more than one memory card with you in case you run out of
space. Set your camera up before you even leave for vacation and
do some experiments. Transfer the images to your computer or
have them printed out at a photo-shop. Once you are comfortable
with all settings, leave them there.
It is better to use the LCD Screen when taking pictures as this
is exactly the picture you will get, which may differ from the
image you see through the view finder. This of course uses more
battery power so you should take lots of extra batteries with
Most Internet Cafes have USB ports for you to dump your picture
onto the computer and send them to a remote source.
Some people recommend to always use the flash when taking
pictures with a digital camera but you really have to get a
feeling for this. Around noon on a cloudless day you may even
have to use a filter to eliminate some of the ambient light. If
your camera does not support filters then you can use a pair of
Check your camera to see if it has an exposure compensation
feature. You may want to experiment with this if you are
Taking your digital camera and/or memory cards through the
detection devices at the airport will not harm your images in
Traveling with Children
One of the first things that parents seem to notice when they
travel with their children is that Isla welcomes them with open
arms. Children are loved and adored in Mexico, they even have
their very own day (like Mother's and Father's days) on April
30th, known simply as Dia del Niño.
Diapers and the usual basket of basic necessities (clean wipes,
generic moisturizing creams, etc) are readily available on Isla.
If you have specialist creams, medicines, etc for your children
- take these with you.
Sun Care for Children in Mexico:
Children accustomed to living in a temperate climate will burn
severely in Isla blazing sun without adequate protection. Ensure
your children are fully protected by making them wear
high-factor waterproof sun block lotion. Remember to pack a hat
and sunglasses for them. If you forget there are plenty on Isla.
2 way radio's are a great. They come 2 mile and 5 mile rage to
bring on vacation when traveling with kids.
Pack a first aid kit for your children: Band-Aids, antiseptic
wipes, antibiotic ointment, cold and fever pills/syrup with a
plastic spoon, rash cream and tummy upset medication.
Every parent knows how easily kids can get board; a long flight,
departure delays, the occasional rainy day, etc. You know what
your child likes best and what to pack. Take a look at some new
travel toys and games for kids (and their parents!) in Isla
net’s travel store.
Follow the crowd down the escalator to the immigration area
where you will present your Tourist Card (you will be given a
tourist card for each person traveling to fill out on the plane)
and your Passport(s). Remember to put your Tourist Card in a safe
place, you will need it to leave the country.
After immigration go to the baggage claim area (to your left of
the immigration area) and pick up your bags. There are carts for
rent next to the carousels.
Proceed to Customs (to the right of the baggage carousels) and
present your completed customs form (usually given when you
check-in at the airport or on the plane). One form is needed per
Press the button... 9 times out of 10 you'll get the green light
which means go on through. Every once in awhile you'll get the
red light and your luggage will be searched. Be sure you do not
have any OPEN food packages or fruits and vegetables. A box of
Ritz crackers and a jar of peanut butter are fine as long as
Proceed thru customs and continue down the hall to the exit
doors. On each side of you there will be booths for rental cars,
time shares, taxis, etc.
Getting to Isla
After going through Customs, continue down the hall to the exit
doors, you will be in the "Arrivals" area. There are several
ways to get to the ferries to Isla from the airport.
If you are being met, they will be waiting here. Listed on the
General Info page are several airport transfer companies.
There are ticket booths where you can purchase transportation
vouchers to Puerto Juarez. Be sure you tell them you want to go
directly to Puerto Juarez or you might get there by the "scenic
route" through the Hotel Zone of Cancun.
The least expensive option is to take the ADO bus from the airport
to Cancun Centro and then another bus (or taxi) to Puerto
Juarez. Travel time is usually 50 - 60 minutes.
The are two Ferry docks to Isla Mujeres. Puerto Juárez & Gran
Puerto Cancun (Ultramar) they are just a few blocks apart and
only 15 minutes north of downtown Cancun. The express boats
leave every half hour from 5:00 am until 9:00 pm and every hour
after that. The crossing takes about 15 minutes and the fare is
80 pesos one way.
When you arrive at either Puerto Juarez or Gran Puerto Cancun,
there are porters waiting to help you with your luggage and load
it on the ferries. Please don't forget to tip!
The Car Ferry from Punta Sam (another 10 minutes down the road) can accommodate cars, campers and trucks as
well as people.
For more details about the facilities at Gran Puerto Cancun and
Puerto Juárez and the schedule for the ferries