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Basic Guide to Cozumel

Updated: Aug 27, 2018

The island of Cozumel lies off of the coat of Yucatan – on a clear day you can see it from the shores of Playa del Carmen. Its proximity makes it an easy and popular place to visit.

As well as its convenient location, the big appeal of Cozumel is its beauty – it is largely undeveloped, with swathes of beautiful beaches and clear azure waters. In many ways, it’s the quintessential Carribean island paradise, so it is no wonder it is a much-loved place for those who visit.

So, whether you’re visiting on a cruise or perhaps a day trip from Playa Del Carmen, here is our introductory guide to Cozumel.

Getting Around

Cozumel is approximately 34 miles long and 11 miles wide, so if you are planning on exploring the whole island you will need transport. There are taxis available, however this can get expensive and means sacrificing a bit of freedom. Other options include renting a bicycle or a scooter, however we only recommend the latter if you have ridden one before. You can also rent a car.

What to Do

The island is not bursting with different activities, but there are certainly plenty for an enjoyable and varied day.

The big appeal of Cozumel is its beautiful beaches, which range from quiet to almost totally undisturbed. If you prefer having swathes of beach to yourself, you’ll love Cozumel – the only time it gets busy is when a large cruise ship docks, but there are always more beaches to explore.

Some of our favourites are Playa San Martin on the east coast of the island. Playa San Martin is one of the largest beaches on Cozumel, meaning that there is plenty of sand for everyone – even when there are cruise ships visiting. In total, the beach is nearly three miles long and walking along it is a great way to spend an hour or two.

Playa Azul is another great option, which is a little more ‘happening’ than Playa San Martin due to its proximity to the cruise liner stopping off point. As it is a popular tourist hotspot, there are many cafes, restaurants and bars nearby where you can sample coconuts – with or without alcohol added!

Cozumel is also a great place to do some snorkeling or diving, being close to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef on the planet. There are many great dive spots and several are considered amongst the best in the world, such as Santa Rosa, a popular wall dive.

One of the most beloved snorkel destinations is from Money Bar Beach Club {LINK:}, a laidback café where you can have a tasty lunch and also borrow some snorkelling equipment to explore the immediate area.

The island also has several Mayan ruins for intrepid visitors to explore. This includes El Cedral, which was once a fertility temple, which is a humble but intriguing example of Mayan architecture. Another good place to visit is San Gervasio, a temple built in honour of the Goddess Ix Chel.

At the most southern point of the island lies Punta Sur (it translates, creatively, in Spanish to ‘South Point’). It is a great place to visit although it takes a little bit of effort as it offers many unique and exciting experiences such as viewing turtle eggs or hatchings (depending on the season) and snorkelling with adult turtles. There is an entry fee, and the park is open between 9:00am and 4:00pm.

Where to Eat and Drink

Given the island’s popularity with visitors, there are many bars, restaurants and cafes that have popped up to keep the tourists well nourished!

Much of the cuisine on offer on Cozumel reflects the Yucatan’s multicultural heritage, with flavours drawn from French, Mayan and Spanish influences. At many of the resorts and eateries, both local and western dishes are prepared. Our personal favourite is the fresh seafood that’s available, sometimes with ocean views such as at Pepe’s Grill (

If your stay on Cozumel extends into the night (or you fancy a day drink) there is also a selection of bars that serve delicious, refreshing cocktails, such as Thirsty Cougar on the waterfront.

Final Thoughts

Life on Cozumel is that little bit slower, and that is part of its appeal and charm. Forgetting rushing around from site to site, here the aim is to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, such as the feel of the sun, views over the beach, and delicious fresh food.

CLICK HERE to read some more ideas we've gathered to make your vacation unforgettable!

For assistance planning your vacation details (from beautiful resorts to local resources and events) email the “IMAGINATION” agents at or call (833) 462-4467.

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