Isla Cozumel, or Cozumel Island, is a large island in the Caribbean Sea right off the eastern coast of Mexico’s eastern Yucatan Peninsula. It is located right across from the city of Play del Carmen separated by the Cozumel Channel. The best way to reach the island is to either fly to it directly (Cozumel International Airport CZM) or to fly to Play del Carmen and cross over with a ferry.
Things to know Before you go
Isla Cozumel is still a mostly undeveloped island and not comparable to the touristic mainland area of the Riviera Maya. Despite this the island does still have very touristic spots which can be found on the island’s western coast. It is here where all the cruise ships arrive and create a Disneyland-like environment. There are numerous accommodation options and restaurants all catered to the masses of cruise tourists arriving here on a daily basis. On the other side (literally) the eastern coast is considered as the more rural and less-touristic part of the island. There are basically no hotels and only a few restaurants and shops.
We also recommend to rent a car or scooter to explore the island as it is quite large and there is basically no public transportation. Also make sure to grab enough cash on arrival because many areas do not except card payment.
How to make the most of your visit to Cozumel
So with the information provided above we can make the following suggestions to make your stay on the island as enjoyable as possible:
Stay at least 4 Days...
… because there are quite some things to see and do. We actually stayed on the island 5 days and really enjoyed it but you can definitely spend a day less or even more without a problem.
Spend 2 nights on the Island's Eastern coast...
… because it is truly magical! There are numerous accommodation options but we stayed in the only hotel on this part of the island and enjoyed its tranquil atmosphere and stunning ocean and sky views. The hotel is called Ventanas al Mar Beach Front and is located directly at the Ocean. It is not the cheapest place to stay but you won’t regret it! Get an ocean-front room and enjoy the million-stars view above the sea!
… or snorkeling, because its on of Mexico’s best spots to do so! Unfortunately we could not do either as the weather was too bad for any excursion but we heard of great trips so make sure to book a tour when you are there.
Stay at one of the many Beach Clubs...
… because its a great day to spend at the beach and enjoy a nice drink and foods. There are numerous beach clubs along the western coast but many are either too expensive or simply too touristic. We found a nice one called Palancar Beach Club which is located a bit further South. It is not that expensive, has a nice beach and restaurant and is not overly touristic.
These are just a few things that we suggest you to do in order to make your stay on the island as enjoyable as possible. You can also decide to stay longer in the town of San Miguel de Cozumel. Here you can enjoy a large variety of restaurants and clubs and experience the more active side of the island. As a contrast program you can also visit the islands southern tip (Punta Sur) which has a natural park where you can see crocodiles and various other endemic species of fauna and flora.
5 thoughts on “Isla Cozumel – Mexico’s Largest Caribbean Island Pearl”
What beautiful photos! You really captured the amazing range of blues in the ocean and sky! I love all the off-the-beaten-path suggestions – it really makes a trip special when you know how to make it your own.
Hi Sarah, many thanks! I hope you will visit the island as well and get to know these gems.
What a beautiful island. I am a big fan of beach and this will definitely be on my list. The hotel looks just adorable! I would love to spend couple of nights there 🙂 Thanks for the great post!
Hi John, many thanks!You should definitely check that hotel, its a lovely place and a bit different from the others on the island. Hope you enjoy your stay!
When traveling, I love to explore the places I visit rather than just sticking to traditional touristy areas. Your article does a really good job of showcasing all the island has to offer, definitely putting it on my bucket list!