35 Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: What You Need To Know Before Going

The gorgeous coastal Mexican island of Cozumel is a perfect destination for tropical seekers, cruise lovers, and avid scuba divers alike! I mean, it’s hard to say no to tropical climate, picturesque beaches, and colorful coral reefs. Am I right?

If you’re looking for an island paradise getaway, Cozumel should most definitely be on your list of places to visit! With its rich history and gleaming white sand beaches, this fascinating island has tons to offer.

To give you a taste of the magic Cozumel has to offer, did you know that the island was once sacred to the Mayan goddess Ix Chel, and you can still find ruins of her temples in the forests today? And to this day, Cozumel is equally as magical!

But as with many other foreign travel destinations, there are some things you should know before stepping foot on the island — especially if you’re not as familiar with the culture and customs in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

This post will cover all the helpful info you need to know about Cozumel, as well as give you useful tips and tricks to help you save money and have a blast on the island! Continue reading to discover my 35+ Cozumel travel tips.

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!

Planning your trip to Cozumel? Save on travel costs by booking your accommodations through this platform! Their ‘no prepayment’ and ‘free cancellation’ features are unbeatable.

Cozumel Travel Tips: General Info About Cozumel

If you’re visiting Cozumel for the first time, this section houses some general information to help you get the lay of the land. We’ll also provide tips on the best time to visit and what you can expect from the local culture.

Knowing what to expect when it comes to weather, geography, culture, and customs will help make your trip that much more pleasant!

Cozumel Mexico - Cozumel Travel Tips You Should Know Before Your Trip

1. You’ll find this gem of an island located just off Mexico’s eastern coast.

You’ll find the Mexican island of Cozumel in the Caribbean, just off the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s separated from mainland Mexico by the small strait of the Cozumel Channel.

It is a 34-mile-long by 11-mile-wide island off of Mexico’s Riviera Maya that consists of mostly undeveloped land. To the west of the island is Playa del Carmen, approximately 12 miles from the island.

Cozumel’s main town, San Miguel de Cozumel, is on the west coast, where you’ll find most tourist-related attractions and establishments. The island’s northern part is a natural reserve, while the southern tip boasts beautiful lagoons.

Much of the island is covered by red mangrove forests, home to several native birds and animals.

2. Cozumel is a coral reef hotspot.

Cozumel is surrounded by coral reefs, teeming with over a thousand species of marine life.

In fact, the reef is protected on the island’s southern side, as it forms part of the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, the second-largest reef in the world!

Another huge plus? The crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea make it SO easy to see the underwater world in all its glory.

Visitors to Cozumel can explore the coral reefs in a variety of ways, including snorkeling and scuba diving — two of the most popular things to do on the island.

There are many tour operators on the island that offer guided tours of the reefs, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the marine life and learn about the importance of coral reef conservation.

👉 Pro Tip: Cozumel offers tons of snorkeling/scuba excursions because it’s probably the #1 thing to do here! Book a snorkeling tour adventure here on Viator.

Can You Snorkel On Your Own In Cozumel - 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Cozumel Mexico

3. Cozumel is known for its warm tropical climate.

Cozumel is known for its tropical climate, with a short dry season and a long wet season. The island will also have some form of humidity, so expect the possibility of rain even in the ‘dry season’ (from February to April).

The year’s wettest months are September and October, so if you’re not a fan of rain on your vacations, you may want to avoid going in those months.

The temperature is relatively warm year-round, with a daily average of 73-78 F. The hottest months are from April to August, but you can expect highs of 83 F even in December.

With that in mind, you’ll want to pack light and breathable summer-type clothing no matter when you decide to visit!

4. Peak tourist season runs from December to April (when it’s the most dry).

The peak tourist season in Cozumel runs from December to April, which is considered the dry season. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it perfect for outdoor activities like exploring the island by car, snorkeling, and diving.

These months have the lowest chance of rain and the temperature averages between 80-85 F. The ocean temperatures range between 79-82 F, and the humidity is 78-80%.

