Cozumel is an absolutely charming island in the breath-taking Caribbean Sea. It is the largest Caribbean island in Mexico and is located along the Yucatan Peninsula on the eastern side. Cozumel’s turquoise clear waters and powdery beaches make Cozumel a must visit destination.
If you are looking for a real vacation to relax and forget about life, Cozumel is the place. It is much different than it’s sister island, Cancun. Both are breathtakingly beautiful but Cozumel has a very calming atmosphere.
Cozumel is mostly a flat island that stretches 30 miles long and 9.9 miles wide. The highest point reaches only 49 feet above sea level.
One half of the island is covered with dense tropical forest and is mostly uninhabited. Beautiful beaches reside on this side of the island and it’s a great place to drive around during the day.
There are several super cool tropical beach bars located up and down the coast with access to the water if you want to get wet. Each bar has its own unique personality, you will certainly enjoy!
Be sure to bring cash, this half of the island runs on generators and they want to keep it this way. If Cozumel is hit by a disastrous hurricane, the hurricane approaches on this side first.
My favorite beach bar on this side of the island is Coconuts. To get to the bar/restaurant you must take a very short walk upstairs through the forest.
The walk is filled with humorous signs posted on palm trees that will definitely get the party started. There is a discount on your ticket if you dare to share a picture of your “coconuts!” Females only. 🙂
A tropical monsoon climate keeps the island looking nice and green. It isn’t uncommon for a stray shower to quickly move in and quickly move out. No need to let a dark cloud hamper your plans.
Cozumel has a brief dry season from February to April and even then, a shower can be experienced. The coldest weather is around a beautiful 73 degrees during the months of December through February. Can’t complain about that!
The island’s income is based on tourism, fishing, and diving with scuba diving being the main attractions for visitors. It is known to arguably have the best diving in the world.
Cozumel has a beautiful healthy coral reef that is protected by the islands natural geography and the ocean. It is easy to see the brilliant colors of the reef and colorful marine life and fishes because of the shallow reef.
The Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park was developed in 1996 to forbid anyone from removing or touching the marine life in the parks boundaries.
Cozumel is home to over 300 restaurants and there are a vast amounts of hotels, resorts, condos, villas, and all-inclusive hot spots. Centrally located is the plaza filled with several bars, tequila tasting, Cuban cigars, restaurants, jewelry shops, disco’s, souvenir spots, outdoor stages, and more.
Cozumel’s cuisine is rich with variety and super delicious! A very popular restaurant right now is Guido’s, an Italian cuisine. I highly recommend it.
Another great place to check out that has live entertainment 7 days a week and the best nachos I have ever had is Woody’s. Both of these restaurants are located within walking distance from the main plaza. If you are seeking one of the famous fresh fruit frozen yumminess cocktails, Wet Wendy’s will have everything you desire!
Cozumel can get a bit congested with the cruise ships continuously sailing in. You will know without a doubt if a boat has ported by the hustle and bustle of tourists along the waterway. The plaza shops stay busy most of the year.
A great time to visit the plaza is when the ships leave so you can get the real feel of the island. On Sunday’s, in the central plaza there is live music and dancing on the stage where Cozumelenos and tourists all celebrate together.
In my opinion, Cozumel is one of the most affordable Caribbean destinations to visit. We usually rent a house or a villa on the water and load up on groceries, water, beer, wine, and authentic food items at the Mega Grocery store which is one of the 3 grocery stores on the island.
We enjoy making homemade guacamole and pico-de-gallo daily with Mexico’s finest vegetables that seem to always be at there ripest!
Liquor can be purchased in the grocery stores as well and my husband and I were super happy with the wine selection. If you happen to travel to Cozumel on a Sunday, the grocery stores close early so plan accordingly.
There is a great fish market that brings in fresh caught fish every morning at dawn. Get there quick to get the best fish! The prices are super cheap!
The sunsets are amazing on the island and produce glowing pink and blue colors I don’t see at home. Make yourself a margarita and sit outside to watch the spectacular view. Don’t forget the camera!
According to the U.S. News & World Report, Cozumel is ranked:
- #2 – Best Beaches in Mexico
- #6 – Best Affordable Wedding Destination Spots
- #7 – Best Places to Visit in Mexico
- #8 – Best Affordable Winter Vacations
- #18 – Best Islands in the World
As stated earlier, scuba diving is Cozumel’s main attraction. There are also glass bottom boats to enjoy, calm shores to simply relax on, hiking trips in ecological parks, Mayan ruins to explore, charter a fishing boat or an evening cruise on a yacht, para-sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, kite surfing, and swim with the dolphins.
COZUMEL VACATION PACKAGES ALL INCLUSIVE
The InterContinental® Presidente Cozumel Resort & Spa hotel is a 4.5 Star Rated beautiful All Inclusive hotel in the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean island. You can relax in the tranquil spa, swim in the beach side infinity pool, or be the elegant hostess in the lush ballrooms or gardens.
Dining options vary from gourmet Italian, authentic Mexican, or contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. You can scuba dive and snorkel with their acclaimed expert instructors at the hotel’s Scuba Du dive center which offers reef diving and snorkeling trips.
