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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Amusement Park/ Water Park 3

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 3

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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

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Reef 6

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 4

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Cozumel Sights

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Carlos 'n' Charlie's Beach Club

  • Beach–Sight

Easily accessible by cab from downtown or the cruise piers, this spot at Playa San Francisco is a rowdy affair with a restaurant and...

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...

El Cedral

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Spanish explorers discovered this site—once the hub of Mayan life on Cozumel—in 1518, and in 1847 it became the island's first official...

Isla de Pasión

  • Beach–Sight

Off Punta Norte on the northwest coast, private Isla de Pasión has one of Cozumel's loveliest beaches. Most guests arrive on organized...

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

  • Amusement Park/Water Park

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...

North of Playa San Martín

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

About 1 km (½ mile) to the north of Playa San Martín the island road turns hilly and offers panoramic ocean views. Coconuts, a hilltop...

Paradise Beach

  • Pool

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,...

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