How to get from Cancun to Cozumel: The Complete Guide

Heading from Cancun to Cozumel? Look no further. In this post, we will share all the different ways you can get to Cozumel from Cancun so that you can decide the best mean of transportation for your needs.

There is no shortage of things to do in Cancun; however, sometimes you want to get out and explore a bit more of the Yucatan Peninsula.

For many people, Cancun is the starting point of their vacation before heading out to explore more of the area.

Thankfully, it is easy to travel around the Yucatan Peninsula, with transportation options to fit your preference and budget.

Cozumel is an island off the coast of Playa del Carmen that is known for its amazing coral reef and clear, turquoise waters. In fact, it’s a paradise for divers and snorkelers or nature lovers alike.

If you are staying in Cancun and want to get to Cozumel either for a day trip or a few days, there are several different ways to get from Cancun to Cozumel.

So let’s dive into it so that you can pick the best option for you.

How to get from Cancun to Cozumel

In a rush? Use the table below to learn how to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel






45 -60 min.

US$ 70 (from 1 to 3 p)


45 - 60 min

US$ 30 - 70 (per day)


60 min - 90 min

US$ 25 (per person)


45-60 min

from 349 USD


1- 2h

$US 12 (per person)


45-60 min

$US 80 - 150 (per taxi)

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Cancun to Cozumel: An Overview

Cozumel is an island located in the Caribbean Sea about 20 kilometers off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

The island is not connected to the mainland by bridges, so to get to Cozumel you will need to arrive by boat or plane.

There are no direct boats that travel from Cancun to Cozumel. Ferries to the island leave from Playa del Carmen, a town that is located about 80 kilometers to the south of Cancun.

There are two types of ferries that run to the islands, passenger ferries, and car ferries. 

If you are going to take the ferry across from the mainland to Cozumel, the first thing you will need to sort out is your transportation from Cancun to the ferry terminal in Playa del Carmen.

There are many different ways to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, and you should budget at least one hour and a half (or longer, depending on what transportation you choose ) to make it to the ferry terminal, buy your tickets, and get on the ferry.

We will talk about all of it in a bit. Stay with us 🙂

Where Is Cozumel?

Cozumel is located in the Caribbean Sea, about 20 kilometers off the coast of Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Playa del Carmen is 80 kilometers to the south of Cancun. Cozumel is Mexico’s third largest island and is 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. 

Cozumel is famous for its clear, turquoise water and amazing coral reefs. The reefs are part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and are famous for large, underwater coral structures, dramatic walls, and lots of marine life.

Most people live in the densely populated downtown in Cozumel. There you can find shopping and restaurants. 

Cozumel aerial view

How far is Cancun from Cozumel?

Cancun is about 95 kilometers miles from Cozumel. Unfortunately, there is no boat that goes directly from Cancun to Cozumel.

Instead, you will need to head south from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Playa del Carmen is 80 kilometers south of Cancun.

From Playa del Carmen you will take a ferry which takes about 25 minutes to arrive at Cozumel. 

Can I Catch a Ferry or Boat Directly to Cozumel from Cancun?

No, unfortunately, there is no ferry that goes directly from Cancun to Cozumel. When you are in Cancun you will see signs for the ferry terminal, but these are for ferries that will take you to Isla Mujeres.

The Ultramar ferry company also advertises transportation from Cancun to Cozumel, but beware, it is not actually a direct boat.

They will sell you a package with transportation from Cancun to the ferry terminal in Playa del Carmen and the ferry ticket. 

Playa del Carmen to Cozumel Ferry Explained

The most common way to arrive in Cozumel is by taking the passenger ferry. The passenger ferries leave from the main ferry dock in Playa del Carmen and run almost every hour from 8 in the morning until 10 pm.

There are two ferry companies that run the route, Winjet and Ultramar, and they alternate departure hours.

The best way to check up-to-date ferry schedules for the two companies is on their website, linked above.

