Isla Mujeres Private Boat Tours

By Michele Samal Kinnon

Isla Mujeres Private Boat Tours: The Ultimate in Luxury

Private boat charters offer the ultimate personalized experience. Whether it’s a yacht, catamaran, or even a fishing boat, you’ll have the entire vessel to yourself. Amenities and features can be customized to your liking, from the menu to the route to the activities. 

Choosing to visit Isla Mujeres with a private boat tour is a great way to see the island and makes for the perfect day trip especially if you are traveling with family or a group of friends. If you are organizing a bachelorette party, birthday celebration, family reunion trip or other special occasion, a private boat is absolutely going to give you the best possible experience.

Sailing or motoring across the incredible turquoise waters of Isla Mujeres Bay on a private yacht or catamaran is an unforgettable experience and one that is easy to arrange if you are vacationing on Isla Mujeres, in Cancun or anywhere along the Riviera Maya. Private yacht rentals offer excellent boating experiences and much more personalized service than the big boat party cruises.

The cost of your own private yacht charter can vary significantly based on the boat type and the amenities you choose. Prices can start at $500 for a few hours on a basic catamaran and go up to several thousand dollars for a day on a luxury yacht with a hot tub and air-conditioned salon. 

Isla mujeres sunset cruises in a private yacht

An Isla Mujeres private boat tour may seem like a real splurge but compare the prices for the public tours. If you are traveling with a large group of family or friends, the total cost per person may turn out to be comparable and a great option for an unforgettable day of fun on the water. 

What to Expect from an Isla Mujeres Private Boat Tour

Food and Beverages

Most private boat rentals offer some form of refreshment, ranging from light snacks and appetizers to full-course meals on a luxury yacht dinner cruise. Drinks usually include a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. Because you are booking a private boat, you may have the option to tailor the menu to suit the needs of your guests. Depending on your budget, you can have your exclusive tour catered by a private chef and even include signature cocktails on board!

Music and Entertainment

The luxury yachts and catamaran cruises all have attentive crew members who are there to make sure you are having a great time and an incredible tour. Some private boat tours feature live music or a DJ to set the mood. Of course, you will also have the option to bring along your own playlist and play it through the boat’s onboard sound system. Private boats wil be well-equipped with snorkel gear and water toys. Most of the luxury yacht charter boats have paddleboards some may even have a wave runner for guests to jet around on.


The best thing about a private Isla Mujeres boat tour is that you can design the trip to your needs and desires! If you just want to spend a few hours on the water admiring the coast of Isla Mujeres or even the Cancun hotel zone, you can do it. If you are an avid snorkeler, you can plan a day that includes plenty of opportunities to get in the water and investigate the coral and marine life of the Mesoamerican reef, the second largest reef in the world. If you like, you can build time into your day for exploring the island. You can check out Punta Sur or go shopping in downtown. If you are looking for a romantic Isla Mujeres sunset tour, a private boat will offer you an experience you won´t soon forget.

Safety Measures

Passenger safety is a top priority. All of the boats that we recommend are licensed and insured to safely carry guests on the open water. Life vests, first aid kits, and trained staff are standard on all cruises. Some boats may also have additional safety features like onboard defibrillators. Several of these boats are wheelchair accessible.  If you have any particular safety concerns or special needs, you should inquire before you book. 

Top Picks for Isla Mujeres Private Boat Rentals

There are dozens of private boat charters to choose from in all price ranges. Let´s take a look at some of the best options to consider arranged by budget.

Budget-Friendly Boat Rentals

Luxury Yacht Rentals

The last of these is also accesible by wheelchair.

Private Sunset Cruises

If you have the budget and are looking for the ultimate romantic experience, a private sunset cruise will make for an unforgettable experience for you and your loved one. Romance aside, if you are traveling with family or a group of friends, a private boat rental may be your best option to experience the glorious sunset from Isla Mujeres Bay.

Isla mujeres sunset cruises

There are quite a few tour operators offering sunset cruises departing from Cancun and Isla Mujeres so you can leave from either location.  If you are staying along the Riviera Maya, you will want to inquire if your boat company offers transportation or if you will need to arrange that separately.

Recommended Sunset Isla Mujeres Private Boat Tours (leaving from Isla Mujeres)

Recommended Sunset Cruises (leaving from Cancun)

Swim with the Whale Sharks – Private Tours

If you are fortunate enough to be visiting Isla Mujeres at the right time of year, swimming with whale sharks is an unforgettable experience. The annual migration of the whale sharks brings them to this region between the end of May and mid-September. If you have planned your trip around this bucket-list experience, the best way to see these majestic creatures is to rent a private boat. This will give you the most flexibility and the best tour experience.

A private whale shark snorkeling tour will provide all the necessary snorkel equipment and life jackets. Some will even offer wet suits. The Caribbean waters where the pods gather are deep and can be quite cold. A wet suit may keep you more comfortable. Depending on the weather, the seas can be a bit rough. The boats will have snorkel guides who will assist you in getting in and out of the boat and while in the water. 

At the end of the day, you will return to Isla Mujeres and have a chance to swim in the crystal-clear water of Playa Norte (North Beach). Private charter boats can also tailor the experience to your desires and may give you the option to visit different beaches on the island if you like. 

Whale Shark Tours from Cancun

Whale Shark Tours from Isla Mujeres

If you are planning to swim with the whale sharks while you are visiting Isla Mujeres you will want to read our full article with recommendations for the best whale shark tour companies HERE.

