The Ultimate Guide To Cozumel Port

January 15, 2021

Cozumel is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, with almost 4 million passengers stopping here every year on one of the giant cruise ships that frequent the waters of the Caribbean.

First Things First

There are three cruise piers close to San Miguel de Cozumel, the islands capital. Punta Langosta Pier Cruise Terminal is the closest to the centre of town. The others, International Pier and Puerto Maya Cruise Terminal are a short taxi ride away. You may also anchor in the bay and take a tender to the port, if so, the tender will take you to San Miguel Pier which is smack bang in the middle of town. From here you can also take a ferry over to Playa Del Carmen, the best place to see the Mayan Ruins. The ferry takes around 30 minutes and expands your options for your day in Cozumel. Your cruise line will have details of the pier you are landing at prior to disembarkation which will help you to plan your day ashore.

Getting Around Cozumel

There isn’t a great choice in terms of public transport in Cozumel, but hiring a car, motorcycle or scooter is simple and cheap. You can also pick up a taxi from anywhere in the port or in town. You should be able to get a 4-hour tour for around $100, giving you the flexibility and freedom to choose your own itinerary. You can also hire bicycles if you aren’t planning on venturing to far from the town. All taxis in Cozumel are required to carry a rate card, as with any unfamiliar destination, if in doubt, agree the price beforehand. Make sure you have cash as cards are rarely accepted (though this is changing rapidly).

Underwater Cozumel

Most first-time visitors to Cozumel will want to try the snorkelling and diving, which is reputedly among the best in the world. Although the sea can get busy in peak season, there are a huge amount of options available, particularly for beginners and first-time divers. The waters are crystal clear and there is an abundance of sea life to discover. You can snorkel straight from the beaches on the west of the island, or for more adventurous souls, there is a good choice of excursions out to the offshore reefs. For more competent divers, the east of the island is far less developed, and the rocky outcrops make for a more relaxed ‘out of the way’ day of snorkelling.

A Day In San Miguel

If you don’t want to venture too far, there is plenty to see in the town to keep you entertained. The waterfront and main plaza are the main attractions. San Miguel is small and easily walkable. There are a lot of tourist shops around the main square and the piers, Handicrafts and Mexican art are widely available, as well as jewellery and silverware, and of course don’t forget to pick up a bottle of local tequila! You can also have a beach day without heading too far out of town.

Hit The Beach

The coast to the south of San Miguel is dotted with beach clubs, which can be reached in around 15 minutes by taxi. For a ful guide to the best beaches in Cozumel, check out our Cozumel beach guide. If you're short on time, our top 3 Beaches close to San Miguel are:

  1. Mr Sanchos – one of the most popular for cruisers, has 3 swimming pools a lounge, hammocks, and plenty of sun loungers. You can purchase tickets in advance, which is advised on busy days, and activities include a wave runner, horseback riding and parasailing.
  2. Paradise Beach – we have rated this best for Kids. The calm waters make this a serene day out, and you can enjoy the largest heated pool on the island. This beach club boast a water park, snorkelling, kayaks and stand up paddle boarding.
  3. Playa Mia Beach Club – This is a great beach for water sports including parasailing, including a 200-foot water slider and a pirate themed water park!

What Else Should You Know?

The currency is the Peso, the symbol for the peso is ‘$’ which can be confusing. Any pricing in dollars is usually represented as US$ or $US. If in doubt, check the most up to date currency conversions. US dollars are widely accepted. Spanish is the official language, though as you would expect, English is widely spoken in the main tourist areas. Shops generally close at lunchtime (which can be anytime between midday and pm), though expect that shops in the main tourist spots to be open all day. Most shops close on Sunday mornings, but again, this won’t be the case at the pier. Peak time to visit is November to March where the temperature is cooler and there is little rain. March to June will see more rain and much hotter days, while July to November is hurricane season so is best avoided.

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