Cozumel Ferry: What you should know

When you arrive at the ferry terminal you will see the ticket booths for both ferries and can choose the departure time you want.

The ticket agents will often try to sell you a round-trip ticket. This is fine if you know what hour you will want to return to the mainland, but if you want more flexibility on what ferry company you use to return to Playa del Carmen, choose to purchase a one-way ticket instead.

You do not save any money by buying a round-trip ticket, the price is double the cost of a one-way ticket.

The only advantage of buying a round-trip ticket is that you will not need to wait in line to buy your return ticket.

This is beneficial if you are planning to cross on the last ferry of the day (it can be busy) or if you are afraid you will not arrive at the ferry dock with much time.

Otherwise, plan to arrive a few minutes before the ferry departs to give yourself plenty of time to buy a ticket. 

Cozumel boat

What if I have a lot of bags to carry to the Cozumel Ferry?

When you arrive in Playa del Carmen your transportation will drop you off a few blocks from the ferry terminal.

The roads that lead directly to the ferry terminal are all pedestrian.

If you need help getting to the ferry terminal, there are people who have tricycles who can help you.

For a few dollars, they can load your bags and take them to the ferry so you do not need to drag them.

If you or someone in your group has mobility difficulties and cannot walk a few blocks to the ferry dock, the tricycle can also give you a ride! 

The passenger ferries that travel between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel are very comfortable. Both companies have ferries that are multi-level, with options to sit inside in the air conditioning or on open-air decks.

The ferries are fast, and the crossing takes around 30-45 minutes, depending on the weather and water conditions.

In general, the crossing is smooth, but if there is a strong wind, it can get a little rocky. If you are prone to seasickness, pay attention to the wind before boarding the ferry.

If it will be rough on either side of the crossing you may want to take an anti-sea sickness medicine before boarding.

It is very rare that the ferries need to cancel crossings because of wind or bad weather. It takes a lot more than a windy day to affect the crossings.

It generally takes at least a tropical storm to generate the strong wind and waves needed to cancel the crossings.

Most of the time the crossings are very pleasant, with daytime ferries even having live music for you to enjoy! You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the views of the mainland and the island. 

Cozumel ocean views

Cozumel Car Ferry

The Cozumel car ferry leaves from Punta Venado, which is a few kilometers south of Playa del Carmen.

There are two car ferry companies, Ultramar Carga and Transcaribe. The car ferry runs much less frequently than the passenger ferry, usually only two or three times a day.

The schedule changes frequently, so the best way to check the car ferry schedule is to check the two companies’ sites.

INSIDER TIP – Beware, the crossings listed as “carga negra” are only for commercial trucks bringing products to the island, you cannot cross your personal vehicle at those times.

Since there are only a few crossings a day, the car ferry tends to fill up, especially during the high season.

You will need to arrive at least an hour and a half early (or more during the high season) to ensure that there will be space for your car.

You can also make a reservation for your car online, but will still need to arrive about an hour early to load onto the ferry.

The car ferry takes about one hour to cross. Depending on where your car is parked, it can take another half hour or so to unload.

The amount of time it takes to get your car off the ferry depends on where you are parked. The car ferry has a comfortable, air-conditioned interior, or you can sit outside on the deck. It has a snack bar too. 

How much does the car ferry to Cozumel cost?

The price to cross a compact car is between 680 and 750 pesos without reservation. If you make a reservation the cost is 1,100 pesos, and reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. 

Can I leave the car in Playa del Carmen?

If you are only planning to cross to Cozumel for a day, it is not worth your time and effort to cross your car on the ferry.

Instead, find a secure parking lot in Playa del Carmen and pay to park your car overnight. If you want to have a car on Cozumel to explore the island, you can always rent a car for the day. 

There are different parking lots in Playa del Carmen nearby the Cozumel ferry pier. The price to leave your car is around 180 MXN per day.

Driving in Cozumel by car

The best 5 ways to get from Cancun to Cozumel

As I mentioned before, there are several different ways to get from Cancun to Cozumel. Here is an outline of the best ways to get to Cozumel.

