Best Hostels in Cancun/Isla Mujeres

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I guess I can’t say “best” because I haven’t visited all the hostels in the area, but I was very pleased with what I found at #1. Caleta Hostel Rooftop and Pool and #2. Nomads Hotel, Hostel, and Beach Club. Thanks to hostelworld.com for easy, secure, and cheap booking for these properties. I can’t recommend them enough for booking stays, especially in a place like Mexico.

First up, the one with the crazy cool rooftop and pool:

Caleta Hostel Rooftop and Pool: LTE 35, Av Tulum, MZA 1, SMZ 2, 77500 Cancún, Mexico  [I stayed in a 4-bed female room, $16]

Want to book a stay for yourself and your best friends? 🙂 This one is really conveniently close to the central bus station in Cancun.

But just wait a second…if you want to take a ferry to a beautiful island and stay in an incredible beach resort… Check out Nomads Experiences! You will be surprised…check out these pics!!

Nomads Hotel Hostel and Beach Club: Carretera a Garrafón Km 4.5, Isla Mujeres, Mexico [I stayed in a 8-bed female room, $17]

The beach/pool/dining area was just so pretty, especially with all the lights on at night. I want to come back here and next time, I’ll rent a paddleboard!

Okay, so both of these hostels are great options, but if you’re still not convinced, let me take a minute to show you what the island looks like. You’ll want to come visit ASAP!! It’s gorgeous.

Scroll down for my transportation tips [airport to downtown, ferry to the island, hotel zone…]

Okay, are you convinced yet? 😉

So. Transportation. I did quite a bit of research because I was nervous about riding the bus in Mexico and I was also nervous about being pressured by taxi drivers.

When I arrived at the Cancun airport and went outside, there were a lot of determined people looking for tourists willing to pay lots of $$. A young woman even confronted me with her sign saying that the ADO bus to downtown Cancun was $15. I knew that wasn’t necessarily true, so I kept walking, looking for something more reasonable. I found a line of local-looking people [presumably going home after work] and they were getting in medium-sized vans that did say ADO. I watched to see about how many pesos they were giving the driver. I handed him 200 pesos and ended up getting about 140 pesos back in change. This particular bus goes to the downtown station in Cancun for about USD$3. So there’s that! And the Caleta Hostel is right across the street from this station [great location].

What I didn’t ever try are the smaller vans called “colectivos”. I saw plenty of them pass by me and they were CRAMMED full of people.

The next morning, I walked about 3km to the Puerto Juarez ferry terminal [no sweat]. There are kiosks to buy ferry tickets to Isla Mujeres right there [$15 one way on Ultramar]. I think there might be a cheaper option using a different company, but Ultramar really has the corner on the market and it’s the simplest way to go. You can easily buy return tickets at the terminal on the island [either back to Puerto Juarez, or to the hotel zone like I did]. If you want to go back to the hotel zone, just be sure to pronounce Playa Caracol correctly or you might have some ticketing troubles [like I did]…

Once you arrive on the island, you’ll want some type of wheels. I thought I would be able to walk down to the southern tip of the island and back north again, but no, it’s too far. I rented a very rusty, one-speed bicycle for 200 pesos [24 hr rental] and it did the trick, kind-of. A possibly better option [and what most other tourists were doing] would be a golf cart rental, but that’s a lot more expensive.

I can’t say I found any food winners on the island…this plate of chips and guac was yummy, but not cheap [close to USD$12]. Yikes! I did see people getting tacos on the side of the road for 20 pesos each, but I wasn’t brave enough to try that.

The only other advice I have is to get as close to the airport as you can by taking public transportation [the R1 and R2 buses run through the hotel zone and a ride is only 12 pesos], THEN get an Uber for the rest of the way. The other option is to go back to the central Cancun bus station and try to get the cheap ADO bus to the airport.

Is that enough advice for today? 😀 I hope my experiences can help someone enjoy a trip to Cancun/Isla Mujeres!! It’s a really pretty spot.


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Hi, I’m Laura

I’m based in Washington State and will definitely be showcasing local destinations, but this girl loves to fly all over the world!! If you love adventures and frugal travel, stick with me!

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