Tourism in COZUMEL
With a Mexican heart and a Caribbean soul, Cozumel is a paradise where tradition, flavor and joy come together. You will always find a friendly face and a warm welcome to make your stay an unforgettable one. Cozumel’s mostly undeveloped territory at the center of the island is covered by jungle and swampy lagoons, which are home to tiny mammals and endemic birds that have never left the island.
Noteworthy is the Chankanaab National Park, a Cozumel icon, and the Punta Sur Ecological Reserve. This huge protected area at the southern tip of the island includes Punta Celarain and its historical lighthouse, as well as the Colombia Lagoon, a shelter for many of the island’s endemic species, as well as other endangered forms of life, such as marine turtles and their nesting areas.
With its beautiful beaches and exotic locale, Cozumel is an ideal destination where honeymooners can enjoy colorful and breathtaking sunsets, moonlit walks on secluded beaches, swim through crystal clear blue waters and romantic candlelight dinners. Explore the beautiful waterfront and charming downtown area of San Miguel in a calm and quite atmosphere, and feel the warmth and hospitality of its people. Cozumel has an international airport with direct flights from major cities from the USA such as Atlanta Dallas, Denver, Charlotte and Houston among others.
As well as, domestic flights from Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City; there is also an air shuttle from Cancun. With fast boats, regular schedules and convenient service you can be in Cozumel in 40 minutes departing from Playa del Carmen starting as early as 7:00 to as late as 23.00 hrs. It is the first island in the world to receive the distinction “Island of Peace” by the NGO-UN International Committee. Beside, Cozumel is a member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and the Sustainable Cities Network of UNESCO, as well as being the First Intelligent Island of Mexico.
Famous all over the world for its coral reefs, there are plenty of water sports such as diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and more. Cozumel offers a wide range of accommodations to fit every taste, restaurants for all palates and top-rated bars. If shopping is what you prefer, Cozumel has it all, small shops for souvenirs, colorful crafts and the most elite and luxurious jewelry stores.
Map of COZUMEL
Discover the History of COZUMEL
This island has a rich history and the people from Cozumel are faithful guardians of their cultural traditions. During the 3rd century D.C. Maya groups came from Petén, region of northern Guatemala. And in some places of the island there are vestiges of this culture, especially in the area known as Santa Rita and part of San Gervasio. In the 7th century AD, during the Late Classic period, the Mayan-putunes migrated from southern Campeche and Tabasco to Cozumel, changing the social organization, the architecture and the religion. – Archaeological Sites in Quintana Roo
There were numerous temples throughout the island, more than 30 archaeological sites have been documented, but there were six main settlements: Muluk Mul (Eleven Hills), it was a commercial port located near the cove; Xamanha (Northland), known today as Cozumel City, was the main port, a commercial center and the place where the pilgrims arrived to the island; Tantun Cuzamil (flat stone of the place of the swallows) religious and administrative center known today as San Gervasio; Oycib (nest or the place of honey) agricultural center, known today as The Cedral; El Caracol and Castillo Real.
The first Spanish expedition to visit Cozumel was led by Juan de Grijalva in 1518, and he was amazed at the signs of civilization shown everywhere, especially in the architecture. The Spanish captain named the island “Isla de la Santa Cruz” (Holy Cross Island) and the first Catholic mass in Meso-America was celebrated, on May 6, 1518, at a location currently named Las Casitas (little houses). During colonial times, the island was practically uninhabited and by the early 17th century pirates had discovered Cozumel and used it as a safe harbor.
The island was resettled in 1848, when refugees escaping the tumult of the Caste War of Yucatán arrived to Cozumel. The new settlers became fishermen and farmers growing fruits, henequen and gum. In the mid-20th century, the crystal clear waters and the amazing reefs of Cozumel brought the attention of diving enthusiasts. In the late 1960s the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau visit the island and turned Cozumel into an internationally recognized dive destination, now ranked as one of the top five scuba diving areas in the world.
