General Information

Before your Departure to Cozumel

Be sure you have a current passport, a driver's license, and if you scuba, your PADI dive card. If you have insurance, take that card too.
Any child who is not traveling with both parents, will need to have a notorized written letter from the absent parent stating permission to travel. If only one parent is going, the child will need this from the parent not going. If one parent is deceased, the child should carry a certified copy of the death certificate.
Pack lighly, and use wrinkle free clothes, when possible. Evening attire should include one nice dress, or one pair of nice slacks for a special occassion or more. Jeans are rarely worn, but acceptable in most places. Remember that all liquids-no matter how expensive will be removed if they are on your carry on. When packing liquids in your suitcase, use plastic zip lock bags and use underwear or something soft to cushion them. Place them between two layers of soft clothing inside your suitcase. Be aware of weight limits. Most airlines require the total weight of your luggage should be less than 50 pounds. Use a rolling carry on, and you can take all your heavy items in there, such as books, or gifts. Just be sure to pack anything liquid in your luggage. This includes sunscreen, lotions, cremes, make up, mascara, eyeliner, hair gel, and anything that is not 'solid'.
If you are a good organized person, just bring cash. If you tend to lose things, bring traveler's checks, just make sure you have a copy of their numbers elsewhere in case you have to report them missing. Experienced travelers will do better bringing cash. There are exchange houses all over town, all giving the legal daily exchange rate.
To check your exchange rate, you can go to this online converter:

To use an online currency calculator, check out this site: International Converter

Exchange Rates

The Mexican pesos has had much fluctuation in the last two years but at this time, (2010) it has stabilized to around 12.25 pesos to the dollar. US Dollars and Mexican pesos are accepted everywhere in Cozumel. You may get better exchange rates in official exchange houses (casa de cambio) and banks. We suggest you exchange a few dollars, just to have some pesos on your arrival. Then, just exchange your money as needed. Some stores and restaurants post their prices in dollars, so there, you wouldn't want to pay with pesos.
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Please call your credit card company in advance, and tell them that you will be traveling. Let them know your travel dates, and where you plan to be so that the charges you make will be accepted. Often, when they see a charge in another country, they will assume a fraud alert and freeze your account, which may be very inconvenient, if you are waiting to pay. Just them call in advance and you'll have no problem.

Communications

Check with your cell phone carrier in advance to get a cheap roaming charge when you are in Mexico. Some carriers just don't work here. There are more phones now in Cozumel than there were just a few years ago. The best guide is , the Blue Book orlocal tourist magazines. The public phone book is very difficult to use, especially since Mexican people go by two last names. They use their father's last name and then their mother's last name to identify themselves after t heir first name. All their legal documents have both names.

Telephone numbers are listed here. The Calling Station does not exist any longer. It's worth the mention since many people still ask me where it is.

There are many internet services centers through out town. If you want to do some computer work or send email, any of these will offer scanning, printing or more.

Ferries to the Mainland

There are ferries all day long beginning at 5 am from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and the last schedules ferry is at 11 pm from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. Click here for the schedule. You will be able to enjoy the less than one-hour ride. The Mexico V is the newest catamaran that crosses in less then 25 minutes. Most of the ferries have air conditioning, television, and clean rest rooms. Ultra Mar, the yellow ferries often have live music on the exterior downstairs seating area.

There is a car ferry for locals who wish to go to the mainland. There is one that goes to Calica in the morning and returns in the evening, making it easy for visitors to go to the mainland in their own car, just for the day. Tourists and their rental cars are not allowed to cross on the car ferry. If you are going to spend a day on the mainland, just cross on the passenger ferry and if you need a car over there, then rent one. There are many options other than renting a car there for the day. You can hire a taxi or use public transportation.

If you are driving your own car, or a car rental from the mainland that allows you to cross it to Cozumel, then you will need to board in Puerto Morelos. You must wait in line for at least four hours before departure and then load your vehicle onto the ferry. The crossing is approximately three hours to Cozumel and about four hours going back.

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