Cozumel Travel Guide

Mexico  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico
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Courtesy of Tais Policanti/Getty Images

Cozumel Area Map

Neighborhoods

The only urban center in Cozumel is San Miguel de Cozumel, a city of about 77,000 residents. Many of the hotels, restaurants, beaches and attractions are 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 northern end to the southern end's piers. Most of the main attractions, such as the El Museo de la Isla de Cozumel (or the Island 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 dockings. 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. Don't miss the Mercado Municipal.

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 it is also close to the Cozumel airport. The area is accessible by car or taxi.

Accessible by car or taxi, Costera Sur is a popular place to scuba dive and snorkel, or just to catch a spectacular coastal view. Cozumel's pocket of all-inclusive luxury resorts is located here in the island's southern tip. 

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.

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