Cozumel beach natural pool Cozumel on the far side Coral beach offer excellent snorkeling

General Beach Information

One of the most beautiful things about Cozumel is the beach.  These beaches change constantly, with time, with storms, by people.  The beaches of Cozumel offer an array of activities and amenities. 

The beaches of Cozumel are within the "Zona Federal".  By law, the first 20 meters (65.6 feet) of the beachfront is public land. In spite of the law, there are a few properties who have blocked off their beaches or somehow have managed to restrict entrance. Most of the hotels are very receptive to people using their beaches since this usually invites business for them by way of their facilities such as restaurants, stores, dive services, etc. The all inclusive hotels pay to restrict access yet allow people to cross through the property They do not have access to the beaches, and ammenities offered by the Hotel.

Whenever you are at the beach, Please be careful to pick up your own trash. When I take my family, we always have an extra bag (or two) and do a quick beach clean-up. We don’t worry about things that are biodegradable, but concentrate on styrofoam and plastics.

We used to pick up treasures on the beach, when my kids were small. We found many beautiful shells, rocks, glass pieces, plastic toys, even interesting logs from dead trees. We made jewelry, wind chimes (some don’t really make sounds), decorate boxes,baskets, hair barrettes, wall hangings, and all kinds of sculptures, and gifts. We had fun using our artistic imagination.

Today, there are so few treasures along the beaches. The storms washed away the main bulk. Hurricane Gilbert, Keith, Roxanne, Emily and Wilma, just to name a few. The hundreds of cruise ship guests, although welcome with open arms, added to the disappearance of shells. They might pick up the ones they find, but there are salesmen who gather them to sell to tourists in the streets, for just a few dollars!
As I snorkel along the western coast of the island, I have only a few sightings of shells. Let's each do our part to leave shells, and beautiful things where they are. Even if a rock is not alive, if it's interesting to you, it's probably interesting to a fish looking for a hiding place.
Let's help preserve the ocean!

The Other Side of the Island

Cozumel Chen Rio Cozumel on the far side Cozumel hut used by the dune buggy tour

Prepare for your day and take sunscreen, hats, beach shoes, liquids and your camera! Fill up your gas tank before leaving because there are no gas stations there.  It takes an hour to go around the island without beach stops.

Going east from the Pemex gas station on Ave. Benito Juarez will take you to the other side. (Make sure you do not take rental vehicles up the road to the north —(or left) — from where the paved road gets to the other side of the island. This is specifically prohibited by your car-rental contract and you can be fined) The paved road leads you south along the ocean-front on the east side of the island, makes a loop along the south side, then heads north along the west side, leading you back to the heart of downtown San Miguel.

If you take the route described above instead of going south from the downtown area, you’ll meet the following different beach areas:


The road leading to the other side is about 8 miles. When you finally get to the ocean, there is a cute little beach-side bar that serves some good munchies like ceviche, guacamole, nachos, and cold beer. There are gift shops selling Mexican blankets, shells, and souvenirs. The road north of here is not easily drivable except for the first mile or so. We don’t recommend you take a rental vehicle up this road. It is strictly prohibited by your car-rental contract.

Punta Molas Road

This road is a dirt/sand “dune-buggy only” road that leads to the northern lighthouse and “El Castillo” (Cozumel's highest Mayan structure perched beside the turquoise shore.  There is no access allowed to this ruin.  There are a few other Mayan ruins. CAUTION: Insurance on your rental vehicle is null and void when you leave the paved road. 

Punta Morena

Going south from the turn-off after getting to the other side used to be a rustic palapa beach bar and restaurant. The buildings were ruined in Hurricane Wilma, Oct. 2005. 
There used to be cute bungalows and a delcious restaurant. 

From May-August is the turtle egg-laying season.  Be aware that guests aren’t allowed to build beach fires but during the winter months.  During the winter months, the rocky perch has a perfect inlet to build a camp fire without the danger of uncontrolled fires. If you like roughing it under the stars, the waves, and the surf, this is a good healthy family outing as well as a romantic getaway. Not a good snorkeling area. Boogie boards love it here in these waves.

