Key Cozumel Information

Climate averages

The weather in Cozumel is excellent. On average, you’ll enjoy sunny, slightly humid but breezy weather in the 80s (F) during the day – high 80s (F) from April to October, and lower 80s from November to March (Range from 28-32 Celsius).  At night, it (usually) cools off but rarely goes below 70F (21C).  (Winter months? Bring a fleece and jeans.  And then likely note later that you didn’t need them… )

 

Like most tropical areas, there is always a chance for brief rain shower – sometimes hard rain, but usually it passes quickly – bring a light rain jacket.

 

The rainy season is from typically from mid-late August through early October.  This corresponds with the regional hurricane season in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean, so rain is more common, with higher totals.  Rarely, though, does it rain for full days, unless a storm is moving through.  Mosquitoes are more common during this time.

Sun

The sun here is strong. You will need sun protection – preferably shades, hats and shirts, or try for reef-safe sunscreen to protect our incredible marine environment.

Safety

The state of Quintana Roo is known for a high level of safety, especially in heavy tourist zones.  Cozumel, within Quintana Roo, is especially safe, given that it’s an isolated Island and a popular and lucrative cruise and diving destination.  Violent crime is nearly non-existent.  Petty theft, pick-pocketing and local robberies are reported sporadically, especially during low tourist season, as more local work/income opportunities decline (Aug-Sept).

 

Bottom line, as you would anywhere – use common sense to keep your valuable belongings secured and your wits about you.  Overall, though, it is far safer than most destinations, and residents and visitors alike report high safety, few (if any) personal threats, and a very friendly, helpful, and welcoming environment.

Currency

Cozumel uses the Mexican Peso (MXN), and it is worth your while to exchange some money into the local currency, both for ease and often for favorable pricing.  That said, the US Dollar is widely accepted, and even preferred in many of the hotels, dive operations, and busy tourist areas.   Change for large bills – whether in MXN or USD – is sometimes challenging, so best to stock up on small bills!

 

Credit cards are accepted in many places – namely Visa and MC. However, this is not universal, and especially not in more remote areas of the island – like the Other Side. Be it internet connection issues, fees, or whatever, be sure to ask ahead about using credit cards.  And when in doubt, plan ahead: Cash is King (of course…).

Language

Spanish is the official language in Cozumel, though you’ll find many people – especially in the taxi and tourism businesses – that speak excellent English.  There are also many international travelers and expats to lend a hand.  Learn some intro words and phrases, though!   It’s fun, and way more friendly.

Wi-Fi and Cellular Service.

Wi-Fi coverage has come a long way, and now one can find Wi-Fi connections all over town – and most hotels, restaurants and other venues offer free Wi-Fi to their guests – just ask! Likely you’ll get the password right away.

 

Cellular plans for visitors are very common now, too.  US-Mexico-Canada plans seem almost ubiquitous now, and are way less expensive than they used to be. Or add a temporary cell plan just for the dates you’ll be in Mexico – these days, it seems reasonable and well worth it for the convenience.

What should I do if I need help?

When calling to any of the following numbers do not forget to dial first…

From Mexico: +52 (987) 
Outside of Mexico: + 52 1 (987)

 

Emergencies: dial 066
Fire department: 872-0800
Police department: 872-0409
Migration department: 872-0071 or 872-0226
U.S. consulate: 872-4574

Hospitals:

 

Integral Hyperbaric Medicine (Centro, near ferry. 5th Street (South) and Melgar Ave)

872-1430

 

Médica San Miguel (Centro, near ferry.  6th Street (North), b/w 5th and 10th Avenues)

872-0103

 

CMC  (1st St. near 50th Avenue. Further into town, great facility, another hyperbaric chamber, modern.)

872-9400

 

Cruz Roja (Red Cross)  (Centro, near ferry/main square. 20 Av.& Adolfo Rosado Salas)

872-1058

Accommodations

Chances are you already have a place to stay if you’ve gotten this far, but please let us know if you need assistance.  There are several high-end resort hotels in Cozumel, but also many many lovely, private hotels, excellent private condo rentals, home rentals, efficiency rentals, small cheap-and-cheerful rooms for the budget traveler, and even accommodations to camp out in the jungle (but with a roof. And a bathroom and shower. J ).  We have a range of personal contacts here to help you out – just get in touch if you have questions, are looking for something different, or need someone to go check a place out.

Transportation

Taxis are the main mode of transportation in town, and maintain a very strong union.  There are taxis everywhere you look, and the drivers are helpful, friendly, and often tour guides, themselves.  Rates vary depending on the length of your trip – ask your hotel if they have a current rate grid, ….

 

Another good option, especially if you’ll be in town for a while, is to rent a car.  There are many places to rent from, and you can choose standard sedans, or get a little more fun with convertibles or jeeps, etc.  Rates are good, and it gives you more freedom to explore.

 

There are also public bus/van routes that are super economical, but a little tricky to figure out for the casual visitor.  It’s fun though – let us know if you want more info.

 

From the Airport!  Please keep in mind that the Airport has its own transport rules and regulations. Typically you must arrange an airport transfer with your hotel directly, or seek out a shuttle service in the airport to take you to your destination, upon arrival.

Food

Cozumel has awesome food!  The local Mexican food is terrific, and usually highlights a lot of Yucatecan regional specialties, but you will recognize many of your old favorites.  There is a great range from fine, high-end Mexican restaurants, to casual spots with good deals, and then many local cooks opening their homes, sidewalk counters and carts for you to try some of the best home cooking around.  (Give this a try! You won’t be sorry.)

 

The restaurant scene here extends well beyond strictly Mexican cuisine. There are several impressive Italian restaurants, a growing pizza presence (and this New Haven/New Yorker says…it’s getting close! Haha), wonderful grill and smoke joints, several excellent bistros and cafés, a growing number of Asian/S.E. Asian restaurants, Greek and Middle-Eastern spots, and more.

 

There are also many grocers and fun public markets (try El Mercado Municipal in the “Centro” area) to poke around in, shop, and grab some snacks for your hotel or rental.

Stores – essentials

There are small mom-and-pop convenience stores and pharmacies all over town, as well as several large, well-stocked super markets.  For general needs or something you forgot to pack, visit one of our two large department stores: La Mega or Chedraui (shed-ra’-wee).  These 2 are centrally located in San Miguel’s “Centro” area, right on the main drag – Melgar Avenue.  They’re similar to, say, a Target or Kmart, where you can find everything from groceries, snacks, and beer/wine, to sunscreen, cleaning supplies, beach toys, and clothing.

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