Cozumel offers an abundance of unforgettable adventures – you can go snorkelling through colourful coral reefs, diving into mysterious shipwrecks, and trekking through Mayan ruins. This popular Caribbean destination is part of Mexico, largely undiscovered until the 1960s when it experienced a boom in tourism. Although you’ll find no shortage of souvenir stalls and visitor-oriented beachside bars in Cozumel, it still manages to feel a bit tucked out of the way in places. Head away from the main drag on a rented scooter and you’ll find your own expanse of golden sandy beaches to soak in the sun!
What are the can’t-miss sights in Cozumel?
Cozumel is small, making it a breeze to get around to where you want to go! There are three main cruise ports on the island, located in Puerta Maya, Punta Langosta and the TMM International Pier. Carnival ships dock at the Puerta Maya pier, located in the south of the island, while Norwegian and SC use Punta Laguna. This port is within walking distance of downtown for maximum convenience! The TMM International Pier is used by Royal Caribbean ships and others, a short taxi ride away from the heart of Cozumel’s main city. If you prefer to navigate on your own, you can easily hire a car, moped or bicycle at any of the ferry ports.
There’s never really a bad time to visit Cozumel, as the forecast is generally sunny with a slight chance of rain throughout the year. Although June to October is the ‘rainy season,’ it still is dry the majority of the time and any sudden showers will disappear as quickly as they come on. When in doubt, check the forecast a day or two ahead of your visit. Due to its winter sunshine, Cozumel is a very popular destination for those in search of a bit of warmth over the holiday season, yet it’s just as attractive during spring break.
Cozumel is a popular port of call famed for its scuba diving. It's very touristy and busy, but I love the hustle, bustle and vibrancy the island had to offer.
Cozumel is one of the most-visited ports in the Western Caribbean. Everything is also within easy reach, the island is small enough to explore fully within the one day most people have to play with.
The island’s name is derived from the ancient Mayan civilisation. According to local legend, the island was once the home of the goddess of love and fertility, Ixchel, who was associated with the swallow bird. ‘Cuzamil’ is Mayan for ‘Land of the Swallows’, and you can visit Mayan sites here like El Cedral and San Gervasio.
Cozumel may be small (just 28 miles in length and 10 miles in width!) but it’s a hotbed for outdoor recreation and water sports. Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular excursions, allowing you to get out and explore the colourful coral reefs and marine life of the Yucatan peninsula.
You’ll be able to shop until you drop in Cozumel with its abundance of markets and duty-free shops. Stock up on products from local artisans like jade jewellery, rope hammocks, leather goods and wooden carvings to decorate your home. If you’re a tequila fan, pick up a premium bottle or two at Los Cinco Soles!
Speaking of tequila, it’s the prime ingredient in one of the island’s most popular libations, margaritas. Pancho’s Backyard is a bar next to the Costa Maya cruise terminal that dishes up giant, fruit-laden cocktails, or you can opt for something lighter like the lime-and-beer michelada.