Cozumel Island is one of the best destinations in Mexico and definitely not to be missed during your travels in Central America. I spent three days exploring this tropical island in the Caribbean Sea and have put together this complete guide of 9 Epic Things To Do In Cozumel to help you plan your trip!
Also in this Cozumel Travel Guide, I have included some useful information on how to get to Cozumel, where to stay in Cozumel, getting around and the best time to visit!
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THINGS TO DO IN COZUMEL OVERVIEW
- Rent a Jeep and drive around the island
- Cozumel snorkeling tour
- Watch the sunrise at the beach
- Check out Chen Rio Mirador
- Beach hop on the east coast
- ATV and Cenote adventure tour
- Live music at Woody’s
- Visit Punta Sur Eco-Park
- Swim out to the Cozumel shipwreck
HOW TO GET TO COZUMEL
Cozumel Island lies 12 miles off the coast of Playa del Carmen in Yucatán Peninsulas Riviera Maya strip, Mexico.
There are a few different options available when searching for how to get to Cozumel and they are by plane, by public ferry or onboard a cruise ship.
Conveniently, there is an international airport located on the northern end of Cozumel Island with daily flights available for domestic and international travelers. From Cozumel International Airport to the city center, it’s approximately a 10-minute drive.
Search All → Flights to Cozumel on Skyscanner.com
The most popular route for travelers heading to the island is the public ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel that takes around 45-minutes to 1-hour depending on the sea conditions.
Ferries from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel, and vice versa, depart every hour on the hour with the earliest one being 7:00 am and the last ferry departing at 10:00 pm. Click Here to see a more detailed guide of the ferry schedule.
The two main ferry companies that operate between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel are Winjet and Ultramar.
I used ‘Book A Way’ to purchase my return ferry tickets online in advance.
BY CRUISE SHIP:
Another alternative for getting to Cozumel is onboard a cruise ship. Cozumel Island plays host to dozens of cruise ships week in and week out, especially in high season between December and February.
Some big cruise liners that include Cozumel Island on their itinerary are Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and many more.
Ultramar Ferry – How to get to Cozumel
WHERE TO STAY IN COZUMEL
Cozumel has hundreds of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Cozumel to suit the needs of luxury travelers and budget backpackers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Experience world-class service at this epic 5-star, all-inclusive resort in Cozumel! Featuring a private beach, outdoor pool, restaurant and bar, spa center and ocean views. Choose from a King Room, Double Room or the Master Suite each fitted with a flat-screen tv, free wifi, air-conditioning, private bathroom, balcony and sea views. Watersport facilities and car hire are also available at this Cozumel resort. Perfect place to stay for couples, traveling friends and families.
Mid Range: Hotel Boutique Vista del Mar
This 3-star property is one of the top-rated mid-range accommodations in Cozumel. Situated right on the oceanfront in the heart of town, Hotel Boutique Vista del Mar offers King Rooms and Double Rooms with free wifi, air-conditioning, mini bar, balconies, private bathrooms and beautiful sea views. This property also has a swimming pool and a continental breakfast is included for all guests. Great place to stay for couples, families and traveling friends.
Budget: Hostel Tropico 20º
I personally stayed at Hostel Tropico which is an affordable option for solo travelers, budget backpackers and couples. Located just 5-minutes walk from the main ferry terminal and close to supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. There is a shared lounge area, communal kitchen with cooking facilities, outside terrace with tables and chairs and hammocks to chill in. Choose from a mixed dorm room, a capsule-style bed or a private room. The bathrooms are shared with hot water showers and free wifi is also available for all guests.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN COZUMEL, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
GETTING AROUND COZUMEL ISLAND
There a number of ways of getting around Cozumel and they are by car, taxi, bicycle or on foot.
If you are staying in town, it’s very easy to walk around the main tourist area on foot with bars, restaurants, cafes and shopping centers all within walking distance.
Bicycle rental is generally around 150 MXN per hour and you can find a set of wheels at your hostel or from one of the many bike rental stores in the main town.