In the 1970s the principal cruise lines include Cozumel into their itineraries, and became the most important cruiseline destinations in Mexico. Cozumel has been able to preserve an austere simplicity, enveloped in a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere of a lovely fishing village.
Cozumel became an important stop on the coastal trade route that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Central American Caribbean coastal towns. With this changes came the cult of Ixchel, goddess of the moon, the love, the birth and the fertility. Maya women seeking to ensure a fruitful marriage would travel to the sanctuary of Ixchel on Cozumel, so it became the most important place of pilgrimage throughout the Mayan world, after Chichén Itzá.
The Spanish explorers encountered complex cities rivaling or surpassing those in Europe, an extensive knowledge in the medical field, remarkable artistic and scientific achievements, and the Mayan calendar more accurate than the Gregorian calendar.
What to do in COZUMEL
This is the largest town in the island; it was named in honor of Archangel Michael, considered the protector of Cozumel. When you walk through the town, the streets come alive with colored buildings and you feel immediately in a Caribbean village. The downtown area along the ocean front street is loaded with boutiques, restaurants, bars, shops with souvenirs and crafts and just about everything you could imagine. At night the island, offers many options to have fun and spend unforgettable moments.
It is a cultural theme park about Mexico, where the entire family can truly experience this rich country trough its different historical periods and amazing culture: pre- Hispanic, Colonial, and modern. This park is truly spectacular, as you will enjoy an exterior walk of Mexico’s most important archeological sites and colonial buildings, on site museum with temporary and permanent exhibits, as well as a state-of-the- art video experience room to view award-winning videos and documentaries, and a pleasant place to enjoy regional food. Open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 to 16:00 hrs.
Museo Subacuático del Buzo de Oro (MUSUBO)
The Underwater Museum of the Golden Diver (MUSUBO) was inaugurated by Jean- Michel Cousteau in the Cozumel Scubafest diving festival. This underwater museum seeks to diversify water tourism and reduce the impact of visitors to the Cozumel Reef National Park. This area pays homage to the men and women who love the sea and are part of the history of diving. It is also a way to promote aquatic activities witn incredible underwater bronze sculptures of different shapes and sizes submerged between 3 and 5 meters depth that with time have been covered of marine life. In addition, it is the only underwater park illuminated in the world.
A former luxury hotel, features four exhibit rooms. The exhibits on the ground floor focus on Cozumel’s ecosystems. The second floor offers a comprehensive overview of the island throughout history with a display of ancient Maya artifacts, and an exhibit of Cozumel’s cultural and economic development during the 20th century. Open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 16:00 hrs.
“Cha ́an Ka ́an” is the name of the planetarium and it means ‘watch‘ or ‘enjoy‘ the sky in Maya. The facility is fully equipped with state of the art technology and 3D systems, it is one of the most modern facility of its kind in all of Latin America. The place will also include an interactive museum of water, plus different areas dedicated to scientific and technological development, as well as an observatory, a museographic space on Maya cosmology and a special telescope to safely observe the sun. There is also a Nature Interpretation Center with an amazing display of the endemic flora of Cozumel. Every week the facility offer conferences, movies and other activities for kids, adults and families.
El Pueblo del Maíz (The People of Corn)
This has become one of the best attractions in the island. It is a journey back in time where you can live a Mayan experience. Enjoy part of the pre-Hispanic history visiting a chewing gum camp to show you the process of gum extraction from the great tree of the “chicozapote“. The tour continue in the temple of Ixchel to pray for the fertility of the earth. Once the offerings have been delivered the Xaman will purify the visitors to grant them access to the town of the People of the Corn, where you will be received with dances full of mysticism and a welcome ceremony.
There are several palapas offering experiences that date back to ancient times of the Maya culture, and each one will receive you with unique activities dedicated to the hallowed lord of the corn (Hunal-ye), to the deity of the honey bee (Xunan kab), the venerable lord of cocoa (Ek-chuah), to the sisal (Soskil), and to the art of amatecatl or feather art. You will be able to share the inheritance of body painting, making your face or body a perfect canvas, or enjoy the process of preparing the chocolate in a metate, or make a rope with the sisal fiber.
