Cozumel is a great place to visit and certainly before planning any vacation, regardless of destination, it is good to plan ahead for a healthy trip.
Do NOT drink the tap water. Use purified water for brushing teeth, washing foods and cooking.
Do drink plenty of purified water. Dehydration is a common occurrence especially when there is a lot of alcohol consumption or sun exposure involved. Drinking plenty of water not only keeps you hydrated, but it also assists your body in its defense against bacteria.
Eating; It is in the best interest of these dining/ drinking establishments to make sure you do not get sick as they are trying to make a living. It is safe to eat in almost all restaurants, even the smaller ones. The one thing you can do to protect yourself is trust your instincts and your stomach. If the place does not look clean enough to meet your standards, then do not eat there. Also, if you know you have a sensitive stomach it may be in your best interest to avoid street carts that often sell a variety of snacks.
If you do get sick, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and any thing that may have electrolytes. Gatorade is available on the island and it is a good drink that will give your body the electrolytes it needs.
If you get VERY sick please contact your Guest Manager who can help you find a good doctor / hospital. The hospitals and doctors here on the island are very good and they all speak English.
WEAR SUNSCREEN. Sunburn on day one can ruin a good vacation. Please be sure to apply sunscreen daily and every couple of hours if you plan on spending fun in the sun. Sunscreen can be purchased at all pharmacies, grocery stores and most beaches.
WASH YOUR HANDS with antibacterial soap often.
JELLY FISH, FIRE CORAL & other stinging things: If by chance you come into contact with any of these living creatures; first, DO NOT wash you skin with fresh water, but instead apply any acidic liquid. The most effective is uric acid, but if you find this disgusting, apply vinegar, lime juice or tomatoes. Note: be careful with lime juice in the sun as it can create brown skin spots.
CMC Clinic & Hospital - Calle 1st Sur, #101 between Ave 50 and Ave 50 Bis (987) 872-9400
San Miguel Clinic & Hospital – Calle 6th Norte, #132 between Ave 5 and Ave 10 (987) 872-6194
Red Cross: Emergency & Non-Emergency Care – Ave 30th between Calle 20 and Calle 25 Sur (987) 872-058/065
There a variety of pharmacies on the island. Our trusted sources are the pharmacies located in the Mega & Chedraui grocery stores as well as the pharmacy located in the CMC Clinic & Hospital. If by chance you cannot find what you need at these locations, we recommend Pharmacy Dory. Location: Ave AR Salas between Ave 15 & 20. Phone: (987) 872-0559
Although Cozumel is a very safe island, don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home. In regards to anything you may hear in the news about Mexico, Cozumel is an isolated and safe island and its distance from the things you hear about is FAR. The crime that does exist is mostly petty theft.
Please follow our recommended guidelines listed below to help prevent anything from happening.
Lock the doors and windows of your home while you are not there or asleep.
If your rental property is equipped with a safe, please use it.
Don’t leave items of value out in the open. Hide computers, anything of value when you are away.
Don’t leave diving equipment outside at night.
Lock the doors of rental vehicles and do not leave valuables in a clearly visible place.
Carry limited amounts of cash and do not flash larges sums of money in the open.
Parking Restrictions on the Ocean-Front Drive
Cozumel recently installed parking meters on the main ocean-front drive, Avenida Rafael Melgar. Parking is metered Mon-Sat from 8am to 8pm. Parking on Sundays and holidays are free. Meters are in English and Spanish and take pesos (12 pesos/hour). Pay the meter and place your ticket displayed prominently on your vehicle’s dashboard.
If you do receive a parking ticket during your stay, they can be paid at a collection booth located by the ferry pier. If you pay your ticket within five days you will pay a reduced rate of 50%.
NOTE: Boots are being used to immobilize your vehicle to make drivers pay the fine, so please pay the meter so as not to inconvenience you anymore then necessary.
There are currently four gas stations on the island. Gasoline is nationalized in Mexico and the only brand is PEMEX. Gas prices remain relatively stable around $3.25 per gallon (we converted for you).
Corner of Ave 30 and Benito Juarez
Corner of Ave 75 and Benito Juarez
NEW Corner of Ave 11 and Calle 135
Across from the Puerta Maya & International Cruise Pier of Ave Rafael Melgar
NEW Corner of Ave 90 and Benito Juarez
The local currency is the “Peso.” In most places in Cozumel you can use both pesos and dollars. You will get a better rate if you use pesos, so we recommend you obtain some pesos through an ATM.
We don’t recommend exchanging money at the airport or other locations throughout town as these rates are usually not in your favor. It is much better to get Mexican pesos at a trusted ATM. Your home bank will charge you an ATM fee and a small foreign exchange fee. But even with these charges, you will get a better rate.
MEGA – There are several ATM’s located upstairs in the MEGA grocery store. When you enter MEGA and head upstairs the ATM’s will be located to the right near the food court. MEGA is located on Avenida (Avenue) Rafael Melgar, on the corner of Calle (Street) 11.
There are several different grocery stores on the island that you an choose from. We recommend the following:
Why even bother wasting time grocery shopping when someone who knows the stores well can stock your pantry and fridge. Cozumel Chef can send you a list of groceries to choose from and have everything ready and organized, so you can have some fun in the sun!
