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33 BEST Things to do in Cozumel, Mexico

33 BEST Things to do in Cozumel, Mexico

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Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Mexico, but it packs a big punch when it comes to natural beauty, culture, and things to do! The island is famous for its clear turquoise waters, coral reefs, and white sand beaches. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun while taking in all the incredible activities Mexico has to offer.

It is also one of the world’s top diving destinations due to its clear water and abundant marine life. The reef system here is the second largest in the world, only after the Great Barrier Reef. Once you’re done exploring in the water, there are Mayan ruins and tiny villages to explore in Cozumel, as well as stunning beaches and of course, amazing food!

There are so many incredible things to do in Cozumel, it’s a great place to add to your travel bucket list. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, Cozumel is definitely not a place where you’ll get bored.

Wondering where to start? Check out some of our favorite things to do in Cozumel to get inspired for your own trip!

About Cozumel, Mexico

A beautiful beach in Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is truly an island paradise!

Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Mexico, known for its natural beauty. You’ll be drawn in by its stunning scenery, delicious food, friendly locals, and the variety of attractions. The warm climate and turquoise waters make Cozumel a perfect place to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities like snorkeling, diving, sailing, fishing, and swimming.

The island’s name comes from the Maya who lived here and called the island “Kuzamil” which means “Land of the Swallows” in honor of the many birds who call this place home.

The island of Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean stretching 48 km (30 miles) long, 16 km (10 miles) wide, and covering an area of 477 km2 (183 sq mi). The island has a population of about 87,000 people, but the population soars with all the tourists who come to visit!

The coastline of Cozumel is lined with coral reefs and white sand beaches, while the interior of the island is mostly covered in dense jungle. The main city on Cozumel, San Miguel, is on the west part of the island and a lot of the island is still undeveloped.

Located just 16 km (10 miles) off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel is an easy ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. It’s also a popular destination for cruise ship passengers. In fact, Cozumel is one of the most popular cruise ship ports in the world with more than 4 million people arriving here on cruise ships every year!

In addition to its natural beauty, Cozumel is also known for its rich cultural heritage. The island was settled thousands of years ago by the Maya civilization, who left behind incredible ruins you can visit.

Cozumel is also famous for its delicious food! The island’s cuisine is a blend of traditional Mexican dishes with a Caribbean twist. Popular Cozumel dishes include fish tacos, empanadas, and ceviche … but honestly, the variety here means you can eat something new for every meal!

Getting to Cozumel

Taking the ferry to Cozumel, Mexico
On our way! Photo credit: Ggfoto Depositphotos

When it comes to getting to this island paradise, you have a few different options depending on where you are coming from.

Taking a Ferry to Cozumel

This is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to get to Cozumel! The island is only a short ferry ride away from the mainland city of Playa del Carmen. Many people start their vacation here because there are so many fun activities in Playa del Carmen before booking a day trip to this little island.

If you’re starting your trip in Cancun, you’ll need to take a bus, shuttle, or taxi to Playa del Carmen and then take the ferry to the island. There’s no direct ferry from Cancun to Cozumel. With that said, Cozumel is one of the best day trips from Cancun.

Ferries operate 365 days a year and are offered basically every hour from morning until evening. The ferry ride takes about 45 minutes, and there are several different companies that operate ferries to Cozumel. One of these ferry companies is WinJet which offers one-way tickets for $12 USD for adults and $8 USD for kids.

Flying to Cozumel

Cozumel also has its own international airport if you’re hoping to fly here. The Cozumel International Airport is located close to downtown San Miguel de Cozumel. If you’re lucky, you can even snag a direct flight from many different cities across Mexico and the U.S.

Tours to Cozumel

If you prefer to keep things easy, you can always join a guided tour to Cozumel from either Playa del Carmen or Cancun.

From Playa del Carmen, I recommend this particular tour. It includes your roundtrip ferry transfer to Cozumel as well as a buggy tour once you arrive. You’ll visit some of the most popular attractions on Cozumel including Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park, Playa El Cielo, and Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve. The tour also includes snorkeling!

From Cancun, this particular tour is of great value. It includes roundtrip transport from your hotel in the Cancun Hotel Zone to Cozumel as well as a snorkeling tour as well as lunch and drinks. You’ll also have time to spend at the beach or waterpark!

Things to do in Cozumel, Mexico

1. Wander the cute streets of San Miguel de Cozumel

A view of the cathedral and flowers in San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico
Don’t spend all your time at the beach. San Miguel is a beautiful place to explore!

While the beach is a big draw to visiting Cozumel, wandering around town can be just as fun. San Miguel de Cozumel is the main city on the island, and it’s a great place to explore, do some shopping, and grab a bite to eat. The heart of this area is its downtown, which locally is called “Centro”. The streets here are lined with restaurants, shops, art galleries and there’s even a beautiful church, Iglesia de San Miguel, that you can visit.

A must-visit downtown is the central plaza area called Benito Juarez Park. It’s one of the first spots you’ll likely see as you step off the ferry. There’s a unique clock tower and tons of street vendors selling lots of different types of food and trinkets.

If you’re here in the evening, head to Andres Quintana Roo Park for the variety of pop-up food stalls selling treats like churros or marquesitas – a local dessert that’s made of a crepe and filled with things like jam and chocolate. You might also catch some live entertainment while you’re walking around the park.

Another spot to wander into and pick up some souvenirs to take home is Plaza del Sol. Look for the sunshine-yellow buildings housing a variety of shops like a tiny marketplace. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a nice place to walk around.

2. Punta Sur Eco Beach Park

An aerial view of Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, Cozumel, Mexico
There is lots to see and do, just watch out for the crocodiles! Photo credit: Cozumel Parks

Punta Sur Eco Beach Park is a great day-trip destination in Cozumel. It’s located on the southern edge of the island, about a 50-minute drive from San Miguel de Cozumel.

The park is a nature reserve that is home to a huge variety of birds, plants, and even crocodiles! There’s a special observation tower where you can watch the crocodiles and not worry about getting too close. There are also trails to walk on and a beach to visit.

