Sights and ideas for your own excursion on the charming island
- Regular berth: Punta Langosta Pier
- Regular berth: International Pier
- Regular berth: Puerta Maya Pier
- Harbour shuttle: Not available / necessary
- Taxis: Usually available at the quay. Island sightseeing and transfers available at hourly rates. Information boards are usually posted giving fixed prices to various destinations.
- Buses: Regular service from Playa del Carmen (mainland).
- Car hire: Hertz, at the airport
- Car hire: Avis, at the airport and at Punta Langosta Pier.
- Post office: Av. Rafael E. Melgar 501 (Punta Langosta Pier)
- Tourist Info: C/ 3 Sur #81 entre Av. Rafael E. Melgar y 5ta. Av., Colonia Centro
- Banks: spread out around the city of San Miguel and at the moorings.
- Cruise Ship Pier
There are hotels, restaurants and shops at all the moorings. Taxis are plentiful on Cozumel, especially in the tourist areas. Fixed prices are often charged to preferred destinations. On the east and south coasts, one reef worth seeing can be found next to the other. Not far from land, just above the International Pier, lie the ruins of a sunken aeroplane in close proximity to Paraiso Reef. Underwater visibility is excellent along the entire east coast of the island.
- Punta Langosta Pier
Punta Langosta Pier. This berth is in the middle of San Miguel. There is a shopping centre right next to the pier. Taxis are usually parked behind it. A board shows prices for round trips and popular destinations in Cozumel.
- International Pier
International Pier. Located about 4.5 kilometres south of Punta Langosta Pier. Opposite is the Royal Village Shopping Centre. It takes about 15 minutes by taxi to reach the ferry terminal in San Miguel. Nearby, a little to the north, a local operator rents Harley Davidson motorbikes for individual island exploration.
- Puerto Maya Pier
Puerto Maya Pier. Located a few hundred metres below the International Pier. A few shops are located at the berth. The taxi transfer time is just over 15 minutes to the ferry terminal in San Miguel.
- Number of Cruise Ships
It makes sense to find out in advance about the number of cruise ships in Cozumel. It is also a good way to find out where your ship is registered and where it is likely to be moored. On some days, 10 or more ocean liners can visit the island. It gets quite crowded on the island and there are long waits at the ferries. Taxis can also become scarce. On such days, be sure to plan more time for excursions on your own or book guided excursions from the berth in advance. If your ship is at anchor, it will be tendered. This means that you will be brought ashore with the dinghies. In most cases, the guests who have booked their excursions with the shipping company have priority. So there may be time delays for your own shore excursion on your own. Cruisetimetables (en), Cozumelinsider (en) and Cruiseportinsider (en) provide information on the arriving ships.
- San Miguel
San Miguel is the only town on the island. There you will find shops, restaurants and the local museum. In the main square you can buy handmade souvenirs, such as Mayan figurines. The ferry terminal is also located there, with connections to the mainland to Playa del Carmen. Two cruise ship berths are located to the south, one in the middle of town. The airport borders the city to the north.
Excursion Offers and Entrance Tickets from
- Discover Mexico Park
A little further south of the International Pier and Puerta Maya Pier berths, on Av. Rafael E. Melgar, is the Discover Mexico Park Cozumel. You can easily walk the 1100 metres to the park, which takes about 15 minutes. Of course, you can also get there by taxi. The small park shows all the important Mexican sights as successful miniature replicas and contains an interesting exhibition. Here you can also take part in a chocolate workshop, which takes place twice a day at 10:00 and 13:00.
- Ferries to the Mainland
The ferry connection to the mainland goes to Playa del Carmen and takes about 45 minutes and costs US$13 for a one-way trip. The passenger ferries are operated by two companies (Ultramar and Mexico Waterjets). They run alternately every hour. To be more flexible, a one-way ticket is recommended. The ferry terminal is located on the main square in San Miguel. You can also get the necessary tickets for the crossing there. There are several shops and restaurants in the square. The crossing itself can be a bit "rough" and bumpy. Travelling tablets are therefore recommended, as are the centrally located lower seats. Also, the air-conditioning on the ferries is usually turned up full blast. A thin jacket helps a little.
- Shopping Opportunities
There are several shops on the coastal road Av. Rafael E. Melgar in San Miguel. The shops are usually open from Monday to Sunday from 09:00-23:00. Prices are mostly in US dollars. The Plasa del Sol "La Esmeralda" shopping centre at 10a Avenida Sur is open Monday to Saturday from 09:00-18:00. Shopping can also be done in the alleys of Playa del Carmen.
- Island Museum
On Av. Rafael E. Melgar, between Calle 4 Nte and Calle 6 Nte is the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel. The exhibition shows archaeological finds and the history of the island. If you're feeling peckish, there's a restaurant in the building. Sea view included.
