Cozumel may have a reputation as the city where spring-breakers go to party hard, but this popular Mexican island offers more than meets the eye. There are plenty of great activities for all ages – including children as well.
The city of San Miguel is the main point of entrance to Cozumel and it has all of the amenities you would expect in a city. Because Cozumel is a cruise ship port, you will find many colourful shops near the harbour. Yet, take note to venture away from this central area, for a real taste of Cozumel.
The city itself has dining options, grocery markets and other “daily life” shops. Due to the island being relatively small, it’s possible to see quite a bit in a single day, which is why Cozumel is a popular day trip for those staying in nearby Riviera Maya.
One fun stop to make while you’re in town is Chocolates Kaokao where you can see an authentic Mexican chocolate shop. Taste your way through the process and take some chocolate home!
If you’re visiting for water activities, there is no shortage of things to do. Cozumel is one of the top 5 dive destinations in the world. There are gorgeous beaches, clear water, and lots of underwater life that is easily visible.
A favourite Cozumel beach for families with children, is Chankanaab National Park. The park offers a dolphin discovery program if you’re interested in getting up close and personal with these friendly animals. If you’re visiting with small children, an even better feature is the children’s pool that is a shallow pool carved out of the beach, and sheltered from the direct ocean. For older children and adults, there are other areas with snorkelling and swimming.
The eastern side of Cozumel island faces the Caribbean sea and is much rougher. This side is largely deserted though you’ll find a few shops and restaurants sprinkled on the coast. You can still find beautiful white sand beaches, tide pools, and blow holes, but the crashing surf and exposed coral don’t make for the safest swimming or snorkelling.
At the southern tip of Cozumel island is the ‘Faro Celarain Eco Park’. Here you’ll find secluded beaches, snorkeling sites, and plenty of local wildlife. Wild pigs, coati mundis, crocodiles, iguanas, and armadillos are just a few of the animals that call this area home. If you’re visiting in July or August the park offers turtle workshops giving visitors a chance to see sea turtles make their nests and lay eggs. For this you’ll need to make a reservation, as spots are limited for these workshops.
There are some Mayan ruins on the island like San Gervasio. The ruins are small in size,and not complete but if your time is limited, it’s worth seeing. If you are staying on the island of Cozumel and you’re interested in seeing more ruins, I suggest taking a ferry to mainland Mexico, and drive to Tulum for a more impressive display of ruins.
Of course you don’t have to run around the island all day either. Simply slide into one of the beaches and hang out in a hammock with an umbrella drink while the kids build sandcastles and enjoy the Caribbean sun!
Whatever you decide to do, Cozumel will be a place you’ll want to come back to again and again!