Where is Cozumel? A Guide for Cruising the Caribbean
Cozumel is one of the world’s most visited destinations. But before you get to Cozumel, there are things you need to know about this magnificent island. What makes this island so popular in the world? In anyways, where is Cozumel?
Isle Cozumel is one of the best cruise destinations. I would love to recommend anyone to visit Cozumel once in a lifetime. Beautiful beaches, snorkelling reefs and beach clubs are located near Cozumel cruise ports. Crystal clear blue lagoons, the Mayan ruins and eco-tourism parks are those which makes this island so unique in the world.
Cozumel is one of the most visited cruise destinations in the Caribbean. There are plentiful things to do in Cozumel and that makes this island so attractive.
In this article, you will find a general cruise guide on Cozumel. There is plentiful information on Cozumel out there. They help you create a better cruise vacation. But before that, you need to know about the very basic and yet important things about the destination. If you don’t, a vacation can be disappointing.
Find out what you need to know about Cozumel before you plan a trip. We hope this Cozumel cruise guide will help you make your cruise vacation more enjoyable!
Where is Cozumel?
Cozumel is located in the Caribbean Sea, along the eastern coast of Yucatán Peninsula. The island is situated on a Caribbean island 10 miles (16 km) just off the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico. Playa Del Carmen sits opposite to Cozumel on Mexico mainland. (source)
What country is Cozumel in?
Cozumel belongs to Mexico. The island is the largest one in the Mexican Caribbean. It is the third-largest in Mexico after Tiburón Island and Isla Ángel de la Guarda.
Cozumel, Mexico Map
How to Get to Cozumel?
Cozumel is one of the most popular destinations in cruising to Mexico. Most of the cruise lines include Cozumel in their Caribbean cruises. The Port of Miami is the major departure port for cruising to Cozumel. It’s a great idea to stay in the hotels near the Port of Miami and explore the city before you sail to the Caribbean.
Other than cruising, nonstop flights to Cozumel International Airport are available from the major US airports. Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte and Miami have a direct flight to Cozumel. During the high season, Cozumel airport gets busier. You can also catch a ferry from Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It only takes a 45-minute ferry ride.
How far is Cancun from Cozumel?
Another way to get to Cozumel is from Cancun, Mexico. The distance from Cozumel to Cancun is about 51 miles (82 km). The flight duration from Cancun to Cozumel is less than an hour (36 minutes).
The cheapest way to arrive at Cozumel from Cancun is by bus. It takes one hour and plus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen by ADO bus. Then You can find various ferry companies connecting Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel.
Map of Cozumel and Surrounded Areas
How to get from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel
It is very easy to find ferries from Playa del Carmen. The ferries operate every 30 minutes from early morning to late evening. The ferry ticket fare is about $15 to $18 for a round-trip ticket. It takes about 45 minutes to arrive Cozumel.
You may plan a day out tour from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen. Carnival and Royal Caribbean offer shore excursions to visit Xcaret, all-inclusive resort. It is one of the most popular cruise excursions to Playa del Carmen. You may enjoy Rio Secreto. It is a spectacular underground world. It can be an unforgettable experience in Cozumel.
Find out more details on the best things to do in Cozumel.
How Big is Cozumel?
Cozumel is Mexico’s largest ‘inhabited’ island in the Caribbean. The island is about 48 km (30 mi) long and 16 km (9.9 mi) wide. Cozumel is at 181 square miles (467.9 square kilometres). (source) You can drive around the island within an hour.
If you don’t stop anywhere, it takes less than an hour to drive a car around the island. But that is impossible. You will stop, drink and eat at restaurants and bars. You can enjoy food and drinks with spectacular scenic landscapes. Renting a scooter is also popular in Cozumel.
Best time to Visit Cozumel
Cozumel has moderately stable weather. You can enjoy and have great weather throughout the entire year. The very best time to cruise to Cozumel can be from March to June. The water temperature is fine for all the water sports activities. The rain generally stays away. It’s a less touristy and quieter season. The cruise prices are more reasonable.
Find out more details on the what to do in Cozumel.
When is Hurricane Season in Cozumel?
Although Cozumel has all the year-round great weather, one thing you need to pay attention to. The island is a hurricane season from July to October. The price of a cruise ticket decreases. You can save money on the cruise vacation. The risk you may owe is seasickness due to high waves and rainy days if a hurricane hit on a vacation.
When is the High Season in Cozumel?
The high season of Cozumel can be from December to January. The cruise prices get the most expensive due to Christmas and New Year Celebration. If possible, it should be avoided to visit Cozumel. From April to May as well as June to August are also high season.
In the holiday seasons, the schools are closed. It’s time all the family members can get together. During these times of the period, the island gets more touristy and is fully packed by visitors.
Find out more details on the best excursions in Cozumel.
When to Swim with Whale Sharks
Whale sharks are the world’s largest mammals. They are titled as a ‘shark’ but are not carnivals and eat planktons. Up to 400 whale sharks visit Yukatan peninsula in Mexico! You can swim with some of them with a certified guide from June to September in Cozumel.
I myself have swum with cedar whales in Okinawa, Japan. During the spring season, they visit Okinawa from Gering Sea to bear babies. It was an entirely unforgettable experience and was very moving. It was for me a life-changing experience to encounter such much huge animals get closer to.
Find out more details on the best beaches in Cozumel.
When to See Baby Sea Turtle Hatching
Cozumel is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. Still, natural reserves are well kept. Over 90% of the island is covered by the mangrove forests. Endangered spices inhabit. Sea turtles are not the exception.