- Temple Ruins
The remains of a ruined Mayan city can be found in San Gervasio. The former temple complexes are located in the north of the island and are open from 07:00-16:00. An entrance fee of 5 US dollars per person is charged. Children up to 10 years of age pay no entrance fee.
- Temple Ruins
In the southern part of Cozumel there are a few more scattered ruins of ancient Mayan temples. El Cedral was the largest and oldest complex on the island before most of the remaining ruins had to make way for a runway during the Second World War. Before that, the Spanish had already raged there in the 16th century and destroyed much. Guided tours to El Cedral are offered. Before setting off, you should negotiate a fixed price.
- Chankanaab Nature Park
The Chankanaab Nature Park (Parque Chankanaab) is easily reached by taxi. From San Miguel it costs the equivalent of about 10 euros. From the cruise ship berths, the park is about 5 km away, heading south. (International Pier/Puerto Maya Pier) The beach, sea and underwater park integrated into a botanical garden is very interesting for diving enthusiasts and sun worshippers and has a lot to offer. Among other things, there is the possibility to swim with dolphins. However, this is not exactly cheap. Sea lions and crocodiles also live in this park. Open from Monday to Friday from 08:00-16:00. Admission costs 23 US dollars. Children from 3-11 years pay 16 US dollars.
- Beach, Snorkelling and Diving Areas
The best beaches, snorkelling and diving areas can be found on the west coast of Cozumel. Paradise Beach, Playa San Francisco and Playa Mia are recommended. Watch out for sharp rocks, boulders and corals in the water. The east coast, on the other hand, is often too dangerous for swimming because of the strong surf. There is also a much smaller influx of tourists.
- Playa Mia
The Playa Mia Grand Beach & Water Park Cozumel offers an excellent section of beach, a pool area with water slides and pool bar, a playground for the youngest, volleyball and football fields, pedal boats and much more. Entrance fees vary depending on the services required. There are various packages to choose from, starting at 30 US dollars per person. Services such as para-sailing and jet skiing cost extra. The park is open from Monday to Saturday from 09:00-18:00. Sunday is closed. It is about 10.5 kilometres from the International Pier/Puerto Maya Pier berths and can be reached by rental car or taxi in about 15 minutes.
- Paradise Beach
The beautiful Paradise Beach is located 10 kilometres south of the Puerta Maya Pier. It takes about 12-15 minutes by taxi to get there. Admission costs 3 US dollars. This includes a sunbed at the heated pool or beach. In addition, a Fun Pass is offered for 15 USD. This allows you to use all kinds of equipment, such as trampolines, slides, air mattresses, snorkelling equipment, etc. Paradise Beach is open daily from 09:00-18:00.
- Dive Spots
Cozumel has numerous offshore reefs, making the island a popular diving and snorkelling area. The famous marine biologist Jacques Yves Cousteau declared Cozumel a spectacular diving destination in 1961. Palancar Garden Reef, Paraiso (by the cruise ship berths to the south), Punta Sur, Santa Rosa (hawksbill turtles), Park Celerain, San Francisco (rays, cat sharks, moray eels) and Colombia Shallow are just a few examples of fantastic biodiversity and crystal clear waters with visibility up to 50 metres. A dive, organised by local operators, costs around 50 euros per person. The necessary equipment is usually for hire.
- Punta Sur Eco Beach Park
In the south of Cozumel is the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park. The park is a nature reserve and has a lot to offer for a relaxing day. For example, exotic bird species live in the lagoon next door to wild crocodiles and turtles. A somewhat outdated observation tower helps to keep an overview. Parking is available at the accessible Faro Celerain lighthouse and at the section of beach further away. The lighthouse, 8 kilometres from the park entrance, offers an excellent view over the southern part of the island. Attached to it is a simple maritime museum. Nearby you can also admire the small Mayan ruins Tumba del Caracol from the 7th century AD. The section of beach has a snack bar, showers and sanitary facilities. Snorkelling is possible there, as is a dive to the nearby (about 150 metres) Chunchacab Reef. All other beaches in the park are reserved for sea turtles from May to September. Punta Sur Park is about 35 kilometres from San Miguel and is open Monday to Saturday from 09:00-16:00. Admission costs US$16 for adults. Children from 3-11 years pay 10 US dollars.
