What to expect when you arrive to Cancun Airport:
On the plane they will hand out two cards for you to fill out:
Mexican Tourist Card
Be sure to completely fill out the Tourist Card and sing the Airport. They will take the top half and give you’re the bottom half. This is your tourist visa and states how long you are allowed to stay in Mexico. Please put your Tourist Card in a safe place, you will be required to present it when you depart Mexico.
This is to declare if you are bringing in any foreing animals, food, plants, bugs, or large sums of money (over $10,000 USD Cash). If you are bringing regular food, i.e. snacks, canned food, etc. you do not need to declare that. This completed form will be given to the custom agent after you received your luggage (at the large traffic light).
After you get off the airplane you will be guide into the immigration line. Give them your identification papers (passport) and your Mexican Tourist Card. They will stamp the passport and tourist card and write in how many days you are allowed to stay in Mexico (usually 30 days, although you are legally allowed to stay 6 months).
You will then be free to collect your luggage and go through customs. Tip, if you are traveling with children, it is suggested to use the restroom in the place due to the fact that the process could take up to an hour or more. If you plan to change in to lighter clothing, please do it in the plane as well. It is also suggested to wear light clothing under your winter clothing so you can just shed the top layer without having to go to the restroom to change.
At Custom (the large traffic lights), you will hand your customs form to the agent and push the button on the traffic light. If you get the green light then you are free to go. If you get the red light then you will be asked to step aside while the agents go through your luggage. It should not be a hassle, just a delay.
Once you get past customs, you will need to go outside to find your transfer company.
From the Cancun Airport
Aqua is located approximately 42 miles from Cancun International Airport.
From the Cancun International Airport you can take a shared airport “colectivo” van or private taxi to Puerto Juárez which is 15 minutes north of downtown Cancun. On the way outside there will be many counters to the sides of taxi/transfer companies who will be asking you if you needed a ride. Do not be fooled by people inside the airport who say that they are your driver (only your driver will have a sing with your name on it)
Casa Aqua can recommend a secure Van Transportation to handle your transfer. All of our 5 hotels have this service, ask us for it. It is highly recommended to have a transfer already schedule due to the new rules at the airport and the problem with “sharks” who change you too much for a transfer take about 2 hours).
Private, resort-chauffeured transportation is available for airport transfers and can be arranged through the concierge. Independent taxi services and car rentals are also offered at the airport.
You will be taken to Gran Puerto Cancun to cross to Isla.
Gran Puerto Cancun
The transfer should take about 20 minutes. Once dropped off at Gran Puerto Cancun you can buy your ferry tickets in the office to the right. Tickets are $80 MXN pesos or $6 USD each way. The bellmen can bring your luggage to the ferry for a trip (usually $1 USD per bag). These men are trustworthy and they wear white bellmen outfits. Ferries run every 30 minutes. You can purchase refreshments at the convenience store OXXO (similar to a 7/11) for the wait.
The ferry ride will take 30 minutes. Your luggage will be placed on the boat by the staff. It is good idea to keep an eye out to verify that it was done.
There are two express ferry services that will bring you to Isla:
- Gran Puerto Cancun -the Ultramar- www.granpuerto.com.mx
- Magana Ferries, at Puerto Juárez.Both cost MXN 80 (mexican pesos) one way -about USD 6-.
The Express boats leave every half hour and the crossing takes 15-20 minutes.
If you are traveling by Car there is one car ferry service in Punta Sam, north from Cancun, the schedule is limited to 5 rides a day starting at 6:00 am and finish at 8:15 pm. For specific season schedule, contact us.
Several air carriers and charters offer direct services to Cancun International Airport (CUN).
When you arrive to Isla Mujeres
Just get off the ferry and wait for luggage. After all the passengers are off, they will get the luggage off. If you needed assistance, please ask one of the staff for help. They will signal bellboy to assist you (again trip).
If you would like to exchange your money now, you can go directly across the street to the HSBC bank. It is highly suggested to wait until you get to the island to exchange your cash and/or travel checks.
* TIP: bring a pocket full of $1 USD and $5 USD for tipping and food until you get to the island. US dollars are accepted everywhere.
You will probably want to take a taxi to your hotel. You can get a taxi at the taxi stand, which is to the left of the ferry dock, if you walk out to the street and take the left, you will run into it. You will be going to HOTEL PLAYA LA MEDIA LUNA where you can do your registration to CASA AQUA. The taxi should only be $5 USD. If you have a lot of luggage you will need to tip other couples dollars.
Once you are checked in and settled, just relax and enjoy. You are free to explore the island totally! In Isla Mujeres, guests can explore the area with Golf Carts. Shops, dining venues, beaches and the nearby golf course are all easily accessible.
ATM & Banks
There are three banks in the island. They have a USD $500 daily limit for cashing cash, also the ATM’s on the island will only allow you to take USD $400. There are ATM`s at the bank, the 7/11 and at the grocery store.
If you need of a doctor, you can either ask the front desk of the hotel to call Dr. Salas. Dr. Salas has a private practice on Hidalgo Ave downtown and he speaks English. Or you can go town to the hospital by the square (Centro de Salud), the hospital is cheaper and effective, but they don’t speak English.
There are also large clinics and hospitals in Cancun if more treatments is needed.
Food & Drinks
The water on Isla Mujeres is actually pumped in from Cancun hotel zone, which means that it is probably the cleanest water in Mexico, but it still not safe to drink. Bottle water is available at all mini-conveniences stores (found every couple of blocks).
Ice and blended drinks are safe to drink. All ice is purified and comes from a bag, not an ice machine. Also, it should be safe to eat salad at the higher end establishment. Most peoples who get sick are sick due to dehydration. While on vacation many people drink too much alcohol and not enough water. A good rule of thumb is to try to drink one bottle water for every alcoholic drink you have.
Also, if a food does not look prepared correctly or smells bad, then don’t eat it. It is better to have them re-cook it then to risk getting sick from under-cooked food. Also, if you buy fresh fruit or vegetables at the store or from the market, please remember you will need to clean it before you eat it unless it is potato, mango, banana, melon or watermelon (peeled/skinned).