Cozumel Neighborhoods & Towns
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.