Adam at Morena
Punta Morena is famous for its body surfing waves.  
Nacho was always here.  He has been the island's best surfer for years. He teaches as well as surfs every day. You can rent boogies boards and enjoy the waves. There is a dangerous undertow so be sure to ask him where you can safely go in and out of the water.


Coconuts 2010
This used to be the center for the turtle hatchery too. A great restaurant bar above the only 'cliff' on this side of the island,  with a fantastic view and good food. Please be careful not to walk on the soft sand underneath. Previously, it was full of caverns with sand walls-a popular spot among the romantic minded couples.

Playa Bonita

Popular beach for kite boarders, wind surfers, surfers, and volleyball lovers.  You'll see some world class kite boarding over here. Shown here: Adam Withington

Playa Bonita

Chen Rio

A little bay sheltered by a little rock outcrop is the setting of this island delight. There is a restaurant with tasty food, cold beer and margaritas. There is a small area on the north side that is perfect for small children as the water is shallow and the waves are gentle. Snorkeling is fair along the rock area. Don’t go out too far because there is a strong undertow and current to deal with.

Chen Rio Beach


This was blown away in Oct. 2005 in Hurricane Wilma.

Miromar Maya Ruins before Hurricane WilmaModern Maya Ruins MiradorStore.jpg
Miromar today
Blowhole at MiradorMiradormonster.jpg
Rocks at Mirador

Paradise Cafe (The Bob Marley Bar)

The reggae music plays in the background of the nice cozy laid back little bar with snacks and cold drinks. There are hammocks on the beach side for a nice siesta. Watch out for the undertow here, too. br>

Click here for CVH Home Page

The Celarain Light House

This historic light house is picturesque. They serve a great seafood/fish dishes. The view from the top of the light house is fantastic if you can handle the 127 steps to the top.

All beaches in Cozumel are open to the public. Here is a summary of some of Cozumel’s most popular beaches.

Chankanaab Park

This is definitely the most important “must-see” beach on the island, with great snorkeling. There is a large botanical garden laced with paths, which make for an educational stroll. The large collections of plants are grouped and labeled. There are orchids, bromeliads, and a host of other tropical families represented. There are attended restrooms with showers and lockers for your use. Beach chairs are available if you can find one. There are delicious seafood and Mexican dishes in two of the restaurant/bars. The snorkeling here is fantastic. Although there may be many people visiting at the same time (especially if there are cruise ships in port), you will get the opportunity to see an abundant variety of underwater life. This is an exceptionally good place for beginning snorkelers. There is snorkel and scuba equipment and underwater cameras for rent. Take an underwater picture of each other for a unique shot. We recommend going during the week to avoid the crowded weekends. The old entrance just before the new one still has its charm. It isn't as crowded. There is a good restaurant called Capi Navigante. The snorkeling is fantastic. Don’t miss this!

For more about Chankanaab Park . . .

For a package tour of Punta Sur, Chankanaab, and the Museum, contact us!

Playa Sol

Playa Sol is one of our favorite beaches. There is a mini-zoo, restaurant, catamaran/boat rental, and a long, wide stretch of uncrowded beach. A few minutes south of the facilities is a nearly abandoned home. The watchman is freindly and receptive to visitors. There are big tropical shade trees, orchids, wild birds, and lots of crystal clear water. This is a good place for a big groupgathering. Local schools ofter have special functions here. The water is shallow, smooth, and refreshing. Good beach for all ages!

San Francisco Beach

This is also a popular beach mainly because of the water facilities available. Beach snorkeling is fair because the water is almost always smooth. There is a nice restaurant that serves fresh seafood. Interestingly enough, the San Francisco Beach Restaurant is not exactly at San Francisco Beach. A little past the restaurant entrance is another beach access road that offers a less-populated beach but without all the services.

Punto Chiqueros

friends Most commonly known as the Naked Turtle Beach. Some people think this is the prettiest beach on the island. It’s on the windward side of the island and so there are usually big picturesque waves and lots of sea treasures like shells, coral and sponge washed up on the sand. Be aware that the currents may be strong and there is occasional undertow. You’ll probably want to rent a car or scooter for the day while you make this trip.
You could also pack a picnic lunch (take plenty of things to drink). There aren’t too many trees there, so shade is lacking. Take sunscreen, hats, and lots of film. You may also want to take some sandals or shoes to protect yourself from the coral that you might want to walk out on.