A taxi ride from the main town to the east side of the island where all the best Cozumel beaches are located will cost you around 200 – 300 MXN one way, so if there are a few of you it works out better to split this cost.
If you have your own rental car then great! This makes it much easier for you to explore Cozumel Island at your own pace.
Search All ∼ Car Rentals in Cozumel
Scenic roads on Cozumel Island
9 EPIC THINGS TO DO IN COZUMEL
Now that you’ve got all the information on how to get to Cozumel, where to stay in Cozumel and all the logistics, let’s get to the fun stuff!
So without further ado, here is my Ultimate Cozumel Travel Guide which includes 9 Epic Things To Do In Cozumel Mexico!
#1 RENT A JEEP & DRIVE AROUND THE ISLAND
One of the top things to do in Cozumel when you arrive is to rent a Jeep and drive around the entire island. The coastal road around Cozumel takes no more than 2 hours to do a complete circuit and it boasts the most incredible tropical scenery you can imagine!
Jeep rentals on Cozumel are super easy to find as there are many salesmen wandering around the main square across from the ferry. They will most likely approach you and ask if you want to rent a car, scooter or a Jeep. If you are not approached by a salesman, you can find several car rental stores a couple of streets back beyond the main square.
The cost to rent a Jeep in Cozumel for 24 hours varies with each rental company. My friends and I payed 1200 MXN ($65 USD) total for a Jeep which includes a full tank of gas and third party insurance, so you can expect to pay something around this price. If you wish to rent a standard car or a scooter the cost is cheaper. Put your bartering skills to the test and try to get a lower rate.
Note: You will need to show proof of a valid driver’s license (from your home country is fine) and they will also require a credit card number to put down as a deposit in case of any accidental damages.
It’s very easy to navigate your way around Cozumel Island as it’s just one main road that hugs the coastline. I recommend driving around in an anti-clockwise direction because you will be in the lane closest to the ocean this way.
On your Jeep adventure around Cozumel Island, there are many stops you can make along the way including Sky Reef, Punta Sur Eco-Park, Playa Box, Playa Bonita, Mirador and Playa San Martin.
Cruising in the Jeep – Things to do in Cozumel
Cozumel Jeep Tour
#2 COZUMEL SNORKELING TOUR
One of my favorite things to do in Cozumel is to go on a snorkeling tour to a number of spots along the world-renowned reef, which happens to be the second-largest reef in the world. With an abundance of marine life and clear visibility under the surface, this is one adventure not to be missed on your Cozumel itinerary!
Although taking a boat out to the reef to go snorkeling in Cozumel might not be necessary, it is every bit worth it to be able to explore more of the reef as opposed to just swimming out from the shore.
There are many tour companies offering Cozumel snorkeling tours and it can be very overwhelming trying to decide which one is best. I personally booked my snorkeling tour with Cozumel 4 Local Tours and I can’t recommend them enough! It’s best to contact them online in advance vis their Facebook page or you can visit their booth at the main shopping mall.
Cozumel 4 Local Tours offers 2-hour and 4-hour join-in snorkeling tours which include a boat and skipper, snorkeling equipment and lifejackets, a bilingual tour guide, a professional photographer, 3 snorkeling sites, a visit to a secluded white sand beach and free cold beverages.
The cost of a Cozumel snorkeling tour is $35 USD for 2 hours and $70 USD for 4 hours. The meeting point is located at the pier in between the main ferry terminal and the cruise ship terminal.
At each snorkeling site, the tour guide will be in the water at all times with a floating ring for those incompetent swimmers who get tired of treading water and need to take a break. The photographer will also be in the water at each spot with fish food to attract schools of fishes and it’s the perfect opportunity to get an underwater photo with the marine life.
Between each Cozumel snorkeling stops, it can surprisingly get cold on the boat as it drives through the breeze so make sure to bring a towel and some clothing to keep you warm.