Sounds like a great time for a vacation right? With that said, this is also the busiest time of year, so expect more crowds and higher prices for things like flights, cruises, excursions, and accommodations.

May to November is the rainy season in Cozumel, with the most rainfall occurring in September and October. While this time of year can be wet, it’s less crowded and more affordable. The rain usually comes in short bursts, so you can still enjoy plenty of sunshine and outdoor activities.

5. You can save money on your travels by visiting from May to November.

For all the savvy travelers looking to save on accommodation and airfare — if you head to Cozumel between the months of May to November, you may get some bargains and discounts as you enter the low season.

Low season typically means that you’ll find lower prices on everything from flights and accommodations to activities and dining.

During the low season, you can often find great deals on flights to Cozumel, especially if you book in advance or are flexible with your travel dates. You’ll also find that hotels and resorts offer lower rates during this time of year, making it easier to find affordable accommodations that fit within your budget.

Planning your trip to Cozumel? Save on travel costs by booking your accommodations through this platform! Their ‘no prepayment’ and ‘free cancellation’ features are unbeatable.

In addition to cheaper prices, visiting Cozumel during the low season also means fewer crowds which leads to more personalized attention and better service at bars, restaurants, and resorts!

While the low season does coincide with the rainy season, don’t let that deter you from visiting if you don’t mind a little rain. The rain typically comes in short bursts, and you’ll still have plenty of sunshine and warm weather to enjoy.

Some things to look forward to during the low season…

  • If you’re interested in diving: the best time to visit is from June to August, when the water is warm and the visibility is at its best.
  • If you’re interested in swimming with whale sharks: the best time to visit is from mid-May to mid-September.

6. Cozumel is part of Mexico and uses the Mexican peso.

When paying for things, you should be using pesos.

If you withdraw money from the local ATMs, it will be in pesos. Paying in pesos and/or credit cards is preferable.

While you can often use U.S. dollars in more tourist areas, you’ll likely be paying a bit more due to mediocre conversion rates. Additionally, the merchants may give you your change in pesos.

Make sure you carry cash on the island’s eastern side, as many places will not have the facilities to accept cards.

7. Spanish is the official language of Cozumel.

While it’s most certainly not required to get by on the island, brushing up on your Spanish skills before heading to Cozumel is a good idea. In fact, no matter where we go in the world, we try to at least learn a few important phrases in the local tongue!

While most people in the tourist areas will speak at least some English, it goes a long way if you attempt a little Spanish first!

8. Cozumel has a blend of Mexican, Caribbean, and Mayan cultures.

While Cozumel is part of Mexico, it has a distinct culture that sets it apart from other parts of the country. The island’s unique blend of Mexican, Caribbean, and Mayan influences can be seen in its food, music, and art.

For example, the influence of Mayan history can be spotted in the arts and handicrafts. When you start browsing the handmade items on the island (such as pottery, textiles, and jewelry), you’ll start to notice traditional Mayan designs and symbols, which serve as a reminder of the island’s rich history and culture.

And when it comes to food, you’ll find that Cozumel offers a unique blend of Mexican and Caribbean flavors! The island’s cuisine is known for its fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and bold seasonings.

Some of the must-try dishes include ceviche, a seafood dish marinated in lime juice and spices, and cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted pork dish that is a specialty of the Yucatan region.

La Perla Pixan - Where To Eat Playa Del Carmen

Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Transportation And Getting Around

9. Cozumel has its own airport.

Why Cancun International Airport is probably the most well-known airport of the Yucatan Peninsula, did you know that Cozumel also has its own airport?

You can easily get to the tourist areas of Cozumel via Cozumel International Airport, and many airlines offer direct flights to the island. Once there, you can reach your hotel using airport transfers or taxi services for San Miguel.

If you haven’t booked your flight to Mexico or Cozumel yet, look up flights to both CUN (Cancun) and CZM (Cozumel). Compare prices and choose the flight that works best for your travel plans.