Phone: (987) 105-5300
Cozumel’s major superstore! This is a one-stop-shop, offering everything from appliances, clothing and food. Mega has an excellent selection of imported products, organic goods as well as a great produce and bakery department.
Location: Rafael Melgar, near Calle 11
Hours: Daily 7am-11pm
Services: grocery, alcohol, hardware, housewares, clothing, pharmacy
This is Cozumel’s first major superstore. Similar to MEGA, Chedraui has a fantastic wine and foreign goods isle. Chedraui is a great alternative to MEGA as many of the items are the same, but less expensive. FYI we have been noticing an increase in American brand name products (i.e. JIFF, Poptarts, Snyders & more!)Chedraui’s plaza also has a major cinema where you can watch the latest releases (with Spanish subtitles).
Location: On the corner of Rafael Melgar and Calle 15 Sur
Hours: Daily 8am-10pmPhone: (987) 872-5404
Services: grocery, alcohol, hardware, housewares, clothing, pharmacy, cinema
Primarily a grocery store, San Francisco is a great option when shopping on a budget. San Francisco offers brand name items for less as well as a small selection of housewares, hardware and clothing. You will also find a deli, produce department, bakery and even a pharmacy.
North Store On the corner of Ave 30 and Benito Juaréz
South Store On the corner of Ave 65 and Calle 27 Sur
Hours: Daily 7am-10pm
Phone: (987) 872-5959
Services: grocery, alcohol, hardware, housewares, clothing, pharmacy
Soriana is a popular grocery store among locals. It’s a great “quick stop” to pick up odds and ends that you may have missed at the major supermarkets.
Location: On the corner of Ave 30 and Calle 8 Norte
Hours: Daily 24 hours
Phone: (987) 872-4440
Services: grocery, bakery, alcohol
Mercado Municipal (Traditional Mexican Open Air Market)
Maybe not the best place to grocery shop, but it is a great way to experience a traditional Mexican Market and potentially pick up local produce and other Mexican ingredients. This a great place to pick up the “fresh catch of the day”, but be sure to come early to get the best selection. The only thing we recommend not purchasing is meat as this product is not kept on ice.
Location: On the corner of Ave 25 and Rosado Salas
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-6pm
Services: Local produce, fish, meat, loncherias (misc eateries), local hand crafts, knick-knacks and more!
This small grocery market has a fantastic selection of spices and for some odd reason Asian goods. El Maharaja offers some of the nicest fruits, vegetables, cheese and meats on the island. The newest location even has a sit down diner-style restaurant where you can grab breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Ave 15 between Calle 1 and Rosado Salas
Ave 65 between Calle 1 and Calle 7
On the corner of Ave 65 and Calle 3
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 8am-2pm
Services: Basic grocery, deli, diner
Sam’s Club & Bodega Aurrera
It has arrived! Opened on time/ early June 30, 2011 this place was a mad-house! Aurrera is Walmart’s Mexican brand store and carries things you would see in a traditional Walmart. Both stores are offering an array of products, produce, electronics, housewares etc. for less!
Location: Ave 11 between Ave 75 and Ave 80
Hours: Daily 7am-10pm
Phone: (987) 118 7529
This is a great wholesale food supply store, geared more so to the restaurants. However, you can find IBC root beer here, some import beers that most grocery stores do not carry as well as a decent selection of frozen meat (types and varieties you won’t find in the other stores).
Location: Calle 2 Norte between Ave 45 and 50
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-3pm
COVIS Liquor Store
A quick-stop liquor store, this store has a great range of products. If MEGA and Chedraui do not have what you are looking for, this store certainly might.
Location: Ave 30 between Calle 2 and Calle 4 Norte
The BEST liquor style to come to the island. Sells a variety of hard to find liquors, champagne and more!
Location: Corner of Ave 11 and Ave Melgar
Think of OXXO like a 7-Eleven. There are several of these convenience stores located on the island distributed throughout major and not so major areas of the island. Look for the large bright yellow and red sign. You can shop for miscellaneous grocery items, beer, candy etc. Great stop before heading to the beach!
Mainland & Ferry Schedule to Playa del Carmen
You can arrange day trips by taking a ferry to the mainland. There are many activities to choose from including; shopping, dining and relaxing at one of the many beach clubs in the hip city of Playa del Carmen or you can visit the mall in Cancun. For those looking for some Mexican history and culture you can take a day trip to several Mayan ruins such as Tulum, Ek’Balam and/ or Chichen Itza.
There are two ferry companies that run between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Ultramar and Mexico Waterjets. These ferries operate on a daily rotating schedule and cost approximately 150 pesos ($13 USD) one-way, 312 ($26 USD) pesos round trip. The ferry terminal is located in downtown Cozumel along the waterfront across from San Miguel Square. The ferries leave almost every hour (see schedule below), though if you do plan a trip it is a good idea to check out the ferry schedule online or pick one up at the booths by the ferry docks as these times do change. It takes approximately 45 minutes to cross. **Schedules are subject to change, please check companies websites: Ultramar or Mexico Waterjets