Cozumel Vs. Tulum Vs. Cancun

Old May 4th, 2022, 05:37 PM
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Cozumel Vs. Tulum Vs. Cancun

Hello Everyone

I'm in a bit of a conundrum (albeit a great one) as I'm unable to decide on one or two of the destinations listed above for a long awaited family trip from June 17 to 23 (6 nights). Initially the plan was to to go Tulum only for the entire time but then thinking it may limit experience of the other part of the island and seeing that it's far from the aiport we thought we will split the time between Tulum and Cancun (17 - 19 Tulum; 20 - 23 Cancun) since our flight back is from Cancun.

However, as I started reading forums and researching, I read about the Sargassum seaweed issue in Cancun/Tulum beaches and the strong waves making the sea choppy to swim plus the average snorkeling options. This got me looking into Cozumel which looked like a good option with possibly calm waters, less seaweed on the west side and a more laid-back feel.

So now my conundrum is if we should do 3 days in Cozumel (17 -19) and 3 in Cancun (20 - 23 though June 20th will involve taking the ferry to Playa del Carmen and then driving to hotel in CUN). Is this a good idea to change locations and get a feel for both areas or would it be too rushed and prevent us from doing activities? We would definitely want at least a day of doing nothing at the beach too.

To give an idea, we are interested in snorkeling, cenotes/jungle excursions, food, a bit of nightlife (not big clubs), beautiful beaches, nice hotels/villas. The Mayan ruins sound amazing but I realize that may make it more hectic.

So my questions are:
- Is it wise to split the days between Cozumel and Cancun or Tulum? Esp if the beaches are better and more swimmable/pristine + less seaweed

- If we don't add in Conzumel, is it a good plan to split time between Cancun and Tulum or stay in one place? And given our interest which one would be more suited out of the two?

Your help would ne greatly appreciated!! TIA!
aashmoi is offline  
Old May 5th, 2022, 08:01 PM
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"may limit experience of the other part of the island"
Unsure of which/what island you're referring to, since neither Tulum or Cancún is an island.
But speaking of islands, with such a short 6 day trip, I'd suggest investigating Isla Mujeres instead of Cozumel. Much closer to Cancun than Cozumel, no sargassum, some laid back nightlife, good snorkeling on day trips to Isla Contoy. Playa Norte is consistently rated among the best, if not the best, beach in Mexico, although encroachment from development has affected it to a degree. 10-15 minute ferry from the mainland, with no loss of a day due to travel. Fwiw.
baldone is offline  
Old May 6th, 2022, 12:29 PM
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The best snorkeling is in Akumal, Puerto Morelos and Cozumel.

Being south of Cancun will put you in a closer reach to things like ruins and cenotes (Cancun is really only close to Chichen Itza, a 2 hour drive via the toll road or 2.5 via the free, libre road). Also there are several ferries from Cancun to Isla Mujeres (beautiful beaches but not so good snorkeling).

I would skip Tulum for several reasons, mainly the ongoing dispute between five rival cartels and their prices are ridiculous for what you get.

Personally I would stay in Akumal for the snorkeling and proximity to cenotes and other excursions like the Akumal Monkey Reserve or maybe drive to Coba ruins and see the Punta Laguna Monkey Reserve afterward.
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Old May 6th, 2022, 03:37 PM
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Have you thought about perhaps flying Cancun to Merida and visiting Uxmal and other ruins nearby on the Ruta Puuc?
mlgb is offline  
Old May 7th, 2022, 01:01 PM
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Thank you for all the suggestions. We are now extending the trip by a day and flying in on June 16th morning on a red eye so will be landing early morning and have a full day. After reading everything and researching more, talking to the others in my group and looking at a very helpful seaweed map, we have decided on doing June 16 - June 20 (4 nights ) in Cozumel and June 20 - June 23 (3 nights) in Cancun which I think is more than enough since the beaches seem pretty unusable all around Cancun/Tulum. We will use the days in Cancun to do the Cenotes and maybe Isla Mujeres the next day (if we don't end up just laying by the pool on the last day.)

As a next step, does anyone have recommendations for good driver for hire in Cozumel and Cancun that may show us around. I know taxis are abundant but it's always easier to go with someone tried and tested. This would especially be helpful for the Cenotes in CUN since we are not really big tour group people. It would also be good in COZ to go to the wilder east side and maybe some secluded beaches.

Lastly, please share your favorite beaches in both locations (for sunsets too) and any snorkel spots you love. We will be doing at least one diving/snorkeling tour for the spots that need a boat, but any offshore ones would be great to know of.

Thank you all for your time!
aashmoi is offline  
Old May 20th, 2022, 05:40 PM
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Snorkel spot in Cozumel

We snorkeled just past the Casa Militar on the west side. Just past the wall is a path to the water. You can safely get into the water if you get in where the wall ends. The other parts are very rocky-- which is why it's good snorkeling.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 02:03 PM
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We stayed at Hotel Villablanca (Called Hotel Villablanca Garden Beach on Google Maps) on the west side of Cozumel and saw quite a few folks doing shore snorkeling. Getting taxi from where the ferry arrives from Cancun was easy.

More options
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Old Jun 13th, 2022, 04:07 PM
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Cozumel for sure

We were recently in cozumel and did a day trip to Tulum and felt cozumel was so much better
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