While you’re in this area, make sure to stop at the Celarain Lighthouse. It’s part of a maritime museum and if you’re up for the climb (over 100 stairs!), the 360° view from the top is incredible.

If you want to get out on the water, boat trips around the Colombia Lagoon are included with your entrance fee and leave daily at 1 pm. and 2 pm. Or, you can try out a kayak or boat rental starting at $20 USD per hour. And if you’re looking for some fun in the sun, there are several secluded beaches where you can relax and enjoy snorkeling or a swim!

Because this is such a large area, booking a tour here can be a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on all the beach park has to offer. This electric bike tour is five hours long and includes a break for snorkeling, a visit to the lighthouse, and free time to relax on the beach after biking around the park. The tour includes transportation from San Miguel de Cozumel as well as lunch.

Entrance fees for the park are $18 USD for adults and $11 USD for children ages 4-12. The park is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays.

3. Mr. Sanchos Beach Club

An aerial view of Mr. Sanchos Beach Club, Cozumel, Mexico
Photo credit: Mr. Sanchos Beach Club
A romantic day bed at Mr. Sanchos Beach Club, Cozumel
Photo credit: Mr. Sanchos Beach Club

This bustling beach club is one of the top attractions in Cozumel. Mr. Sanchos Beach Club is like a mini all-inclusive resort you can visit for the day! Not only will you have access to a private beach area, but there’s also food and an open bar included with your day pass, which is about $60 USD.

The club offers a wide range of ocean activities, including swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. If you need a break from all the fun in the sun, there are plenty of beach umbrellas and lounge chairs and a few private cabanas (arrive early as these are popular!) to relax in.

The club is located on the south side of the island about a 15-minute drive from the two main cruise piers. It’s open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

You can opt for an all-inclusive day pass, which includes all-you-can-eat meals and bottomless drinks, access to the private pool bar and beachfront section of the club, lockers, and plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks to relax on.

For couples in Cozumel, this particular experience offers VIP access including all the food and drinks you want along with a private cabana overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and a couple’s massage. This is a great way to indulge in some beachside luxury or celebrate a special occasion like an anniversary or honeymoon.

Related Read: If you’re planning to celebrate a special occasion in Mexico, check out our guide to planning the most romantic honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta!

4. Visit Chen Rio Beach

A beautiful day at Chen Rio Beach on Cozumel, Mexico
Tell me this isn’t paradise?

Chen Rio Beach is a beautiful beach on the island where you can escape the hustle and bustle of Cozumel’s more touristy areas. This pristine stretch of sand is located on the southeastern shore of the island, about a 30-minute drive from downtown San Miguel de Cozumel. It’s a bit out of the way, but totally worth it to avoid the crowds.

For families visiting Cozumel, this beach is the ideal spot to relax and enjoy splashing in the water together. While some beaches on this side of the island can have bigger waves, the larger rocks around here create calmer areas and little pools that are perfect for swimming and playing in.

The beach also has a few restaurants and bars nearby, so you can grab a bite or a drink without having to leave the sand!

The clear waters of Playa Chen Rio also make this a great place for snorkeling and exploring the colorful marine life that lives in the nearby reefs. Keep an eye out for starfish, hermit crabs, eels, and lots of fish!

If you’re looking for a secluded beach with calm waters for the kids to play in, Chen Rio Beach should definitely be at the top of your list!

5. Watch the sunset from the Malecon

Coral Reefs Monument on the Malecon in Cozumel, Mexico
The Coral Reefs Monument on the Malecon in Cozumel, Mexico

The Malecon is one of the most popular attractions in Cozumel with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea that are spectacular at sunset. The Malecon is a long stretch of boardwalk that runs along the coast with water on one side and tons of shops and restaurants on the other. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll or bike ride while you’re exploring Cozumel.

One of the best times to visit the Malecon is during sunset when you can watch the colors of the sky change as the sun dips below the horizon. The Malecon faces west, so it’s the perfect spot for watching breathtaking sunsets over the water.

While you’re here, stop at the amazing Coral Reefs Monument (pictured above.) This structure is perfect for photos with the sky and ocean in the background, but it’s especially stunning at night when it turns into a fountain and is completely lit up with colored lights! Another popular photo spot is at the Monumento Al Mestizaje.

The Malecon is alive during the evenings and you’ll often catch live music performances or local street artists performing. It’s a bustling place in the evenings where the sunset is the main draw, but then the nightlife picks up at the many restaurants and bars lining the boardwalk.

Related Read: Puerto Vallarta has a similar boardwalk and it’s one of my favorite spots. There are so many fun things to do along Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon!

6. Spend the day at Paradise Beach Club

Paradise Beach Cozumel
Photo credit: Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach Cozumel Chairs
Photo credit: Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach Club is a beautiful beachfront resort located on the northeastern shore of Cozumel, about a 20-minute drive from downtown San Miguel de Cozumel. This spot is perfect for families or groups of friends looking for a relaxing day by the water with a private beach, the largest heated pool in Cozumel, and unlimited food and drinks. It takes all the planning out of a beach day, so you can just show up!

The resort has its own private stretch of white sand beach where you can sunbathe, swim, and snorkel in the crystal-clear water. There are also plenty of beach umbrellas and loungers for relaxing in the shade. For those looking for a little more excitement, the resort has its own floating waterpark with waterslides, trampolines, and climbing structures that are a blast to play on. You can also try out stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking!

This all-inclusive pass to Paradise Beach provides exclusive access to the club, with delicious food and an unlimited drink menu. Tickets are $65 USD and include an 8-hour stay. Paradise Beach Club is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.

7. Snorkel at Playa El Cielo

Snorkeling at Playa El Cielo, Cozumel, Mexico
The water is so clear that snorkeling is a great way to see marine life!

