Cozumel Travel Guide
Cozumel's clear turquoise waters and powdery sands coax travelers by the hundreds from cold winter climates to this 250-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. continue»
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The best time to visit Cozumel is from May to July. The island enjoys daytime temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures in the 70s. Winters are slightly cooler, with temperatures ranging between the upper 60s and the lower 80s, so we recommend packing layers. Summer and early fall mark the rainy season, and hurricanes have been known to wreak havoc on the island.Best Times to Visit Cozumel»
The only urban center in Cozumel is San Miguel de Cozumel, a city of about 75,000 residents. Many of the hotels, restaurants, beaches, and attractions lie within walking distance from here. You can further divide the area into several districts: Costera Norte (North Coast, also known as the northern hotel zone), Costera Sur (South Coast, also known as the southern hotel zone), and the windward (east) side of the island.
San Miguel lies on the leeward (or west) side of the island and stretches from the airport on the north end to the southern end's piers. Most of the main attractions, such as the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel (or the Cozumel Museum), are located downtown. You'll find San Miguel is organized on a grid and easy to navigate. Near the port, the city can often be crowded with tourists, especially during peak periods and after cruise landings. For a taste of authentic Cozumel, visit the high avenidas (avenues) 15, 20 and 25. Here, you'll find local markets and food stands run by the islanders.
The northern hotel zone lies just above the downtown area and stretches north to popular beaches, such as Playa San Juan and Playa Santa Pilar, and close to CZM Airport. The area is accessible by bus and car.
Accessible by bus and car, Costera Sur is a popular place to scuba dive and snorkel, or just to catch a spectacular coastal view. Cozumel's relatively new pocket of all-inclusive luxury resorts are located here in the island's southern tip.
Cozumel—San Miguel in particular—experiences relatively little crime. Special tourist police can assist you with any safety concern.
Travelers' main concerns should regard food and water safety. Never drink the tap water in Cozumel; drink from bottles instead. According to local sources, most restaurants prepare their food with bottled water, but you should confirm this with your server before eating. Be sure to wash all produce thoroughly with bottled water before consuming.
The best way to get around in Cozumel is on foot, as most of the attractions are pretty centrally located. Moped rentals are popular, but they can be dangerous for novice drivers. Cars can be easily rented downtown, at your hotel and even at the Cozumel International Airport (CZM), located two miles from San Miguel, the downtown area, but we recommend taking one of the many taxis. They're cheap and government regulated, so no bartering over fare is required.Getting Around Cozumel»