Cozumel is a large island off the coast of Playa del Carmen. The town of Cozumel is actually older than Playa, and was also an ancient Mayan city.
It is known mostly for it’s superb diving and is home to one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Caribbean.
Ferries depart daily from the ferry terminal at Avenida Juarez in the southern end of town. Tickets are 300 Pesos return (US$25) and the ride takes 40 minutes.
Cozumel is a popular cruise ship destination, so the part of town the ferry arrives at is set up for large scale tourism with designer clothing and jewellery stores.
We have only visited Cozumel once, so I am not an expert on it. The day we went, we found that the taxi drivers wanted to charge an exorbitant amount for getting around the large island.
We set off on foot, and as a result, we didn’t get to see as much of the island as we hoped. We did find a quaint little beach south of the ferry port with a small waterfront restaurant, and enjoyed wandering around the quaint town.
It was pretty early on in our Mexican travels, so looking back, I’m sure we could have jumped on a local bus or collectivo and seen more than we did.
Don’t ask me why we didn’t. Naive? Stubborn? Probably both.
Many of the beaches were washed away in the hurricane of 2005, but apparently the eastern side of the island has some nice spots to swim and snorkel (unfortunately we didn’t get to them).
We did however have a nice lunch and a chat with the owner of this restaurant in the local part of town.
We weren’t overly enamoured with what we saw of Cozumel, but being on foot in the middle of summer probably didn’t help. There was certainly a quaintness to the place, and I am sure there is more to discover, but you definitely need transport to get out and see all it has to offer.