For over a decade, our team at Enjoy Cozumel has had the great pleasure of welcoming guests to our Mexican paradise. The island of Cozumel has long been a globally recognized dive destination courtesy of its crystal clear waters and Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System just off its shores.
Cozumel is Mexico's largest island. It is 28 miles long by 9 miles wide and resides on the east side of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is separated from the mainland by 12 miles of clear blue tropical ocean. You can get here by plane or ferry, or you can simply hop on one of the manycruise ships that frequent the island daily (though you'll only spend one day here if you choose the latter, and that would simply be a shame!). Find out more information on how to join us on the island in our Getting Here section.
The island currently inhabits about 95,000 full-time residents, most of whom live in and around the main town of San Miguel.
In the sections to the left, we try to give you a bit more specific information about how to get here, where to eat, where to score the best Margarita on the island, and where to find that secluded section of beach. If there's any more information we can help you find, Contact Us. We also welcome your feedback and ideas.
Why Travel to Cozumel?
The tropical island is located on the northeastern edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, just over an hour flight from places such as Miami in the United States. Cozumel, Mexico is perfect vacation spot for travellers seeking an authentic taste of Caribbean life at its finest. Towering coconut palms, quaint beach bars, sunsets over a turquoise horizon, and jeep rides along the enchanting coast are part of everyday life here.
Besides top-notch scuba diving and snorkelling, there are centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites, pirate dinner cruises, and famous annual events such as Carnaval. Tequila tours and cooking classes offer a chance to taste Mexico’s beloved flavors. Moreover, a short ferry to Playa del Carmen presents a variety of day trip options including dozens of adventure parks.
A Rich History
Before it became a secluded hideaway for infamous pirates such as Jean Lafitte and Henry Morgan, the Mayan people first inhabited Cozumel. The original settlers built important temples of worship in honor of Ix Chel, the goddess of the moon and of fertility. Many Mayan women made the tumultuous pilgrimage from the mainland, across the Caribbean, to Cozumel, with hopes to receive a blessing from Ix Chel. The significant Mayan shrine still stands today in the central area of the island’s north end at the San Gervasio archaeological site.
Years after the majority of the Mayan culture was driven away by the Spaniards, only a few families were left, accounting for Cozumel’s meager population. It remained a small fishing town until the mid 1900s when famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau visited. After declaring Cozumel a top dive site on the planet, scuba enthusiasts from around the world came in droves to discover the crystalline waters and flourishing reef system for themselves.
Although Cozumel has transformed from the sequestered fishing village it once was, the island retains a laid-back vibe. There are just enough restaurants and attractions to fill your travel itinerary with excellent eats, fun and adventure, while still operating at a stress-free pace vacationers seek.
Cozumel offers everything needed for a comfortable and convenient stay including an international airport as well as a ferry terminal with daily service to Playa del Carmen. There are also hospitals, grocery superstores, a cinema, pharmacies, taxis with reasonable rates, banks, car rental agencies, and a bustling main plaza surrounded by souvenir shops and boutique stores. American dollars and Mexican pesos are widely accepted around the island.
The Lay of the Land
Of the four islands in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cozumel is the largest at roughly 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. It is divided into three general areas. The hotel zone runs along the western side (the side facing mainland Mexico), from the south end to the northern tip. From this vantage point, you can witness sunsets portraying a kaleidoscope of vivid colors that tend to render most speechless.
Although the current on the west side can be strong at times, it is quite calm in comparison with the eastern coastline, which is rocky and less developed. We highly recommend following the two-hour scenic route around the island. By renting a car or jeep, you can travel at your own pace and take in the sights at the several points of interest.
From the South End to the Wild East Side
The Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve (Punta Sur) located on the southern most end of the island showcases a plethora of local wildlife including exotic birds and crocodiles. Also within the park is a modest maritime museum and lighthouse, which presents awe-inspiring views of the Caribbean Sea and Mayan remnants.
Further along the paved highway, you will come to a handful of charming thatched-roof palapa bars such as Mezcalito’s and Coconuts Bar - a dive and beach bar perched upon a cliff overlooking the breathtaking turquoise waters.
Approaching the tranquil north end of Cozumel, you will pass more scattered Mayan structures, the Cozumel Country Club and some sandy beach areas (although you can't see them from the road). In addition to visiting the pristine beaches of Isla Pasion off the north shore, boat tours present the opportunity to float through lagoons, home to native crocodiles and birds. For those travellers interested in learning where pearls come from, a sustainable snorkelling tour allows you to swim beneath the surface of the mesmerising water to see the various stages of production at the Cozumel Pearl Farm.
The Wonderous West
Taking full advantage of Cozumel’s surreal sunsets, real estate developers perfectly positioned their oceanfront condos and resorts so that guests could have a front row seat to nature’s most incredible spectacle. The majority of properties occupying this glorious area offer divine ocean views and offshore snorkelling.
Since it is a major dive destination, it’s not difficult to find first-rate dive centers, like Pro Dive International, with certified and passionate instructors. You will also come across plenty of beach clubs including Sky Reef and Carlos ‘n Charlie’s. At Playa Palancar, sit back and relax with an icy bucket of cervezas and fresh cured ceviche. Spend the day cooling off by choosing from a variety of water sports including paddle boarding, snorkelling, or kayaking.
From this heavenly piece of sugary, white sand beach, you can also book an excursion to visit the little-known paradise of El Cielo, meaning ‘Heaven’. This sublime bay is only accessible by boat and boasts water as clear as you would find in the Maldives. The tours last 4 to 5 hours with stops at 2 local coral reefs teeming with brightly hued fish, before arriving at El Cielo. Here in the dreamy azure waters, you can observe stingrays, sea turtles and starfish.
Chankanaab Adventure Park, situated on the mid-western coastline, offers a full day of fun and adventure for every type of traveller. Watch sea lions and manatees at play, sail through the air on zip lines, snorkel or snuba on an underwater sea trek, wander through the botanical gardens, or partake in a temazcal ceremony. Several free activities and lounging on stretches of soft, sandy beach are included in the entrance fee. However those such as the dolphin discovery and the Atlantis Submarine tour have additional costs.
Downtown San Miguel
In its heart is San Miguel de Cozumel, the island’s largest city. This is where you will find the majority of business services, souvenir and jewellery shops, hospitals, and restaurants.
Popular activities include tequila tours at Discover Mexico Park and food tours with Cozumel Chef. In the downtown area is also the Cozumel Island Museum as well as the ferry terminal offering 40-minute sailings to Playa del Carmen every hour from 5:45 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Everything is at your fingertips when you choose to stay in this area. The lively main plaza is the place to grab some authentic Mexican treats like paletas, (ice cream popsicles) or marquesitas (crispy, nutellla and cheese filled crepes). There is also a promenade running along the seawall (called the "Malecon"), which inspires spectacular photo ops. (Plus this is a good chance to walk off the tacos and margaritas!)