If you think the views around Cozumel are beautiful, imagine what lies beneath the surface! The island is home to some of the most pristine reefs in the world and is a mecca for scuba diving and snorkeling. One of the best places to enjoy these activities is at Playa El Cielo, a secluded beach located on the northern coast of the island. This amazing spot can only be reached by boat!

The sparkling, blue waters here are teeming with vibrant coral reefs and a wide variety of marine life. Whether you’re an experienced diver or are just looking to do some snorkeling, this is the perfect place to get up close and personal with sea turtles, tropical fish, eels, whales, dolphins, and more! The water is crystal clear and very shallow, so it’s ideal for swimming and wading. There are also plenty of beach umbrellas and loungers where you can soak up the sun or relax in the shade and enjoy some well-deserved relaxation after your underwater adventures.

The easiest way to get to Playa El Cielo is with a tour group. There’s no access to this beach from the mainland, so you’ll need a boat. This El Cielo private snorkel tour will take you to explore two different reef spots in this beautiful piece of paradise before you’ll relax on a secluded beach away from the crowds. This experience also includes traditional Mexican ceviche and a tasty margarita for lunch! If you have a few friends to join, this experience is a great deal as it’s $420 USD per group of up to six people.

Or, if you’re looking for more of a party, this 5-hour party tour is the ultimate Cozumel tour that combines a snorkeling excursion, catamaran cruise, and beach party all in one. Transportation from downtown is included and then you’ll board a 65-foot catamaran and cruise through the turquoise waters while enjoying unlimited drinks, music, and dancing. You’ll anchor at Playa El Cielo for some snorkeling fun (keep an eye out for all the amazing starfish!) before heading back to the mainland for a delicious Mexican buffet lunch. Tickets for this tour start at $80 USD, which is definitely worth the price for all the activities it includes!

8. Swim with whale sharks

Swimming with Whale sharks in Mexico
Just beautiful!

If you want to experience the thrill of swimming with one of nature’s most majestic creatures, look no further than Cozumel! The whale shark is the largest fish in the world and can be found just off the coast of this beautiful island.

The best time to swim with whale sharks is between June and September when they congregate in the waters around Cozumel to feed on plankton. These gentle giants are harmless to humans and are actually quite docile, so swimming with them is a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

There are plenty of tour companies that offer whale shark tours, but we recommend going with a small group tour so you can get a more intimate experience. This small group whale shark tour will take you out on a boat to the waters to find these gentle giants, where you’ll have the opportunity to jump in the water and swim with them!

The price for this tour starts at around $188 USD, which includes all snorkeling equipment, lunch on the beach in Isla Mujeres, an experienced guide, and pick up and drop off from the Playa del Carmen ferry port. Note that the tour doesn’t include transport to the ferry port or ferry tickets.

9. Zona Arqueológica San Gervasio

A close up of a temple at Zona Arqueológica San Gervasio. Cozumel, Mexico
Take a minute to look at the detailed engravings!

Cozumel is not only a beautiful island paradise – it’s also steeped in history. The ancient Mayan ruins of San Gervasio are a great spot to travel back in time.

The Zona Arqueológica San Gervasio is an archaeological site on Cozumel that includes the ruins of several temples, plazas, and pyramids. It’s believed that this site was built to worship the goddess Ixchel, the goddess of fertility.

You can explore the ruins on your own or take a guided tour. Either way, it’s a fascinating look into Cozumel’s rich history and culture.

The ruins are open daily from 8 am to 4 pm and admission to the site is $11 USD per person, and children under age 3 are free.

If you’d prefer a guided tour, we’d recommend this private Cozumel Mayan Ruins tour which will take you on a deep dive through Mayan heritage. You’ll visit the San Gervasio ruins, as well as see historical monuments on Casitas beach, and finish the day with a tequila tasting. The price for this tour starts at $110 USD per person and includes transportation from your hotel and can also be done in your choice of the morning or afternoon.

10. Visit the Museo de Cozumel

Art and history lovers, this one is for you! The Museo de Cozumel is a museum that showcases the culture and history of this beautiful island. It was originally built back in the 1930s and was actually one of the first hotels on the island before it became a museum.

The Museo de Cozumel features several permanent exhibits, including one dedicated to the ancient Mayan goddess Ixchel and her role in the island’s history. There are also exhibits showcasing San Gervasio, pirates and buccaneers, traditional Mexican folk art, and more.

The Museo de Cozumel is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, and admission is $11 USD per person. If you want to learn even more about the island’s culture and history, we definitely recommend taking a tour of this museum!

To learn even more about the island’s history, book a Best of Cozumel walking tour. You’ll not only visit the museum but also other important sites like San Miguel Church and some of the famous monuments around town. What’s great about this tour is you’ll have a guide to tell you all about the history along the way. The tour is $150 USD for two people and it’s easily one of the best things to do on Cozumel.

11. Rent a car and explore

A drone shot of a highway in Cozumel, Mexico
Grab your car and explore!

The best way to really get to know the island of Cozumel is by renting a car and exploring on your own. This way, you can discover all of the hidden gems that only locals typically know about! You also can stay as long as you like at any spot without having to catch up with a tour group.

There are plenty of beautiful beaches and coves around the island that you can explore, as well as charming villages and towns where you can enjoy local cuisine and shopping. Driving is one of the most popular ways to get around the island, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding parking or finding your way around. Just remember to travel with caution, as Cozumel is known for the strong winds and heavy traffic on its roads.

To rent a car, you’ll need to have a valid driver’s license. We like to use Discover Cars to book our car rentals because they’re easy to use and usually pretty affordable. Car rental prices in Cozumel start at around $50-75 USD per day but can vary depending on the type of car you want to rent and the season. We recommend booking in advance in order to get the best rates!

12. Submarine Expedition

Atlantis Submarines Cozumel
How cool is this? Photo credit: Atlantis Submarines Cozumel

Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the surface of Cozumel’s turquoise waters? Well, now you can find out with a submarine expedition! This is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Cozumel, and it’s an experience that you won’t soon forget.