What to Bring on Your Isla Mujeres Private Boat Tour


Sunglasses, preferably polarized, are essential if you are taking a sunset cruise. The sun, especially on the Caribbean Sea, is very bright even in the afternoon. Aside from making you uncomfortable, the sun´s rays are damaging to your eyes. Even if you have to pick up a cheap pair of sun glasses from one of the souvenir shops in Cancun or Isla Mujeres, your eyes will thank you and make for a much more pleasant experience.


Depending on your departure time and how long your cruise is, you may want to wear a hat on your tour. The sun is still going to be quite high in the sky. If you can find a hat that gives you some good coverage from the sun, your face and ears will thank you! If you don´t have a favorite hat, there are shops in downtown Isla or in Cancun that have lots of inexpensive but cute options.


Consider what time of day your boat cruise is departing and plan accordingly. If you are going to be out on the water for the afternoon when the sun is still high in the sky, you will need to protect yourself. Find a good reef-safe sunscreen, apply it before you get on the boat and reapply as necessary, especially after swimming. Please make sure your biodegradable sunscreen is labeled “reef-safe” to help protect the delicate ecology of the coral, colorful fish and marine life in the region.


All of the Isla Mujeres private boat tours we recommend are all-inclusive but you should consider tips for the boat captain and crew (at your discretion). If your tour includes a stop on Isla Mujeres, you might want to explore a bit, grab a drink or shop for souvenirs. Bring along a little extra money just in case.


A day on the water should be magical and there is nothing magical about nausea. If you are in any way prone to seasickness, you will want to err on the side of caution and take some Dramamine or another seasickness preventative before you get on the boat. You can bring it from home or buy it in any of the local shops and pharmacies.


If your itinerary includes a chance to snorkel on one of the Isla Mujeres reefs or go for a swim at Playa Norte you will need a swimsuit. Even if you don´t plan to swim, there is sea spray on the boat ride to consider and a swimsuit with a nice coverup may be the way to go. If you are taking a high-end luxury sunset cruise, finer attire may be more appropriate.


If you are planning to snorkel or swim or even to keep a dry seat on the boat, a small towel is good to bring along. Bring along a small, quick-drying microfibre towel or a more stylish Turkish beach towel just in case the trip gets a little wet. 

Comfortable Shoes

Chances are, your shoes may be taken from you at the dock when you depart so don´t bother bringing anything fancy. If your private boat tour includes some free time on the island and you want to explore downtown Isla Mujeres, you will want to have comfortable shoes like flat sandals or flip-flops. Leave the high heels at home, ladies!

Cell Phone

Renting your own private yacht is a unique experience that you will want to share with friends and family back home. If you are like most people and use your cell phone for taking photos, videos and posting to social media, then your phone is coming along for the ride. 

Waterproof Phone Case

If you are bringing your cell phone on the yacht or private catamaran charter, do yourself a favor and invest in a decent-quality waterproof phone cover. If you are planning to snorkel a bit, the crystal clear waters on the reef and surrounding the island will give you a great chance to get some nice underwater photos but be sure your trusty cell phone is properly protected!

Camera or GoPro

Most people seem to be trading in their cameras for cell phones these days but if you are a pro-level photographer, bring along your camera and a few good lenses to capture all the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean. If you are an avid diver or plan on swimming with the whale sharks a GoPro is an essential item to perfectly capture the experience. Make sure yours has a good waterproof case and test it before you go to avoid disappointment.

Snorkel Gear

If your private boat tour includes a snorkel stop, the boat will be likely be equipped with masks and snorkels for your use. These will be good enough to see the colorful coral reefs and tropical fish below. However, if you are an avid snorkeler, you may want to bring along your own gear to make sure you get the best experience.

Water-Resistant Beach Bag

If you are going out on a boat, you will need a big of some kind for your towel, sunscreen, cell phone, etc., a water-resistant beach bag will protect your belongings on the boat. Even, if you are on one of the bigger catamarans or yachts, you can expect to be hit by a little sea spray. A bag that repels water will keep your items dry.

If you are going out for the day on a panga, you may want to consider bringing along a good dry bag to protect your things.  If you are traveling with a camera, your cell phone or other expensive gear, a dry bag will give you peace of mind on these boat trips.

Dry Clothes

If you are planning an afternoon of private snorkeling or visiting a beach club on the island, you may want a set of dry clothes to change into for the remainder of the cruise. If you are on a private sunset cruise, keep in mind, that the temperature can dip dramatically once the sun goes down. We recommend bringing along a light sweater or jacket just in case.

​Booking Your Isla Mujeres Private Boat Tour – Are You Ready?

As you can see, there are a lot of options and even more ways to customize the experience to make it perfect for you. I hope this article has given you all the information you need to find the best Isla Mujeres private boat tour for your family vacation or travel group. 

If you have any questions about this information, please feel free to contact us

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If you are planning a trip to Isla Mujeres, check out our other articles about traveling to this charming Mexican Caribbean island!

About the author

Michele Samal Kinnon

Despite the strong reservations of family and friends, in 2004 I moved from the United States to Mexico with my young family. Since then, I have made the Riviera Maya my home. I have raised two remarkable children here. I have celebrated amazing successes, made countless mistakes, and in the process, fallen in love with this beautiful country.