10. Car Rentals and Driving Tips

Car rentals are available in Cozumel and are recommended if you plan to stay longer than a few days and wish to see more of the island. Car rentals are relatively cheap and allow you to take day trips on your own time without having to opt for expensive tours.

Need a rental car for your trip? To find cheap rental cars, I recommend using Rentalcars.com. Their search tool is one of the best I’ve found!

Most of the roads in downtown Cozumel are on a grid system. The roads are mostly one-way.

Drivers should follow one unspoken rule: If you are traveling from north to south, you have the right of way and you don’t have to stop at intersections. Consequently, this means if you are traveling from east to west you do NOT have the right of way and you must stop at every junction.

Cozumel Island has few roads outside the city, with good road conditions. You’ll drive on the right side of the road, as in the U.S.

11. You can also take public transportation or walk.

Here are all your options for getting around Cozumel:

  • Taxis
  • Colectivos (minivans that act like buses)
  • Bicycles
  • Scooters (mopeds)
  • Cars
  • On foot

Biking is one of the best ways to explore San Miguel — you can cover so much more ground with less effort compared to walking. It’s more fun than taking the colectivos because you can actually stop whenever you want, and it totally beats the cost of taking a taxi!

Most bars and restaurants allow bikers to park/lock their bikes in front of the establishments.

Is there Uber in Cozumel? Although Uber does exist in other parts of Mexico, Uber is not currently available in Cozumel. Fortunately, taxis are super easy to find and prices are strictly regulated so if you do need to catch a cab in a pinch, it should be pretty easy to find one!

Public transportation routes in Cozumel cover mainly the city areas and are dirt cheap to ride (8 pesos for adults, 4 pesos for children). While not made specifically for tourists or made to serve tourist destinations, Cozumel does have a good colectivo system!

Instead of keeping an eye out for a coach bus, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for a van with the word “Colectivo” written on the side or back of it.

What is a colectivo? In Cozumel, a colectivo is a shared shuttle that operates on a fixed route. These shuttles are typically vans or minivans that can accommodate up to 12 passengers, and they are a popular and affordable way to get around the island.

12. You can easily get to/from Playa Del Carmen and beyond from Cozumel.

If you want to explore what else the Yucatan Peninsula has to offer, consider planning a day trip to nearby destinations like Playa Del Carmen, Cancun, and Tulum.

Cozumel has a ferry service connecting it to the Yucatan Peninsula mainland, and it’s a 45-minute trip from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. To learn more about how to get to/from Cozumel from Playa del Carmen, read my detailed post on how to do it.

Playa Del Carmen - TravelsWithElle

13. Cozumel has its very own cruise ship port.

Cozumel is a popular destination for cruise ships, and there are three main cruise ports on the island. These ports are:

  1. Punta Langosta – Located in the heart of downtown Cozumel, this port is within walking distance of many shops, restaurants, and attractions.
  2. International Pier – This port is located on the southern end of the island and is the largest of the three. It can accommodate up to seven ships at a time and has a variety of shops and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.
  3. Puerta Maya – This port is located on the western side of the island and is owned by Carnival Cruise Line. It features a large shopping and entertainment complex, as well as a private beach area for Carnival passengers.
Night Attire - What To Pack For A Caribbean Cruise - TravelsWithElle

If you’re visiting Cozumel by cruise, you could probably just get by with your own two feet (or your cruise line’s ground transportation). Because there are plenty of shopping and dining options within walking distance of the three cruise ports, you might not need to spend a dime on public transportation!

If arriving at the Punta Langosta port: Cozumel’s downtown area is a 5-10 minute walk. On your walk, you’ll also pass by the Coral Reef Monument, Birds Monument, the Museo de Cozumel, and No Name Bar (a local institution for good food and drinks).

If arriving at the International Pier and Puerto Maya cruise terminals: the downtown area will be a 1-hour walk (your cruise should have shuttles to get you there). However, within walking distance from these ports are the Discover Mexico Park, the Cozumel Planetarium, and The Money Bar Beach Club.