This will help you spend as little time as possible in transit, so you can enjoy your vacation to the max. 

1. Private transfer from Cancun to Cozumel

This is the most comfortable way to Get to Cozumel from Cancun airport or hotel.

Whether you are departing for Cozumel from the Cancun International Airport or a hotel in Cancun, a private transfer is the fastest and most comfortable way to get to the ferry dock in Playa del Carmen.

You can book a private transfer ahead of time, and the driver will be ready to take you to the ferry pier.

Private shuttles offer fast, door-to-door service, so you will not waste time making stops and picking up other passengers.

When you book a private shuttle you will get

  • an English-speaking driver
  • comfortable and clean vehicle, with air conditioning
  • door-to-door service
  • personalized attention
  • keep social distance (good for safety-obsessed and introverts 🤣)

A private shuttle from Cancun to Playa del Carmen will cost around $70 for up to three people.

I would definitely make a budget for a private shuttle. 

2. Cancun to Cozumel Flights

In the past, there were options to fly on small planes directly from Cancun to Cozumel. Mayfair flew this route several times a day.

For around $60 you could book a seat on the 19-passenger plane, and arrive from Cancun to Cozumel in 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, Mayair is not currently offering this service. There are constant rumors circulating in Cozumel that the business was sold and will resume operations. 

People often get their hopes up because you can still find the Mayair website, but as I am writing this article there are no flights.

Another flight option that is currently not running is Fly Cozumel. Fly Cozumel had a six-passenger plane that you could charter to take you from Cancun to Cozumel. 

If you are landing in Cancun and want to head directly to Cozumel the flights were a great option. For the moment no companies are offering this service, but hopefully, the flights will resume soon! 

Or you can get an international flight to Mexico directly to Cozumel. You can check your rates on Expedia where you can even get a package deal.

3. Rent A Car: Driving from Cancun to Cozumel

Cozumel road east side

If want to rent a car in Cancun, it’s a great idea. You can even take it across from the mainland to Cozumel on the car ferry.

This is a good option if you are planning to stay in Cozumel for a few days and do not mind the extra time it takes to cross a car to Cozumel.

It is also a great option if you have a lot of bags with you and think it will be easier to cross a car than use the tricycle service and the passenger ferry.

If you are only crossing for a day or two or have limited time, it can be faster to leave your car on the mainland and rent a car in Cozumel. 

Renting a car in Cancun: things you must know

Renting a car in Cancun gives you the freedom to explore the Riviera Maya. You can stop at off-the-beaten-path beaches and cenotes and will have the freedom to move around as you, please.

➡️ If you don’t have a preferred car rental, I recommend using an aggregator such as to help you find great deals on rental cars in the area.

➡️ In Mexico third-party liability insurance is required- this is insurance that covers the cost of injuries to other drivers. Check your rental agreement carefully to see that this is included, or be prepared to pay extra when you pick up your rental car. 

➡️ It is safe to drive around the Yucatan Peninsula in a rental car. Outside of downtown Cancun and Tulum, there is rarely any traffic.

➡️ You will find as you drive between cities that there are frequent police checkpoints. Do not let these stress you out the police will usually just wave you through.

➡️ Try to avoid driving between cities at night. In addition to safety concerns, if you end up with car troubles, there is not always great lighting on the roads, and your chance of hitting an animal is much greater.

➡️ The highway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen is safe to drive.

➡️ Currently, in the winter of 2023, there is road work being done at the entrance to Cancun, so expect some traffic and delays when arriving in Cancun.

➡️ It is a great idea to use google maps or some sort of GPS navigation while driving, especially in the somewhat confusing streets of Cancun.

➡️ Not only will this keep you from getting lost, but it can let you know where there is a lot of traffic. 

Cozumel aerial view of the road at sunrise

4.  Cancun to Cozumel by Bus

You can use the ADO public buses to get from either downtown Cancun or the Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen.

