The Best of Cozumel! Located near Cancun, just off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel is a small Mexican island in the Caribbean. Cozumel travel is possible for a number of Southeastern American airports. It’s an easy, warm haven for Americans wanting to get away from the harsh winter climates or spring breakers eager for ample beaches for relaxing. Cozumel’s clear turquoise waters and powdery sands bring travelers to this 185-square-mile island off the Yucatán Peninsula. Cruise ships are a constant feature of Cozumel’s coastal views, and the atmosphere on this charming island is often interrupted by tourist chatter. In fact, Cozumel’s charms are so effective that the shopping plazas along the waterfront stay congested much of the year.
But crowds shouldn’t deter you from discovering what this tiny Yucatán island has to offer, especially as Cozumel’s real allure is far away from the downtown area. You can hire a fishing or diving charter boat to discover the shallow reefs along the coast (this is one of the best diving destinations in the world), take a glass-bottom boat on a tour around the island or simply find a quiet beach where you can relax and do nothing. Once the cruise ships clear out, you should head down to the plaza for some live music and the real skinny on this little island. To learn more about the Yucatan Peninsula go here, or visit the beautiful beaches of the Yucatan peninsula. Enjoy reading everything you need for a Cozumel Travel beach vacation. Visit all of the best Maya Riviera Beaches on our Pinterest site here.
Cozumel Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Cozumel is from March to June, when the island enjoys daytime highs around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures in the mid-70’s. Winters are slightly cooler, with temperatures ranging between the upper 60’s and the lower 80’s, so it is best to pack layers. Late summer and early fall mark the rainy season, and hurricanes have been known to wreak havoc on the island
Best Cozumel Beaches
Punta Sur Eco Beach Park
If you’re a wildlife lover, then this is a must. This ecological park sprawls across the southern tip of Cozumel. Its 2,500 acres shelter a variety of indigenous species, including exotic birds, crocodiles and sea turtles. But don’t let the animals distract you from everything else the park has to offer. Take some time to explore the El Caracol Mayan ruins and the Faro Celerain Lighthouse, where you’ll find a small maritime museum. Also, make sure to pack a swimsuit to enjoy the calmer waters of the Laguna Colombia. Get Punta Sur Eco Beach Park Tickets here.
Palancar Beach, one of the best all-around beach spots on Cozumel, is especially acclaimed for its water sports, including kayaking, snorkeling, sailing and diving. You can rent a dive charter and also grab some grub at the nearby restaurants.
Paradise Beach is a popular beach on the western side of the island. Families, couples, locals and tourists – plus plenty of cruise ship passengers – flock to this beach, so prepare for crowds. This pristine shoreline boasts soft sand, turquoise waters, a pool, a restaurant and shopping. For $3, you’re granted access to all the facilities, as well as a chair by the beach or the pool, and for about $18, you can purchase a Fun Pass to use all of the inflatable water toys, water trampolines, a coconut tree climb, kayaks, snorkeling gear and stand-up paddleboards.
A visit to Stingray Beach will provide the same interactive experience as scuba diving, just without the heavy gear (or price tags). Located in San Miguel, this facility allows you to get up close and personal with these undersea creatures, providing ample opportunities to swim among them. And don’t worry about getting stung: The rays’ barbs are clipped, so the animals can’t hurt you.
Playa Mia Grand Beach Park
This beach has accessibility for wheelchairs and is a great spot for families with its top-notch facilities that include trampolines, hammocks, slides, and a host of water sports—there’s even an underwater “Mayan City” visitors can snorkel around. If you’re in the mood for some pampering, there’s a spa onsite and the park’s staff can arrange various marine tours.
Best Cozumel Restaurants
Burritos Gorditos Under $10
If you’ve got a hankering for a hole-in-the-wall place that serves cheap, delicious meals, Burritos Gorditos fits the bill. The made-to-order shrimp burritos are excellent and big enough to split; a solid assortment of tacos and salads is also available, but no alcohol is served. Seating is limited (which is why locals call ahead for takeout). If the tables are full, place your order and wait for one to open up or eat outside on the wall. Telephone: 52-987-120-0237 Web: Burritos Gorditos.
El Moro $11 – 30
You’ll have to work hard to find El Moro, but your perseverance will be rewarded with one the better meals in Cozumel. This family-owned, open-air restaurant has been feeding hungry locals and tourists for years. The service is excellent—and the portions are large. A wide range of seafood and beef dishes offers something for everyone. After dinner, try a taste of Xtabentun, a traditional Yucatecan liqueur made of fermented honey and anise seeds. Telephone: 52-987-872-3029 Web: El Moro.
Kinta $11 – 30
Enjoy the blissfully air-conditioned dining room, romantic outdoor garden, and impressive menu. The owner, Chef Kris Wallenta, whips up sophisticated interpretations of classic Mexican fare in his open kitchen. The menu is updated often, but favorites dishes include savory black bean soup, pork in a smoky pasilla chile sauce, and filet mignon with huitlaoche (a corn truffle) and cheese. Hand-crushed mojitos and fruity sangria add a refreshing lilt, and the budín de la abuelita (bread pudding with Mexican chocolate and caramel sauce) is a fitting end to a stellar meal. Telephone: 52-987-869-0544 Web: Kinta.
La Cocay $11 – 30
This casually sophisticated dining room and garden is a local favorite. Although the menu changes frequently, you can expect to find salads laced with fruits, pastas dishes, steaks, and seafood entrées like seared sashimi-grade tuna. Consider sharing several small plates from the tapas menu (the blue-cheese phyllo rolls with black-cherry sauce, salmon meatballs, and octopus with garlic are top picks). Also on offer are reasonably priced wines by the glass from Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. As everything is made fresh, popular menu items tend to run out, but everyone seems to leave happy. Telephone: 52-987-872-5533 Web: La Cocay.
Le Chef Cozumel $11 – 30
If you’re looking for a quiet, more intimate setting to share a meal with good company, then Le Chef Cozumel is the perfect choice. With its unassuming facade, it is easy to think otherwise, but the food will have customers coming back time and again. With a quaint, corner location, this is the perfect setting for an outdoor meal and some quiet people watching. Telephone: 52-987-878-4391 Web: Le Chef Cozumel
Best Cozumel Nightlife
Margaritaville is not just for another Restaurant but a State of Mind. We are famous for Cheeseburgers in Paradise but our menu also features the best of Local Caribbean Cuisine and Surprising Drinks in a Fun and Familiar Atmosphere. Telephone: 52-998-885-2375 Web: Margaritaville Cozumel.
Señor Frog´s Restaurant, Bar and Souvenir store is the place to visit if you feel adventurous and want to experience “the real thing”. Full of colors, light, sounds, textures and fun, Señor Frog´s features humor, outrageousness and a casual atmosphere. Telephone: 52-987-869-1648 Web: Señor Frog´s.
Great spot to grab some food and drinks while touristing it up in Cozumel. Telephone: 52-987-869-0214 Web: Thirsty Cougar.
Visit Wet Wendy’s when in Cozumel – known for the Margaritas and great food. I recommend “The Elvis” which is some Loco Tequila, Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Banana. Telephone: 52-987-872-4970 Web: Wet Wendys.