Things to do in Cozumel

Things to do in  Cozumel

Cruise it or lose it

Wraparound reefs frame Cozumel in vibrant coral, earning global renown for snorkeling and scuba diving at dive sites like Paradise Reef (Paraíso Reef), Palancar Reef, and Columbia Reef. Beyond the wonders of Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park are onshore adventures that combine nature and culture. The best things to do in Cozumel range from the Maya-themed Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park to Punta Sur Eco Beach Park (Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve) and Mr. Sancho's Beach Club Cozumel.

Top 15 attractions in Cozumel

Mr. Sancho's Beach Club Cozumel

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Set on a private stretch of white sand, Mr. Sancho’s Beach Club Cozumel allows you to avoid the island’s beachfront crowds and offers amenities for a relaxing seaside experience. Here you can swim in the Caribbean ocean, sample all you can eat from the restaurant and bar, float in the infinity pool, and relax in shaded cabanas.More

Akumal

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Akumal is a small beach town located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Meaning “land of the turtles” in the Mayan language, Akumal is famous for its plentiful sea turtle population. Its secluded white-sand beaches and peaceful bays are also ideal for those seeking a more private experience.More

Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park

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With its unspoiled beaches, lush nature trails, and abundance of marine life, Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park is among the highlights of Cozumel, set along the island’s west coast in the area’s National Marine Park. The Chankanaab name comes from the Mayan language and means "little sea," referring to the park’s natural lagoon. The access to the warm, turquoise sea is a top draw, as are the provided lounge chairs and hammocks prime for relaxing on the beautiful beach.More

Palancar Reef

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The star attraction of Cozumel Reefs National Park (Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel), Palancar Reef is a rich underwater landscape ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. Aquatic species thrive amidst these colorful corals, including sea turtles, rays, nurse sharks, barracudas, moray eels, and a kaleidoscope of colorful fish.More

Columbia Reef

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Columbia Reef is famous for its complex architecture of caves, arches, and coral spires. Here, you can find schools of snapper, barracudas, sea turtles, scorpion fish, and even the rare passing nurse shark. With both shallow coral gardens and deep ocean-floor caverns, the reef is accessible to snorkelers and scuba divers alike.More

Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park

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Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park encompasses the island’s best-known diving and snorkeling spots, including the Palancar, Columbia, and Paradise reefs, as well as the Devil’s Throat at Punta Sur and the shipwreck ofFelipe Xicoténcatl—a minesweeper ship used in WWII. The park houses up to 26 species of coral and 300 species of fish.More

Punta Sur Eco Beach Park (Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve)

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Located on Cozumel’s southernmost tip, Punta Sur Eco Beach Park (Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve) spans 2,500 acres (1,011 hectares) of coastal wilderness, coral reefs, and Caribbean ocean. Here you can find ancient Maya ruins, a picturesque lighthouse, and sandy beaches—plus exotic birds, crocodiles, and sea turtles.More

El Mirador Lookout

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Located on Cozumel’s rugged eastern coast, El Mirador lookout is a rocky seascape dotted with natural bridges, tide pools, and stone spires. This wild, undeveloped area looks out onto the open Caribbean Sea and offers a breezy escape from Cozumel’s more touristy areas.More

Paradise Reef (Paraíso Reef)

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One of Cozumel’s most popular dive sites, Paradise Reef (Paraíso Reef) is famous for its clear water, diverse coral structures, and teeming schools of colorful fish. Here you can spot large sea species such as eels, rays, and nurse sharks in addition to smaller creatures such as seahorses, boxfish, and delicate pipefish.More

El Cedral

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El Cedral is a village on the southwest side of Cozumel. It is also the site of the island’s oldest Mayan ruins, which date to AD 800. Spanish explorers first discovered El Cedral in 1518, and it became the island’s first official city in 1847. Today it’s home to a small community of quaint houses and farms, as well as an annual festival.More

San Gervasio Mayan Ruins

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Centuries ago, Maya women visited this sacred site to pay tribute to Ixchel, their goddess of love and fertility. Today, the San Gervasio Mayan ruins are one of Cozumel’s largest archaeological sites, with low stone structures, a central plaza, and a main temple scattered throughout the jungle.More

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park

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Playa Mia Grand Beach Park offers myriad options for enjoying the Caribbean Sea, whether you want to swim in the warm ocean, enjoy a massage, zip down water slides, or float in one of the park’s many pools. Here you can find beachfront lounge chairs and hammocks, a buffet and full bar, and even an underwater Maya city to explore.More

Quintana Roo

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One of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, Quintana Roo is the gateway to the Mexican Caribbean. Palm-lined beaches, Mayan ruins, and family-friendly nature parks characterize this east coast state where you can snorkel coral reefs, cool off in ancient cenotes, and party in the nightclubs of Cancún and Playa del Carmen.More