Buses leave from both downtown and the airport about every 20 minutes during the day, making this an easy way to get to Playa del Carmen.

The bus will cost between $10-$15, making it an economical way to travel.

A bus is a great option if you are on a budget and traveling alone and do not have anyone to share the cost of a private transfer with.

The bus takes a bit longer than a private shuttle to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, between 1 and 1 and a half hours, depending on traffic. 

Buses from Cancun will arrive at the main ADO bus terminal in Playa del Carmen, which is located on Juarez and 5th avenue.

It is a short walk to the ferry dock from the bus station. You will exit the bus station, head toward the water, and turn right- you can’t miss it!

If you have a large suitcase or would like help getting to the ferry dock, you can use the tricycle service. You will be pedaled down to the ferry for a few dollars. 

The ADO buses are comfortable and safe. They have air conditioning and even play movies! You can use them to move around the entire Yucatan Peninsula. 

5. Cancun to Playa del Carmen Colectivo

If you are in downtown Cancun and want to get to Playa del Carmen, you can use a Colectivo. Colectivos are large, shared vans that drive between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

You can hop on a colectivo at the parking lot of the downtown Mega Soriana. Colectivos do not run on a set timetable and make multiple stops along the highway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Locals use them to get to work and they are cheap – it will only cost you around 60 pesos to get to Playa del Carmen.

You hop on the colectivo and flag the driver when you want a stop, and pay the driver directly. If you are on a budget and traveling without luggage, they can be an interesting experience.

Colectivos can be cramped. If you have a lot of luggage they are not a good option because there is nowhere to put it!

The colectivo route ends in Playa del Carmen a few blocks away from the ADO station. From there you will walk to the ferry dock. 

Also, beware that Colectivos´drivers usually drive like crazy!

6. Cozumel by tour

Cozumel coast drone views

Booking a tour to Cozumel from Cancun may be a great idea if you are in a rush and want to be bothered planning the whole trip. It definitely takes away a lot of stress but also the freedom to travel on your own schedule.

So that really depends on your priorities.

There is so much to do in Cozumel- visit the famous El Cielo beach, go snorkeling, and drive around the island, that you do not want to waste any time when you arrive.

Booking a tour in advance will help you make the most of your time on Cozumel and help you see the best sites. Here are a few tours you do not want to miss:

👉 Tour to Cozumel El Cielo by boat and Beach Club from Playa del Carmen

Enjoy the turquoise blue waters of Cozumel with this tour. Your tour included round-trip transportation from your hotel to Cozumel and back.

When you arrive in Cozumel you will head out on a snorkel boat to see three of the most famous sites: Gardens reef, Casa Blanca reef, and El Cielo.

El Cielo is a shallow area off the coast of Cozumel that is famous for its white sand, turquoise waters, and lots of starfish and stingrays to see.

From there you will go to a beach club where you can relax and eat lunch. Your tour ends with free time in the main plaza of downtown Cozumel.

This tour lasts 8 hours. 

cozumel snorkeling boat
Cozumel snorkeling boat – BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE

👉 Cozumel Island. (Ferry + Snorkel + Virgin Beach + Jeep)

4.5⭐ 19 Reviews

Experience Cozumel with this tour that takes you to two different national parks. You will meet in Playa del Carmen and cross on the ferry.

Upon arrival in Cozumel, you will head to Chankanaab Park, which is located in the National Marine Park. You will get to enjoy the botanical gardens, relax on the beach, and snorkel.

There will be Jeeps waiting at Chankanaab to take you to Punta Sur Eco-Park. Located on the southern tip of the island, here you will be able to climb the lighthouse for great views, take a boat ride in the lagoon to see crocodiles, and finish your visit relaxing on the beach.

The last stop of the day will be for a tequila tasting! This tour lasts approximately 12 hours.