Hotel Beaches

Some of Cozumel’s hotels have fine beaches and snorkeling. You are welcome to walk through any lobby and go straight to the beach. All hotels also offer drinks, restaurants, and quaint shops. Feel free to take advantage of all this, too.

Northern Hotel Zone Beaches

Mike's bar

The northern beaches on the western side of the island has changed so much in the past few years, especially with the popularity of kite boarding. The northern winds that come into the Passion Island laguna, and the northern shores are prefect for learning and practising this new sport.
One of the local boys who has recently learned to kiteboard just opened Mike's Bar-the hopping beach club on the northern shore.
Mike's bar offers cool tropical drinks, ice cold beer and a few snack items. It's the hot spot of the northern shores!
Mikesbar1.jpg mikebar.jpg
Mikesbar.jpg Mikesbar2.jpg
Melia beach

Beginning with Playa Azul Hotel and extending north are some of Cozumel’s nicest beaches. All the beaches are maintained daily and offer lots of services. This northern side of the island often will get breezes perfect for windsurfing and snorkeling. The current runs north so jump in or swim first to the south and then let the current bring you effortlessly northward. A nice snorkel trip starts at Las Cabañas del Caribe Hotel (one of the best snorkeling places on a hotel beach) and the current will bring you up to the Paradisus Melia Mayan Plaza. Or, for those ready for a long swim (with the current, it isn’t too hard), you can jump in on the north side of the Marina and go all the way up the coastline to the Paradisus. North of the Mayan Plaza lies a long stretch of white sand beach. On the north side of the point, there is a lagoon with a small island, Passion Island.

Coral Princess Hotel to the Paradisus Melia Mayan Plaza Hotel is actually called San Juan Beach. There are lots of hotels and private homes along this beach. One of the most popular places to go is the Playa Azul Hotel Beach Club, just north of the hotel site. There is a restaurant on the beach that serves wonderful whole fried red snapper, a pier, kayaking, jet-ski rental, and lots of fun activities. On most afternoons, a g roup of locals get together to play a game of volleyball and everyone is invited. The beer is invitingly cold.

Cabañas Del Caribe — Located on coral reef, this hotel is now closed but you can reach the beach by visiting The Playa Azul beach club.

Cozumeleño/Melia Mayan Plaza — Has beautifully landscaped beaches with swimming pools, palapas, and water sports.  All inclusive hotel.

Southern Hotel Zone Beaches

As you head south from the downtown area, along the beachfront road, first you’ll pass the post office, then our little downtown light house on your left and the naval military station on the right.

Plaza Las Glorias Hotel on the right has a nice pool, palapa umbrellas, restaurants and shops. The access into the ocean is well maintained and there are nice reef walls up and down this beach.

Fiesta Inn Hotel is further down the road. There is a huge palapa with grill, bathrooms, shaded picnic/party area. The snorkeling here is good.

The next coral rock beach is simply beautiful. Cozumel has recently finished constructing a wide sidewalk accessible for breathtaking views. You’ll see strollers, roller blade skaters, runners, and even tricycles.

There is a private dry-dock marina for yachts, and Las Brisas Hotel, then another stretch of natural coral-reef beaches.

Villa Blanca Beach is a popular beach for dive and snorkel teaching and training. It has many coral heads and lots of fish. There is a nice restaurant and hotel on the inland side. It’s a popular party area for locals. We’ve had many get- togethers on this strip.

The next group of commercial buildings is almost a little town of its own. Vista Del Mar Pier, next to the pedestrian bridge, is a common place to meet dive boats. Many resort-course scuba-diving classes are held here. The International Pier for cruise ships is filled with souvenir shops. There is also a quaint little Mexican market filled with pottery, baskets, blankets, and arts from all over Mexico. Sol Caribe a time-share hotel has a beautiful lush garden/pool area and hold weekly Mexican dance shows. La Ceiba is a long-standing high-rise hotel with great facilities and reefs. There are lots of interesting ever-changing shops, bars, and businesses in this area.