An excursion to Tulum to visit the Mayan Archaeological Site takes some time, but is easily done. If you moor your boat at the Punta Langosta Pier, you can easily reach the ferry terminal 700 metres away on foot in about 10 minutes. For the other berths, you should choose a taxi. The crossing to the mainland to Playa del Carmen takes 45 minutes. When you arrive at Puerto de Playa del Carmen, Muelle Fiscal, leave the pier straight ahead and walk to the fountain. Turn right into Calle Quinta Avenida and two streets further on, diagonally opposite the small white church, you will find a bus depot and taxi rank. The bus is the cheapest way to get around, but it can happen that the bus you choose is full and you have to wait for the next one. The buses are air-conditioned and the journey takes about 60 minutes.
The minivans (Collectivo) are cheaper than a taxi and carry up to 12 people. They have fixed routes (labelled: Playa del Carmen - Tulum) and cost US$4 per person. Ideally, you should tell the driver that you want to go to the Tulum Ruins. If you make yourself known with a "stop", you can get off at any time. The 60 km to Tulum takes about 45 minutes, depending on traffic. Vehicles are not allowed to drive directly to the entrance. The remaining 600-800 metres (depending on the stop) can be walked or you can use the visitor trams. The collectivo will stop on the main road as they continue to Tulum. The excavation site is open daily from 08:00-16:30. In the morning, the park is still quite empty, but usually fills up quite quickly from around 10:00 am. Entrance costs 7 US dollars. Back at the ferry terminal in Playa del Carmen, there can be waiting times from the afternoon onwards. So if possible, don't necessarily plan on taking the last ferry for the return journey. Tickets are sold directly at the pier at both stations.
- Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is a very well preserved Mayan site and fully developed for tourism. It is located in the interior and can be reached just as easily from Playa del Carmen. However, due to the distance and the associated driving time, it is only recommended to a limited extent. You can expect around 3 hours each way. It is always advisable to plan a certain time buffer so that you are back on board in time before the ship departs.
- Xel-Ha Park
Xel-Ha Park can confidently be called the world's largest natural aquarium. It is home to the second largest coral reef in the world and there is the possibility to swim with dolphins (extra charge). The park is 48 kilometres from the Playa del Carmen ferry terminal and easily accessible by bus, collectivo or taxi. It is open daily from 08:30-18:00. If you want to visit the Mayan site in Tulum with a guided tour and the Xel-Ha Park, you can buy a combined ticket. The transfer from the park to Tulum is included. Otherwise, different packages are available. Children aged 5-11 generally pay half price. Children up to 4 years of age are admitted free of charge. To protect nature, only biodegradable suntan lotion is allowed in Xel-Ha Park, which is of course also sold there. Others with questionable ingredients must be handed in at the park entrance, but can be collected again on leaving.
- Xplor and X-Caret Parks
The XPLOR Theme Park is located only 8 kilometres from Playa del Carmen. It is open Monday to Saturday from 09:00-17:00. For twilight and darkness experiences, XPLOR-Fuego starts afterwards from 17:30-22:30. In the immediate vicinity of the Xplor and by the sea, there is also the Xcaret Park. It opens its doors daily from 08:30-22:30. It is also possible to book a dolphin swim here. Xplor and Xcaret each offer different rates. Depending on taste and preferences, individual excursions and experiences can be put together. Generally, sunscreen with the following contents is prohibited there: Benzophenone, Butil methoxydibenzoilmetane, Octyl metoxycinnamate, Octyl salicylate, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Ethylhexyl or Homosalate. For the love of nature.
- Isla de Passion
It is not easy to get to Isla de Passion, which is lonely in the north of Cozumel. There are no developed roads. However, local providers can take you there by jeep or boat. The tours are usually completely organised.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide, Meine Landausflüge and Viator, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and entrance fees in San Miguel, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book in time, you can realise a variety of excursions on your own.
A small pre-selection of shipping company-independent excursion offers
for, in and around San Miguel,
we have put together for you here.
- Cruises and Offers
If you haven't booked a Caribbean Cruise yet, but would like to get to know Cozumel personally and go on excursions on your own, you will find great offers with the major cruise operators in German-speaking countries. Aida, Costa and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff offer charming itineraries with their modern cruise ships, along with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite cruise line at the best conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the cruise specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria. You can choose from a wide range of daily offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. The popular special offers are also attractive, with which you can travel particularly cheaply and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Post office opening hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00-16:00, Saturday from 09:00-13:00
- Bank opening hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00-17:00
- Tourist information opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08:00-17:00
- Police: Tel. 911
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 911
- Fire brigade: Tel. 911
- Vaccination recommendation: Tropical Institute Cozumel
- City map: San Miguel Map
- Climate Chart: Cozumel Climate
- Port Occupancy: Cruise ships in Cozumel
- Local currency: Mexican Nuevo Peso, 1 N$ = 100 Centavos. In Mexico it is customary to round up to 50 centavos. It is also possible to pay with US dollars, especially in tourist areas.
More port information of popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean