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Although only a quick 40-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen, Cozumel couldn't be more different than its cousins on the Riviera Maya. More than 95 percent of the island remains untouched beachfront, scraggly jungle, and carefully protected swamps and lagoons. Nearly all of Cozumel's hotels, beach clubs and restaurants are clustered on the western (leeward) side of the island where the calm waters are better for swimming and diving.
San Miguel de Cozumel is the only town on the island and mainly serves as a debarking point for the hoards of cruise ships that help make Cozumel one of the Top 10 most-visited locations in the world. But when evening falls and the cruise ships set sail, Cozumel regains its peaceful Mayan vibe.
The best time to book a Cozumel vacation package is from Christmas to Easter. Remember that August through October is peak hurricane season in the Caribbean. Cozumel was slammed by hurricane Wilma in October 2005, but all damaged hotels and other tourist facilities have been renovated or rebuilt.
The biggest attractions on the little island of Cozumel are all underwater. They're the coral reefs. Divers come back year after year to explore them. In fact, Cozumel is known the world over for being a top-notch diving and snorkeling destination. See our Cozumel diving and water sport guide.
From ancient Mayan history to ecological parks with recreational activities, attractions in Cozumel offer something for everyone. History buffs can check out Museum of the Island of Cozumel. If you're ready for nature, check out Chankanaab Park, which offers beaches, jungle trails and a lagoon. Parasailing, cruises, ATV and submarine tours are also available. See our Cozumel attractions guide.
The tropical island of Cozumel boasts many miles of white sandy beaches and the beautiful clear water and reefs located just off the island make it one of the top snorkeling and scuba diving destinations in the world. Beaches are very different depending on which side of the island you are on. The leeward beaches on the west coast are sandy walk-in beaches with calm water. The beaches are primarily located south of San Miguel, the only town on the island. Read our Cozumel beach guide.
With an emphasis on diving, beaches and other water activities, Cozumel doesn't offer as many nightlife venues as some of Mexico's other destinations, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do come nightfall. Cozumel is home to several bars and a nightclub. See our Cozumel nightlife guide. Before you dance the night away, fuel up with a great meal at one of the family-run spots on Cozumel for authentic Yucatecan specialties. For some recommended restaurants, see our Cozumel restaurant guide.
*Terms and conditions for hotel-only rates: Sample prices for hotel rates are for select midweek (Sun.-Thurs.) dates. Offers subject to change. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Based on availability.
*Terms and conditions of air + hotel packages and promotions: Advertised air + hotel package prices include all domestic taxes and Mexico.com-imposed air + hotel package fees. Sample prices shown are updated every Tuesday and are per person, based on double occupancy, from select departure cities unless otherwise cited on select weekdays between 33 and 53 days out. Offers are subject to change. Based on availability. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights. Some airlines charge baggage fees at airport or online check-in. See specific airline websites for details. Some hotels charge additional fees at check-in.