Travelling to Cozumel – A General Guide
Cozumel, is a island located just south of Cancun, Mexico’s eastern side, the Yucatan Peninsula. Mexico’s largest Caribbean island is home to a population of approx 75,000. The island itself is only 41 km long and 14 km wide, approx 575 sqkm. However this small Caribbean island has become a very popular destination, welcoming over 2,500,000 visitors every year. This makes it one of the most popular, indeed, important tourist destinations in Mexico.
Cozumel is now easy reachable by flight as it has an international airport with many direct flights from Mexico, USA and Cuba. As an alternative the island can be reached by ferry which takes about 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen. Bus services run from the airport in Cancun, to Playa del Carmen and then via the ferry service to Cozumel. The bus trip from Cancun airport takes about 45 minutes as well. However your overall travel time will depend on waiting times. Another popular way to arrive in Cozumel is by cruise ship, with many cruise liners sailing into Cozumel for day stopovers.
Just as you picture a Caribbean island vacation, laying on nice white sandy beach, relaxing in the sun, this is exactly what Cozumel can offer with many resorts along the beach. The west side beaches are the most popular as they are protected by their proximity to the mainland. However this makes the eastern beaches quiet and secluded if that is your preference. Just beware of swimming of the eastern beaches as currents can be very dangerous. Further you will find that sea turtles nest on the eastern beaches during summer.
Thanks to the strong tourist industry you will be spoilt with choice of shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and resorts. You can use Mexican pesos or US dollars to pay in Cozumel. Of course major credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Tipping is common practice in Cozumel.
Water sports, especially scuba diving, are very popular in Cozumel, with many other water sports activities around the island made easy with plenty of places to hire equipment required. Cozumel also caters for all walks of live, be it the all-inclusive luxury resort through to the cheap hostel or bed and breakfast.
A popular way to travel around the island is to hire a moped as there is next to no public transport available. If you prefer a car, there are many car rental agencies, including international brands, available on the island. Always shop around for the best deal.
For Visa requirements check with your local Mexican embassy, or your travel agent should be able to help you. Entry into Mexico is simple for most North Americans and Europeans, as well as some other countries by simply applying for a tourist card, which is valid for 6 months.
Being an island community and dependent on tourism, crime is relative low in Cozumel. However it is always wise to be cautious and careful when dealing with money. Keep your valuables safe where ever you are or travel.
Enjoy your vacation in Cozumel.