Secrets Aura Cozumel, the only adult’s only luxurious resort on the island and the #1 Rated All-Inclusive Resort from Trip Advisor. Secrets Aura Cozumel is for those adults seeking an intimate secluded experience where you can bask in the quiet coveted Unlimited-Luxury accommodations Secrets Aura Cozumel has to offer, a true Caribbean getaway.
Fiesta Americana Cozumel All Inclusive is a 4.4 rated resort that reigns #2 on Trip Advisor, perfect for the whole family. It has a great location nestled in the tropical forest and near the town but just far away to not be distracted.
Keep the family busy at the private Beach Club, the Teens Club, Kids club, movie theater, and much more. The beach is full of life and a perfect place to engage in the activities Fiesta Americana offers.
Relax by the pool or practice your snorkeling or diving. The accommodations are unique making it an ideal place to harmoniously make a trip of your lifetime.
Choose to savor the delicious flavors of Italian, Mexican, or Asian cuisine. Several bars are located in the resort to quench your thirst and inspire a unique beverage of choice.
GETTING AROUND IN COZUMEL
The taxi service is similar as in other Mexican towns. They are not regulated and you will hear a different price every time. Be sure to ask the driver how much before getting into the car. If you don’t think it is a fair price, smile and kindly negotiate your offer. You will win. 🙂
We always rent a Jeep at the airport. There are several car rental places that provide very quick services. We rented our jeep in less than 10 minutes! Jeeps are fun to rent, especially when you are traveling to the other side of the island. Take down the tops and be free! 🙂
You will see many mopeds around the island. Sometimes, a whole family is located on one vehicle. 🙂 Mopeds can be rented daily to tour the island, just be careful and always wear a helmet, it is the law.
The Ultramar Ferry is a very large, air-conditioned, clean, super comfortable ferry that leaves every hour to take passengers to Playa Del Carmen or Isla Mujeres. Why not visit all 3 beautiful islands while on your trip?
I was very impressed with this ferry. The service was professional and they had waiters to offer a cocktail. Yes, the ferry has cold beer, wine, and a full bar! Our fair was around $15 USD for a Round Trip ticket to Playa Del Carmen which took about 35 minutes to get across the water. Not bad!
You can contact them: 52 1(998) 293-9092 and their Hours of Operation are 24 hours, 365 days a year.
THINGS TO DO IN COZUMEL
Ecological Beach Park, Faro Celerian Punta Sur
A very popular thing to do in Cozumel is visit the Ecological Beach Park, Faro Celerian Punta Sur. It is actually the #1 Best Thing to do in Cozumel. It is located at the southern tip of the island and covers 2500 acres of park. It is home to sea turtles, exotic birds, crocodiles, indigenous animal species, and iguanas.
Make time to visit the maritime museum by the Faro Celerian Lighthouse and the El Caracol Mayan ruins. After a day of visiting the park, throw on your swimsuit and relax by the quiet waters at Laguna Columbia.
Another Best Thing to do in Cozumel is visit Palancar Beach, one of the best beach spots in Cozumel and very popular for its acclaimed water sports. At Palancar, you can rent kayaks, snorkel, go sailing, diving, or just simply hang out on the powdery sand and relax listening to the sound of the waves.
Palancar is very famous for its snorkeling and diving. You can charter or simply swim at your own risk above the coral reef. Chartering is recommended because the crew knows the terrain very well and can show you the best spots to see the vast sea life beneath the waters of the Caribbean.
Another very popular beach in Cozumel is Paradise Beach. This can get quite busy, especially if a cruise boat is in town. Arrive early to get a great chair.
There is much fun to encounter at Paradise Beach: numerous inflatable water toys for your convenience, kayaks, snorkeling gear, paddle boards, water trampolines, and a coconut tree to climb. When you need a cold beverage and something to eat, beach side/poolside food and beverage is available.
Discover Mexico Park Cozumel
If you want to see a vast majority of Mexico but don’t have the time, visit Discover Mexico. The park exhibits models of the countries famous destinations, Mayan Ruins of Tulum and Mexico City’s popular Mexican Cathedral.
There are tortilla making classes to conquer your tortilla making skills and the very popular, tequila tasting! 🙂
Swim with the Stingrays at this wonderful destination, Stingray Beach. The stingrays are very mellow and beautiful and don’t worry, their barbs are clipped. The staff is very interactive, informative, and provides wonderful history about these beautiful creatures. They will calm any anxious nerves you may have about the stingray.
There are rumors that Stingray Beach gets very busy so you may want to make this a first stop.
Chankanaab Park Cozumel
Chankanaab Park Cozumel has many exciting adventures outdoor activities to choose from. Engage yourself in the snorkeling and diving tours, dolphin encounters, zip lining, a tequila tasting factory, nature trails, gardens, a relaxing beach, and lovely grounds for relaxing. Many experienced divers charter their own dives and begin here.
There is basically something for everyone in Cozumel. It is one of the most relaxing and laid back beach travel destinations I have visited. It is so beautiful and tranquil. The workers treat you so great and are very grateful for tourists.
Crime in Cozumel is minimal, hence it is an island, you can’t escape! 🙂 You should feel very safe but always travel with extreme caution no matter where you are! Visit Is Mexico Safe to Travel and get the latest travel warnings. You can also sign up for STEP, The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Always smart to be safe when you travel anywhere.