If you are staying in Cancun or Riviera Maya during your holidays, get away from the tourists crowds and have an unforgettable day exploring Cozumel island on your own. A truly paradise awaits you! Can you imagine having 7 miles of secluded ocean beaches all to yourself? We couldn´t believe it at first, but it was real!
We were staying at a wonderful resort in Riviera Maya. We had spent a whole week visiting the most important archaeological zones in Yucatan, snorkelling in the famous crystal caves and underground rivers of Xcaret, enjoying mariachi performances, having fun in Playa del Carmen with the locals… but we wanted to experience something different.
We took a fast ferry in Playa del Carmen and after 45 min of pleasant ride, we arrived in the stunning Cozumel island.
A friendly man came to us saying he had the lowest rates than any other car rental company on the island. We didn´t want to lose time comparing prices with other agencies, so we decided to rent a 2 Door Jeep Wrangler for the whole day.
The unspoiled east side of Cozumel
What makes this side of the island unique is that it is almost untouched.
While most of the beach clubs and resorts are located on the west coast, along Cozumel‘s east coast you´ll find the island’s true beach gems.
I remember getting fried by the sun as we drove along the rugged coastline in our open-top jeep.
We would park it in the middle of nowhere and go running for a dip in the turquoise waters. There are a few cool bars where you can flop into a hammock, grab a cold cerveza and enjoy the magificent views.
The Rasta bar and Mezcalito´s Bar & Grill are our favourites. The atmosphere in both bars is great and the staff very warm and friendly. We also recommend Señor Iguana restaurant, the food is delicious! Don´t forget to try ceviche and shrimp quesadillas in The Rasta bar, and the mouth watering nachos accompanied by the “Best Island Margarita” in Mezcalito´s!!
Cozumel: Diving paradise
The island’s true beauty is said to be underwater. The French explorer Jacques Cousteau once declared Cozumel as one of the most beautiful scuba diving areas in the world. So why don´t you put a scuba diving suit on and discover the island´s biggest treasure?
Palancar and Columbia are the most famous reefs for scuba diving and snorkeling in Cozumel. El cielo beach, which means heaven in Spanish, is one of the most mesmerizing places in the entire Caribbean. It´s called this way because of the abundance of starfish you can find in its crystal clear waters.
Cozumel Mayan Ruins
One of the hidden treasures of Cozumel is San Gervasio Mayan ruins. It´s a sanctuary to Ixchel, goddess of fertility and love. Mayan women at one point in their lives are required to visit in order to pay their respects. It is located in the heart of the island surrounded by lush flowers and foliage. San Gervasio ruins are small if you compare them to Chichen Itza or Tulum but if your are interested in Mayan culture, it is worth a visit.
How to get to Cozumel
If you are staying in Cancun you can fly directly into Cozumel’s international airport or go to Playa del Carmen and then take the ferry to Cozumel. Two companies operate the route between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen: Ultramar and Waterjets. The ride takes about 45 min and costs around 155 pesos.
Tips & Recommendations
- I highly recommend you to hire a car instead of a scooter. It´s much safer and faster. There are 3 gas stations on the island and they have limited hours, so don´t let your tank run too low.
- The east side of the island faces the ocean so be extremely careful if you go for a dip.
- Don´t forget to bring sunscreen and insect repellent.