Sea Walls: “Artists for Oceans”
It is an innovative urban art project created by members of a non-profit organization based in Hawaii, known as PangeaSeed. This is art program that brings the oceans into streets around the world. With the help of a growing community of 300+ supporting artists, the organization has a continuous work of bringing attention to the global plight of the oceans through ARTivism. In Cozumel world-renowned artists have created large-scale public murals on the island in which educational efforts were joined with the community, focusing attention on the serious environmental situations currently facing the oceans, promoting the importance of long-term sustainability of natural resources.
Romance and Weddings
Cozumel is the country’s biggest island destination (big enough to have its own international airport). This makes it a breeze for destination wedding guests to fly into Cozumel from a wide range of cities within Mexico and the U.S. Beside it has the charm of a Caribbean island with the influence of the ancient Mayan culture.
The island is a magic romantic place where incredible sunsets, the white sand beaches, and the gorgeous Caribbean Sea blue colors can be the perfect background to a dream wedding, or just to live unforgettable romantic moments.
Cozumel has amazing places like small secluded beaches surrounded by jungle landscapes, a beautiful lighthouse, natural reserves and more. There are many great hideaways ideal for a romantic evening, a honeymoon escapade, a couple’s weekend getaway, and even an intimate anniversary celebration.
In case you want to have your perfect wedding in Cozumel, couples would be well-served to build a relationship with an onsite wedding coordinator, who will help handle the details and decisions that contribute to a successful wedding.
The ancient Mayan traditions can be part of the ceremony with an enchanting backdrop either of jungle or a beach. The shaman, a traditional healer, will bless your union in front of the four elements (fire, water, earth and air), asking for the energy of the Universe to be present, and giving you both a bond of energy and everlasting love. Cozumel is surrounded by crystal clear waters and spectacular coral formations, beside the visibility is incredible year round, so why not plan your dream event underwater.
For the ocean lover’s, you will be able to exchange your vows in the second biggest reef formation in the world. There are judges and priests who are certified divers and can officiate these original ceremonies. This idea will ensure lifetime memories and an experience neither you or your guests will forget.
If you want to enjoy the scenery of the reefs of Cozumel but you do not want to get wet, you can have the ceremony inside a submarine. This idyllic Caribbean island offers plenty of places for a romantic moment and a number of activities to do with your loved one.
Gastronomy in COZUMEL
The island offers a delicious variety of cuisine, and many restaurants offers exceptional views of the turquoise blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean.
The culinary traditions of Cozumel are based mostly in typical Yucatecan cuisine, but also has some other influences derived from the intense cultural exchange occurred in the island for centuries.
Surrounded by deep, blue ocean waters, Cozumel’s chefs have access to the freshest bounty of the sea. One of the simplest dishes served on the island’s outdoor beach restaurants, is freshly caught grilled fish, snapper or grouper, served on a banana leaf plate with salsa, fresh corn tortillas and lemons.
You can also try the “pescado al mojo de ajo” fried with butter and garlic sauce, or the “pescado tikin-xic”, a typical island dish, filets or a whole fish covered with thin coating of achiote paste (crushed seeds of the tropical annatto bush combined with other species) and baked in banana leaves.
There are restaurants in Cozumel serving traditional Yucatecan dishes like Cochinita Pibil (pork flavored with achiote and sour orange, then wrapped in banana leaves and baked in a pit dug in the ground), papadzules (tortillas filled with hard boiled egg and a spicy pumpkin seed sauce), sopa de lima (a delicate broth made with lime juice, poached chicken and fried tortilla strips).
The gastronomy of Cozumel has been enriched by a small invader in its waters: the Lionfish. This fish has no natural predators in the Caribbean, and in addition, this exotic glutton eats everything it can stuff in its mouth, and the fish are destroying life on the coral reef. The island inhabitants decided to eat this fish enhancing to restore the balance of the area. The Lionfish is a delicacy that is prepared in ceviche, grilled or breaded with coconut.