Read More: What To Pack For A Caribbean Cruise: 55 Essentials To Bring (With Free Printable!)

Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Accommodations

Cozumel is a major tourist destination, so finding the perfect accommodation for you and your group will be a breeze. You can choose from trendy hotels to high-end resorts and beach bungalows to hostels — chances are, there will be something to suit your budget.

14. Types Of Accommodations Available (Hotels, Resorts, Airbnb)

You’ll want to pair your Cozumel experience with an unforgettable place to lay your head at night. There are so many great lodging options on Cozumel no matter what your budget and travel style is.

You can find all-inclusive resorts to oceanfront boutique hotels, and condos to apartments. Not to mention–everything is so affordable!

Cozumel Oceanfront - TravelsWithElle

All-Inclusive Resorts In Cozumel

Melia Cozumel All Inclusive – A beachfront resort located on the island’s northwestern shore, offering a wide range of activities and amenities, including full spa services, child care, water sports, multiple pools, 3 restaurants and 5 bars, as well as easy access to some of Cozumel’s top attractions.

Dreams Cozumel Cape Resort & Spa – A luxurious all-inclusive resort located on the southern end of Cozumel Island, offering a private beach, endless ocean views, gourmet dining, and a wide range of activities and amenities for guests to enjoy.

Boutique Hotels In Cozumel

Villas El Encanto Cozumel – Gorgeous set of full apartments and rooms offering contemporary dĂ©cor, air conditioning, kitchens, mini-bar and a private bathroom. Guests at Villas El Encanto Cozumel will find a wide range of restaurants within 5 minutes’ walk.

Hotel B Unique – Hotel B Unique is a 4-star hotel that provides accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, sun terrace, outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. Best of all, a complimentary breakfast is available daily!

Vacation Rentals In Cozumel

If you’re going to Cozumel with a larger group, I recommend renting an apartment, house, condo, or villa.

Yes, you read that right, a whole villa! Often, you can find entire villa rentals that fit anywhere from 2 to 16 people for the same price as hotel rooms.

Cozumel is home to a handful of beachfront villas and condos that range from charming to ultra-luxe. Check out VRBO for some really amazing and affordable beach rentals.

15. San Miguel is where you will find most of your accommodation options.

There is only one city in Cozumel, San Miguel, and this is where you will find most of your accommodation options.

The central area of San Miguel makes an excellent base for enjoying the island’s culture, markets, and nightlife and taking day trips to the other areas.

However, you don’t necessarily have to stay in San Miguel, especially if you want a different type of experience.

If you go to Cozumel for diving and snorkeling: your best option is to stay on the southern part of the island, close to Playa Palancar. Accommodations here may be more expensive, and you will likely need a rental car.

For those who prefer a quieter trip and a more laidback experience: I recommend staying on the island’s northern side.

Planning your trip to Cozumel? Save on travel costs by booking your accommodations through this platform! Their ‘no prepayment’ and ‘free cancellation’ features are unbeatable.

16. Your best bet for cheaper accommodation is to book during the low season and to stick to the central area.

Cozumel is a popular tourist destination, and given the fact that it’s an island (island = tourism!), that will mean prices are inevitably higher here.

Your best bet for cheaper hotel rooms/rentals is to book during the low season and to stick to the central area.

Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Activities And Attractions

Let’s start off with an overview of some of the top things to do in Cozumel:

17. If you’re limited on time, opt for a private Jeep tour.

The Private Jeep Excursion in Cozumel with Lunch and Snorkeling is the best bang-for-your-buck half-day excursion perfect for those of you who are limited on time in Cozumel.

On this 5-6 hour tour, you’ll get to drive a Jeep into the jungle, snorkel and enjoy a beachside lunch at a beach club, visit Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, do some wildlife sightseeing, explore Chankanaab Reef, tour San Gervasio Mayan Archaeological Site, go jet skiing, and go shopping at Mercado Municipal.

