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Welcome to Cozumel, the stunning paradise nestled in the lap of the Caribbean Sea. Located off the East coast of the Yucatan Peninsula just a ferry ride away from Playa del Carmen, it is known for great scuba diving, but there is so much more to do. Whether you’re seeking to soak in the Caribbean’s azure waters or delve into this breathtaking island’s historical and cultural heritage, Cozumel has something to offer for everyone.
Tour the island in a Jeep
Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! To truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Cozumel’s landscape, you won’t want to miss out on exploring up close and personal. And what better way to do so than by joining in on a Jeep adventure? With the island’s compact size of only 34 miles long and 11 miles wide, there’s plenty of time to take it slow and really soak in all the stunning sights.
You can either rent a Jeep yourself and go exploring or take a Jeep tour led by a local who will not only take you to the best places but will also give you lots of island history and facts. Some tours are even customizable so you can pick exactly what sites you want to visit to tailer to your interests. We customized our tour to include finding the local murals all around the island. Read all about the murals here.
Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience!
Visit ancient Mayan ruins
If learning about ancient cultures is what you love, you are in for a treat or two. Cozumel is home to multiple sites of Mayan ruins. San Gervasio and El Cedral Cozumel are both world UNESCO sites and the only sites open to tourists. It is best visited as part of a tour as the guides will know exactly how to get to the sites and often have great stories to share. It is important to know that there are very specific rules regarding visiting the ruins so if you plan on adventuring out on your own, make sure you have read up on the rules and regulations to ensure you do not have issues.
Climb the lighthouse at Punta Sur Eco Park
Located at the southernmost point of the island, Punta Sur Ecological Park is a must-see when visiting Cozumel. The park has many great things to see and do for all ages. Visitors can visit the maritime museum and learn about the rich history of Cozumel and how vital the ocean has been to the island for centuries. The museum is home to amazing artifacts from all over the island, as well as stunning murals depicting various marine scenes.
After learning about how important the ocean is to the island, you can challenge yourself to climb the 146 steps to the top of the Celarain lighthouse. Once at the top, you will have 360-degree views of the island and Caribbean Sea. This climb can be quite challenging since temperatures inside the lighthouse can reach well over 120 degrees in the summer. It can also get crowded inside and at the top, so it is important to be patient and know your limits.
After conquering the lighthouse, head over to the beach club, grab a bite to eat and a cold cerveza, and jump into the water for a quick snorkel or swim. There are beach chairs, umbrellas, and even a resident raccoon who may try to steal some lunch. Learn more about Punta Sur Eco Park here
Shop til you drop
“If shopping is what you love, you will not be disappointed as there are various shopping centers in Cozumel. Some of these are bodega-typed stores located at the cruise ship terminals while others are luxurious ones. The Royal Village shopping center on the West side of the island offers more luxury brands and boutiques. The outdoor setting of Royal village is beautiful and relaxing. It even has outdoor atriums where one can see turtles and iguanas basking in the sun.
For those who are more inclined to shop in outside bodega-style stores, you can do so in Puerto Maya or other locations on the island. These shopping areas resemble small strip mall centers where you can find souvenirs ranging from refrigerator magnets to hand-painted sculptures.
Whether you are looking for typical souvenirs or something custom and handmade, you will undoubtedly find them in one of the shops. The island has a shop for everything from handmade belts and purses to Tequila.”
Taste the Tequila
They say ‘When in Rome,’ well we say, ‘When in Mexico.’ A trip to Mexico would not be complete without a tequila tasting. There are shops all over the island where you can taste and buy tequila. Some will give you small samples of brands you ask about, and others, like Tequila Reyes, have tasting sessions where you can learn about how it’s made and taste different types of tequila. We loved learning about the family’s history of making tequila and about the different ‘stages’ of tequila and how it’s aged. If you are a tequila connoisseur, this is definitely for you!”
Tour the island on a bike
If you are more adventurous and love to tour at a slower pace, then renting a bicycle might be just what you’re looking for. There are several shops on the island where you can rent bicycles and since the island is fairly easy to navigate, it’s also a safe place to ride.
There are many types of bikes to choose from, from the standard “old-fashioned” bike to the latest E-Bikes. You’re sure to find one that suits you perfectly. There are also several bicycle tour options available here.
One of the best things about seeing the island on a bicycle is that you can stop at any time to take photos of the stunning scenery, snap a few selfies, go shopping, or grab a bite to eat and a margarita while watching the beautiful sunset.
No matter how you arrive on the island – plane, ferry, or cruise ship – you will surely find something that interests you. If you get hungry, you can try some of the best Mexican food you’ll ever have. But, if you’re not quite that adventurous, grab a bite at the Hard Rock, Carl’s Jr., or any other well-known American favorites.
Depending on how long your stay is on the island, check out all of our fun things to do while you’re there and share them in the comments. We’d love to hear what you think of our favorites.