In the Cozumel restaurants, there is something for everyone. You can satisfy your craving for Italian, Chinese or Continental food, as well as traditional American favorites. Those who enjoy the finest cuisine won’t be disappointment, since restaurant choices include an eclectic combination of local and international cuisine. Many of these restaurants are located along the boardwalk and in downtown San Miguel.
If you want to experience some real local Mayan food, you can try the tasty cochinita pibil tacos in one of the many street food stands.
Health and Beauty
Cozumel offers a wide range of holistic and personal care treatments. Some hotels offer various treatments, but there are specialized centers with very attractive options, both with professional therapists trained in modern and ancient techniques.
Enjoy a relaxing Caribbean beachfront massage, in any of its modalities (Swedish, deep tissue, Shiatsu, Thai, hot stone), as you listen to the sound of the ebb and flow of the waves. There’s no better way to indulge and relieve stress than with a facial, a full body exfoliation, or a mud wrap to cleanse and reactivate your body.
On the island you can find a wide range of the most effective alternative treatments such as acupuncture, reiki, biomagnetism, floral therapy, reflexology, aromatherapy and postural alignment.
If you want to harmonize the body, mind and spirit, there are several hotels and a center offering yoga classes and workshops, or you can try the Temazcal, a relaxing and cleansing therapy for the nervous system and reactivation of the skin cells, at the end you will be invited to bath in the fresh water cenote, a mystical and magical experience.
More Tourist Attractions in QUINTANA ROO
Costa Maya is located on the south of the Quintana Roo state and has many locations to choose from: a typical Caribbean enclave like Chetumal, a Magic Town like Bacalar, beautiful beaches like Mahahual and Xcalak and amazing Mayan sites such as Chacchoben or Kohunlich. Blessed with an unbeatable combination of tropical forest, wetlands, white-sand beaches, coral reefs, abundant wildlife and magnificent archaeological sites, Grand Costa Maya has long been one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets. This is an ideal place for adventure lovers as well as for people who loved Mayan culture, since several communities in here have preserved timeless traditions.… Leer Más
Cancun is recognized around the world for its spectacular white sand beaches, its fascinating sea with turquoise blue waters and its unique climate. In addition, it has excellent air and land connectivity, as well as a first-rate hotel infrastructure that places it as one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Year after year Cancun is the destination chosen by national and international visitors thanks to the wide range of attractions and tourist places it offers such as: Mayan culture and history that can be enjoyed in its museums and archaeological sites, water activities, adventure tourism, great variety of gastronomic experiences, spectacular shopping centers as well as seductive entertainment offers for the whole family.… Leer Más
Riviera Maya offers wonderful beaches, turquoise waters and fine white sand, archeological sites, picturesque little towns, recreation centers, freshwater lagoons, underwater caves and cenotes, as well as ecological, and food and lodging options ranging from rustic cabins to gleaming condos, five-star hotels, and all inclusive accommodation. Here you can be seduced by an exquisite culinary tour, experiencing the regional cuisine prepared with the inherited Mayan recipes. About the nightlife, Riviera Maya has an exciting and cosmopolitan options with a wide variety of bars and nightclubs along the beach. It is an ideal setting for romance, making it a favorite of those who want a beach wedding or an unforgettable honeymoon.… Leer Más
Other options to experience adventure in Quintana Roo are the various natural, thematic, adventure, extreme and aquatic parks where in addition to living exciting and entertaining experiences it is possible to get in touch with nature. Xavage: It is an extreme adventure park with various activities that include a suspended rope circuit, a horizontal zip line, driving an all-terrain vehicle and rafting. Maya Park: Located in the hotel zone of Cancun, it offers a series of activities whose theme is “culture through adventure.” The tour begins with a video that tells the history of the Mayans, continuing with a zip line flight and boat rides through the Nichupté Lagoon. Finally, you will go through the Mayan Path, where you can participate in a Mayan dance and appreciate some elements of this culture.… Leer Más