Great customer service
We took 6 tours with turismo channel, two of which were private. Each day was the best day of our vacation. Freddy organized everything perfectly for us. Our tour guides, Gerry and Jaime, were extremely knowledgeable about the tours. We toured Chinchen-Itza, 5 cenotes, Isla Mujeres, deep sea fishing, Cozumel by catamaran, and Tulum/Coba, and Xplor. We would recommend all tours through turismo channel.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A Tripadvisor Reviewer, Jun 2021

👉 Snorkeling adventure through ‘El Cielo’ Cozumel. Included Food & Transportation

5⭐ 1 Review

Spend a day on the water visiting the most famous reefs with this day trip from Playa del Carmen. After arriving in Cozumel you will board a snorkel boat that will take you to the southern end of the island.

Here you will get to snorkel at the famous Palancar Garden and Colombia reef, where you will have a chance to see sea turtles, fish, and coral formations.

From there you will head to El Cielo, a sandbank that is located off the coast of the island. El Cielo means the sky or the heavens and gets its name from the amazing blue color of the water and the starfish that live here.

You will also see southern stingrays swimming in this area. Your tour also includes lunch at a beach club and free time to explore downtown Cozumel before returning to Playa del Carmen.

Beautiful place to visit
The reefs and the cielo and cielito were beautiful I had a great experience seen the star fish was awesome the staff was great they did there best to have us safe and happy the only down side I personally didn’t like was the food at playa del Carmen the food didn’t have no flavor and it was so simple for what I order other then the the locations we visit and the staff receives 5 star.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jesus_B, Apr 2021
cozumel snorkeling group blue water
Snorkeling in Cozumel – BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE

7. Taxi from Cancun to Cozumel

You can take a taxi from Cancun to Playa del Carmen; however, this is not the most recommended way to get there.

Unfortunately, taxi drivers are known to try to take advantage of tourists and charge really high prices for their service.

If you do decide to take a taxi, make sure you establish the rate with the driver BEFORE getting into the taxi.

A taxi ride from Cancun to Playa del Carmen should cost around 1000 pesos.

If the driver is asking for an excessively high amount of money, simply do not get into their taxi and find another one. 

Is there an Uber in Cancun?

This might seem like a simple question, but the answer is not so simple. Yes, there is Uber in Cancun; however, it is not widely used.

The state approved Uber in 2019 and despite protests from the local taxi union recently re-confirmed the legal right of Uber to operate.

Despite this, it is still not very common to use Uber in Cancun.

Taxi drivers were known to make it difficult, and sometimes even dangerous for Uber drivers to operate. This, obviously, made a lot of potential Uber drivers change their minds.

Now, it is possible to use an Uber in Cancun although there are still not many drivers. You may end up waiting a long time for your car to arrive.

Some Uber drivers will also ask you to pretend to be a friend and sit in the front seat so it does not look like an Uber.

They may also request that you are in an area without taxis before picking you up, which is impossible to establish because there are taxis everywhere in Cancun.

With the newest legal passing that allows Uber to operate it will be interesting to see if there are more Uber drivers in the near future. 

Cozumel road views from the drone

Is there an Uber in Cozumel Mexico?

No, Uber does not operate in Cozumel. You will need to use a taxi to get around. There are always taxis available on the main road.

If you are further in town and need a taxi, the easiest way to contact a taxi is through their Facebook page: Taxis Cozumel.

Cozumel Ferry Schedule

The Cozumel ferry schedule is subject to change. The best place to find up-to-date schedules is on the ferry companies’ social media pages.

In general, the ferries run every hour. The first ferry for Cozumel departs from Playa del Carmen at 8 am and the last ferry of the day departs at 10 pm.

The first ferry of the day from Cozumel departs at 7 am and the last at 9 pm. 

You can purchase your ferry tickets at the ticket counters on the ferry dock. You can choose between a one-way or a round-trip ticket, but there is no financial benefit from choosing a round trip.

A round-trip ticket will require you to use the same ferry company for return, so it can be easier to buy two one-way tickets.

The ferry ticket for tourists costs 250 pesos each way, there are discounts for locals with valid ID. 