After snorkeling at the 3 reef sites, the last stop on the Cozumel snorkeling tour is a secluded white sand beach where you’ll have around 30-minutes to go for a wander or simply relax on the shoreline with a cold beverage in hand. It’s the perfect end to a perfect day!
Cozumel snorkeling tour
All aboard the boat – What to do in Cozumel
Secluded white sand beach – Things to do in Cozumel
Cozumel snorkeling with the fishes
#3 WATCH THE SUNRISE AT THE BEACH
Watching the sunrise is a daily routine of mine and if you’re an early person like myself, be sure to go and watch the sunrise on the east side of Cozumel Island during your visit.
I personally went to watch the sunrise at a public beach on Cozumel’s east coast located right next to Senor Iguana’s restaurant. Here is the exact pin location on Google Maps.
This particular beach features a long stretch of white sandy shores and azure blue waters making it such an ideal spot to watch the sunrise. Be sure to add this little adventure to your list of things to do in Cozumel!
Sunrise at the beach – Things to do in Cozumel
Blazing colors at sunrise on Cozumel Island
#4 CHECK OUT CHEN RIO MIRADOR
If you like beaches and viewpoints be sure to add Chen Rio Mirador to your list of things to do in Cozumel.
‘Mirador’ is the Spanish word for ‘Viewpoint’ and this particular one is very easy to find. Situated along the coastal road on the east side of the island, you’ll see a wooden viewing deck that sticks out over the sand and you can simply walk out to it from the roadside.
Enjoy panoramic views to the north and south of one of the best beaches in Cozumel and over your shoulder, you’ll catch an incredible sight of the expansive Cozumel jungle.
Must Read → 13 Things To Do In San Cristobal
Chen Rio Mirador – Things to do in Cozumel
Beautiful views of the coastline
Marveling at the beautiful Cozumel beaches
#5 BEACH HOP ON THE EAST COAST
If you’re a lover of white sand beaches and turquoise waters then don’t miss out on the pristine Cozumel beaches located along the east coast of the island. You could easily spend a whole day beach hopping from one spot to the next and it’s for sure one of the best things to do in Cozumel during your visit!
The best way to beach hop in Cozumel is to rent a car in the main town and drive over to the east coast which takes no more than 20 to 30 minutes.
There are 4 main tourist beaches in Cozumel that are definitely worthy of checking out on this side of the island and they are Playa San Martin, Playa Bonita and Playa Box. Each of these beaches has free road-side parking, small souvenir and snack shops, toilet facilities and beach umbrellas to accommodate beachgoers.
If you don’t like crowded beaches and would prefer to go somewhere more secluded, skip these main tourist beaches and find a spot further along the coastline.
The stretch of beach on the east coast of Cozumel is almost endless so you can easily park on the roadside and find a decent spot to perch up on the sand next to the ocean’s edge all by yourself.
East coast beaches in Cozumel Mexico
Azure waters – What to do in Cozumel
Best beaches in Cozumel
#6 ATV & CENOTE ADVENTURE TOUR
One of the more adventurous things to do in Cozumel is to go on a 3-hour fun-fuelled ATV adventure in the jungle which also includes a visit to Cozumel’s only cenote!
There are several tour companies that offer ATV tours in Cozumel and once again I recommend booking with Cozumel 4 Local Tours. This particular tour is the most top-rated ATV and Cenote tour with great views and hundreds of bookings.
The cost of an ATV tour in Cozumel is $70 USD which includes return transfers from the main square to the jungle location in Cedral, bilingual tour guide, boxed lunch and drinking water, ATV ride with safety equipment, swimming in the cenote and a visit to the village markets before returning back to the main square.
The ATV tour was the highlight of my trip to Cozumel. I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie so this tour was the perfect way to get the blood rushing!
When we arrived in Cedral, I was given the keys to my own ATV and a quick rundown of how to operate them. It wasn’t long after that until my tour guide and I were zipping through the jungle on our ATV’s, navigating our way across some tricky terrain, leaving a cloud of dust in our tracks. After about 30-minutes of riding, the trail comes to an end and this is where the entrance to the cenote is.