The Archaeological Zone of Tulum is a must see and the best example of Mayan charm thanks to its ruins located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea; In addition to being the only archaeological zone that sits on the edge of a cliff, under which is the Playa del Paraíso, one of the best and most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Maya and most likely the most portrayed.… Leer Más
In this destination you will find several marinas that offer water activities, with professional guides and operators who operate excellent fleets. There is an almost unlimited variety of activities, you can rent a jet ski or catamaran, take a tour through the mangroves driving a speedboat, travel in a submarine, snorkel in one of the reefs of Cancun, Cozumel or Puerto Morelos, or else dive in one of the sunken ships that are between Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Cancun has 23 kilometers of beaches of fine white sand and turquoise blue waters, considered among the best and most beautiful in the world. They are ideal for all kinds of water activities.… Leer Más
The perfect climate and best weather for Water Sports can be found in the Riviera Maya! Enjoying a day under the bright sun, might be something you find hard to stop doing on your relaxed vacations, just the idea of leaving the comfort of the white sand beaches, but when you do you’re rewarded with clear waters for great visibility and year-round warm water, you won’t resist the idea of practicing great water sports. We offer a great variety of water activities for you to choose from, sports like jet skiing and wave runners, parasailing, snorkeling tours, scuba diving trips, swimming with dolphins and deep sea fishing trips that will get you out on the water and let you be active!… Leer Más
If you are looking for a place with diverse options where each member of the family finds interesting activities, Cozumel is one of the best choices: for the most daring, diving or snorkeling to get to know one of the most important reefs in the world, through kayaking, kite boarding and wind surfing for those who prefer to stay close to the shore, even sport fishing, for family members who prefer to spend a quieter time.… Leer Más
Among the many attractions of Quintana Roo is having access to the vestiges of an ancient culture as fascinating as the Mayan culture. Just a few hours away you can visit several very important sites.The archaeological sites of the Mexican Caribbean can be visited any day of the week between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., in some of them there are guides who speak several Languages. If you are passionate about archaeological remains, you can visit some in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret and Xel-Há.… Leer Más
Get to know the Magic Towns of Quintana Roo: Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Bacalar and marvel at their stories, with their archaeological sites, their turquoise waters, ecotourism and adventure activities. Here you will learn about the ancient Mayan civilization, whose essence remains to this day. You will learn about the work of artisans, whose expertise is passed from generation to generation and you will delight in the mixtures of smells and flavors of the exquisite gastronomy of the region.… Leer Más
In Quintana Roo there are wonderful natural attractions such as the majestic mangroves, the exuberant jungle, the coral reefs, the mystical cenotes and the mysterious underwater caverns. In Cancun and some other destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, it is also possible to admire, live and learn about the conservation of different species of animals, as well as marvel at the diversity of flora characteristic of the area.… Leer Más
The Gastronomy of Quintana Roo shares several elements with that of Yucatán and Campeche, in which traditional and contemporary cooking techniques are mixed. Although in places like Playa del Carmen and Cancun, where migrants from other countries live, the dishes have been enriched with international flavors. In regional cuisine, ingredients of pre-Hispanic origin are combined with those brought by the Spanish. The dishes of chicken, pork, beef and rabbit meat stewed and seasoned with oregano, purple onion, sour orange, sweet chili, pumpkin seed, tomato, achiote, habanero pepper and coriander stand out among other ingredients.… Leer Más
The golf circuit in and around the Mexican Caribbean makes it one of the most competitive destinations both within and beyond our borders. It Offers 15 operating courses, other interesting golf complexes. In an advanced planning stage and the endorsement of international tournaments such as the PGA Tour at Mayakoba, the only PGA event to take place outside the United States and Canada. Cancun is on the verge of becoming México’s new golf leader, with seven courses in Cancun, another seven in La Riviera Maya and one more in Cozumel.