Playa Palancar

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Playa Palancar is a laid-back beach where you can swim, snorkel, or just relax in a hammock under the coconut-palm trees. It’s one of Cozumel’s most beautiful beaches, with fine white sand and access to an outstanding coral reef just offshore. For a relaxing beach day away from the crowded tourist spots, there’s no better place.More
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Cozumel Cruise Port

Cozumel Cruise Port

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Set against a popular Caribbean beach on the island of Cozumel, the Cozumel Cruise Port welcomes vacationers seeking an idyllic Mexican getaway. As one of the most frequented ports in the Mexican Caribbean, it’s also a convenient gateway to Cozumel’s idyllic reefs and beaches, as well as nearby Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and the archaeological ruins of the Yucatán Peninsula.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Cozumel

Cozumel Submarine Experience
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Cozumel Submarine Experience

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Playa Mia Beach Breaks®

Playa Mia Beach Breaks®

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ATV Adventure to Jade Cavern with transfer

ATV Adventure to Jade Cavern with transfer

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Cozumel Shore Excursion: Mini-SUB Diving Adventure
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Cozumel Shore Excursion: Mini-SUB Diving Adventure

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$80.99
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Mr Sanchos Romantic Day Beach Pass for Two

Mr Sanchos Romantic Day Beach Pass for Two

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Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs
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Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs

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$61.75
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El Cielo Snorkel by Private Boat

El Cielo Snorkel by Private Boat

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$419.99
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Cozumel: Private Tour by Van or Jeep

Cozumel: Private Tour by Van or Jeep

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$190.00
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All about Cozumel

When to visit

Warm, dry weather draws travelers to Cozumel from March through May—and spring’s low rainfall also translates to crystal-clear visibility for scuba and snorkel trips. You can do both year-round, however, so it’s worth planning your trip around the island’s biggest maritime events. Whale sharks migrate here between May and September, while bull sharks swim just offshore from November to March. Sailfish season is from January to March when the 10-foot (3-meter) sea creatures feed on schools of sardines.

Getting around

Getting around Cozumel is easy—there are plenty of cabs linking the island’s walkable downtown with its beaches, attractions, and three cruise terminals. Getting to the island means arriving by land or sea. Direct flights connect Cozumel International Airport to Mexico City and airports in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. If you’re coming from the Riviera Maya, there’s a 45-minute ferry that travels between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, with multiple departures daily

Traveler tips

You can find great food in downtown Cozumel, with options that range from Mexican to pizza and Thai. For a taste of more local flavors, though, head to the Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market), where residents shop for fresh seafood, meat, fruit, and vegetables. The market offers affordable dining stands selling tacos, juices, and sandwiches. It’s also a great place to find spices and handicrafts that double as authentic souvenirs and gifts.

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People Also Ask

What is Cozumel known for?

Cozumel is an island famed for coral reefs, with world-class scuba diving and snorkeling. At the shallow El Cielo snorkeling site, visitors can swim alongside stingrays and colorful schools of fish. Beach clubs and boat trips are top draws, but the island’s also home to a handful of Maya ruins.

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How do I spend a day in Cozumel?

With one day in Cozumel, spend your time exploring coral reefs. The coral is spectacular, and boat trips to sites on the Mesoamerican Reef often encounter stingrays, sea turtles, and other marine wildlife. If you prefer lounging seaside, consider booking one of the private beach clubs on Cozumel’s northwest coast.

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What is there to do in Cozumel for families?

Cozumel is a family-friendly destination with plenty of all-ages activities. Many snorkeling trips welcome children ages eight and older, but younger kids are often welcome to ride along. Booking an all-ages private beach club gets you access to water toys and shaded cabanas; some even have shows or other kid-friendly activities.

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What is there to do in Cozumel besides diving?

Non-divers will find plenty to do in Cozumel—snorkeling is an excellent way to see wildlife and coral in the island’s shallower reef sites. In addition, many private beach clubs offer all-inclusive day packages ideal for seaside lounging. The island is also home to a handful of small Maya ruins.

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What can you do in Cozumel for a day trip?

Cozumel is a popular day trip from nearby destinations, including Playa del Carmen and Cancun. With one day, consider diving or snorkeling nearby reef sites to see bright coral, stingrays, and sea turtles. Private beach clubs are another convenient option, as passes include access to changing and showering facilities.

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Is Cozumel nicer than Cancun?

Cozumel or Cancun? The resorts offer very different experiences. Cozumel, an island with coral reefs and world-class diving and snorkeling, is smaller and quieter. With white-sand beaches, towering hotels, and a mainland location, Cancun draws crowds for year-round parties. And, it makes a good home base for exploring farther afield.

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