Beachside, there are great coral heads, reefs, and exotic fish. An airplane was deliberately sunk as a movie prop. After the movie, locals asked the company to leave the plane there and now it makes a great snorkel/dive trip because the fish love swimming in and out of it.

La Ceiba —There is an airplane just about 40 feet off shore. It was sunk as a movie prop and after they photographed what was needed, the manager asked them to leave it there. It is about 30 feet deep and you can see it perfectly from the top of the water. The shallow reef shoreward of the airplane is particularly rich for being so close to shore.

El Presidente — There is a small inlet which allows you to enjoy the calm waters and the shallow-water snorkeling. There are usually musicians playing in the beach bar, which adds a nice touch.

Sol Caribe — There is another inlet here and good soft sand on the beach. Many dive shops in this area.

Secluded Natural Beaches

North of the road going to the other side of the island there are many natural beaches. Recently, this road has become impassable, and could quite possibly strand your vehicle. The rental agencies prohibit you from taking their vehicles up this road, so be prepared to walk. The road to the south point of the island going to the light house also has many beautiful beaches. The roads are unpaved and rough so be sure your transportation is reliable. If you are interested in making the trip, let Dan or Veronica know and they'll et you set up on a Dune Buggy Tour. Omar is the tour guide and can be reached by calling the office at 872-0788.

Beaches on the Mainland

Trips to the mainland offer a great change of scenery and a bit of adventure since you have so many new options different than those in Cozumel. There are many cenotes, sinkholes of fresh water characteristic of the region. It is interesting to note that there are no above-ground rivers in the peninsula, only veins of cenotes as if they were underground rivers. Many are available to snorkel or dive into. There are many seclude beaches that you can find. You can rent a beach cabana with no electricity, or enjoy five-star hotel luxury and everything in between.

Once you get off the ferry in Playa Del Carmen, you can go north towards Puerto Morelos and Cancun, south towards Tulum and Chetumal or west toward Chichen Itza and Merida. The choice depends on how much time you have, and what you have in mind. Stop by the Rentadora Isleña and we can reserve a car for you at Playa del Carmen.

 Playa Del Carmen

The ferry crosses the channel hourly and drops you off in the unique town of Playa Del Carmen. The atmosphere is almost like the 60’s with a decidedly European flair. Most of the foreign residences are European and temporary. The plaza area is blocks long with sidewalk restaurants, coffee shops, batik and other items imported from lands far away. If you’re looking for something different from the usual Mexican tourist items, you need to browse through the shops in this long plaza. On the beach, it’s like a strip of fun with live music, swinging bars, topless ladies, sail boats, hotels, cabanas, pensiones, and delicious restaurants. The Blue Parrot is the happening place with great music and atmosphere.


This is a new resort area with everything you need. There are great hotels and restaurants. The beaches are beautiful white sand beaches.


Located just south of Playa Del Carmen is Paamul. An enclave of "snow-birds" winters here (North Americans seeking a milder winter), and there’s a dive shop run by a man from the USA.


Half an hour south of Playa Del Carmen is Akumal. There is a reef 150 yards offshore that serves as a natural protective barrier for its beach. The reef is a mile and a half long and diving depths are 35–130 feet. There are two dive shops at Akumal.

Playa Aventuras

This newest tourist resort excells in the variety of activities offered, second only to Cancun. Facilities include an 18-hole golf course, protected marina, an English-speaking school, excercise clubs, restaurants, and more.

Cancun Beaches

Cancun is located on the Yucatan peninsula overlooking the beautiful Caribbean. It was selected by computer analysis of desirable development locations 25 years ago as an ideal spot for an east-coast commercial resort. At the time (1971), the little fishing village of Cancun had only 117 inhabitants. Today, Cancun is alive with luxurious resort hotels, casinos, beach clubs, designer fashions, and upbeat night life as well as fine white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters. The peninsula has access to the mainland from the tip of the peninsula by way a a million peso project of building a bridge connecting Highway #307. Some say that the effect to the ecosystem has been abrupt and overdeveloped.

