Cozumel Sights

Unless you want to stick around your hotel or downtown San Miguel for your whole stay, you’ll do well to rent a car. Most worthwhile sites, such as the island’s Mayan ruins and pristine windward beaches, are readily accessible only with wheels. Taxi fares can be astronomical, and after just a few trips a rental car is clearly a better deal.

San Miguel is Cozumel's only town. Wait until

the cruise ships sail toward the horizon before strolling the malecón, or boardwalk. The waterfront has been taken over by large shops selling jewelry, imported rugs, leather boots, and souvenirs to cruise-ship passengers, but the northern end of the malecón, past Calle 10 Norte, is a pleasant area lined with sculptures of Mayan gods and goddesses that draws more locals than tourists. The town feels increasingly traditional as you head inland to the pedestrian streets around the plaza, where family-owned restaurants and shops cater to residents and savvy travelers.

San Miguel's heart is the plaza, where families gather Sunday nights to stroll, snack, and dance to live music around the central kiosko, or bandstand. There are plenty of benches for watching the action. Facing the square is an artisan's market, a good stop for souvenirs. Renovated in late 2014, the plaza has lost some of its rustic charm but remains a place to see and be seen.

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Leeward 12

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 3

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 3

Beach–Sight 19

Island 1

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 1

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Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 1

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 3

Park/ Playground 1

Pool 1

Promenade/ Boardwalk 1

Reef 6

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 4

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Cozumel Sights

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Discover Mexico

  • Museum/Gallery

Want to see all of Mexico while staying on the island? This theme park purports to show you the country's archaeological sites, important...

Money Bar Beach Club

  • Beach–Sight

Situated on Dzul-Ha reef, the island's most upscale beach club has a small sandy beach, sunset views, and great food. Entry is free;...

Mr. Sancho's Beach Club

  • Beach–Sight

There's always something going on at Mr. Sancho's. Scores of vacationers come here to swim, snorkel, drink, and ride around on Jet Skis.

Museo de la Isla de Cozumel

  • Museum/Gallery

Filling two floors of a former hotel, Cozumel's museum has displays on natural history—the island's origins, endangered species, topography...

Paradise Beach

  • Amusement Park/Water Park

Home to one of the largest heated pools on the island, this club charges MX$36 for lounge chairs; a Fun Pass (MX$225) gives you all-day...

Parque Chankanaab

  • Reef

The National Park of Chankanaab, translated as "small sea," consists of a saltwater lagoon, an archaeological park, and a botanical garden,...

Playa las Casitas

  • Reef

Hugely popular with locals, Playa las Casitas has several large palapa-style restaurant-bars, small palapas for shade, calm waters, and...

Punta Chiqueros

  • Beach–Sight

Sheltered by an offshore reef, this half-moon cove is the first popular swimming area as you drive north on the coastal road. Part of...

Punta Sur National Park

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

This 247-acre national preserve is a protected habitat for numerous birds and animals, including crocodiles, flamingos, egrets, and herons.

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