Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Best Cozumel Beaches Near Cruise Port

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. Cozumel emphasizes “beach parks” more than just about any other destination in the Caribbean.

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

Unfortunately for budget travelers, the best beaches near the cruise port are privately owned and require a fee to use them.

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 Beach Map

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.

By comparison, one tour operator was selling a day pass to the Iberostar resort, which is about 25 miles south of San Miguel. It cost $78 per person not including transportation but it included lunch and open bar. The estimated taxi cost was $10 to $20 each way depending on the number of passengers.

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.

Chankanaab is one of the best known and most popular beaches on Cozumel, in part because of the amenities and recreational activities it offers.

Tickets on the Chankanaab website are $26 USD for adults and teens, $19 for children four to 11 years old and free for children three and under 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 including tickets, lunch and transportation.

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

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park is usually available as a shore excursion for about $45 to $50 per person including tickets and transportation. It is about six and a half miles south of the International Pier and nine miles south of the San Miguel cruise terminal.

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 farther 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.

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. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
July 26, 2023

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