Mexico’s largest island, measuring 30 miles north-south and 10 miles east-west, is found 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatán peninsula and is renowned for its spectacular beaches and the extraordinary clearness of the surrounding Caribbean Sea. Cozumel is a popular tourist destination famous for its scuba diving.
Cozumel first hit the headlines when Jacques Cousteau declared it one of the world’s most beautiful scuba diving sites. Apart from the exciting open water diving options, the regions of Cozumel and Akumal are famous for their subterranean rivers, which offer remarkable cavern and grotto diving.
San Miguel de Cozumel is the island’s main town and it gets pretty busy at daytime when cruise ships cast anchor. The town is useful for restocking supplies, but don’t expect any nightlife or amusement options here. If you get the itch, take a short ride on the ferry to the mainland for shopping, dining and sightseeing.
Beaches: are what Cozumel is famous for and the most popular include Playa Corona, where snorkeling equipment can be rented, and Playa San Francisco, often full with cruise passengers.
Plaza del Sol: is the main square in San Miguel, popular for strolling and people watching, particularly on Sunday evenings when the locals come out in force.
El Cedral: is a farming village near the island’s center and was the first Mayan site discovered by Spanish explorers in 1518.
Punta Celarin: features a lighthouse providing stunning views of the southern end of the island.
San Gervasio: are Cozumel’s most popular ruins, spread over a large excavation site in the forest and dedicated to Ixchel, a fertility goddess.
Chankanaab Lagoon: is a sea creek where snorkelers can swim surrounded by swarms of rainbow-colored fish.
Castillo Real: boasts another Mayan site with a watchtower, a pyramid foundation and a temple.