Home to beautiful beaches and some of the best diving in the Western hemisphere, the island of Cozumel has plenty to offer to travelers looking for relaxation, adventure, or romance. Mexico’s third biggest island is also one of the country’s most important touristic destinations. If you’re traveling to this little piece of paradise, these are the top things to do in Cozumel. And if you need a place to stay, check Hipmunk’s guide to hotels in Cozumel.
1 Scuba Dive
Diving is one of Cozumel’s main attractions. Divers from all over the world visit the island to explore the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere. Formed by different types of coral, the reef is home to some 250 species of tropical fish. If you can’t dive, don’t fret. The island offers plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, too.
2 Go to Chankanaab National Park
Chankanaab means “Little Sea” in the Mayan language. The main feature of the park is the Chankanaab Lagoon, a salt water lagoon home to several species of marine turtles. The park also includes an archeological park, a botanical garden, a crocodile exhibit, and a pre-Hispanic tour, just to name a few of the attractions.
3 Visit Playa Palancar
Located just 20 minutes south of San Miguel, Playa Palancar is great for diving and has some fine spots for snorkeling, as well. This quiet, white-sanded beach is also a great place to relax on a hammock under palm trees. There is also a bar and a restaurant.
4 Discover Mexico
If you want to experience more of Mexico’s history and culture, this is the place for you. The Discover Mexico Park takes visitors on a journey that covers the evolution of Mexico’s great civilizations, the Spanish conquest, and modern arts and culture.
5 Go to Isla Pasion
A private island located on the northern part of Cozumel, Isla Pasion (Passion Island) has one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Its perfect powdery white sand and crystal clear sea waters attract lots of visitors looking for the perfect Caribbean getaway. Fortunately, the beach is almost 2.5 miles long, so you can easily avoid the crowds.
6 Visit the San Gervasio Ruins
Cozumel’s largest Mayan site, San Gervasio was the island’s capital and remained inhabited from A.D. 300 to 1500. The site was also a ceremonial center dedicated to Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility. Mayan women were required to visit the sanctuary once in their lifetime. To fully appreciate the site, it is recommended to hire a guide.
7 Check out Punta Sur Eco Beach Park
A protected habitat for many species of birds and animals, the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park is a great place for bird watching. There are several observation towers throughout the park where you can see migratory birds and crocodiles, if you are lucky. On Cozumel’s southernmost point, the park features a lighthouse turned into a navigation museum, the Faro de Celarain. From the top, you get one of the best views of the island.
This post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.