The best beaches are south of town and continue around to the east side of the island. If you are staying near or on San Francisco beach (Residencias Reef, Costa del Sol, etc), we recommend taking a short walk over to Paradise Beach, Carlos N Charlie’s Beach and/ or San Francisco Beach Club. Bring some money if you want a bite to eat, drink and / or rent / use their water sports equipment. It is important to note that the cruise ships sell excursions to these beach clubs so they can become quite busy Monday through Saturday.
If you are staying in one of our properties in town we recommend Beach Club Buccanos Bar & Grill or Mike’s Beach Club, which is located north of town. Buccanos offers many outdoor activities, including a climbing wall. The food is also good, though a bit pricey. Mike’s is great because there is no entrance fee.
Another place on the water that you might consider if you are staying in town is Tio Jose, located just after the lighthouse as you head out of town, south. Tio Jose, just recently opened. They offer very tasty enchiladas, tacos and more! They have live music everyday from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.
If you get chance, take a ride to “the other side”. The uninhabited, east side of the island has some of the most beautiful beaches. There are a few beach clubs located on this quiet side of the island as well as small beach parks, with palapas for shade. We don’t recommend swimming there unless you are at one of the beach clubs or beaches with marked swimming locations (indicated by red flags). Because this side of the island is open to the open ocean, currents tend to be rough. NEVER swim alone anywhere!
Lastly, please keep our beaches clean. We want to keep Cozumel beautiful and hope to continue to preserve some of the natural wonders it holds. Thank you!
Below you will find our “Beach Guide Trip Around the Island”...
Beach Guide Trip Around the Island
Our journey begins at Mescalitos, located at the end of the Transversal. There are two restaurants and few Mexican craft shops. Mescalitos also has a dirt road entrance to the North which you can rent a jeep and venture to some secluded beaches.
Read more about and see pics of Mezcalitos beach here.
Punta Morena Surf & Beach Club
Sometimes you will see surfers catching a wave of two here. The waves are not huge, so it is a good place for beginners. Note: the beach club here does not allow dogs.
Located next to the hotel Ventanas al Mar, this is a great beach spot with some palapas. Not as popular as the other beach spots, perhaps because it does not have a restaurant near by. Still a great place so pack a lunch and some drinks.
Las Ventanas al Mar
The only East coast hotel of Cozumel. Great for a night getaway. This hotel offers cute rooms right on the wild ocean sea front. The hotel is eco-friendly and electricity is only generated for a few hours of the day. Listen to the ocean waves and wind at night and wake up to a fantastic breakfast!
Coconuts is kind of one of those places you have to go to for the experience. The food is ok, basic American-Mexican food. Decent drinks, but this place is honestly about the location-location- location! It is set on Cozumel’s only ocean cliff! Also check out the photo albums if you dare.
The Local Lagoon
If you have small children this is a great place to bring them. Mostly locals hang out here, but this is a little lagoon that is protected by rocks from the ocean. It creates the perfect wading pool for kids. Come set up camp for the afternoon with a sheet and some sticks.
Chen Rio is right next to the “Local Lagoon”. There is also a “Palapa Park” associated with the name in addition to a restaurant where local fisherman have a few skiffs.
Stretch of Beach
Along the east coast of Cozumel you will find many stretches of open ocean, including this one right after Chen Rio. If you are looking for a secluded spot to lay out you will surely find one here. The beaches of the east coast also are grounds for turtle nesting. You can volunteer during nesting season and get an opportunity to help tortuguitas swim free to the sea!
Playa San Martin
This is a favorite beach spot among the locals, but there is plenty of sand to share! Bring a sheet, towel and find some sticks to create your home-made shade for the day. This beach offers a deep sandy bottom as well as a lifeguard.
No Name Beach Restaurant
We haven’t tried this place out, but it is a part of the “other side” drive. Stop in for a cerveza perhaps.
Popular beach club that offers food and drink. This beach has a calm alcove to swim in and a playground for kids. This place is also popular with surfers.
Rancho "The Mayan Frontier
This ranch offers horseback riding which offers 1 to 1 1/2 riding tour in which you discover some Mayan history as well. Following the Rancho there is a long stretch of rocky beach before you arrive at El Mirador.
Translated “the lookout”, this is one of Cozumel’s many natural wonders. The rock formations are spectacular and offer some fantastic photo opportunities.
Popular watering hole for those who like Reggae music. This place offers both food and drink. Also, right across the way the owners of Rastas has a “farm” with the largest pig ever named Harvey. He was suppose to be a miniature pig meant for a pet...
Punta Sur is the ending point of your East Coast of Cozumel Journey as the road winds back to town. Punta Sur is also located to the entrance of an ecological park and lighthouse.
This park contains an extraordinary diversity of plants, animals and landscapes. Visit the Celarain Lighthouse. Entrance cost is about $10usd.
Restaurant, beach club, bar and dive shop this club offers it all. The world famous Palancar reef sits in front of the beach, but too far for snorkeling from the beach. Great place to swim though as it is a sandy bottom. Entrance fee is about $5usd.
Popular beach club that offers lots of shade from trees as well as palapas. There is a restaurant that is open daily serving up food and drink. Albertos is the only beach club south of town that is open for dinner.
This is not a beach club, though it is an important landmark in Cozumel. It is Cozumel’s other “town” and at the end of April holds a festival in honor of the religious power of the crucifix. This festival has cock fights, bull fighting and it is a great opportunity to try traditional local cuisine. El Cedral also has some Mayan ruins.
Mr. Sancho’s offers resort type amenities. It is popular for cruise ship tourists as it has a restaurant and bar. The beach itself has loungers and umbrellas as well as many activities such as volleyball, water rentals and more!
Playa Mia is another cruise ship passenger beach club with entrance fees/ packages. We tend to avoid these types of places, but if you like that “all-inclusive” buffet feel go ahead and try it.
Interestingly this beach accepts credit cards....enough said. Though admission is free and this beach club offers a lot with a full menu and drinks, wifi and more!
Carlos n' Charlies
In addition to the down town restaurant Carlos n’ Charlie’s has a beach club. They offer a variety of beach activities; water rentals, massages and more. They serve food similar to their restaurant; seafood, cocktails, Mexican and American standards.
San Francisco Beach
Located right next to Carlos n’ Charlie’s it too offers similar fare. They have an abundance of floating playgrounds. They do charge an entrance fee around $8usd to use the facilities and equipment.
This is one of Cozumel’s oldest beaches. It is popular among divers and offers some great snorkeling too. They have a full menu with traditional Mexican favorites.
Chankanaab National Park
A large entrance fee (approx. $14usd for adults) you can enjoy a protected portion of Cozumel. It is a National Park that provides refuge and protection to the flora, fauna & marine life.
A relatively new beach club and entrance is free. The club offers a variety of services and considers to have a “eco avant-garde” atmosphere.
Great food! Perhaps stop here at the end of your day trip to the other side. No beach, but a nice place to watch the sunset and indulge in a few and yummy quesadillas.
Popular among the Americans, this standard watering hole has live music and decent American food. We recommend the fully-loaded potato skins and the chicken sandwich that has cheese, mushrooms and pineapple. During the day it is a great place to pull up your boat and grab a bite or snorkel.