Cozumel is Mexico’s largest Caribbean Island. Located in the Caribbean facing Playa del carmen, Cozumel is one of Mexico’s premier vacation destinations because of its plentiful snorkeling and diving opportunities. With white sand beaches, endless sunshine and island charm, Cozumel welcomes visitors from all over the world.
It’s not another Cancun yet, but Cozumel’s days as a rustic divers’ hangout are history. Less than five percent of the island is developed; and most of the undeveloped land is rugged jungle with quiet, deserted beaches. Without doubt, Cozumel is a diver’s paradise, and if you are a diver or you want to learn how to dive, Cozumel should feature in your Mexico itinerary.
Why should you visit Cozumel?
Cozumel is one of the most bucket-list-worthy Mexican islands out there. Its chill vibes, stunning landscapes, amazing culture and close proximity (45-minute ferry ride) from Playa del Carmen make it an irresistible Mexican destination. Since you are already thinking of visiting the Riviera Maya, you can’t not go there.
- Cozumel is a dive and snorkel paradise. The island precedes itself as being on the the world best location for scuba-diving. Many people go to Cozumel´s turquoise water to check what is all the fuss about.
- Tranquil and electic vibes: There’s a wide variety of creative arts to be seen around the island, from paintings to sculptures to murals and more.
- Breathtaking beaches: The eastern coast is rocky and unprotected, and there’s only one road that leads to the beaches. On the west coast, there are two sandy stretches of paradise where will find also the famous Palancar Reef (south west for fantastic diving and snorkeling.
- Mystical mayan ruin: A special place to explore in Cozumel is the San Gervasio Mayan Archaeological Site definitely worth the visit. It was built as a sanctuary to the Goddess Ixchel, the goddess of fertility and healing.
When is the best time to go to Cozumel?
You can visit Mexico year-round, but the best time to visit Cozumel is during the months from March to June, before the hurricane season starts. The hottest months are July and August which coincides with the hurricane season that lasts until November. Winter is Cozumel’s busiest period and it runs from December through to March.
How to get to Cozumel?
There are 2 ways to reach Cozumel, by flying to Cozumel International Airport or by taking a 30-minute ride ferry from Playa del Carmen.
Most people will arrive at the Cancun airport. From here, you have a few options to get to the ferry terminal. From Cancun, take the ADO bus or a colectivo to Playa del Carmen, hire a taxi, or opt for a shuttle from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Make your way to the ferry port and board the ferry. You can also cross with your car if you are renting one during your stay in Mexico. There are to Companies run ferry to Cozumel: Ultramar & Winjet. Winjet is not operating now (update sep 2020) for the Covid-19 pandemic but will return soon.
Leaving from the main port ferry in Playa del Carmen, the Ultramar and Winjet ferry leave about every hours. You can buy your ticket getting there or book it. Find here to book tickets for the fast ferry to Cozumel or to know the time schedule.
- Ultramar: $250 Pesos Adults and $200 Pesos Kids (one-way)
- Winjet: $220 Pesos Adults – $140 Pesos Kids (one-way) NOT OPERATINING NOW. WILL RETURN SOON
This is a good option if you are renting a car in Mexico and travelling with friends or familly. Make sure you arrive early at the ferry boarding deck to have a spot on the ferry as there are limited spaces. If you can not getting in, you will have to wait the next ferry. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, times are always changing and it is quiet hard to get the right informations. The last updates (sept 2020) about time schedule, from Playa to Cozumel were 8.00am, 10.15am, 1.30pm, 16.00pm Check the time schedule or call ultramar +52 1(998) 293-9092.
Family Cars (with 4 passengers) – $400 Pesos each way.
Is Cozumel safe?
Like many other areas of Mexico, Cozumel is a relatively safe destination for tourists to visit. Violent crime is low, however, there have been reports of tourists drinking tainted alcohol at all-inclusive resorts, and there were two incidents involving explosives on tourist ferries.
Common-sense precautions are the name of the game when it comes to staying safe in Cozumel. The main town on the island, San Miguel de Cozumel, generally has low crime rates, though the island has special tourist police who speak English and are available to help visitors. Risks of violent crime like mugging is low in Cozumel, though it would be a smart idea to leave your best jewelry and watches at home anytime you travel. However, avoiding isolated areas, like beaches and empty streets, at night is always good practice when it comes to staying safe.
What can I do in Cozumel?
Whether you are visiting Cozumel for a few days or for a longer vacation, there are many activities you can do in Cozumel.
- Scuba-diving: Known as dive paradise, Cozumel offers spectacular dives on the reef such as wall dives (Santa Rosa and Colombia), drift dives or coral formation dives in crystal clear water.
- Take a snorkeling tour to El Cielo, get to snorkel in 2 stunning snorkel points and discover the magic beach El Cielo.
- Visit the San Gervasio Mayan Archaeological Site
- Road trip around the island on a jeep
- Spend the evening in san Miguel downtown
- Visit the farm chocolate
Is Cozumel expensive?
It’s always good to have numbers. You should plan to spend around M$711 ($34) per day on your vacation in Cozumel, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.Also, the average hotel price in Cozumel for a couple is M$537 ($25). So, a trip to Cozumel for two people for one week costs on average M$9,949 ($471).
While meal prices in Cozumel can vary, the average cost of food in Cozumel is M$175 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Cozumel should cost around M$70 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cozumel is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
The cost of a taxi ride in Cozumel is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent M$247 per person, per day, on local transportation in Cozumel.
If you plan to go diving, you will pay for 2 tanks around M$3000 ($135) and a snorkeling tour will cost you around M$1,000 (50$)
Before going to Cozumel, you need to know there is not many public transport option and taxi drivers charge a lot of money. Of course, depending on how long you stay and what you will do, you might don´t need a transport. But if you are thinking to stay a few days and visit the island, we recommend renting a car in Cancun or Playa del Carmen and cross with the car ferry in Playa del Carmen.