During this submarine expedition, you’ll get to see firsthand all of the amazing marine life that Cozumel has to offer. You’ll submerge to depths of 30 meters (100 feet) and have the chance to see what lies at the bottom of the sea (including a shipwreck!), gaze at tropical fish, and get an up-close look at Chakanaab, a protected marine park in Cozumel. The submarine expedition lasts for 45 minutes, and it’s something that both kids and adults will enjoy.

The price for this submarine expedition is $79 USD per person, and you’ll need to book in advance as these tours often sell out. The tour itself leaves from Atlantis Submarines’ central location where you’ll take a short ferry to the dive site. This is such a unique way to see Cozumel, and it’s definitely one of the best things to do on the island!

13. Zona Arqueológica El Caracol

Located on the southern tip of Cozumel, the Zona Arqueológica El Caracol is one of the most intriguing historical sites on the island. It’s within the Punta Sur Ecological Park and the Mayan ruins here date back to 1200 AD. The structure here is small and is also known as the “Tomb of the Snail” and you’ll be able to spot the snails on the small dome.

What’s fascinating about this structure is that it apparently was constructed by the Maya to alert people about an approaching hurricane or storm. As the wind blew through the building it made a loud whistling sound to alert people about bad weather approaching. If correct, this would be one of the first hurricane predicting instruments!

Once you’re done at the ruins, head across the road to the Colombia Lagoon – there’s a small lookout tower here where you can spot crocodiles! If you’re lucky you might also see birds like flamingos and herons.

The ruins can be accessed from Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays) from 9 am to 4 pm. Admission is $18 USD and also includes access to the entire Punta Sur Ecological Park.

It’s a great place to visit on your own, as there’s so much to see, so you’ll want the chance to go at your own pace. The roads leading to the site can be a bit bumpy, so we recommend renting a Jeep for this excursion.

14. Book a private tour of the island

Scenic shot of the lighthouse on Cozumel on a tour
Private tours allow you to explore as you please!

Want to get a more intimate look at Cozumel? Why not book a private tour of the island and explore all of the best spots with your family or friends. This is one of the most popular things to do in Cozumel, as it’s the perfect way to make sure that you see everything that you want on the island with the assistance of an expert guide.

A private tour of Cozumel will give you the chance to explore some of the most popular sites on your own schedule and at your own pace. From ancient Mayan relics to stunning natural landscapes, there’s so much to see in this beautiful tropical paradise! Some of the best private tours include stops at El Caracol, Chankanaab Park, the Mayan Museum, Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, and more.

This Private Cozumel Jeep Tour is completely customizable, so you can pick and choose which sites you want to see. On this self-operated Jeep tour, you’ll follow your guide in a separate vehicle and drive around the island at your own pace, making stops along the way to explore everything that Cozumel has to offer. Build your own itinerary and choose from activities like horseback riding, sightseeing, shopping, snorkeling, and more! The price for this private tour starts at $79 USD per person, making it a great option for families or small groups of friends.

15. Go on a catamaran tour

A catamaran on a tour in Cozumel, Mexico
Ready to explore the stunning waters off Cozumel? Photo credit: Marina113 Depositphotos

One of the best ways to see Cozumel is from the water, and there’s no better way to do this than on a catamaran tour! While onboard, you’ll get the chance to sail around the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. This unforgettable experience will give you an up-close look at some of Cozumel’s most stunning and secluded beaches, making it a perfect way to soak up a little bit of luxury while on vacation.

This catamaran tour offers four hours aboard a beautiful catamaran while sailing down Cozumel’s coastline. Enjoy music, scenic views, and the sea breeze before stopping for some snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters at Palancar and Columbia Reef. Sea turtles, rays, and tons of multicolor fish are just some of the incredible marine life that you’ll have a chance to see on this tour. You’ll also stop at the beautiful Playa El Cielo famous for the starfish you can see here and finish the day at the Tortugas Snorkel Center and Beach Bar. The price for this catamaran tour starts at $60 USD per person, and it’s a great way to spend the day for those looking for some luxe relaxation.

16. ATV tour of Cozumel

Looking for an adventurous way to explore the island of Cozumel? Why not try a thrilling ATV tour!

I love speeding along on an ATV to explore the island’s rugged terrain and off-road trails. You’ll get to zip around on your own ATV, making stops along the way to take in the incredible views. This is a great activity for those who want to see Cozumel from a different perspective!

This ATV Cozumel Adventure tour will take you on a thrilling ride through the jungle and across the island. You’ll make stops at some of Cozumel’s most popular sites, including El Cedral and Tortugas Beach Club. The price for this tour starts at $90 USD per person and is ideal for those who want to add a little bit of adventure to their vacation.

17. Cozumel Pearl Farm

Pearls at the Cozumel Pearl Farm, Cozumel, Mexico
I did not know enough about pearls before I went!

Who knew that Cozumel was home to a stunning pearl farm? This is another one of the best things to do in Cozumel, as you’ll get an up-close look at how these beautiful pearls are cultivated. You’ll even have the opportunity to purchase some of these local pearls as a souvenir!

At the Cozumel Pearl Farm, you’ll get to learn all about the process behind cultivating these gorgeous pearls. You can walk through the facilities of the farm, learn about the cultivation process of each pearl, and even go snorkeling in the oyster’s hatchery – where you can see thousands of oysters in all stages of growth!

The Cozumel Pearl Farm is family-owned and operated and offers daily tours of the Cozumel Pearl Farm, the only active pearl farm in the Caribbean and Cozumel’s best-kept secret! If you’re interested in diving deeper into the world of pearls, you can also join one of the farm’s workshops or overnight experiences on pearl cultivation.

The price for a day-long tour of the farm starts at $110 USD per adult and $85 per child ages 6-12, so it’s a bit pricey but definitely worth it for those interested in learning more about Cozumel’s pearls. Plus, some of the tour fees go towards continued research and conservation of local wildlife species.

18. Go scuba diving

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Mexico
Bailey is such a good scuba diver!

