Where is Cozumel?

Cozumel is a small island (approx. 30 miles long  x 10 miles wide, or 48km x16 km) off the Eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, in the Caribbean Sea.  It is an hour’s drive, south of Cancun, and a 45 minute ferry from Playa del Carmen.

How do I get there?

Cozumel has an international airport, the “Cozumel International Airport“ (CZM).  There are some direct flights to the island from the US, though there are fewer than in years past.  A easy and cost-effective option is to fly to the Cancun International Airport (CUN), instead – more flights, and often lower fares.


There is a local carrier, MayaAir, that flies from Cancun to Cozumel, for less than $100.  *Please note and please plan ahead: baggage restrictions are stricter on these small planes than on larger commercial airlines.


Cozumel is most commonly accessed from the mainland by a 45-minute ferry ride (12 miles / 19 km) out of Playa del Carmen, a popular beach town.  It is very common for residents and visitors to fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN), and do what we call the Cozumel “bag drag” – take advantage of the local ADO Bus service just outside of your arrival terminal in CUN for a cheap ticket to Playa del Carmen, walk/drag your bags about 6 blocks down to the ferry terminal, and then buy another cheap ticket, for an easy and pleasant ferry ride to Cozumel Island. 


This sounds complicated, but it’s really not – the hardest part is dragging the bags.  As of 2019, each of these tickets is approximately $10.00USD/$200MXN.


Alternatively, you can find a private taxi or group van shuttle from Cancun International Airport (CUN) to Playa del Carmen, and then take the ferry.  This is a bit faster, but more expensive, but if you are a pair or small group, it may be worth it.  

There are three ferry services from Playa del Carmen, and they all are typically running 7 days a week, on every hour, from around 7am – about 10pm. See Ultramar for reliable sample of current times and fares).

What are the best things to do in Cozumel?

Cozumel is knows far and wide as a world-class Scuba Diving destination, so that is at the top of the list.  But there are tons of other things to do here – See our main tour pages here for our favorite recommendations.

Can I speak English in Cozumel?

Yes, English is understood and spoken in many places. Spanish is the official language, however, and it goes a long way to at least learn some greetings and introductory phrases.  English is used often, especially in the busier tourism and business areas.

What currency do people use in Cozumel?

The local currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN).  US Dollars (USD) are accepted in most tourism areas, larger stores, and hotels and dive operations, etc.  (Tips can be given in either MXN or USD, and there is some debate over which is “better”… just be sure to tip!)

Is tipping expected?


What’s the weather like?

Warm and sunny, average temps range from 87F high, to 73F low (30C high-22C low).  Cozumel is pretty humid, but there is typically a constant, pleasant breeze.  See above in Key Information section for more detail.

Can you pick me up from the Airport?

Unfortunately, no.  The airport (CZM) has restrictions on car traffic, and transfers to and from the airport must be hired when you land, or pre-arranged with your hotel.  If you are staying in a rental – a condo or house or other – you can find a transfer/van service in the airport to take you where you need to go.

How are the scuba diving conditions in Cozumel?

The diving conditions in Cozumel are great – consistently great visibility (100ft, approx.  Barring odd currents or weather conditions, of course…). We also enjoy consistently warm water temperatures – high around 84F (28C) in the Summer (June – Oct) and around 78F (25C) is the coldest in the Winter months (Jan – March).  March is probably the coldest time in the water. Most people are comfortable in 3mm wetsuits, or less – unless you tend to get chilly. (I wear a 5mm all the time…)

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