Courses are full-service venues, each with a professional pro shop, well-maintained golf carts, driving range, putting green, Bermuda fairways and greens, caddies, top quality equipment rentals, restaurants, and beverage cart. All the courses are open to the public (some require advance arrangements for access).… Leer Más
The shopping experience in Quintana Roo every day becomes more sophisticated and cosmopolitan thanks to the wide variety of options that the destination offers. In addition, it is a duty-free zone for a wide range of items such as perfumery and cosmetics, as well as for wines and spirits, to name a few. There are exclusive and modern shopping centers in the hotel zone and in downtown Cancun with shops and boutiques that allow the visitor to find national and international renowned brands. Each shopping center has a unique architectural style, as well as an attractive range of services and entertainment options for the whole family.… Leer Más
Guided Tours in COZUMEL
Flights & Hotels in COZUMEL
More Tourist Attractions in MEXICO
Mexico has an incredible diversity of landscapes, where the beauty of its beaches, internationally recognized, stands out. In its vast territory of coasts, there are beaches of unparalleled beauty, and colorful landscapes. A large network of first-class hotels and tourist services is available to visitors to these beaches. Mexico is also mystical places, dotted with archaeological testimonies inherited from its original inhabitants. Monuments made by the Mayas, Aztecs and Toltecs are located in magical landscapes, like lighthouses in an ocean of natural beauty. They offer visitors buildings that tell their history, and museums that collect their cultural heritage. And that keep alive ancestral traditions, in ceremonies and festivals, where you can enjoy cultural activities and entertainment.… Leer Más
It is practically impossible to make a meticulous, and above all, accurate selection of the places to visit in Mexico. Each place that our country houses is unique and beautiful in its own way. Mexico, with its nearly 2 million km², has a large number of scenarios to offer, as well as endless activities to do. Do not lose your way and enter the places to visit in Mexico. In Mexico, apart from the beaches and its famous archaeological sites, there are many other really interesting sites and activities that you should know. In the surroundings of the main cities you will find places full of culture and tradition, where you can spend relaxing, interesting and fun vacations. On your trip through Mexico you cannot stop obtaining souvenirs, the crafts that are made here are of the highest quality and recognized worldwide. A shopping tour cannot be missed.… Leer Más
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The Archaeological Zones are the cultural past of every Mexican. You will be amazed at the ambient, nature and the environment that surrounds them. Climbing to the top or being around it will take us back in time to admire every detail. México is a country of culture and traditions, many of which we have inherited from the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of this vast territory, although it is true that there were more settlements in the central and southern part of the country, it is also possible to find some archaeological remains in the north.
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The Gastronomy of Mexico has a great diversity of typical dishes, which is why it was recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The basic and representative ingredients of Mexican dishes are: corn, coriander, chili, beans, piloncillo, nopal and tomato. Mexican cuisine is also characterized by its sauces, which serve as an accompaniment to traditional dishes, prepared based on spices.… Leer Más
Folklore, gastronomy, literary culture, art and exhibitions, is what you will find in the capitals of the states of Mexico. To the north, colonial Mexico, Puebla, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, the Sonoran desert and the California peninsula. To the east Veracruz and the gulf. To the west Acapulco, Oaxaca and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. And to the south the Riviera Maya and the pyramids of Chichén-Itzá, Tulúm and Cobá in Yucatán, Palenque in Chiapas, the cenotes, and the Central American jungles.… Leer Más
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A Magic Town is a place with symbols and legends, towns with history that in many cases have been the scene of transcendent events for our country, they are places that show the national identity in each of its corners, with a magic that emanates from its attractions ; visiting them is an opportunity to discover the charm of Mexico. The Magical Towns Program contributes to revalue a set of populations in the country that have always been in the collective imagination of the nation and that represent fresh and varied alternatives for national and foreign visitors. A town that through time and in the face of modernity, has conserved, valued and defended its historical, cultural and natural heritage; and manifests it in various expressions through its tangible and intangible heritage. A Magical Town is a town that has unique, symbolic attributes, authentic stories, transcendent events, everyday life, which means a great opportunity for tourist use, taking into account the motivations and needs of travelers.… Leer Más