Courtesy of Tais Policanti/Getty Images

Why Go To Cozumel

Cozumel's clear turquoise waters and powdery sands coax travelers from cold winter climates to this roughly 185-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 a local bar for some live music and the real skinny on this little island.


Find Flight and Hotel Deals


Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.


The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions. Read more about how we rank vacation destinations.

Best of Cozumel

Cozumel Travel Tips

Best Months to Visit

The best time to visit Cozumel is from March to June, when the island enjoys daytime highs around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures in the mid-70s. Winters are slightly cooler, with temperatures ranging between the upper 60s and the lower 80s, so it is best to pack layers. Late summer and early fall mark the rainy season, and hurricanes have been known to wreak havoc on the island.

Weather in Cozumel

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
Average Precipitation (in)
See details for When to Visit Cozumel

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

  • 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.

How to Save Money in Cozumel

  • Pay in pesos Most places accept U.S. dollars, 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, either!

Culture & Customs

Spanish is the primary language spoken, but many residents – especially those who work in the tourist zone – speak English. It may be both helpful and respectful to know some basic Spanish vocabulary, such as hello (hola), goodbye (adíos), please (por favor) and thank you (gracias).

Cozumel's official currency is the Mexican peso. Since the Mexican peso to U.S. dollar exchange rate fluctuates, be sure to check the conversion before you go. American dollars are, however, widely accepted in Cozumel, though you may get change back in pesos. You also might get a better deal on goods and services if you pay in pesos.


What to Eat

Thanks to the abundance of all-inclusive resorts in Cozumel (which commonly include the cost of food and alcoholic beverages in the room rate), many tourists find little need to explore the island's dining scene. But if you're willing to venture beyond your hotel digs, you'll find a bevy of delicious (often affordable) eateries.  

Meals in Cozumel are built on a foundation of shellfish, seafood and common Mexican staples like beans, salsa and tortillas. 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 that is ideal for a quick snack. Kinta Mexican Bistro, a local restaurant that plates "sophisticated interpretations of classic Mexican fare," is a favorite among travelers. If your taste buds are looking for a change of pace, try Guido's, an Italian restaurant that's as lauded for its sangria and pasta as its verdant courtyard setting. And when you need a refreshing libation, head to The Thirsty Cougar. Thanks to its waterfront perch, you'll have a prime view of the Caribbean Sea while you're sipping a mango margarita and snacking on nachos.

Explore restaurants


Cozumel – San Miguel in particular – experiences relatively little crime. Still, if you need help, special tourist police can assist you with any safety concerns. Travelers' main concerns should regard food and water safety. Never drink the tap water in Cozumel; drink bottled water 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. You should brush your teeth with bottled water, as well.

Getting Around Cozumel

The best way to get around in Cozumel is on foot, as most of the attractions are centrally located. Moped rentals are popular, but they can be dangerous for novice drivers. Although you can easily rent cars in San Miguel, through many hotels, and at the Cozumel International Airport (CZM), we recommend taking one of the many taxis. They're cheap and government regulated, so you won't have to barter for the fare.

Learn about Neighborhoods in Cozumel

Entry & Exit Requirements

You'll need a passport to visit Mexico, plus a tourism card (or FMM) that can be issued at any Mexican consulate, border-crossing point, Mexican tourism office, or directly from your airline. FMMs are usually issued free of charge upon arrival (and if not, the price is absorbed into the cost of your plane ticket). Be sure to hold onto this card for the duration of your trip, as you will need to present it upon departing the country. It's also a good idea to leave your passport and FMM in a secure location and carry a photocopy of both documents with you at all times. For additional information, visit the U.S. State Department's website.


Cozumel1 of 28
Cozumel2 of 28

Cozumel is home to multiple excellent beaches and stands as one of the premier diving and snorkeling destinations in the world.

Jim Stone / EyeEm/Getty Images

Explore More of Cozumel

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


CDC Coronavirus Travel Updates: What to Know About Current Travel Restrictions

Cruises suspend sailings; hotels, airlines tweak cancellation policies; see the latest CDC travel advisories.

What Will Happen to My Elite Status and Points Because of the Coronavirus?

Limited travel due to the coronavirus prompts airline and hotel rewards programs to make policy changes.

14 Top Jigsaw Puzzles, Games and Books to Keep Travelers Entertained

Even though you're stuck at home, you can still indulge your wanderlust with these activities.

15 Top Cookbooks to Buy

Travel to far-flung destinations and enjoy international food without leaving home.

The 12 Best Language-Learning Apps, Programs and Online Courses

Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill.

The 13 Best Sedona Tours

Get lost in the magic of Sedona's red rocks on these top adventures.

What is an Ecolodge? 21 Top Eco Resorts and Eco Hotels Around the World

Luxury meets environmental welfare at these top-notch ecolodges.

The 12 Best Puerto Rico Tours

Experience island living at its best on one of these guided trips.

I Went On a Cruise During the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Is What Happened.

Coronavirus concerns, itinerary changes and uncertainty lead to an unusual vacation.

5 Travel-Themed Activities to Do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Use these suggestions to fill the travel void amid the pandemic.