Cabanas Maria del Mar is a great location on Playa Norte and Buho's Bar.
Looking for a cheap place to stay on the Isla Mujeres for your tropical vacation? Here are my top picks to visit the award winning Playa Norte without breaking the bank.
First of all let me make it clear that I only include places within walking distance to Playa Norte. In my opinion, that's the main reason to be on Isla Mujeres at all, hence my criteria. Don't be enticed by photos of any of the other beaches, particularly the Caribbean side which is windy, rough, and it's not even possible to go in the water. The ferry side has okay water in the north, but the swimmable area is very narrow. Playa Norte - vast, shallow, perfect. Stay as close to (or ON) Playa Norte as possible, and beware that Ave Hidalgo is the main drag with bars and restaurants so can be a little loud at night.
I'll also admit that most of my trips to Isla (which are many) have been with my BF who likes the fancier things so we stay in nice hotels. It's a little difficult on a backpacker budget, but it is possible to have a low-cost tropical vacation in this luxurious spot. For things to do and how to get there, see Isla Mujeres, Caribbean Luxury at Mexico Prices!
This is the place. :) Great view of Playa Norte from a room at Ixchel.
Deals on Fancy Hotels
is nice, is almost on Playa Norte, and has possibly the best pool on the island. They have all-inclusive specials
sometimes that are a very good deal.
is in a fantastic location on Playa Norte with a pool, and it included beach chairs and umbrellas for hotel guests. The only way you'll get a good deal here (around $125/night) is by booking one of the standard rooms.
Many of the (individually owned) condos are also listed privately (e.g. on VRBO/AirBnb) where you can choose exactly which unit you want to rent. If you are up for a splurge, I highly recommend one of the upper floor suites!
is around the rocky point from Playa Norte on its own tiny private (non-swimmable) beach on the ocean/rough side. It's nice and has a pool and you're still very close to it all. It will set you back around $150/night.
Mid-Range Hotels / Vacation Rentals
is a good choice. Their prices are reasonable ($93/night), they have a pool, the property is on the water but only some rooms have an ocean view, they supply free drinking water, and Buho's Bar is on the property. The hotel does not provide beach chairs and umbrellas.
is located around the corner in the nice inlet by the odd Mia hotel. They have a pool, and rooms starting at $94.
(previously Tres Mientras) has 6 rooms named Jalisco, Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Chiapas. $77/night for a clean colorful room with a mini-fridge and a balcony overlooking Ave Hidalgo.
is close to the beach, close to the ferry, and one street off the main drag. $28 for a dorm bed, $67 for a private room. WhatsApp +52 998 243 4504
is a larger buildings (not a boutique hotel) with a pool and has plain but upkept rooms on the (rough) ocean side but not too far from Playa Norte. Rooms start at $48 with a share bathroom.
is close to the big grocery store. Cute rooms with a kitchenette and balcony starting at $43
is part hostel, part hotel over on the "rough water" side. Selina is a bit of a trendy hipster / digital-nomad type of place which makes is more of a higher end hostel experience.
Of course there are a lot of places to stay on Isla that come and go all the time. Check
Some cheap Airbnbs I have bookmarked for my next stay:
Room w/ Pool, 1 block from the beach
starts as low as $18/night or $368/month for a nice room 1 block from from the Caribbean sea, 1 block from the pedestrian street Hidalgo, 4 blocks from North Beach, 4 blocks from the ferry.Omkar Residence Studio Apartment
starts at $23/night or $363/month for a studio with kitchenette, close to the grocery store. Que Barbara 2 Studio Apartment
starts at $36/night or $712/month for a studio with kitchenette and not too far from the beach. Casa Talavera
starting at $44/night, these cute colorful rooms are right in town. They only have a coffee maker; no kitchenette, so maybe there are better deals out there. But in a pinch....?Studio Apartment Lirio
$45/night for 4 people with a full kitchen right on Ave Hidalgo. It's a little further from the beach, but you're right next to the big grocery store.