Cozumel can be a tricky place to visit and for some, kind of overwhelming... especially if you don't know the ins and outs beforehand! Yes, you could just hop on the ferry and wing it from there, but if you have the insider info before arriving on the island, we promise that it will be a much more enjoyable experience. Once you get to the island, what do you want to do? Drive all around the island? Find a cool spot to park it for the day? Food and shopping? Again, having a plan, even a flexible one, will give you more time to enjoy your day on the island rather than using your precious time planning the day's activities.
In this article, we are going to break it all down for you. So, what's the best way to get an honest opinion about what to do and where to go, especially if you don't want to get caught in a "tourist trap"? Ask the locals! That's exactly what we did! We asked a group of expats what were their favorite spots on the island to spend their time and money. They gave us their honest opinion on parks, beach clubs, bars/restaurants, snorkel spots, and the best places to watch the sunset! Oh, and some other useful info thrown in as well. So grab your favorite travel buddy and let's go on an Adventure... an Aquadventure!
First things first, how to get to the island without a headache grande.
We've done the research and put together everything you need to know about the ferry, the difference between the two different companies that cross daily, and their schedules. For all that info go to the article -
Now that you've arrived on the island, how do you plan on getting around?
Well, how you get around the island kind of depends on what you want to do while you’re there. You can rent a scooter, Jeep, buggy, etc but if you plan on bar hopping, beach clubbing, or partaking in adult beverages at all, it's best to pass on renting (unless you designate a driver) and hire a taxi. Because there are so many opinions and negative experiences (by people who weren't properly informed), we've also done all the research about this topic as well that can be found here -
So now you’re on the island…what to do?
Of course, Chankanaab Park is the top-ranked beach club to spend the day in Cozumel, not only because it’s home to Aquadventures, but because it has so much to offer. It’s not so easy to find a beach with soft sand as most of the coastline of the island is rocky. The beach is enormous, the waters are shallow and typically calm making it perfect for snorkeling and beginner divers. The park also has amazing food and drinks brought directly to your shaded beach chair by the friendly staff, showers, restrooms, hammocks, a playground for kids, tequila tasting, temazcal, laser tag, massages, fish spa, restaurants, Sea Trek, Snuba, gift shops, the marine mammal area, and MORE! There’s no way you can get bored here! To read more about the park visit - Chankanaab Park
Park hours are 8:00 am - 4:00 pm CLOSED ON SUNDAYS
Admission Fee - Adult - $26 USD | Child 4-12 yrs $18 USD | Kids under 3 are FREE
Punta Sur is the ideal place for nature lovers! With over 1,000 hectares of flora, fauna, lagoons, and stunning views, you’ll find yourself in a natural paradise! There is also a scenic tower to observe crocodiles in their natural habitat and a museum lighthouse with the most spectacular view. The general entrance includes showers and dressing room, Mayan Vestige, scenic tower, Celarain lighthouse, Navigation Museum, Catamaran boat ride “El Tatich”, hammocks and beach chairs, nature trail, and amazing beaches. This is also an awesome spot for snorkeling! There are activities that you can do for an extra fee such as renting kayaks, paddleboards, and massage to relax after all the hard work you’ve done. Snorkel equipment is available for rent for $15 USD.
Park hours are 9:00 am - 5:00 pm CLOSED ON SUNDAYS
Admission Fee - Adult - $18 USD | Child 4-12 yrs $11 USD | Kids under 3 are FREE
They are open 7 days a week from 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
If you’re looking for a cool little snorkel spot with great food, cold drinks, and no entrance fee, you’ll want to visit Sky Reef. This beach club is located on the southwest side of the island, about 15 minutes from the ferry dock. Upon arrival on the island, you can easily grab a taxi that will cost about $200 pesos to take you there and you can easily get a taxi back downtown. There are shaded beach chairs, snorkel rental, and restrooms/showers, massages, tequila tasting, and they offer some great promos!
For example, their Welcome Promo - $20 USD includes -
They are open 7 days a week from 8:00 am - 9:30 pm
Located on the northwest part of the island near the “hotel zone”, The Money Bar beach club is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an extensive menu. They offer indoor and outdoor seating, beach chairs, hammocks, and live music. Of course, you will find restrooms and showers as well as snorkel equipment for rent. The Money Bar is a great option to sit back, relax, and watch the sunset into the ocean at the end of the day!
Bars & Restaurants
They are open 7 days a week from 10:00 am - 11:30 pm
As you arrive on the island, continue on a straight path, and about a block away on the left you’ll run right into Woody’s! This bar & grill is just off of the main square downtown and is one of the favorite spots on the island. They offer amazing food at a good price, cold drinks, and an amazing atmosphere as they have live music every day of the week! Whether you are arriving on the island hungry or want to have one last drink while you wait to board the ferry, Woody’s is a must! Check out the link above to see their menu and the bands that will be featured.
If you’re looking to venture to the far side of the island you have to make a stop at Coconuts! Though there isn’t a beach, per se, but the view from the top of the cliff is amazing! You’ll have to climb some stairs to get to the top, but the view is breathtaking, and you’ll appreciate that frosty drink even more! The staff is always fun, the food is always yummy, and if you need a good giggle, ask them for the “Coconuts Book”! Decorated with fun signs and unmentionables, you’ll get a ton of unforgettable pics.
One of the best spots on the island to see the sunset into the ocean is at Hemingway. They specialize in seafood, grilled meats, pastas, ceviches, and fish, in addition to its varied cocktail bar. The best atmosphere is the Chillout terrace, where they offer different musical events and concerts, by the sea. As the sun goes down the place turns into a nightclub so bring your dancing shoes! Since it’s right on the beach you can snorkel from shore, but be sure to take your water shoes as it is a bit rocky.
If you have a favorite place on the island be sure to share your opinion in the comment section below!