Not feeling some of those activities? You have the ability to personalize your itinerary however you like!

At under $100 USD per person, this excursion is a really good value — you get to see the best that Cozumel has to offer, all in one day!

How To Get To Cozumel From Cancun - Travels With Elle

18. Tips For Snorkeling, Diving, and Fishing

  • Head to Punta Sur on the island’s southernmost tip for some truly excellent snorkeling. It’s part of an ecological reserve, so you know it’s going to be a good experience! The park entrance fee is small, and the park rents snorkeling gear and offers tours. The park also has an observation tower to see the local crocodile species!
  • If you’re new to scuba diving, several places offer private introductory courses. Tikila Beach is a great place to do a shore dive, and you can book a boat tour for boat dives.
  • Cozumel is excellent for fishing, with many wonderful fishing spots over the island. You’ll need to avoid the protected zone of the National Marine Reserve Park, but the rest of the island’s beaches are open.
  • The lagoons on the southern end of Cozumel are excellent for flats fishing. For spearfishing, head to Playa Caletitas.

👉 Pro Tip: Cozumel offers tons of snorkeling trips including ones that’ll take you to a sea turtle sanctuary, ones that allow you to swim with starfish, and even ones that take place on glass-bottomed boats! Book a snorkeling tour adventure here on Viator.

El Cielo - Best Places To Snorkel In Cozumel

19. Cultural And Historical Sites (Mayan Ruins, Museums)

Cozumel is the perfect destination if you’re into history and love seeing the ruins of ancient civilizations.

For a taste of Mayan culture, you must see San Gervasio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the northern end of Cozumel. San Gervasio is the ruins of a significant Mayan religious site. Here, women would travel to pay homage to the jaguar goddess Ix Chel. There are nine temples in the mangrove jungle.

To get an overview of the island’s fascinating history, we suggest heading to Cozumel Museum and taking in its fun and interactive exhibits. It is housed in what was once one of the island’s first hotels and is dedicated to preserving Cozumel’s traditions and culture.

20. Adventure Activities (Zip-Lining, ATV Tours)

For the adrenaline-seeking adventurer, there are plenty of options for you on Cozumel too!

  • Head to Chankanaab Adventure Beach to swim with manatees, enjoy a seatrek tour, have a spa day, taste tequila, experience a temazcal ceremony, and so much more. The park also has a seal lion show and scuba tours, making it a popular way to spend a full day.
  • ATVs and off-road tours are super fun ways to view the island’s pristine white beaches and dense mangrove jungles while enjoying some exhilaration. There are several tour lengths available, so pick the one that you have time for.

21. For shopping, head to the San Miguel area.

San Miguel offers plenty of opportunities to shop for Mayan and Mexican arts and crafts and duty-free items like liquor and jewelry.

  • San Miguel Town Square is in the heart of the downtown area. Here you can find traditional clothing, sterling silver jewelry, ceramics, and hand-woven hammocks.
  • Los Cincos Soles is your go-to for finding authentic souvenirs, Mexican handcrafts, jewelry, and great food. They’ve got other locations across the Yucatan too.

Ready for a meal? San Miguel has plenty of restaurants, ranging from laidback budget options like El Coffee Cozumel to five-star Caribbean fusion and seafood like Buccanos at Night.

22. Visit the local markets for fresh produce and handmade crafts

Souvenirs are great and all, but be sure to visit the local markets for fresh produce and handmade crafts too! They offer a more authentic experience than the touristy souvenir shops.

Here are a few pointers on where to shop:

  • Mercado Municipal: Located in downtown Cozumel, you’ll find everything from colorful textiles and pottery to traditional Mexican candies and spices.
  • PLAZA RevoluciĂłn: This market is located near the cruise ship piers and offers a wide variety of souvenirs, including t-shirts, hats, and jewelry. While it can be a bit touristy, it’s still a great place to find affordable souvenirs and gifts.
  • Plaza del Sol: Located near the waterfront, this shopping center offers a variety of stores selling everything from clothing and jewelry to electronics and souvenirs. It’s a great place to escape the heat and do some shopping while still experiencing the local culture.
  • Royal Village Shopping Center: Expect name-brand clothing, electronics, home goods, and shoes, as well as souvenir boutiques selling handcrafted items.

Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Safety And Health Tips

23. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen.

Applying sunscreen to your face and body is absolutely necessary for tropical destinations. Even if it’s overcast and cloudy, the UV index can be very high, so be sure to apply it whenever you’re outdoors.

If you plan on snorkeling near the reefs, choose a coral reef-safe brand like Thinksport, as traditional sunscreen contains chemicals that damage and even kill those precious reefs.

If you’re going anywhere in the tropics, you’ll be close to the equator so you really want to use a high SPF – I don’t go below SPF 30 in hot and sunny climates.

You can buy your sunblock in Cozumel, but you’ll probably be overpaying big time. Don’t forget the sunglasses, hats and bug spray, either!

Reef Safe Sunscreen - What To Bring To Mexico All Inclusive Vacation
These are all reef-safe sunscreen options!

24. Bring bug spray.

This is one of my most preached Cozumel / Yucatan Peninsula travel tips. Even if you’ll be spending most of your time at the resorts, bringing bug spray is a must.

The mosquitos tend to come out at night and especially after a day of rain or thunderstorms.

If you plan on doing any sort of alfresco dining (eating outdoors), do yourself a favor and come prepared to fend off the bloodsuckers!

25. Pack all other “just in case” medicines and toiletries.

Bring all your first aid supplies and toiletries with you regardless of whether you THINK you’ll need it or not. This means sunscreen, allergy medicine, ibuprofen, itching cream, etc.

For sunscreen, opt for the travel-size bottle if you don’t plan on checking a bag (otherwise you won’t be able to get it through airport security). This is better than not bringing any with you at all because sunscreen will be expensive to buy on the island.

Why is that? You’re entering a pretty touristy area, which means all these necessities will surely be marked up and be very expensive. Just to give you an example of the exorbitant costs–our last all-inclusive resort had sunscreen on sale for $31 USD and Pepto-Bismol for $11 USD.

One word: overpriced.

Also, I recommend you pack some ImmodiumPepto-Bismol, and/or ciprofloxacin just in case. While the food you eat will likely be clean, a lot of travelers’ stomachs are not used to the differences in food (especially if you’re going to be trying street food during your trip).

And if you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, your stomach probably won’t be used to digesting so much food either.

After talking to a few hotel workers, I learned that upset stomachs are not uncommon at all. Be prepared by bringing these medicines with you so you don’t need to buy these items in the chance that you need them.

26. Cozumel – San Miguel in particular – experiences relatively little crime.

There are currently no restrictions on travel to Cozumel from the U.S. Department of State. Still, it is advised that your exercise increased caution, especially in downtown areas at night.

Cozumel has a travel advisory rating of Level 2 (out of four levels total). Level 2 means “Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security.”

Having said that, you can relax knowing there are typically not many major crimes committed on the island.

27. Do your best to avoid scams and be aware of your surroundings.

If you’re able to practice vigilance while traveling, you’ll be the ideal traveler! Here are some general rules you need to remember to follow:

  • Keep to well-lit tourist areas with plenty of pedestrians.
  • Do not flash your valuables and money around on vacation, as this can attract the attention of pickpockets and scammers. Hopefully, this is common sense for you.
  • While pickpocketing is uncommon, it is more likely near the ferry area to keep an eye open when there.
  •  You may also be charged higher ‘tourist prices’ while out. We like to avoid touristy restaurants for this very reason (places with English menus).
  • Be aware of scams involving taking photos for others and of people helping you at the ATM.

28. Don’t drink tap water in Cozumel.

You don’t want your holiday ruined because of ill health or a bad reaction to food or water! Here are further tips for staying safe and healthy while in Cozumel.

