|Things to do . . . Places to go . . . on Cozumel
There's plenty to do on your vacation to Cozumel. Here's a listing of some of the activities, places of interest and suggestions to keep you busy. Check the links for further information:
Beach Areas: There are a number of beaches on the island. Most of the best beaches are south of San Miguel. Try to visit as many as you can! Some beach areas offer jet skis, parasailing, snorkeling excursions; one area even has animals (monkeys, alligators, etc.). There are also beaches on the east coast of Cozumel. Check 'em out on our beach page.
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling Cozumel is famous for its terrific scuba diving and snorkeling. Incredible reefs and abundant fish life make this the Caribbean's top diving area. More on Cozumel diving.
Horseback riding. We had a great time when we got horses just across from the Paradise Cafe on Cozumel's east coast and rode to the lighthouse. You can ride along the dirt road or along the beach. This was a fun outing and the horses were quite responsive. The ride is about 2.5 hours total both ways. Playa Mia has horses, too. You can also ride in the jungle, with a guide, at an area near the Presidente Hotel. And north of town, just before the road ends, there are horses and you ride along the beach and inland. Don't expect a huge stable of steeds . . . you'll find these are pretty small, simple operations with just a few horses, but still a good time!
Cozumel Golf The Cozumel Country Club is located at the northern end of the island near Playa Azul Beach area. This is a course designed by the Nicklaus Design Group. The course is open to the public and features a Pro Shop, Equipment rentals and Lessons available.
Sunday Fiesta in the Plaza: It's a Sunday tradition in Cozumel for locals to gather in the central plaza for live music, food and fun. Locals, dressed in their best, converge on the plaza for an evening of dancing and socializing. Gringos are welcome and we highly recommend this for anyone-adults and kids!
Jean Laffite Day Cruise: Full day trips are now run by the Caballito del Caribe Dive Shop. You'll be picked up at the main pier and enjoy a day of snorkeling, a stop on land for lunch and siesta and of course plenty of beer!
Cozumel Sailing offers sailing adventures. Boats can be rented hourly or daily for your private sailing adventure. Up to six people per boat can experience this Caribbean activity.The shop is located on 10th Avenue, just south of the plaza (it's across the street from Caballito del Caribe dive shop).
Island Museum is a recommended stop early in your stay. It's not a large museum so it won't take you a long time to go through it. You'll find a large map of the island, with beaches, dive sites and other points of interest clearly marked. Historical photos, a model Mayan home, some early dive equipment plus other artifacts are on display. The second floor restaurant is a neat place to grab a bite to eat and take in the great ocean vista. There is an entrance fee to get into the museum.
Movies Cozumel has a 5-screen cinema called Cinepolis. Located directly behind Chedraui on the second floor of the new mall. Cost ranges from 20 to 40 pesos ($2-$4 US) depending on the time and day that you go. Current releases are shown in English with Spanish subtitles. Wednesday is 1/2 price day!
Fishing Cozumel has long been a fishing paradise. Deep sea and bonefishing are major attractions. You can charter a boat for a full day, or half day of reel good fishing fun. There are a number of Charter companies with boats in various sizes and price ranges-from $100 for a few hours on a small boat, to $1400 for a full day on a large boat. Your boat comes with captain/guide, lunch and beverages, and all fishing needs. One that we can recommend is Hernan at The Billfisher, located on 15th Avenue Sur, between 5th & 7th.
Sports Cozumel offers nearly every sport, tennis, bowling, squash in addition to the water sports of course. You can often watch a local game of baseball or soccer at one of the fields around town.
Cozumel Parks Chankanaab. This is a botanical garden, with snorkeling and nice beach area. There is a fee to enter the grounds. You can spend a pleasant morning or afternoon exploring the grounds, snorkeling, sunning, etc. You can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant. They are now offering visitors an opportunity to swim with the dolphins (additional fee). Punta Sur Eco Park. This is at the southern tip of the island. You can climb the old lighthouse and have a terrific view. There is a display of the local flora and fauna. It's a great place to learn more about the island. San Gervasio Mayan Ruin is located inland toward the northern end of the island. Compared to Tulum or Chichen Itza, it's a small ruin, but well worth spending a morning exploring here.
On the Mainland: Visit Chichen Itza, or Tulum, the only Mayan city that was located oceanside. Perched high above the sea, Tulum offers spectacular views of the Caribbean. There is an swimming beach below, so bring your suit & beach towels. There is an entrance fee to get in, and you'll need to pay a fee if you want to use a video camera or hire a guide. To get to Tulum you can take the ferry and then either rent a car in Playa del Carmen (there are several agencies so you can shop around). The drive there is pretty simple, just head south and follow the signs. Other option is to hire a taxi to drive you there. Taxi does not need to wait for you at Tulum; you'll be able to catch one there. Third alternative would be to take the local bus (purchase tickets at the bus terminal in Playa).
On the Mainland: Xel-ha is a lagoon eco park where snorkeling is the thing to do. There is an entrance fee. Snorkeling, refreshments, food are available here.
Xcaret is where you can play out your own Indiana Jones adventure at this ecological water park. Entrance fee is rather high, but you'll have a good day. You'll need to leave any coolers, sunscreen at the front gate (pick these up later as you leave the park). Special ecologically safe sun screen/bug spray is sold in the park. You can float down underground rivers that wind through tunnels and caverns with the water flowing into the sea. It's fun and certainly different! Young and old alike are comfortable floating along with the gentle current. You also have the opportunity to swim with the dolphins (at an additional charge); trick is to arrive early, head directly to the dolphin area and sign up early. Other features of the park include horseback riding (additional charge for this, too); various shows and entertainment (live music, horse shows, dances, etc.). There are some great snorkeling/beach areas, hammocks, restaurants (food is rather expensive, surprise, surprise). You can follow the life of sea turtles, as you see them in their various stages. The mature sea turtles are raised and then released into the sea upon maturity. There is also an aquarium and a hands-on area where you can touch various creatures. There is a butterfly aviary and a replica of a Mayan village. You can see scale models of various historical cities from past civilizations in Mexico and Central America. The park is also open in the evening during high season.
Also on the mainland: Tres Rios, Dos Ojos, Aktun Chen, Mayan ruins at Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza