Cozumel Travel Guide

Cozumel Overview

Positioned perfectly just off Yucatan Peninsula, a short boat ride from Playa del Carmen and Cancun, Cozumel is picturesque island popular with scuba divers and cruise ships. Mexico’s largest island is a classic Caribbean affair boasting pristine beaches, warm blue waters, superb hotel resorts and bars and restaurants galore. Yet what sets Cozumel apart from the rest are its rich Mayan history and the stunning coral reefs situated just off its shoreline. The island experienced its fair share of damage in 2005 during Hurricane Wilma however is fully back on track and once again a place of boundless opportunities.

 
Cozumel is a destination primarily of sun, sand and sea with options of scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing trips, glass-bottom boats and jeep tours readily available. Away from the beach the island also has plenty to offer, with ancient Mayan sites like El Cedral, El Caracol and Castillo Real all waiting to be explored. Furthermore, pass by in March and be part of an elaborate and lavish Carnaval celebration, one of many festivals held throughout the year.
 
Many visitors to Cozumel arrive as part of a Caribbean cruise yet with its own international airport flights regular arrive from across the USA and Canada. Those coming on a day trip can do so on one of the many passenger ferries departing from both Playa del Carmen and Cancun. These ferries start early in the morning and during high season continue hourly until late at night. The islands main and only town San Miguel (often referred to as Cozumel) is a nice place to see on foot but to discover the lesser visited bays, jeep, scooter or bicycle rentals are the way to go.

Things to do in Cozumel

Scuba Dive Cozumel - With much of Cozumel’s beauty lying underwater snorkeling and scuba diving are the top activities. The offshore Palancar Reef is where all the action takes place which has a number of popular dive sites with superb visibility, drop-offs, swim-throughs and a plethora of colorful coral and ocean life. Cozumel is swarming with dive shops offering classes and equipment for both divers and snorkeling. Aquatic Sports, Deep Blue and Scuba Club are all reputable operators offering tailor-made tours. For snorkeling only most hotels are happy to lend/rent equipment or check out Snorkel Adventure Cozumel

 
Cozumel Fishing Trips - The warm turquoise waters surrounding Cozumel are ideal for sailing, cruises and especially fishing trips. Cozumel Charters offer deep sea fishing and bottom fishing tours that include all-inclusive lunch, snacks, beer and soft drinks. JPEMEX have similar tours around Cozumel and Playa de Carmen including a combined fishing and snorkeling trip.
 
El Cedral - Dating back to 800AD, El Cedral is the oldest Mayan ruin on Cozumel. Only as big as a small house, what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in character having been previously been utilized as a jail and important ceremonial location.
 
Parque Chankannab - By far the most popular of all Cozumel parks, Chankannab is a fantastic beach and one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. Only a short distance from downtown Cozumel it makes for a great day trip and is hugely popular with cruise ships. Slightly inland from the beach is a wonderful blue lagoon where turtles and iguana come to rest and children can swim safely in the calm water. Entrance (including a couple of sea life shows) is US$21 / 14 (adults / children 3-11).
 
Museo de la Isla de Cozumel - Recommendable museum in downtown Cozumel with displays on the islands flora, fauna and geology plus extremely interesting information about ancient Maya history. There are occasional theatre and dance performances. Open daily from 9am - 5pm (4pm Sunday).
 
Cozumel Nightlife - The fun does not end when the sun has gone down as Cozumel is a place for romantic dinners, sunset cocktails and dancing the night away. Most of the hotels put on their own, often family orientated, entertainment and the town is peppered with bars and live music venues. Popular spots are Carlos n Charlies bar and restaurant, Senor Frogs party bar, Fat Tuesday with a great beach facing terrace and The Money Bar Beach Club. Neptuno Disco is the biggest nightclub on the island, banging out Latin beats and dance music until the early hours.

Hotels in Cozumel

Budget Hotels Cozumel

Beachouse Hostel Cozumel - Friendly hostel and swimming pool right on the beach. Tel (52) 987 872 6285.
Hostelito - Cheap backpacker digs and a good place to meet people. Tel (52) 987 86 98157.
Hotel Plaza - Decent hotel and a good step up from a hostel. Tel (52) 987 872 2700.
 
Midrange Hotels Cozumel
Hotel Aguilar - Laidback hotel only 1 block from the beach and pier. Tel (52) 987 872 0307.
Palma Dorada - Small hotel offering well-kept rooms and a rooftop terrace. Tel (52) 987 872 0330.
Tamarindo Bed & Breakfast - This home away from home has just 5 charming rooms and friendly owners. Tel (52) 987 872 6190.
 
Luxury Hotels Cozumel
Occidental Allegro - 5-star beachfront resort with all-inclusive options, 3 restaurants and pool bar. Tel (52) 987 982 9770.
Playa Azul - Small boutique resort and spa with good restaurant and nearby golf course. Tel (52) 987 869 5160.

Cozumel Weather

Cozumel Travel Resources

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