  • Avoid drinking tap water. Only drink bottled water, and check that the restaurant washes its food in bottled water.
  • Wash any fruit or vegetables you buy. You can clean them first using tap water, then rinse them with bottled water.
  • You may want to pack some Imodium with you, in case you come down with a stomach bug or get traveler’s diarrhea while enjoying the local food.

What about vaccines? There are no required vaccinations to enter Mexico from the U.S. However, the CDC lists the following guidelines for travel to Cozumel:

  • Before traveling, you should be current on all your routine vaccinations (chicken pox, polio, measles, etc.).
  • You must be up-to-date on your Covid-19 vaccinations.
  • Hepatitis A and B vaccines are highly recommended for Mexico.

29. Make sure you’re covered with some sort of travel insurance.

When I say travel insurance, I mean insurance for not just your belongings, accommodations, and flights, but also for your body! Especially if you plan on doing anything active/adventurous like snorkeling, surfing, ziplining, etc.

This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.

If you’ve got a premium credit card, sometimes travel insurance is included as a benefit.

Otherwise, one of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.

SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, they will cover the medical expenses.

In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation (much needed if you like to go hiking / trekking in the wild), travel delay, and lost checked luggage.

Click here to price out how much travel insurance would be for your trip.

If you need to drop into a clinic, here are two excellent options on Cozumel:

  • San Miguel Clinic
  • Cozumel Medical Center

Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Miscellaneous Tips

30. Fill out your immigration form before arriving.

Mexico requires travelers to fill out an Official Entry Immigration Form (or Tourist Card) before passing through customs once they land at the airport.

If you want to be prepared, you can fill this form out online before traveling, though airlines will hand these out to everyone on the plane before landing so you can complete it then.

UPDATE: The Tourist Card is NO LONGER provided by commercial airlines. You’ll want to fill out the entry immigration form online, which is free to do.

OFFICIAL INFORMATION: If you are flying to Mexico, registration is totally free and can be done online, though some airports may require one extra application or information to complete your arrival process. Fill out your entry immigration form online so you don’t delay your immigration process when you arrive in Mexico.

31. Exchange for pesos at ATMs for the best rates.

Exchanging your home currency for pesos from an ATM is a much better deal than exchanging it at your local bank ahead of time or at the foreign exchange kiosks at the airport.

If you can find an ATM at the airport that’s hosted by a bank, and your bank refunds you ATM convenience fees, getting pesos here will be perfectly fine! Otherwise, head downtown for the ATMs that charge the least fees. You’ll get the best conversion rates here. 

You’ll also notice at shops and restaurants in Cozumel, you’ll have the option of paying in US dollars or pesos. One thing I’d definitely recommend is paying with pesos.

Paying with dollars (not recommended) will cost you an additional 15-20% more than what you need to pay.

32. Always have pesos on hand for tipping.

Tipping is a part of the culture in Cozumel. Many people here work in the service industry, and tourism is their primary form of employment. Tips often make up a large portion of many workers’ salaries.

Having pesos on hand means you can tip easily (which is something you should do to support the local workers). Even if you’ll be spending all your time in an all-inclusive resort, you should tip. A small tip at the bar, the restaurant or after room service can go a long way.

Here’s a quick tipping guide for a couple of common scenarios you may encounter:

  • Tip bag handlers and porters a few dollars (20 to 50 pesos).
  • A standard tip in restaurants is about 15% of the bill.
  • Leave a small gratuity for room service or hotel cleaners, we like to leave a few dollars.
  • Taxi fares are pre-determined and don’t require a tip. However, if the taxi driver helps you with your luggage, a tip is a good idea.
  • Private tour guides should be tipped.

33. You’ll be able to access the internet while on the island.

You can easily find internet access in San Miguel, as well as in almost all hotels and resorts. Having said that, the further you get from downtown, the lower your speeds will likely be.

If your accommodation does not have internet for whatever reason, you can always head to a nearby coffee shop or eaterie in San Miguel for WiFi access.

