Cozumel’s name is derived from Mayan civilisation and it is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, separated from mainland Mexico by the Yucatan Channel. Size doesn’t matter here – at just 28 miles long and 10 miles wide, it more than punches above its weight, particularly with its revered coral reefs.
Tourism is a huge part of the economy as this is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Western Caribbean. San Miguel is the biggest town on the island, with a population of around 95,000 people.
Cozumel has three piers on the western side of the island. Punta Langosta is in downtown San Miguel and so the easiest in terms of access to the heart of Cozumel.
The International Pier is about three miles from the city, while Puerta Maya Pier is located south of the International Pier, about five miles from San Miguel.
For facilities, Puerta Maya is the most comprehensive, with more than 50 shops selling a range of items, including clothes, jewellery and artworks. There are also restaurants and bars, and the likes of a pharmacy and convenience stores.
Facilities are few and far between at the Nouvelle Digue de Monaco, but there’s plenty just around the corner.
NEED TO KNOW
Cozumel uses the peso as its currency, although stores do accept US dollars.
With temperatures of up to 39 degrees in the summer, visitors should stick to bottled water, rather than tap.
A good way to see the island is bike rental, cruise passengers can take a ride down to one of a number of beaches. These include Chankanaab Beach park, one of the most popular attractions in Cozumel and Paradise beach.
Cozumel boasts plenty of souvenir shops, particular in the downtown area.
WHAT WE LOVE
Scuba diving: The Cozumel reef is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is the second-largest in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that scuba diving is high on the list of things to do for many visitors. One of the most popular areas is Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, which encompasses the southern tip of the island.
Discover Mexico: The place for those who want to know all things Mexico. This museum has a host of artefacts and presentations to tell the story of the history and culture of the country. Guests can learn about Mexico’s ancient civilisations, and learn more about the Spanish colonial era, and much more.
San Gervasio: Continuing with the history-related attractions, San Gervasio, an archaeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, is located in the northern third of the island. It is said the site was dedicated to Ixchel, the goddess of fertility.
Punta Sur Eco Park: The largest ecological reserve in Cozumel, where it is possible to see birds, wild flora and crocodiles in a natural habitat. Punta Sur also features Mayan ruins, as well as great views at the top of the lighthouse.
- Scuba divers – from beginners to experienced pros – will love what Cozumel has to offer
- The artefacts left by ancient civilisation will appeal to history buffs
- The heat, scuba diving, and white sandy beaches make it feel like a fitting ‘get away from it all’ destination