As the years go by, statistics show that more and more people are choosing Mexico as their vacation destination of choice. Home to rich traditions, vibrant festivals, scrumptious cuisine, amazing historical sites, and stunning beaches, Mexico is a clear choice for couples, families, and groups of friends. It's a dream vacation destination with a lot to offer, and many visitors to Mexico choose to spend most of their time in the Yucatan Peninsula, home of key beach resort locations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Situated in the state of Quintana Roo, Playa del Carmen is a gorgeous coastal city looking out over the Caribbean Sea. It's been a popular tourist area for many years, as well as being the site of PGA Tour golf tournaments and even a filming location for TV shows. With average temperatures above 70°F all through the year and almost non-stop sunshine, Playa del Carmen is the perfect place to relax, sunbathe, scuba dive, and enjoy memorable, magical vacations. It’s also regarded as the gateway to the island of Cozumel.
A highly pristine island out in the Caribbean Sea, Cozumel is a popular port of call for many Caribbean cruises due to its excellent scuba diving opportunities and gorgeous beaches. It's also home to Mayan ruins and all kinds of native wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, iguanas, and sea turtles. Some of the top sites of interest at Cozumel include the San Gervasio ruins and the Playa Mia Grand Beach Park. Here’s how to plan the perfect day trip from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel.
Getting to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen
The main way people choose to get to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen is the ferry. There are currently two ferry companies making the crossing Playa del Carmen to Cozumel: Ultramar and Winjet. The ferry boats used by both of these companies are very similar, so you don't need to worry too much about picking one company over another. The ferries run very often and you'll never have to wait too long at the port for the next departure.
You can buy either a one-way ticket or a return ticket, and the best option is to usually buy a one-way ticket with whichever company is leaving next when you arrive and then buying another one-way ticket when you're ready to go back, so you have the freedom of traveling with either company. You can also choose to reserve your tickets in advance and check out the ferry timetables to plan out your day trip to perfection. Tickets cost around 400 pesos for a round trip or a little over 200 for a one-way ticket.
The ferry takes just 30 minutes to make it across to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen, but the journey may take a little longer on windy days. The ferries are equipped with bars and restrooms, as well as air conditioning and comfortable seating, both indoors and outdoors. When you arrive at the Cozumel port, you'll be able to take taxis to various places around the island, and you'll also see a lot of stores and rental car locations too.
Important Information and Things to Do at Cozumel
- Getting Around - Once you get to Cozumel, you'll need to decide how you're going to get around. Some people choose to rent a car, which offers a lot of flexibility and lets you explore the far reaches of the island with ease, but traffic can build up quite quickly on Cozumel too, especially during the main touristic months, so it often makes more sense to rely on walking to get around. You can access a lot of the best beaches quite easily from the ferry port, or you could choose to rent bicycles and make your way around the island on two wheels, rather than four.
- Best Time to Visit - There's no single 'best' time to visit Cozumel, and the best time for you will depend on your own personal preferences and needs. If you love the sun and don't mind super high temperatures, visiting from May through to August will let you enjoy the highest temperatures, with highs of over 90 on average. However, the summer also brings big crowds and high risks of rainfall. To have a better chance of staying dry, March and April are quite good months to visit.
- Things to Do - Many people head to Cozumel to dip their toes in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and relax on the soft, silky smooth beaches this island has to offer. You can head to areas like Playa Mia Grand Beach Park or Playa Planacar for the best beach experiences, or head out to sea and do some snorkeling at the Arrecifies de Cozumel National Park; you can even find underwater statues and sculptures at the Museo Subacuatico de Arte. San Miguel de Cozumel is the only town on the island, so that's a good place to buy some souvenirs and enjoy some island dining, and you should definitely check out the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio too.