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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Cozumel Sights

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Playa Santa Pilar

  • Beach–Sight

Running along the northern hotel strip where the Melia and El Cozumeleño hotels are located, you'll find long stretches of sand and...

Playa UVAS

  • Beach–Sight

Sitting on narrow sandy beach, UVAS caters to small cruise-ship groups and independent tourists. On-site amenities include a dive shop,...

Playa de San Martín

  • Beach–Sight

Not quite 3 km (2 miles) north of Punta Chiqueros, a long stretch of beach begins along the Chen Río Reef. Turtles come to lay their...

Playa las Casitas

  • Beach–Sight

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 Molas Faro

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

The lighthouse at Cozumel's northernmost point is a solitary, beautiful sight. The rutted road to Punta Molas is open for four-wheel...

Punta Morena

  • Beach–Sight

Surfers, kiteboarders, and boogie boarders have made Punta Morena one of their official hangouts—and for good reason: it has great...

Punta Oriente

  • Beach–Sight

This typical eastside beach is great for beachcombing but unsuitable for swimming due to the currents. It's nicknamed Playa Mezcalitos...

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.

San Gervasio

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Rising from the jungle, these temples make up Cozumel's largest remaining Mayan and Toltec site. San Gervasio was the island's capital...


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