Some establishments, such as EMbii Coffee, market themselves as great for remote workers.

Most major phone carriers will work in Cozumel but be aware that roaming charges can be high – with some services costing $2 a minute. Short message services (sms) fees can also be very high.

👉 Before You Go: For incredible convenience, get yourself an Airalo e-SIM card so you can download a digital data pack and get connected anywhere in the world as soon as you land.

34. Bring earplugs or headphones for your flight.

There is a good chance there will be families traveling by plane with young children and/or babies. A very good chance. We highly recommend bringing earplugs or headphones for your plane rides to drown out any potential crying babies!

35. Packing List And Essential Items To Bring

Before actually hopping onto your flight or cruise to Cozumel, you must consider the weather and your planned activities in order to pack the right gear.

Here’s a quick checklist of the essential items to pack for your trip:

  • Passport and any other required paperwork
  • Travel Insurance – through your credit card or SafetyWing
  • Money – some cash in pesos and a credit card cleared for international withdrawals
  • Weather-appropriate clothes – shorts, tee shirts, lightweight shirts, sundress
  • Swimsuit
  • Earplugs and headphones for flight
  • Sun protection – sun hat, sunglasses, sunblock
  • Sandals and suitable comfortable shoes for walks/hikes/ATV tours
  • Your own snorkeling gear if you plan to do a lot of snorkeling
  • Beach bag
  • Portable charger
  • Travel adapter (if visiting from outside North America)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Medications (some OTC items like Imodium and ibuprofen are expensive in Cozumel)

Read More: 40 Travel Essentials for Hot Weather and Tropical Climates

Relax and have fun!

You are on vacation, YES! Go into it with the most positive attitude and embrace where you are – a total tropical haven. If you want to spend all your days fitting in action and adventure, do it.

Cozumel is one of the best places to try a new water activity or a new dish you’ve never heard of before!

But don’t forget to carve out some time to do nothing but relax. Ahhhhhh…..

Cancun Travel Tips - Travels With Elle

Cozumel is the destination for you if you’ve been longing to visit an island paradise with long white beaches, mangrove jungles, and hidden Mayan mysteries.

Whether you prefer leisurely laid-back fishing on the lagoons, adventure in the tropics, or partying on the beach, you’ll find a little of everything here!

Looking for more Cozumel travel tips? You may also like:

The Best Time To Visit Cozumel: A Month By Month Guide

10 Best Places to Snorkel in Cozumel, Mexico

How To Get To Cozumel From Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Beyond

27 Best Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen For An Unforgettable Vacation

Go City Pass Review: Is It Worth The Money In Cancun?

My Favorite Travel Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when planning out a new trip itinerary. The sites/companies listed here typically have the best overall value, offer deals, beat out other competitors, and offer great customer service when needed.

  • WayAway | This site compares flight ticket fares from hundreds of agencies. You’re going to get the best prices on the market, at least $10 lower than those on Skyscanner, Kayak, and Priceline.com. The best part is? The WayAway Plus membership. With the membership, you’ll get up to 10% cash back on airline tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, and other travel services.
    • DEAL ALERT! Use code ‘travelswithelle’ for 10% off WayAway Plus.
  • Booking.com | Honestly, this is my go-to accommodation booking site. This site has free cancellation and no prepayment required on reservations which is huge for me. It also has amazing abilities to filter accommodation options by rating and price. Honestly, it’s shaved off so many hours of endless research for me and has made booking hotels and other accommodations a breeze.
  • Viator | Viator is a huge online marketplace for all things tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, ATV tours, sailing trips, walking tours, hot air ballooning, and more.
  • Go City | Go City offers great value-for-the-money attraction passes in various destinations around the world. Whenever I want to play tourist in a city, I always check to see if Go City operates in that city. The money you can save with this pass is unreal (as opposed to buying admission tickets for various attractions separately).
  • SafetyWing | SafetyWing is by far one of the best travel medical insurance for travelers as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those heading abroad.
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Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

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