Things to do in Cozumel

Things to do in  Cozumel

Welcome to Cozumel

With its inimitable mix of Mayan ruins, sophisticated beach clubs, and world-class snorkeling opportunities, it's easy to see why Cozumel is one of Mexico’s top destinations. Immensely popular with cruise ships, Cozumel Island (Isla Cozumel) caters to short-stay visitors with a variety of shore excursions. Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the archaeological ruins at Tulum are doable on day trips, while shorter cruise excursions invite you to drive an ATV to the cenotes of Jade Caverns; explore Chankanaab Park (Parque Chankanaab) in a submarine; or sail at sunset near Playa Palancar, home to the biologically rich Palancar Reef. Outdoor adventurers can choose from horseback riding, scuba diving, dune buggy driving (which is a big hit with families), and more. All-inclusive day passes to Mr. Sancho’s Beach Club and Playa Mia Grand Beach offer access to luxurious facilities and the sublime beaches of the Caribbean. A private Jeep excursion lets you design your own itinerary, which can include anything from archaeological sites and national parks to shopping, snorkeling, and tequila tasting. What’s more, with Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen just a short boat ride away, the island of Cozumel is an ideal base for exploring the rest of the Yucatan and the Riviera Maya.

Top 15 attractions in Cozumel

Mr. Sancho's Beach Club Cozumel

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 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

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

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

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

Paradise Reef (Paraíso Reef)

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

Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park

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)

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

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

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park

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

El Cedral

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

Quintana Roo

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

San Gervasio Mayan Ruins

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 Palancar

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

Playa Uvas Beach Club

Facing Cozumel’s white sands and turquoise waters, Playa Uvas Beach Club sits directly on the coast and offers a variety of activities and amenities. Active visitors will enjoy snorkel tours, parasailing, and kayaking, and there are lounge chairs, beachside massages, and pool facilities for those who simply want to relax in the sun.More

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All about Cozumel


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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