Part of the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, Cozumel is an island that lies in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cancun. It offers especially stunning scenery that includes beautiful white beaches edged by warm azure waters and a host of things to do. While you could easily spend your time in a hammock taking it all in, be sure to take part in at least a few of these activities.
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Explore the Spectacular Underwater World (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Cozumel is most famous for its snorkeling and diving opportunities, with the world’s second-largest reef system found just southwest of the island in its brilliant, clear blue waters. Certified divers can Arrecifes de Cozumel National Marine Park with an experienced dive master, while beginners who want to try the sport can head out with a PADI-certified dive instructor). If snorkeling is more your speed, you can still view plenty of underwater life here, including breathtaking caves and ledges along with an impressive array of marine life, including tropical fish, barracuda and a variety of sharks.
Relax on the Beach (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Cozumel is home to practically an endless number of beautiful beaches, providing a wonderful way to relax while soaking up the sunshine and the views. If you’re looking for something more remote, head to Playa Bonita on the east side of the island, with its pristine white sands framed by clear turquoise water. Ideal for couples, many refer to it as the most romantic beach here, due to the striking beauty and lack of crowds. The Mayans believed it marked the end of civilization, due to its setting at the island’s most easterly point with no other land in sight.
Visit Important Archaeological Ruins (Hotel Prices & Photos)
While Tulum and Cancun are some of the best destinations for viewing ancient ruins, Cozumel offers a ruin of its own, the most important archaeological site on the island. San Gervasio has an unusually long history, which began around 100 BC and continued as late as the 16th century when the Spanish arrived. Due to its deep connection to Ix Chel, the goddess of fertility, Mayan women long-been making the journey here. Although restoration here has been minimal, there are multiple structures that combined with the alluring natural setting makes it well-worth visiting. One of the most interesting is the Temple of the Hands, where you’ll see small, mysterious red handprints painted on the wall.
Swim With Whale Sharks (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Swimming alongside the world’s largest fish is one of the ultimate travel one of the ultimate travel bucket-list experiences. And one of the best places to do so can be found in the waters off Cozumel, with the peak season from June through August. These gentle giants, as they’re often referred to, can measure as long as about 40 feet, and weight as much as 10,000 pounds. Despite their size, they’re incredibly docile, calmly roaming searching for the tiny plankton and krill they feed on. Expert guides are available via multiple outfitters to take you out for an unforgettable close encounter.
Taste and Learn All About Artisan Chocolate Making (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If you like chocolate, don’t miss a visit to the Mayan Cacao Company. It offers an interactive museum type of experience, revealing the important role that cocoa had in the lives of ancient Mayans. You’ll be able to watch cooking demos to find out how they prepared tasty treats, check out the exhibit on artisan chocolate making, and the best part: tasting in a traditional Mayan hut. Afterwards, you can pick up some of your own chocolate bars and other items in the gift shop.
Deep Sea Fishing (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Deep sea fishing is another one of the most popular activities for visitors to Cozumel and the entire region. Mahi Mahi, barracuda and triggerfish are just some of the local catch possible here. Tuna can be caught throughout the year, while white and blue marlin are catchable between March and July. While there are many options to choose from, Cozumel Cruise Excursions is one of the most highly rated, and also includes complimentary snorkeling with its deep sea fishing packages.
Dine on Authentic Mayan Cuisine (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The food in Cozumel is cheap and delicious, with many referring to it as a foodie’s delight. Surrounded by the sea, chefs here have access to some of the freshest bounty, while drawing on the rich culinary heritage of the Yucatan, a melange of Mayan, Spanish and French influences. It’s an ideal place to sample authentic Mayan fare, with places like the nearly century-old Casa Denis, the oldest restaurant on the island, serving up Yucatan specialties, with dishes often utilizing sour oranges for a distinct flavor. Meats are marinated in the juice, and you’ll find plenty of carne-asada tacos, empanadas and enchiladas with mole sauce.
Shop For Handcrafted Items and Clothing Downtown (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If you like to shop, head downtown where you’ll find a wide range of art galleries, craft markets and gift shops that offers the chance to pick up unique souvenirs. Silver jewelry, carved wood items, and hammered metalwork are just of few of the goods on offer. is filled with craft markets and art galleries. Unique souvenirs from the region include carved wood, colorful pottery, embroidered table linens, hammered metalwork and silver jewelry. There are working glass-art studios, paper lanterns and all sorts of clothing items as well.
Catch a Sunset (Hotel Prices & Photos)
One of the best places on the planet to watch the sun go down, you might want to make plans to take in this colorful finale every day that you’re here. Pretty much anywhere on the west side of the island makes for a good spot, but one of the local favorites is only a few minutes from town, though it feels as if it’s world’s away. You’re likely to see lots of locals waiting for the sunset along the rocky wall, while the more adventurous dive off the cliffs. Drive about five minutes north of town, passing the airport, and then head down the dirt path where you’ll reach the long, rock wall.