For those who are certified scuba divers, Cozumel offers some of the best diving in the world. With crystal clear water and visibility up to 100 feet, it’s easy to see why Cozumel is a top destination for scuba diving.

There are tons of different dive sites to choose from, so you can find one that suits your level of experience. For beginners, we recommend the Columbia shallow reef, which has a depth of 30-50 feet. For those who are more experienced, the Palancar Caves dive site is a must-see – just be sure to bring a flashlight so you can see all the way into the caves!

If you’ve never been scuba diving before, Cozumel is also a great place to learn! The calm, clear waters of the island make it a top destination for scuba diving lessons. There are tons of different shops that offer beginner’s courses. This Private 3-Hour Introductory Scuba Course for $85 USD is perfect for beginners to the scuba scene. It will teach you everything you need to know about scuba diving in a safe and fun environment. You’ll receive personalized attention in a private lesson with a PADI-certified scuba instructor and have a chance to test your skills on a shore dive. The lesson takes place at the reef close to Tikila Beach, not far from San Miguel de Cozumel – you’ll meet your instructor here.

Experienced divers can enjoy a more advanced day of diving on this 4-Hour Two Tank Scuba Tour. You’ll get to explore two different Cozumel dive sites and see tons of amazing marine life. This tour is perfect for those who are already comfortable divers and want to get the most out of their scuba diving experience in Cozumel! The cost is $99 USD per person.

Scuba diving is one of the best things to do in Cozumel, whether you’re looking for an easy introduction to the world of scuba diving or an advanced excursion, we definitely recommend trying it out.

Related Read: Once you’ve tried scuba diving in Cozumel, don’t stop there! Scuba diving in one of the best activities to try in Cancun too!

19. Go snorkeling on a glass boat

If you’re looking for a unique experience, then you have to go on a glass-bottom boat tour! This is one of the coolest things to do in Cozumel, as it allows you to see the underwater world without even getting wet.

On this 2-hour glass-bottom boat tour, you’ll be able to see tons of beautiful marine life, including colorful fish, coral reefs, and even sea turtles! This is the only transparent boat in the Caribbean, so it’s such a neat experience to try! With the clear bottom on the boat, you’ll be able to see everything that’s going on underwater without having to actually get wet. It’s perfect for families or those who don’t feel comfortable snorkeling in open water. Although there is a chance to snorkel for anyone who wants to get out of the boat and try!

I think kids would really love this tour to be able to see all the marine life up close. The price for this tour starts at $50 USD per person, making it one of the more affordable things to do in Cozumel.

20. Playa Mia Grand Beach Park

People playing on an inflatable obstacle course at Playa Mia Grand Beach Park
The obstacle course is so much fun! Photo credit: Cozumel Tours and Excursions

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park is one of the most popular beach clubs in Cozumel, and we can totally see why. This all-inclusive beach park offers everything you could possibly want for a day at the beach, making it perfect for families or those who just want to relax on their vacation.

At Playa Mia, you can lounge on the beach, take a dip in the pool, try out some watersports like jet skiing and parasailing, play on the floating waterpark, or even try out a fish pedicure! There’s also a kids’ play area, so your little ones can stay entertained while you relax.

And of course, no day at the beach is complete without some delicious food and drinks! Playa Mia has an on-site restaurant and bar that serve up delicious food and drinks all day long, along with lots of lounge chairs and hammocks to relax in.

Playa Mia is open from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and offers many admission packages to choose from depending on what you’d like to do while here. The basic admission is $30 USD, while packages including food and drinks are around $60 USD per person. All admission packages include tons of free attractions like sand volleyball courts, waterslides, ping pong tables, and pedal boats, included in the cost of admission, so you really won’t run out of things to do with any of the packages you choose.

21. Go on a food tour

A man prepares tacos on a food tour in Cozumel, Mexico
The tacos are so good!

Calling all the foodies in Cozumel! If you’re looking for a delicious way to explore the island, then we recommend going on a food tour. Cozumel offers walking tours that take you to some of the best places to eat in Cozumel, all while learning about the culture and history of the island.

On this 3-hour food tour, you’ll start at a local market, where you can see and sample some traditional Mexican foods like tamales, elotes, chicharrones, and more. You’ll also get to try some delicious tropical fruits that are unique to Cozumel and taste delicious homemade tortillas. Then, you’ll head off on your tour of the island’s best restaurants. You’ll get to sample traditional Mexican dishes, like enchiladas and tacos al pastor, along with some unique dishes that you can only find on Cozumel, like Caribbean seafood and fried yucca. Tickets for this tour are $82 USD per person and include all food, drinks, and round-trip transportation from the meeting point in San Miguel de Cozumel.

For visitors looking for a more extensive tour of Cozumel’s food scene, this Gastronomic Tour through 10 Regions of Mexico is a must! On this tour, you’ll not only get to try traditional Mexican dishes from 10 different regions of the country but each dish is paired with a traditional Mexican spirit. You’ll enjoy a more intimate dinner in a small-group setting while learning about the history and culture of each region. This tour is perfect for foodies who want to really delve into the cuisine of Mexico and eat their way through the city! Tickets for this tour are $167 USD and include all food and drink.

This is definitely one of the best things to do in Cozumel if you’re looking for an authentic and delicious way to explore the island!

Related Read: If eating your way through Mexico sounds amazing, check out all the best restaurants to visit in Puerto Vallarta!

22. Farm to table experience

Ingredients on a farm to table tour in Cozumel, Mexico
The best food starts with the freshest ingredients!

If you’re looking for a unique and truly authentic Cozumel experience, then we highly recommend checking out a farm-to-table cooking class. These tours typically take place in the heart of the island’s agricultural region and offer stunning views of the surrounding jungle and mountains while learning about the local cuisine and farming techniques.

During these cooking classes, you’ll get to meet with local farmers who will show you how they grow some of their most popular crops, like mangos and chiles. You’ll then go back to the kitchen for a hands-on cooking class where you’ll learn how to cook your favorite Mexican dishes!