The cenote itself wasn’t quite as impressive as some of the cenotes in Tulum which I had previously visited, but it was still beautiful in its own way. Surrounded by lush jungle and filled with freshwater, it was the perfect spot to hang out for a while and to let the vibrations from the ATV wear off. If you came prepared with swimmers, it’s possible to go swimming and also cliff jumping in the cenote if you wish.
After checking out the cenote, the tour continues back to the ATV jump-off point for a boxed lunch and a quick stroll around the Cedral village markets before making the 30-minute drive back to town.
As I mentioned earlier, this awesome ATV tour was the highlight of my trip and I highly recommend adding it to your list of things to do in Cozumel.
Book Now → ATV Tour Cozumel
ATV tour in Cozumel
Cozumel’s only cenote
The beautiful Cozumel cenote
Ripping on the ATV – Things to do in Cozumel
#7 LIVE MUSIC AT WOODY’S
Woody’s is a lively little pub located in Cozumel’s main square that is most popular for its daily live music around 5:00 pm. Woody’s is suitable for all ages and you can either choose to sit by the bar inside or at one of the outside tables in the sun.
Whether you’ve been hanging indoors all day and need some fresh air or you’ve ended up in the main square at the end of a tour, Woody’s is the perfect spot to unwind.
With a cocktail or beer in hand, while listening to some cruisey tunes from the live band, it’s not a bad choice of things to do in Cozumel during your visit.
RELATED ARTICLE: 15 EPIC THINGS TO DO IN TULUM
Woody’s pub in Cozumel
#8 VISIT PUNTA SUR ECO-PARK
Another great attraction on this list of things to do in Cozumel is Punta Sur Eco-Park located on the very southern tip of the island. Most famous for its beautiful flora and fauna, pristine beaches and a lighthouse, Punta Sur is a nature lovers paradise that is worthy of checking out during your visit to Cozumel Island.
Punta Sur Eco-Park entrance fee is 300 MXN for adults and 180 MXN for a child.
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Punta Sur Eco-Park – What to do in Cozumel
#9 SWIM OUT TO THE COZUMEL SHIPWRECK
Last but not least on this list of things to do in Cozumel is a visit to the shipwreck on the west coast of Cozumel Island. Just a stone’s throw from the shoreline and along the main boulevard just north of the main ferry terminal, you can’t miss this unique Cozumel attraction.
With the Cozumel shipwreck being so close to the shore, it’s a short swim out to explore the shallow reef underneath the surface. Otherwise, you can simply marvel at the shipwreck from dry land.
When I visited Cozumel, I saw the shipwreck on the first day upon arriving as it was right across the road from my hostel. The following day it was painted a different color because a local graffiti artist had made his mark on the shipwreck which is a common occurrence.
The shipwreck on Cozumel Island Mexico
BEST TIME TO VISIT COZUMEL
The best time to visit Cozumel Mexico is during the winter season from December to April. During this time there is little to no rainfall and the temperatures are just perfect.
The rainy season in Cozumel is typically between May and October which sees higher temperatures due to the humidity. The only plus side to visiting Cozumel during these months is there will be fewer tourists and prices are less inflated.
BEST TOURS IN COZUMEL
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Another option for accommodation in Cozumel Island is to stay in an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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LONELY PLANET – MEXICO
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Mexico Travel Guide!
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MORE MEXICO TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico Itinerary: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- San Cristobal: 13 Things To Do In San Cristobal
- Puerto Escondido: 11 Things To Do In Puerto Escondido
- Oaxaca: 7 Best Tours In Oaxaca
- Tulum: 15 Things To Do In Tulum
- Bacalar: 9 Things To Do In Bacalar
- Maya Riviera: Best Cenotes In Maya Riviera
- Cozumel Island: 9 Things To Do In Cozumel Island
- Mexico City: Day Of The Dead Festival
WHAT TO PACK FOR MEXICO
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHING
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Things To Do In Cozumel Mexico, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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