Everything you need to know about the ferry to Isla Mujeres

 

ultramar-ferry

We were the first transportation company in the area to offer the pre-purchase of round trip Ultramar ferry tickets. Everyone thought we were crazy, but, it has become our most popular Add-On!

Having your tickets waiting is one less thing to worry about. We have seen that the lines to buy tickets are often longer than the line to board the ferry! And it can be incredibly frustrating to arrive at the ferry loaded down with luggage after a long travel day and then watch the boat leave without you because you had to wait in the ticket line for ten minutes. And now you have another 30 minutes to wait for the next boat. After all, you’re on vacation, who wants to waste any precious time standing in line?

The Ultramar ferry leaves from Gran Puerto Juarez Ultramar ferry dock in Cancun. Also referred to as simply “Gran Puerto”, “Ultramar”, or “Puerto Juarez”. In fact we have two ways to book this on our site under “Isla Mujeres” or “Puerto Juarez”-They are the same exact route.

Ultramar webiste/routes: https://www.ultramarferry.com/en/routes-and-departures

It’s important to note that the ferry does NOT operate 24 hours a dayWhen the ferry is running on it’s typical schedule**, we do not recommenda departing flight before 9:00 AM as you will need to catch the 5:30 AM ferry from Isla and then drive to the airport, and check in. The recommended time for arrival at the Cancun airport is 2-1/2 hours before your flight departure time. Since all of our transfers are private, we will pick you up whenever you wish but, we ask that you take responsibility for making your flight on time if it is not with our recommended pick up time.

Booking arrival flights can be a little trickier as making the ferry will all depend on how much time you need in immigration, baggage claim, and customs. While some people breeze through their arrival in ten minutes, others can take up to two hours. (Some sound advice is to not book a flight that arrives later than 9:00 PM) However, if you have any problems and cannot make the last ferry of the night, never fear, your CARM driver will take you to any hotel you choose in Cancun to spend the night.

**The above recommendations only apply to the normal ferry schedule. Right now, the ferry is operating on a reduced, contingency schedule due to covid-19 that is subject to change at a moment’s notice. Please contact us directly for our current flight time recommendations

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FERRY TICKETS

Round trip ferry tickets as an Add-on are $19.00 USD per adult & $15.00 USD per child. The adult price if buying at the ticket office is 300 pesos. (We do not offer one way tickets) When you pre-purchase the tickets with us,  your driver will hand you the physical tickets. With these tickets, you may bypass the ticket counter at the ferry terminal and go straight to the line to board the ferry! Ultramar offers children’s tickets at a reduced fare. Their guidelines are as follows: Babies up to one year old ride for free. But, you must bring the infant and their ID into the ticket office at the ferry terminal to get their free boarding pass before you get in line for the boat. The rules for children are based on height. You may purchase a ticket at a child rate only when they are under 1 meter 20 centimeters tall (3 feet 10 inches). If your child is over 3′-10″ they require an adult ticket.

IMPORTANT: A round trip ferry ticket is ONE ticket with a QR CODE. When you board the ferry in Cancun, the ticket taker will scan your ticket and hand it back to you. Keep your ticket in a secure place, it is also your return ticket! You will need to scan it again when you leave the island. TIP: Do not expose your ticket to liquids such as hand sanitizer or sunscreen-this may blur your QR CODE  and make your return ticket invalid. NOTE: Your ticket may be used on any day/time going to or from the Gran Puerto Juarez Ultramar ferry terminal for up to 6 months from date of purchase. Tickets are not stamped for use on specific crossings or with seat assignments. Boarding the ferry is first come, first serve.

THE FERRY TERMINAL AT GRAN PUERTO JUAREZ

The ferry terminal is located approximately 30-40 minutes from the Cancun airport. Our driver will let you out inside the terminal and you will find an OXXO (a convenience store like 7-11), a bar, restaurant, a souvenir shop, public bathrooms, tour stands, etc. and the ticket office. There are also covered seating areas as well as tables and benches.

BOARDING THE BOAT IN CANCUN & MALETEROS

When you arrive at Gran Puerto, a maletero (luggage handler) may approach you and offer to put your luggage on the boat. They are employees of Ultramar, so, it is totally safe to give them your bags. (Of course we recommend you always keep your carry on with valuables on your person). They will take your luggage on a cart and you are free to get in line or grab a drink if you have time. The maleteros are working for tips. We recommend starting at 50 pesos or $3.00 USD or more if you have lots of luggage. When it’s time to board the boat, make sure that you go on the back ramp-not the front. The front ramp is for boarding people without luggage. The back ramp is where your maletero will be waiting for you to show you exactly where he put your bags, and this is when you tip him. You have the option to sit inside in the AC or head up the stairs to sit on top of the boat and feel the wind in your hair. The ride across is about 18 minutes. There are restrooms on all of the ferries as well.

When you get to the Gran Puerto Juarez Ultramar Ferry Dock, you will walk down the ramp towards the boat and you will first be asked to wave  your hand in front of a button that will blink green or red. It is random. If it is green, you may pass to the ticket taker to line up for the boat. If it is red, they may ask to do a quick search of your bags. Next you will scan your ticket and an Ultramar employee may point you to a specific line. They have separate lines for locals and tourists.

THE FERRY TERMINAL ON ISLA MUJERES

The terminal is located on one of the main streets of Centro, Rueda Medina. In the terminal itself, there are some restaurants, shops, ATM, cash exchange window, public bathrooms, indoor seating area, and ticket counters. Exiting the terminal you will find shops, banks, restaurants, golf cart rentals, taxi stand within steps. It’s also walking distance to most hotels that are located in Centro.

WHY CAN’T CARM TAKE ME TO MY HOTEL ON ISLA?

Unfortunately, no private transportation companies are allowed to operate on Isla Mujeres. This is because they have a very strong taxi union on the island. But, the good news is that once you land on Isla Mujeres, you have two options:

1-Maleteros (men  on bicycle carts) will be happy to load up your luggage and walk you to your hotel if you are staying close by in Centro. Again this is a service for tips, and we recommend starting with 70 pesos and more if you have lots of luggage, or you want them to bring your bags up stairs etc. If you don’t know exactly where your hotel is, don’t worry, just give them your hotel name and follow them. No address needed.

2-As you exit the ferry terminal simply turn left and the taxi stand is right next door. The rates are posted on the wall. You won’t need an address of your hotel-they are almost all known by name alone. But, you are staying in a lesser known rental home, you will most likely have been provided instructions with what to tell a taxi driver. Proper addresses with street numbers will rarely help you on Isla Mujeres. Locations are noted by and landmarks-(Such as the corner of x street, near the x store.)

RETURNING FROM THE ISLA MUJERES TERMINAL

You will have received a confirmation voucher from CARM telling you which ferry to board leaving Isla Mujeres and a pick up time at Gran Puerto Juarez Ultramar ferry dock (which shows as 20 minutes after your ferry boarding time). Your pick up time is exact, not a recommendation. You will again bypass the ticket office and scan your saved ticket to get in line to board the boat. We recommend arriving at the ferry thirty minutes before it departs. Again, some days the ferry is incredibly busy, and others not as much. Your CARM driver will meet you right where he dropped you off in the terminal at Gran Puerto Juarez.

Book your transfer to Isla Mujeres today, and Add-On your round trip ferry tickets on the second page of checkout!:

https://www.cancunandrivieramaya.com/transfers/isla-mujeres.asp

8/1/2020 SM

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