This 3-hour farm-to-table cooking experience starts with a trip to a local ranch, where you’ll learn from farmers all about the ingredients used in Mexican cuisine and how they are sourced. Then, you’ll try out your chef skills by preparing a delicious Mexican meal from scratch, with some guidance from the local chefs. This is a great way to learn more about the culture and culinary traditions of Mexico while enjoying some of the freshest and most delicious food you’ll ever try!

Finally, enjoy your homemade meal in the gardens of the ranch and get tips on how to recreate the recipes at home.

Tickets for this amazing experience are $79 USD per person and include all food, drinks, transportation, and chef advice! 

23. Take a photo with the Cozumel Sign

The Isla Cozumel sign in Cozumel, Mexico
Go on, get the photo!

One of the most iconic landmarks in Cozumel is the colorful Cozumel Sign, which has become a popular photo spot for visitors to the island. If you’re looking to capture some unforgettable memories from your time in Cozumel, then be sure to stop by this sign and snap a photo!

The Cozumel Sign is located near the entrance to the island. To get there, you can either drive or take a taxi from your hotel or if you’re wandering around the Centro area, it should be within walking distance. Once you’re at the sign, you’ll have plenty of photo opportunities, so be sure to bring your camera!

24. Isla de Pasion

Isla Pasion, Cozumel, Mexico
The beach here is one of the best in Mexico!

Isla de Pasion is a small, secluded island just off the coast of Cozumel that’s only accessible by boat. This island is known for its pristine white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and tranquil atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of town for a day!

The best way to get to Isla de Pasion is by booking a day trip through a tour company like Isla Pasion Sun and Fun. They have a variety of tours that include round-trip transportation, food and drinks, access to the beautiful beach, and fun extras like kayaking through the Cozumel Protected Natural Area or hopping aboard a super-fast jet boat for a wild ride. The tours here will cost around 1500-1900 pesos or around $80-100 USD.

A mini getaway to Isla de Pasion is a great addition to your trip and one of the best things to do in Cozumel!

25. Underwater helmet experience

Two people on an underwater helmet trek in Cozumel, Mexico
This is a really unique way to see the ocean floor! Photo credit: Sea Trek Cozumel

If you’re looking for an unconventional and innovative way to experience the incredible underwater world of Cozumel, then we highly recommend checking out an underwater helmet experience. These tours are a unique way to get up-close and personal with some of the island’s most fascinating marine life without the need for any diving or snorkeling skills.

During this 1.5-hour underwater helmet excursion, you’ll be outfitted with an underwater helmet, which is basically a mask and breathing tube that allows you to breathe normally while underwater. To get started, you’ll first head out on a boat to one of the best snorkeling spots in the area. Once there, your guide will give you some basic instructions on how to use the equipment before you venture out on your underwater adventure.

You’ll have the chance to walk on the ocean floor to explore the incredible coral reefs and marine life below without having to worry about holding your breath or getting tangled up in your snorkel gear. And with a maximum of just 6 guests per tour, you can be sure that you’ll get plenty of one-on-one attention from your guide.

If you’re interested in exploring Cozumel’s underwater world in an unparalleled and exciting way, then be sure to check out one of these underwater helmet experiences! Tickets start at just $79 USD per person, which is a steal for such a unique experience like this one.

Related Read: If trying out unique tours is your thing, check out all the cool tours and excursions from Puerto Vallarta!

26. Explore Cozumel by bike

Gozumel Bike rental on Cozumel, Mexico
If you want to explore, electric bikes make it easy! Photo credit: Gozumel

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to explore Cozumel, then we highly recommend renting a bike during your stay! Cycling is a fantastic way to see the island at your own pace and not worry about parking! With miles upon miles of scenic coastline and winding roads to explore, there’s no shortage of places to go biking on Cozumel.

There are a few different places where you can rent bikes on the island, but we recommend renting from one of the many hotels or resorts that offer bike rentals, as they typically have newer bikes and better rates than some of the independent rental shops.

Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water, as there’s not a lot of shade to be found on the island. And if you’re planning on doing some exploring off the beaten path, then we recommend renting a mountain bike instead of a road bike.

If you’d rather bike with a group, you can always join a guided bike tour of Cozumel. These guided tours typically include transportation, snacks, and drinks and will take you to the most scenic spots on the island.

This particular Cozumel E-Bike Tour will guide you on a 3-hour journey through the city on an electric bike! You’ll hit the road and tour Cozumel’s largest church Corpus Christi, visit an outdoor market, and enjoy a tequila tasting at a Mexican hacienda. This tour costs $61 USD and includes your bicycle, helmet, lunch, a professional tour guide, and a water bottle to keep you hydrated.

27. The Mayan Cacao Company

The Mayan Cacao Company on Cozumel, Mexico
See how it’s all made! Photo credit: The Mayan Cacao Company

If you’re a fan of chocolate (I mean who isn’t?!), then you’ll definitely want to add the Mayan Cacao Company to your list of things to do in Cozumel. This unique company offers guided tours of their working cacao plantation, where you’ll learn all about the process of growing and harvesting cacao beans.

You can choose from any of the guided tours and workshops they offer or opt to explore on your own. On the guided tours, you’ll get to see how the cacao plant is grown and harvested, as well as learn about the traditional methods of chocolate-making. You’ll also get to sample a variety of raw chocolates made with 100% pure cacao. The sampling is my favorite part!

If you’re looking for something a bit more hands-on, the Mayan Cacao Company also offers chocolate-making workshops! These 2.5-hour-long workshops will teach you how to make your own chocolate from scratch, using only the finest ingredients. You’ll even get to take home your very own hand-crafted chocolate bar at the end of the workshop. Prices for these workshops start at $39 USD per person.

The Mayan Cacao Company is open Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm. General admission to this attraction is $15 USD for adults and $9 USD for children.

28. Cooking class

The best way into the heart of Cozumel? Through the stomach! If you’re interested in learning more about the local cuisine and culture, then taking a cooking class is a fun (and tasty!) way to do this.