Can I take my luggage on the ferry?

You can take your luggage with you on the ferry. If you have large, roller suitcases you will need to take them to the back of the ferry.

The ferry workers will load the suitcase onto the ferry and you will pick it up when you get to Cozumel.

Can I take my dog on the ferry?

If you are traveling with a pet you can take them on the ferry too. There is a designed pet zone in the outdoor seating section.

Winjet requires that your dog have a muzzle to board the ferry, Ultramar does not have this requirement.

Can I take my bike on the ferry?

You can even take your bicycle across on the ferry for no additional cost, just take it to the back where you load the luggage! 

Where to stay in Cozumel 

If you want large, luxurious all-inclusive resorts, the best options are on the mainland. Cozumel has a lot of great hotel options that can fit any budget. 

🏨 Best Hotel for Couples: Intercontinental Presidente Resort and Spa

InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa, an IHG Hotel
Intercontinental Presidente Resort and Spa – photo © Expedia

Located just south of town, many consider this the best hotel on the island. It has a white, sandy beach in front with great snorkeling.

There are on-site restaurants. What makes this hotel stand out is a great service. 

🏨 Best Bed and Breakfast: Tamarindo 

Located in downtown Cozumel, this recently renovated bed and breakfast offers beautiful rooms in a lovely garden setting.

You can stay cool in the brand-new pool. The lovely hosts cook up a great breakfast every morning and you are just steps away from downtown restaurants. 

🏨 Best Hotel for Relaxing: Westin

westin cozumel hotel
Westin – photo © Expedia

This new hotel is located in the quiet, northern hotel zone of Cozumel. It is located on a small strip of sandy beach with easy entry into the water.

There is great snorkeling from the shore and the rooms have beautiful ocean views. 

Cozumel travel tips

If you have time, it is a great idea to visit Cozumel for a day or two. The water is crystal clear with amazing coral reefs that you can snorkel or scuba dive on.

Another tourist favorite activity that you do not want to miss is renting a car and driving around the island.

Aside from a few restaurants, the west side of the island has no infrastructure, just lots of beaches to explore! 

What’s the best time to visit Cozumel?

Rainbow on the beach in Cozumel

Thankfully there is no bad time of the year to visit Cozumel. The dry season months of December to April are the high season for tourists.

These months have consistently good weather, with comfortable temperatures and lower humidity.

During this time of the year, downtown Cozumel can get busy with tourists. Cozumel has multiple cruise ship docks and the town gets busy when ships are in port.

If you do not mind the higher temperatures and humidity the summer months have fewer tourists. The hot weather makes it a great time to be in the water exploring the coral reefs. 

Is Cozumel worth it?

It depends on what you are into. If you want a party scene with lots of shopping, Cozumel is probably not your top destination in the Riviera Maya.

Cozumel is great for visitors who love the water. There are wonderful snorkel and dive sites to visit.

Cozumel has an iron shore, which means in many areas the beach is rocky. It does not have the enormous white sand beaches of Cancun.

If you want to spend time on the beach and have access to great snorkeling, there are great beach clubs to visit. 

How many days do I need in Cozumel?

You can visit Cozumel on a day trip or spend a few days here.

If you are a scuba diver you will want at least a day or two to visit the famous dive sites such as Palancar Reef and Santa Rosa Wall.

Snorkelers will love a tour of Colombia reef and El Cielo.

You can rent a car and spend a day driving around the island, stopping to explore the ruins and visit different beach restaurants. 

Ocean waves on the beach in Cozumel

Top things to do in Cozumel 

▶ Go scuba diving

Cozumel is famous for its clear water and coral reefs. If you are a certified diver, you do not want to miss seeing the coral formations.

If you have never tried scuba diving, there is no better place. Cozumel has warm, clear water, and lots of marine life to see. 

Take a snorkel trip. Hop on a boat and head south into the marine park. There are several shallow reefs where you will see lots of marine life.

