Cozumel Island In A Day: Itinerary
If you are planning a trip to Playa del Carmen or anywhere else in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, you may have heard of the paradisiac island of Cozumel. Located off the coast of Playa del Carmen, the Island of Cozumel is another popular beach destination. Some travellers choose to stay at this island to avoid the crowds at Playa del Carmen, while others prefer to visit the island during the day.
Is it worth it to visit Cozumel?
Absolutely YES! If you like white-sandy beaches, blue waters, snorkling, sun-bathing, etc.. Then you must go to Cozumel. When we visited this island, we were blown away by how incredible the beaches here are. We felt that they were significantly better than the ones in Playa! This is because there is a lot less people in the island so the beaches are much less crowded and cleaner. And the location of the island also allows the beaches to usually have less seaweed and less waves. It’s literally paradise on earth.
How to get to Cozumel
Getting to Cozumel Island from Playa del Carmen is relatively easy. There are ferries leaving the port almost every hour, and you can buy the ticket on the spot. However, we recommend trying to go as early as possible as the ferrys can get really crowded in the late morning.
There are two ferry companies operating: Ultramar and Windjet. They both have similar prices, so you’ll likely just get whichever is leaving first.
The ferry leaves from the port terminal at Playa del Carmen, and you can buy your tickets there. A return ticket will cost you $20 USD.
On the way back, you get the ferry from Cozumel main port showing your return ticket. They will have ferrys almost every hour and you can get whichever you want, as the ticket is open return. When returning, make sure to get to the port early to queue because it gets really busy and you don’t want to be left on land.
What to do in a day in Cozumel
The best thing to do to get to know the island of Cozumel in just one day is to drive around the whole island – This is totally feasible in just one day. To do this, you’ll need to get your own vehicle (Continue reading to learn how to do this).
You can of course stop anywhere you want throughout the island, but we’ve put together an itinerary with the places we considered the best stops:
Stop 1: Brunch & Snorkelling at Money Bar Beach Club
After getting your scooter, follow the main road until reaching this restaurant. This is one of the best spots in the island for snorkelling. It has a dedicated snorkelling area that you can use for free if you consume something in the restaurant. It’s a great place to get a yummy traditional breakfast before dipping in the water to explore the fishes. The perfect stop for snorkling-lovers.
Stop 2: Playa Palancar
By far the most beautiful beach we visited in the whole of Mexico. Don’t be put off by the bumpy road to reach the beach, it is only 5 minutes of driving through a dirt road and when you get there you’ll see that it’s well worth it!
When you arrive at the beach, you’ll need to pass by a bar where you can grab something to drink or eat. If you do so, you then use their sun beds, but if you don’t want to consume anything you can just pass the bar and settle on the left side of the beach to enjoy this paradisiac beach for free.
Stop 3: El Mirador
As you continue your drive around the Island through the main road, you’ll pass by a beautiful area of beaches, rocks and view points. You can mark it on Google Maps as “El Mirador” but you can stop anywhere along that coast to get magnificent views. There is also beach bears around the area if you want to stop for a drink.
Stop 4: Cozumel Centro
Circle your way back into the centre of the island and end your day walking around the main square, discovering colourful buildings and having a bite in the local bars and restaurants before catching the ferry back to Playa.
Renting a scooter in Cozumel
Unless you want to stick to one single spot on the island, we recommend renting a scooter for the day. It is the easiest, most economical and fun way to explore the whole Island.
The roads are not busy and they are very easy and relaxed to drive. You don’t have to be a pro biker to get around on a scooter in Cozumel.
When you get off the ferry at the island, you’ll be greeted with dozens of people try to get you to rent scooters, buggys, and all sorts of transport. I have been told that these are completely safe to rent from, although we preferred to find a renting shop instead. This is so that if we had any problems we knew were to go, instead of relying on a single person or a phone number to contact. We did in fact run into an issue with the scooter we rented and the store owners solved it for us very smoothly.
We rented our scooter for $50 USD ($20 for the scooter and $30 for the insurance)