There are a variety of different cooking classes to choose from, with different focuses and levels of difficulty for those of us who seem to burn everything in the kitchen … to the professional chef. Some classes here will specialize in traditional Mexican cuisine, while others focus on international dishes with a Mexican twist.

One of the most popular cooking classes on the island is this Hands-on Mexican Cooking Class with a Cozumel local. This class is taught by Josefina, a Cozumel local, in her actual home! She’ll teach you how to make authentic Mexican dishes like enchiladas, quesadillas, and tamales while explaining some of the history of Mexican cuisine. You’ll get to visit a local market to shop for fresh ingredients and then enjoy the fruits of your labor for lunch or dinner, along with a traditional Mexican drink. The cost of this 3-hour class is $100 USD per person and includes all ingredients and drinks. You’ll even get sent home with a copy of Josefina’s e-cookbook with over 60 of her original recipes.

Another great option is this Mayan experience with lunch, where you’ll enjoy a walk through the Cozumel jungle, try a traditional buffet with local dishes from the Yucatan Peninsula, and watch a folkloric show with regional dances from all over Mexico! This tour costs $82 USD and includes five hours of food, entertainment, and educational activities.

29. Go deep-sea fishing

Daniel on a deep sea fishing tour in Cozumel, Mexico
I caught lots of fish!

If you’re looking for an exciting and adventurous activity during your time in Cozumel, then try deep-sea fishing! There’s nothing quite like reeling in a big catch and enjoying the beautiful ocean views while you wait for a bite.

This Half-Day Deep Sea Fishing tour is a great choice as the 4-hour tour takes you to some of the best fishing spots around the island. You’ll get to try your hand at catching a variety of different fish species such as Blue Marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi (dorado). Make sure to ask your experienced fishing guide for tips and fishing advice and then sit back and soak up the gorgeous ocean views … until you catch something!

The tour includes all of the necessary equipment, as well as drinks and snacks. Tickets for this tour start at $450 USD per group (up to 4 people) and can be purchased online in advance.

30. Planetario De Cozumel Cha’an Ka’an

The Planetario de Cozumel Cha’an Ka’an is an open-air planetarium where on clear nights you’ll have an incredible view of the stars. There’s a giant telescope as well as an observatory that projects images that the telescope sees onto large screens. Many visitors here can see the Milky Way for the first time! The observatory is open during the day from 1 pm to 4 pm on Tuesday to Saturday, but to see the stars come here on Thursday or Saturday nights at 8 pm.

The planetarium is located close to the cruise ship dock about 10 minutes from downtown. If it happens to be a cloudy night or you want to learn more about the stars, they also have a digital dome where a variety of space-themed films play each month. Check the schedule before you go for showtimes and what’s playing.

This is a creative and memorable activity to experience and it’s also one of the most affordable things to do in Cozumel, with tickets costing just $3 USD per person.

31. Pueblo Del Maíz

An actor at Pueblo del Maiz
Photo credit: Pueblo del Maiz
Entrance to Puebla de Maize
Photo credit: Puebla de Maize

While you’re in Cozumel, stop in for a visit to Pueblo del Maíz, or Corn Town. This unique attraction consists of several buildings that were built using traditional Mayan building techniques and materials, making them look just like authentic Mayan homes. The structures are filled with different exhibits about corn, from its history to how it is grown and used today.

Visitors here will get the chance at a firsthand look at traditional Mayan practices even before entering the Pueblo, at a welcome ceremony with a ritual blessing performed by a Mayan priest. Next, an offering is made to the gods of corn, fire, and water. This is followed by a tour of the different buildings in the Pueblo where you’ll see the amazing Dance of Fire, learn how to make tortillas in the palapa dedicated to the Lord of Corn, visit a colony of Mayan bees, and see how chocolate is made in the cocoa palapa and more.

A great way to see this interesting place and not have to worry about transportation is by booking a tour like this one. You’ll not only get to see Pueblo del Maíz but also get the chance to tour Hacienda Antigua to learn about and taste artisanal Tequila.

Whether you’re interested in Mayan culture or simply love trying new foods and learning about traditional practices, a visit to the Pueblo del Maíz is sure to be a memorable experience. The Pueblo del Maíz is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 am to 1 pm, and tickets start at $20 USD per person.

32. Rent a private yacht

If you’re looking for a day of luxury in Cozumel, treat yourself to a private yacht for the day. There are numerous companies that offer yacht rentals in Cozumel, and many of them include a variety of different amenities to make your experience truly special. Prices vary depending on the size and features of the yacht, as well as the length of your rental period. You can expect to pay anywhere from $800 USD to thousands of dollars depending on what you’re looking for.

Some of the things you can expect when renting a private yacht in Cozumel include a captain and crew to take care of everything for you, gourmet meals prepared by a private chef, an open bar, snorkeling gear and other water toys, and much more!

This 6-hour private yacht rental in Cozumel starts at $1,300 USD per group (up to 8) and includes a ride on a 12-meter (40-foot) luxury yacht. Having the boat all to yourself means you and your friends or family can explore the waters at your own pace. There are spots to go snorkeling including gear and instruction or you can sit in the sunshine with some fresh ceviche, snacks, and drinks. There are two possible departure points and both are close to San Miguel de Cozumel. This is definitely a luxurious and unforgettable day in Cozumel!

33. Relax at Playa Las Rocas

Playa Las Rocas, Cozumel
The rocks help the water stay crystal clear!

A hidden gem of Cozumel, Playa Las Rocas is a secluded stretch of white sand beach on the north side of Centro – less than a 10-minute drive from San Miguel de Cozumel. This is a perfect spot to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the bustling crowds. With its clear turquoise waters, stunning views, and miles of unspoiled coastline, Playa Las Rocas is the place for a tropical beach day to relax and unwind.

Whether you’re looking to lay in the sun with a good book or a drink in your hand or want to experience the natural beauty of Cozumel up close and personal by swimming in the water, Playa Las Rocas is a must-visit. There is no cost to come to this public beach, so it’s budget-friendly as well.