Cozumel is a major nesting island for sea turtles. Cozumel travellers can monitor sea turtle nests as a volunteer. You can also help to release hatchlings into the sea. Hatchings are released from July to November in the south of East Coast of Cozumel.
When to see Cozumel Festivals
Do not miss the biggest festival in the Caribbean. Carnaval de Cozumel is one of the most important carnival festivities in México. After Christmas and New Year celebrations, it’s sad somehow because the holiday season has gone. The Carnival of Cozumel will just start in the mid of January. It will be carried on till February.
El Cedral Festival
In the south of Cozumel, there is a town called El Cedral. This little town has a festival which started as the Festival of Santa Cruz de Sabán more than 150 years ago. This little town has a festival called Santa Cruz Festival at the end of April and early May. The festival includes fairs, traditional feasts, rodeos, bullfights, music and competitions.
What is Cozumel Time Zone?
Cozumel belongs to the Mexican Caribbean, which includes Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Cozumel does not belong to Central Standard Time but Eastern Standard Time (EST). It is as same as Florida, the Bahamas and Jamaica. There is no clock change in Cozumel. Find out Cozumel, Mexico time (link).
Weather in Cozumel
The temperature in Cozumel, Mexico is fairly consistent throughout the year. Cozumel has tropical weather.
The dry season is from February to May. From June to October is a hurricane season in the Caribbean. It is a wet season. Heat and humidity rate increases in the afternoon. Thunderstorms can occasionally occur during this wet season. Rain is a short length but can be heavy at times.
The rest of the year is ideal for swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling. You will find a higher temperature. Humidity level gets higher too. Of course, you can still enjoy visiting Mayan ruins and other outdoor activities.
Temperatures tend to be stable all-round the year. From November to March, the temperature gets lower. It’s time for travellers feel most comfortable. Heat gets milder. The temperature makes visitors feel the best for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The coolest month averaging 22.9 °C (73.2 °F). The humidity rate in the island high. The average is 83%. (source)
Cozumel weather in December
Weather in December is stable. There is only the exception of a few cold days in December and January. Warm days are expected. The warmest sea in Cozumel in December is 28°C (82°F). The coldest sea temperature in December is 26°C (79°F). Average water temperature in December is 27°C (81°F). (source)
Is Cozumel Safe?
Cozumel is considered safe for visitors. The economy of Cozumel is based on tourism. Cozumel is a resort area in Mexico. So it is generally safe. Violent crime in Cozumel is rare.
The main downtown on the island is San Miguel de Cozumel. I walk around and carry camera equipment, meaning I am being visible. I never felt or encountered any dangerous situations. You have nothing to be worried as far as you follow common travel safety tips:
- Not going to the beaches alone at night
- Not get involved in drugs
- Keep eye on your valuables
- Don’t carry much cash
- Hail only Cozumel’s licensed and registered “sitio” taxis
Check dangerous currents at the beaches
One thing to be noted is the flags on the beach. The colours of flags show you the conditions of water currents at sea. Indications are as follow but ask if you are not certain:
- Green Flag – Water conditions are safe for swimming.
- Yellow Flag – Need caution while swimming.
- Red Flag – Dangerous conditions.
- Black Flag – The highest warning level. Do not swim.
Swim with Water Boots and Gloves
You can find gentle powdery sandy beaches but they are rare in Cozumel. The island is based on limestone. The most beautiful beaches and reefs tend to be rocky. In such limestone beaches, colourful tropical fish and sea animals inhabit. So bring water boots and gloves and protect your hands and foot.
Don’t forget mosquito repellent!
Cozumel has a deep history. More than 2, 000 years ago, the Mayans already inhabited in Cozumel and built the city. If you plan to visit the Mayan ruins, mosquito repellent is the must item.
You can buy the mosquito repellent in Cozumel for sure. But don’t you think it’s better to use the one you are familiar with? It’s directly sprayed on your skin. You can also save your precious time and do not need to pop into a shop for it on a vacation.
Can you Drink the Water in Cozumel?
Let’s say that you can drink only bottled water in Mexico. Tapped water is not drinkable for tourists. Cozumel is not an exception. Stick with bottled water and keep your digestion system healthy.
Water in Mexico tends to be very expensive. Beer is cheaper than bottled water. This is why I was drinking Corona more than bottled water. Avoid ice cubes even on flesh juice if your stomach is sensitive. I had a problem with it in Mexico. So I did not in Cozumel.
If you would like to save money for water, I tell you what I do. Get a fancy water bottle and add it to your packing. Then go up to the Lido deck before you disembark and find a buffet restaurant. You will find free water or juice jar. Fill up your water bottle with it and bring with you for your day out.
How to Save Money in Cozumel
Snorkelling is one of the most popular things to do in Cozumel. Cozumel is the best place for water sports activities. The world-class snorkelling beaches and reefs are located near Cozumel cruise ports. Such a snorkelling experience is possible off the beach without a boat.
Cruise excursion companies charge $50 to $100 for snorkelling or beach activities. The price is not for a family or a group but for each passenger. It’s fairly expensive.
Their excursion staffs or local guides via the cruise companies will take you to the beaches or reefs. They will hand you snorkelling gear and guide you the sites. You can leave them and visit there by yourself.
But then how can you get there?
Find out the detailed information on Cozumel’s best beaches and snorkelling sites in my article. Instead of paying $100 for two people, you will only spend on a taxi to the beaches for about $20 from the cruise port. Then you can spend $80. Then buy snorkelling gear not only in Cozumel to use but for in your entire Caribbean cruise.
You may be interested in reading more on the Caribbean cruises:
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