This island of Cozumel lies off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and is known for its Mayan heritage and world-class diving. Cozumel is the original "hot-spot" of the Mexican-Caribbean, yet today you'll still find vas stretches of undeveloped jungle and unspoiled shoreline.
Here, crystal-clear, turquoise waters and the spectacular coral reefs below invite you to dive, snorkel - or even board a submarine! Stretch out on a powder-soft beach lulled by the peaceful lapping of warm, tropical water. Adventure-seekers can journey out to the more remote eastern beaches by Jeep.
For a change of pace, browse the shops of downtown San Miguel for handcrafted goods such as paper mache animals, ceramics, leather goods and silver jewelry. And if you're in Cozumel on a Sunday, be sure to stop by the Zocalo to mingle with the warm-hearted local people and enjoy live music and dancing!
After sunset, the evening may find you out dancing to reggae or salsa music at a lively dance club or mariachi bar, or perhaps you'll catch a folkloric show. You'll also have a range of international cuisines to choose from at the plentiful local restaurants. Be prepared to call it a night a little earlier than is typical for the rest of Mexico.
Sights that delight
Chankanaab National Park - Inhale the fragrances of its lush botanical garden at this ecological refuge, where more than 350 species of plants and trees are cultivated and Mexico's ancient cultures are honored with replicas of carved stone monuments. You might choose to swim with the dolphins here - or, for the truly adventuresome, rent scuba equipment and probe underground caves for sunken artifacts.
Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio - Important in Mayan history as the place where the Maya people first confronted the arriving Spanish in the 16th century, Cozumel is rich with ancient ruins. Among the most rewarding of these is San Gervasio, a beautiful site dedicated to the Maya goddess Ixchel, deity of fertility, medicine and weaving. A highlight is the Temple of Hands, decorated with small red handprints.
World-Class Diving - For the beginner or extremists, this is some of the best diving! Boats depart several times a day to incredible reefs located only minutes away. A friendly, experienced crew is on hand to teach, guide and help you have fun.
Glass Bottom Boat - This 3 1/2 hour boat ride will take you to the most beautiful reef areas to observe marine life through a panoramic glass bottom. Snorkeling, tour guide, soft drinks and snorkel equipment are included. Morning and afternoon departures are available.
Jeep Safari - Discover the ancient mysteries of Mexico. With a guide to lead the way, you'll enjoy driving on a rugged, off-road adventure via jeep. Also, soak up the sun at Xpalbarco Beach during this exciting excursion. Mexican-style lunch and beverages are provided.
Iberostar Cozumel - This luxurious all-inclusive resort is located on the southwestern coast of Cozumel near the Palancar Reef, where it maintains perfect harmony with the ecology and environment. The bungalow-style, two-story accommodations are surrounded by lush and exuberant tropical gardens. Spend your days splashing around in the azure ocean waters or in the lake pool engulfed by palm trees and native palapas.
Occidental Grand Cozumel - The Occidental Grand Cozumel all-inclusive resort is ideally situated on San Francisco Beach and is the perfect vacation spot for people who enjoy water sports. The hotel is located a short boat ride from the world-famous Palancar Reef.
Allegro Cozumel - This well-established, all-inclusive resort is located right on the magnificent azure waters of San Francisco Beach. Allegro Cozumel offers an abundance of activities and is just a five-minute boat ride from the famous Palancar Reef.
Melia Cozumel - Located on a lovely natural beach in Cozumel, this all-inclusive resort combines elegance with the magnificence of Mayan architecture. The Melia Cozumel overlooks the Mexican Caribbean Ocean and the brand new Nicklaus-designed golf course.
Park Royal Cozumel - Newly renovated, the Park Royal Cozumel is a spectacular all-inclusive resort providing the very best in service and amenities, all in an elegant and relaxing setting. The resort is located in front of Paradise Reef and Paradise Wall, well-known snorkeling and diving spots renowned for warm, transparent waters. In addition to the serene tropical setting, downtown San Miguel and local entertainment and shopping are conveniently located only 7 minutes away.
El Cozumeleno Beach Resort - A relaxing popular all-inclusive resort located directly on one of the best white-sand beaches in Cozumel and situated just minutes away from downtown San Miguel.
Reef Club Cozumel - This all-inclusive hotel offers a relaxed and fun ambiance enjoyable for family and friends. Offering a wide variety of activities for all ages, night entertainment, and supervised kids' club - all included!
Presidente Intercontinental Cozumel - Set on a mile-long beach, this resort offers colorfully appointed Mexican-style accommodations, private patios with ocean or garden views, and attentive service. Enjoy spacious rooms with polished marble floors and bright Mexican fabrics; private patios with ocean or garden views and discounts at Cozumel Country Club.
Fiesta Americana Cozumel Dive Resort - A location just onshore from the second largest barrier reef in the world and steps from the Chankanaab Lagoon makes this resort ideal for divers and snorkelers. A top-quality dive operator and dive shop are located on site just 300 yards away, extending the opportunities for guests to observe the abundant marine life. All-inclusive option available.