Visit Palancar and Colombia reefs to look at colored corals, fish, and sea turtles. Most snorkel tours end with a visit to El Cielo – a beautiful sand bank that is home to starfish. 

▶ Visit Punta Sur Eco-Park

Located on the southern tip of the island, this park has plenty of lookout towers to climb and get views of the ocean and lagoon.

You can climb the lighthouse and go for a boat ride in the lagoon to see crocodiles. There is a beautiful beach to relax at and you can snorkel on the shallow reef. 

▶ Rent a car and drive around the island

Experience the “wild side” of Cozumel. Aside from a few restaurants, Cozumel’s east side is an undeveloped beach.

Stop at the ruins of San Gervasio on your way across the island and spend your day enjoying the beautiful sites. 

Renting a car in Cozumel

▶ Visit a beach club

Spending your day relaxing at a beach club. Many beach clubs have shallow reefs where you can snorkel, paddle boards to rent, and great views of the water. 

Is a day trip to Cozumel worth it?

Yes! Make the most of your day by planning ahead what you will do. You do not want to waste time when you arrive in Cozumel trying to book last-minute tours.

Plan to take an early ferry so you have plenty of time to either drive around the island, head to a beach club, or go out snorkeling or scuba diving.

As a plus, in the summer months when there is the possibility for seaweed on Cancun beaches, the Cozumel west side is usually seaweed free.

Due to the wind direction, the west side beach clubs and beaches are spared the sargassum. If you are in Cancun during seaweed season, you can find clean beaches in Cozumel. 

Is Cozumel safe for visitors?

Yes, Cozumel is extremely safe for visitors. Just a note, be careful with your belongings in Cozumel (as you should be in all tourist destinations).

Petty theft is unfortunately a problem in Cozumel.

Too often tourists are not paying attention and leave valuables in unlocked cars or on empty beaches and they are stolen.

Make sure to lock your car, and keep values with you.  

Cozumel coastline aerial view

Is Cozumel expensive?

Cozumel is an island, so often things are more expensive than on the mainland. That said, you can find food and accommodations from super expensive to budget on Cozumel.

If you want to save money, you can eat like a local, picking up tacos or visiting restaurants that offer “comida corrida.”

These restaurants offer a set menu, usually for lunch, that includes a drink, soup, and main course for as little as $6.

Restaurants directly on the water often cost more than those in town. If you want to indulge yourself, you can splurge on fancy meals here too. 

What’s better: Cancun vs Cozumel?

Cancun and Cozumel are very different, but it is impossible to say one is better than the other. Cancun has amazing all-inclusive resorts, shopping, restaurants, and amazing beaches.

Cozumel is more laid-back with smaller hotels, and a charming downtown.

Cozumel is known for its water activities and does not have the nightlife that Cancun has. 

Are US dollars accepted in Cozumel?

Yes, almost all businesses accept US dollars in Cozumel. Businesses are legally allowed to set the exchange rate that they use for US dollars.

The exchange rate should be posted somewhere in the business. You will not get the bank exchange rate at local businesses; however, the rate is not usually bad.

If you want to exchange dollars for pesos, there are “casas de cambio” all over town that will exchange your dollars for you. 

East side Cozumel aerial view at sunset

How to Get from Cancun to Cozumel Final Thoughts:

Cozumel is a great spot to visit. It is a change from Cancun- it has a slower pace and island vibes. Cozumel is a great spot for water activities, no trip to the island is complete without snorkeling or scuba diving on the world-famous reefs.

Whether you are heading to Cozumel from the Cancun airport or downtown Cancun, there are several ways to travel to Cozumel.

You can choose whatever transportation is the most comfortable for you and your budget to get you to Playa del Carmen. From there Cozumel is just a relaxing 45-minute ferry ride away! 

Adrienne diving

About the Author

Adrienne Banka is a Michigander and fell in love with diving at 16 years old. Now she is an island living dive instructor turned brewmaster, turned mom.  When she is not in the water she enjoys riding her bike and chasing after her dog and her little girl. 

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