Cozumel should be at the top of every traveler’s list when considering where to go in Mexico. This island paradise, 50 miles south of Cancún, is truly a slice of heaven on earth. There are so many great things to do in Cozumel that you’ll find yourself wishing you had more time from the moment you step foot on the island.
Things to do in Cozumel
Once you arrive on the island, you’ll no doubt want to take advantage of everything Cozumel offers.
Spending time at the beach is a must once you arrive. Cozumel beaches are some of the best in the entire Caribbean, and there is plenty to experience.
The most beautiful beach has to be Playa Chen Rio. This idyllic spot is located on the remote eastern side of the island. It has stunning views and a delicious seafood restaurant nearby so you can spend hours there.
Another one of the best beaches on Cozumel is the Passion Islands beach. This “island” is on the northern end of Cozumel. It is connected by a land bridge, making it fairly easy to access. Once you arrive, it looks like your own private island where you can alternate between sipping drinks in a hammock or swimming in the sea.
Punta Sur Ecological Beach Park is one of the best things to do in Cozumel. This is an eco-reserve with protected lagoons, loads of wild animals, and stunning views for days. The small entrance fee you pay is well worth it.
While you’re at the beach, take a surf lesson! The island has surprisingly decent waves and is the perfect place to learn how to hang 10. Companies usually provide a board and will take you out on the beach to show you the ropes, then it’s time to paddle out.
Surfing here is definitely a new way to experience the ocean.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Just off the shore is the world’s second-largest coral reef. This makes the island a fantastic place to go snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you are interested in snorkeling, Cozumel has offshore and tour options. Offshore snorkeling straight from the beach is very popular. One of the best places to do it is Playa Palancar. The water here is calm and crystal clear. You’ll be treated to some fantastic sightings as well.
There are also plenty of snorkeling tours—some focusing on education, some for small groups, and some for people who want to go out and have a good time. All of these snorkeling tours will pretty much guarantee you’ll see some stunning marine life.
Pro Tip: Look for tours headed to El Cielo or Columbia Reef. There are the best spots to see by boat.
If you want to experience something totally unique, do a power snorkel tour! Cozumel has many different options that take you out via Sea Scooter. This powered, hand-held device will have you swimming through the sea like the fish you’re trying to watch!
If you’d like to take some Cozumel excursions, check out the Zona Arqueológica San Gervasio or the Mayan Cacao Company.
The Mayan ruins and the Cacao Company are about fifteen minutes from downtown and can easily be reached by taxi.
San Gervasio is the pilgrimage site where the Maya worshiped the goddess Ixchel. It’s considered the most important pre-Hispanic archeological site on Cozumel—perfect if you are a history buff.
The Cacao Company is an excellent excursion because you’ll learn about the Mayan influence on chocolate production. It’s deeper than you think. Plus, you’ll get to sample some delicious Mexican chocolates during your tour.
What to do in Downtown Cozumel
If you are spending more time in downtown Cozumel, there are plenty of options to keep you busy.
San Miguel de Cozumel, the island’s official downtown area, is a great place for a self-guided walking tour or a nice leisurely bike ride to check out the unique street art. The central area is packed with vendors and kiosks selling everything from t-shirts to handicrafts.
Wander around the zócalo, the main square, and enjoy the friendly locals and the charming dancing fountain. It’s also where you’ll find the colorful COZUMEL sign that is every Instagrammer’s dream.
You could also spend time taking a cooking class with incredible local chefs.
Things to do in Cozumel on a rainy day
If you happen to get caught with an afternoon of bad weather, check out El Museo de la Isla. The museum is packed with original Mayan artifacts and several interesting exhibits to keep you entertained. The chicle exhibit teaches you how this little island became one of the world’s leading chewing gum producers.
Another option is to check out the Chocolate Factory. Chocolates KoaKoa is every chocolate lover’s dream! The company has been making traditional Mexican chocolate since 2007, and they offer visitors a tour to see the entire process. You even get samples along the way!
If you prefer to drink your calories, do a tequila tour instead. Why not learn about Mexico’s most famous drink to cheer you up while waiting for the gloomy weather to pass? Check out the free tour at Casa Mission or the popular tequila tour at Mi Mexico Linda.
When to go to Cozumel
The best time to visit Cozumel is March-June, before hurricane season and when the crowds are smaller. Temperatures average around 87℉ (30℃), and you’ll be treated to blue skies and calm seas for the majority of your visit.
July-November is notoriously hurricane season. The Cozumel weather is unpredictable during these months, so you may not want to risk planning a trip during this time.
December-March tends to be the busiest months of the year for tourists. Once the hurricanes and the rainy weather clear, crowds flock to the island to soak up the sun.
How to get to Cozumel
Getting to the island is pretty simple.
While there is an airport in Cozumel, flights can be absurdly expensive. An alternative is flying into Cancún and taking a bus and ferry.
Transport from Cancún to Cozumel is straightforward. Many companies offer a combo shuttle bus + ferry to Cozumel. Combo tickets like these generally cost around $40 per person.
It is possible to take a Cozumel day trip from Playa del Carmen, but there is so much to do that you’ll probably want to spend a week or two exploring the island. I’d recommend planning for more time here rather than less.
You won’t regret it!
Yes! Cozumel is one of the safest places to travel in Mexico due to the low crime rates and strong police presence on the island. But, of course, it is always wise to be vigilant and be aware of your surroundings and keep a close eye on your belongings.
Cozumel hotels can cater to pretty much any budget and travel style. There are hotels on the water, a wide range downtown, and a bit further inland. However, Cozumel’s all-inclusive resorts can be a great way to experience a bit of luxury if you have the money to spend. They often have amazing pools, beach access, and great food and drink packages.