Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Cozumel Guide to Best Beaches

Cozumel beach guide
Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Cozumel is Mexico's largest island, and it has plenty of beaches, but they are not convenient for cruise visitors.

But that doesn't mean beaches are out of the question for cruisers. They are just a little harder to reach than some Caribbean islands.

We found the best way to visit Cozumel beaches is either a taxi ride south of the cruise terminals around San Miguel or an excursion that offers other activities such as snorkeling.

Unlike most beaches in the Caribbean, most of Cozumel's beaches are pockets of sand collected between sections of brittle limestone.

Although many beaches along the coast have spectacular underwater scenery and other amenities, there are a few that take the top spots as the best on the island.

Closest to Cruise Docks

Cozumel has three cruise docks at Punta Langosta in downtown San Miguel, the International Pier three miles from San Miguel and Carnival Corporation's Puerta Maya five miles from the town.

The closest beach to the International Pier and Punta Langosta is at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel Resort. It is less than a half mile walk from the terminals.

But it is not cheap. A day pass is $50 for ages 13 and older and $25 for ages 12 and younger. It is available between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Best Beach Experiences

Most of the best beaches are south of San Miguel. Other than an excursion, cruise visitors will either take a taxi or rent a car.

A cruise visitor who takes a taxi to a beach and hopes to get one for the return in time to leave on the ship is taking a risk. The safest approach is renting the driver for the entire trip or taking an excursion.

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park is usually available as a shore excursion for about $45 to $50 per person. It is about six and a half miles south of the International Pier. The park has a swimming pool, lounge chairs, beach volleyball and soccer courts, ping-pong tables, restrooms and dressing rooms and other amenities. Some of the amenities are included in the price and some cost extra.

For beaches farthest away from the terminals, another and probably better option is renting a car. Car rental prices in Cozumel range as low as $30 for a single day.

Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park

Another option for a full day at the beach is Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. It is seven miles or about 20 minutes by car south of San Miguel.

Tickets are $21 USD for adults and teens and $14 for children four to 11 years old at the time of this writing. A recent taxi rate quoted $12 per taxi one way to Chankanaab for up to four people.

Some cruise lines were offering a full-day excursion to Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park for $86 for adults and $80 for children.

Cruise line excursions are usually more expensive but also more convenient.

Punta Sur

Punta Sur lighthouse. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
A beautiful, white-sand beach located along the south coast at Faro Celerain Eco Park, Punta Sur offers a memorable experience for swimmers and snorkelers alike.

It is 19 miles or about a 40 minute drive south of San Miguel. For cruise visitors, this one is far enough away from the cruise port that it makes sense either to rent a car or rent a taxi for the entire trip.

The property features a lighthouse that is open to visitors to view the surroundings. In summer, many visitors sign up for a turtle tour, which, from reports is quite exciting.

Isla Pasion

Isla Pasion is eight miles or about 30 minutes northeast of San Miguel.

The property is essentially a small desert island featuring a private beach. Still, the area is no less than stunning and offers a unique getaway.

Visitors have reported that Isla Pasion offers a ‘delightfully isolated' experience complete with crystal clear waters and a bountiful Mexican buffet.

Since the water is shallow, novices can try their hand at various water activities including snorkelling and kayaking without any major worries.

Playa Palancar

Playa Palancar is not the typical Caribbean beach. Palancar has offerings that are difficult to get anywhere else on Cozumel. Delicacies such as grilled fish are popular at this spot.

The beach is 13 miles or about 30 minutes south of San Miguel by car.

The beach also has a club where visitors get their gear and have the chance to be taken out at sea to view the reefs and other marine life.

Playa San Martin

Playa San Martin is a calm and serene beach on the west coast 15 miles or about a 30-minute drive from San Miguel. D

During the summer months, tourists can go kiteboarding along the water with the swells.

With its purely natural and peaceful scenery, Playa Martin is all about solitude, making it a perfect fit for romantic couples.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Beaches   Cozumel   

April 02, 2020
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