Cozumel Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Protect your feet Some of Cozumel's beaches are littered with rocks, and coral reefs have been known to snag a tourist toe or two, so be sure to bring your swim shoes.
- Keep your top on The culture here is conservative, so nude bathing and topless tanning are prohibited.
- Say no to tap water Cozumel's water filtration system pales in comparison to U.S. standards. To avoid unnecessary illness, always make sure your bottled water is sealed, your ice has been tested for purity, and your food has been prepared with bottled water.
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.
But crowds shouldn't deter you from discovering what this tiny Yucatán island has to offer, especially as Cozumel's real allure is far away from the downtown area. You can hire a fishing or diving charter boat to discover the shallow reefs along the coast (this is arguably one of the best diving destinations in the world), take a glass-bottom boat on a tour around the island, or simply find a quiet beach where you can relax and do nothing. Once the cruise ships clear out, you should head down to the plaza for some live music and the real skinny on this little island.
How To Save Money in Cozumel
- Pay as the Mexicans do Most places accept United States currency, but you will usually get a better deal in pesos.
- Steer clear of the piers The major cruise lines unload at Cozumel's piers, so avoid them at all costs—it's one expensive tourist trap. If you must shop, head into San Miguel where the souvenirs are cheaper.
- Pack your sunscreen You can buy your sunblock in Cozumel, but you'll probably pay dearly. Don't forget the sunglasses, hats, and bug spray too!
Cozumel doesn't offer the most exciting cuisine options, but you can still dine at some impressive Mexican and international-style restaurants. Meals here are centered on shellfish, seafood, and common Mexican staples like beans, salsa, and tortillas. Restaurants like Prima Trattoria and even the Hard Rock Café offer a change from the local cuisine. Many of the best restaurants in town offer local seafood, including affordable lobster dishes. Most can be found in downtown San Miguel, in addition to a number of local food stands that offer cheap local fare ideal for a quick snack. Kinta, a local Mexican restaurant centered on fish and meat dishes, is a favorite among travelers.