The Pok-Ta-Pok (“ball game” in Mayan) golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones offers temporary membership for tourists. The 6,721 yard course offers seven water holes and 125 bunkers. Phone in Cancun is 3-0216 or 3-0871.

The shopping is great. There are several malls along the peninsula as well as a lively down town area. Plaza Kukulkan on Laguna Bojorques, Plaza Mexico, and Plaza Caracol are just a few. The Artisan’s Market downtown is a great place to browse and buy many beautiful things.

Isla Mujeres

“Island of Women” (in Spanish) was so named for the numerous statues of Mayan goddesses found by the Spaniards, led by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba when they discovered the island in 1517. It’s a nice lazy-day place with aquamarine waters, and white sand beaches. Its a mile wide and five and a half miles long. It’s a “get away from it” place. Watch the sun’s rays — they’ll blister you in a hurry.


Chemuyil is a tiny horseshoe-shaped bay about twice the size of a football field. A reef stretching across the entrance of the bay breaks up the waves and currents and makes Chemuyil one of the safest beaches in the area. Tha beach is such an immaculate carpet of white sand that you will feel like wiping your feet before stepping on it.


Pronounced “shah-sell”, this is an excellent beach for camping, snorkeling, fishing, and bird watching. There is a simple restaurant, showers, and restrooms in the area. There are hiking trails, cenotes, and lots of sea, sun, sand and shade.

Xel-Ha National Park

To visit Xel-Ha (with an unforgettable trip to Tulum as well), contact us about our Tulum & Xel-Ha Adventure.

Xel-Ha (pronounced: Shell-Ha) is a natural aquarium carved out of the soft limestone terrain typical of most of the Yucatan Peninsula. The lagoon, with its many inlets and coves, covers an area of approximately 10 acres. While snorkeling in its crystal waters, you will have to swim no more than a few yards to see the 500-or-so species of colorful tropical fish that inhabit this little paradise. The entire lagoon is a facinating labyrinth of underwater crevices, caves, and tunnels, each one hiding a treasure of multicolored fish. Unlike birds or other groups of wildlife which flee at the sight of humans, the fish here are undisturbed and often curious when approached at a reasonable distance.

Swimming is prohibited in a few areas of the lagoon and these are clearly marked with signs and buoys. The calm, clear waters average a depth of about eight feet. This is bad news for non-swimmers as there are no low spots to wade in.

Around the snorkeling area you will find clean, modern showers and rest rooms, rental lockers, a bar, and restaurants with an ample seafood menu. Snorkleing equipment is available for rent. Additionally, in the parking area, you will find many handcraft and beachwear shops, a small grocery store, and a cafeteria.


For information about tours to Xcaret, click here.

Xcaret (pronounced Shkar-ett') which means “small cove,” is now an unusual, beautifully landscaped and planned-out resort and private park with an 18-hole golf course, yatches, and full marina. There are cenote trips, and swim trips with dolfins in a confined ocean dolphin pool. Its centerpiece is a cenote that leads swimmers through a series of spectucular underwater caverns. Snorkelers can explore an idyllic inlet that teems with tropical fish. There is an entrance charge.

Xcaret was once another sacred site to the Maya, as both a seaport and ceremonial center. Pilgrims en route to Cozumel stopped here to purify themselves in the waters of the cenotes, sinkholes of fresh water characteristic of the region.

Folklorico Show at Xcaret
Folklorico Show at Xcaret

There are recently excavated ruins to wonder at, a sugar-sand beach to bask on, and horses to hire for a beachfront or jungle ride.

Please contact us to inquire advertising on this site. ADVERTISING IS FREE until further notice. Whether you want to advertise your vacation home, or business, we can offer you a lot of exposure online. We invite you to send us your logo, text or content, or design your own page. We are happy to design your page to be displayed on Include a direct link from our site to your own site. Everything is free for now, while we continue building the site. Naturally, we also invite you to link our site to yours!

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Cozumel Dune Buggy Tours

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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