Cozumel is Mexico‘s largest island and is a popular destination for diving and snorkeling. The island also disposes of a popular port of call for cruise ships, because of the tax-free shopping. For us, diving was the reason to visit Cozumel. Besides diving, we explored the island in different ways. We stayed two nights in the Beds Friends Hostel.
In this article you will find tips and what to do on Cozumel!
Renting a scooter
Do you want to explore the island in a cool way? Make sure to rent a scooter on Cozumel! We did this at the accommodation we stayed at. It cost us 425 pesos for 24 hours.
Cozumel has one main road that goes all around the island, which is great if you want to explore it. The east side of the island makes for a great drive. You drive along the coast, almost no traffic and some nice (expensive) restaurants and bars, where you can stop for something to eat or drink. The north side of the island is blessed with some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches, so don’t forget to take a dip! I guess you can drive around the whole island within 2 hours without stopping anywhere. If you go somewhere for lunch, have a drink and want to lie on the beach, it will make for a great afternoon. Make sure you are on the west side of the island at around 18:00, to enjoy a magnificent sunset while enjoying a drink!
Diving on Cozumel
According to many, Cozumel is one of the world’s top diving destinations. This was our main reason to visit this island. We booked the dives for the next day as soon as we arrived. At first, we wanted to dive with a diving school that collaberated with the accommodation we stayed at. Due to a miscommunication we ended up with diving school Cabellito del Caribe. We made two dives and saw a turtle! During the first dive we dived in some kind of cave. It was the first time we did this and it was a very cool experience! The underwater world was very cool; lots of different species of fish and beautiful coral. Definitely worth it and I thought it was a pity we didn’t make more dives. The diving school was disappointing though. The dive master was new and not yet up to the task. She was in her own world when she dove instead of looking for cool things to show off.
Ddiving at Cozumel was very cheap. Two dives cost us 1,700 pesos per person and this includes equipment, lunch, drinks and the entrance to the national park.
Shopping in the center of Cozumel
Cozumel’s center offers numerous (souvenir) shops, restaurants and bars, where you can have a great afternoon. Avenue Rafael E. Melgar is a popular street, with many tax-free shops selling jewelry, make-up and perfumes. Cozumel is the best island to stock up on silver jewelry. The many tax-free shops have made Cozumel the number one cruise ship destination in the Mexican Caribbean. Unfortunately, that also means it can get crowded and touristy. Often there are not just one, but several cruise ships in the port.
Are you fed up with the hustle and bustle of the streets and shopping? Look for a nice spot around the central square, Plaza del Sol. It’s a great place for people spotting while enjoying a drink. This square also has the Cozumel letters, for that super cliché photo!
Visit the San Martin beach
The northern part of the island has some beautiful and pristine beaches. One of these beaches is Playa de San Martin. When we drove our scooter along this beach and we just had to stop for a while. The water was very beautiful, and the beach was very quiet with only a few people on the beach. There were a number of umbrellas to provide shade. There is no restaurant or bar on Playa de San Martin, so if you want to spend an afternoon here, make sure to bring something to eat and drink with you. In the vicinity of the beach there are several places where you can get something to eat and drink. Please note that the sea on the east side of the island is a bit wilder, so be careful!
Sleeping on Cozumel
Looking for a nice place to spend the night? I can recommend your Beds Friends Hostel. This hostel is very cozy. It also has cheap food and drinks, hammocks, bikes or scooters for rent. It is a hostel, but they also offer a private room. I travelled together with my boyfriend and we picked the private room. We paid 740 pesos per night. Are you travelling alone? Go for a bed in the (mixed) dormitory. The price for one night is about 275 pesos.