Where to Eat in Cozumel

Caribe Burger & Grill Cozumel, Mexico
The burgers at Caribe Burger & Grill are the best! Photo credit: Caribe Burger & Grill

Caribe Burger & Grill

This Mexican burger bar is the perfect place to go if you’re craving a delicious and hearty meal – especially after a day at the beach! The burgers are made with 100% Angus beef and are served on fresh brioche buns, with a variety of different toppings to choose from. The menu also includes sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and desserts.

Caribe Burger & Grill is located in the heart of Cozumel, just a few blocks from the main square. The prices are reasonable, and the food is delicious!

Colores y Sabores Cozumel

Located not far from the center of town, Colores y Sabores offers traditional dishes with a modern twist, a great option if you’re looking for a delicious and authentic homemade Mexican meal. Prices are reasonable, and the food is some of the best in the city – the margaritas are tasty and strong! The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.  

Ix Kool

Head inside the Royal Village Shopping Center for traditional Mayan cuisine at Ix Kool. The food here is phenomenal – from the appetizers of sikilp’aak’ (an incredible pumpkin seed dip) to simple beans with pork or ceviche. The chef here is one of the top 10 chefs in Quintana Roo, so you know you’re in good hands!

Guido’s Restaurant

While you may not expect a sensational Italian restaurant on a tiny Mexican island, this is a great surprise. Guido’s specializes in pasta and pizza with garlic bread that is so good, it’s basically famous! The restaurant itself is beautiful and almost makes you feel like you’re in a garden surrounded by plants.

We started with the homemade garlic bread (of course!) along with a sautéed shrimp appetizer. The greens and goat salad was a perfect pairing and the main course of fettuccine alfredo was incredible. The waiters here are super friendly and the prices are good too – the famous 7-layer lasagna is only 310 pesos or $15 USD and you’ll want more than one order of garlic bread as it’s only 60 pesos or $3 USD.

Alberto’s Beach Bar & Restaurant

Located near El Cedral, Alberto’s is a popular beachside restaurant known for fresh seafood – so fresh, the catch of the day is from local fishermen! The atmosphere here is laid-back and casual and the view of the water can’t be beat. It’s the perfect place to go for a bite to eat after a long day of swimming and sunbathing since it’s right on the beach. The prices are reasonable, and the food is delicious – make sure to try the lobster tail, king crab, or red snapper!

Kondesa Restaurant

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience in Cozumel, Kondesa is the place to go. This elegant restaurant has an outdoor jungle setting where you can eat under the stars. The extensive menu of local and international dishes are made with the finest ingredients to blend modern and traditional Mexican cuisine.

It’s the perfect spot for a romantic date night or a night out with friends. The prices are a bit higher than average, but the food is worth it.  

Where to Stay in Cozumel, Mexico

El Cozumeleno Beach Resort
Photo credit: El Cozumeleno Beach Resort

When it comes to where to stay in Cozumel, there is no shortage of hotels to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort or a more budget-friendly option, there’s something for everyone.

Caribo Cozumel ($)

Located in the heart of San Miguel de Cozumel, this hostel is just a short walk from the main square and the ferry terminal. The rooms are simple but clean, and the staff is very friendly.

Caribo Cozumel is a great option for budget travelers who are looking for a clean and comfortable place to stay in a central location. The hostel has a fully-equipped kitchen with free coffee for guests, free wifi, a small pool with a terrace and patio, and is within walking distance from the supermarket, many restaurants, and diving shops. You can check availability on Hostelworld or Booking.com.

Playa Azul Hotel ($$)

This hotel is located only a minute from the beach, so you can enjoy stunning ocean views from the comfort of your room. The rooms are spacious and air-conditioned, and come with a private balcony or patio. Playa Azul also features an outdoor pool and on-site golf course that guests can use for free throughout their stay.

The hotel has an on-site restaurant and bar, as well as a sun deck, spa, and complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. All rooms at Playa Azul include a private balcony with views of the Caribbean Sea, satellite TV, and free wifi.

The staff is very friendly and helpful, and the service is excellent. The prices start at around $200 USD per night, which is very reasonable considering the location and amenities! Book Playa Azul Hotel online on Booking.com.

El Cozumeleno Beach Resort ($$$)

If you’re looking for a luxurious resort experience, look no further than El Cozumeleno Beach Resort! This all-inclusive resort is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Cozumel, with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and sparkling blue waters.

The resort offers a variety of on-site restaurants and bars, as well as water sports, including snorkeling, kayaking, boogie boarding, and scuba diving. There is also a spa, fitness center, and kids club.

The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, with private balconies or patios that offer stunning views of the ocean. The prices start at around $300 USD per night, which includes all meals, drinks, and activities. You should book El Cozumelo Beach Resort online in advance to avoid it fully booking.

Renting a car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel in a rental car in Mexico
Bailey had to drive at first because Daniel is used to driving on the other side!

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car. 

I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Mexico in 2019, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically. 

I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they often can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend. 

The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too. 

Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit. 

Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your renal will be much cheaper! 

Thanks for reading!

selfie of Bailey and Daniel at the beach in MExico
Enjoy Cozumel!

As you can see, there is so much to do in Cozumel! We hope that you have a great trip and enjoy all that the island has to offer. Whether you decide to spend your time here lounging on the beach, exploring the island, or scuba diving in the crystal clear waters, you’re sure to have an incredible time. From adventure, relaxation, or something in-between, there’s something for everyone here.

If you’re planning a trip to Cozumel or another city on the Yucatan Penninsula, be sure to check out our other blogs on Mexico for ideas and some travelspiration:

40 EPIC Things to do in Cancun, Mexico

Guide To Bacalar, Mexico & 17 Best Things To Do

10 BEST Hostels in Mexico City (for your first visit)

21 BEST Things to do in Chiapas, Mexico and Complete Guide to Visiting
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