Many folks have asked me lately what the best beaches in Cozumel are, so here it is.
As you may already know, Cozumel is a beautiful island in the Mexican Caribbean, located very close to the Riviera Maya.
Surrounded by white sand beaches, bathed by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, and with many hotels to choose from.
This island is world-famous for its coral reefs and offers various water sports such as scuba diving, sport fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, and many more.
But that’s not all; the jungle and swampy lagoons comprise the great landscape and are home to a beautiful fauna made up of small mammals and birds.
In today’s blog post, you will find the best and most iconic beaches in Cozumel. One of the preferred tourist destinations in Mexico.
Where is Cozumel and how do I get there?
As I mentioned earlier, Cozumel is a Caribbean island in Quintana Roo just off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
There are several ways to get to Cozumel, depending on your starting point:
By air: The quickest and most convenient way to get to Cozumel is by flying. There are several flights daily from major cities in Mexico, as well as direct flights from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
By ferry: If you’re already in the Yucatan Peninsula, you can take a ferry from the mainland to Cozumel. Ferries depart from Playa del Carmen and take about 45 minutes to reach Cozumel.
By cruise ship: Cozumel is also a popular stop for cruise ships, so if you’re taking a Caribbean cruise, you may have the opportunity to visit the island that way.
Once you arrive in Cozumel, there are several options for getting around the island, including taxis, rental cars, and scooters.
TOP 15 beaches in Cozumel, Mexico
1. El Cielo Beach, Cozumel
The clear waters of Playa El Cielo make it an ideal place to snorkel and see its particular starfish.
Located 800 meters off the coast of Cozumel is a magnificent sandbank called El Cielo.
And no, it is not called this way because of some Mayan tradition.
It got this name because you can swim and snorkel at the bottom of the water with a particular amount of starfish that alludes to the stars in the sky.
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This site has become one of the most popular beach trips in Cozumel, and its crystal clear waters and white sand make snorkeling something unique and unforgettable that you can practice with family and friends.
Playa El Cielo is part of all the tours in Cozumel offered by many travel agencies from the moment you arrive at the “fiscal” pier where you get off the ferry.
Here you can snorkel on other of the best reefs on the island: Palancar and Colombia.
But remember: don’t forget to bring your underwater camera to capture amazing pictures of the starfish!
2. Passion Island- One of the best beaches in Cozumel for couples
Considered the most romantic place in the Mexican Caribbean, Passion Island is a must-visit if you are in Cozumel with your partner.
Can you imagine being on a beautiful island covered with crystal clear turquoise blue waters in the solitude of the Caribbean Sea?
Well, this 2 km long jewel of the Mexican Caribbean, located north of Cozumel, makes it possible.
But a Spanish businessman put a lot of effort and investment and gave life to the place.
In addition, one of its main services is to receive tourists who travel by cruise ship, including a buffet and an open bar while enjoying the site.
A beach club, a church, souvenir stores, hotels, places to eat, bathrooms, and cabins complete the options offered by this romantic place.
You can arrive by boat from the north end of Cozumel Island or take one of the tours organized from the Cozumel pier.
Now you know which is the best beach in Cozumel for the romantic plan you want to see and enjoy.
3. San Francisco Beach
The piña coladas and fabulous scenery make this beach one of the most popular ones in the area.
Playa San Francisco is located on the Carretera Costera Sur km. 14.5 between Carlos N Charlie’s and Paradise Beach clubs and other hotels.
You will find a great shoreline where they serve the best piña coladas in Cozumel and possibly all of Mexico. There is even one that comes in a whole pineapple.
And as if that weren’t enough, their friendly staff will bring a wild parrot to your table to entertain you and your guests.
Playa San Francisco is one of the most recommended beaches in Cozumel.
Because it is located among popular beach clubs, this white sand and blue water beach offer you nice services such as photo sessions, lounge chairs, and different water activities like parasailing, jet skis, banana rides, and much more.
Enjoy your time off on one of the best beaches in Cozumel with your piña colada in hand!
4. Palancar Beach
Playa Palancar is part of the Mesoamerican Reef System, the second-largest in the world.
If you wonder which is the best public beach in Cozumel and you are also looking for the best diving and snorkeling spot in Mexico, Palancar is probably the best option.
In addition, you will see colorful tropical fish, calm waters, and large palm trees, which make this site the Mexican Caribbean island par excellence.
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Although this is one of the public beaches in Cozumel, it feels like a private beach and is quieter than most others.
It also presents a great diversity of activities, such as kayaking in the water or taking a parachute tour. It is only a 20-minute drive south of San Miguel on the coast road.
Rent a scooter or car, or take a cab or minivan to enjoy this public beach in Cozumel and then stay at one of the hotels along the road.
5. Corona Beach Cozumel
Friendly waters and abundant sand make Playa Corona the “crown jewel” of Cozumel snorkeling.
When you go sightseeing in Cozumel, you first find beaches full of people and a lot of partying.
However, many are looking for a small and quiet place, which is what Playa Corona in Cozumel offers.
Located in the south of Cozumel’s Coastal Hotel Zone, it is the smallest beach in this Mexican region, but that doesn’t make it the least popular.
In fact, it is one of the most visited places for tourists because it is considered one of the best for snorkeling.
This is one of the few places where you can snorkel from the shore because of its friendly waters and abundant sand.
You will also find many Cozumel restaurants that offer the locals typical dishes: hamburgers, nachos, and chicken.
This, accompanied by an ice-cold beer, makes Playa Corona a unique place in Cozumel.
6. Uvas Beach in Cozumel
Playa Uvas is considered one of the best private beaches in Cozumel.
So if you are looking for private beaches, this is definitely one of the best options.
In addition to having well-kept facilities and services, this beach club s one of the most popular in the region.
Located on the road to Chankanaab, in the South Hotel Zone, it is one of the tourist places in Cozumel closest to the city, which makes it a strategic area.
Among the services you can find here are diving, clear kayaks, special events, and weddings.
And if you are in the mood for a glass of good wine, Playa Uvas has a full bar with a small list of these glorious beverages (Chilean wine is their specialty).
After diving in a Plexiglas or “clear” kayak, there is nothing better than taking a dip in the beach club pool while having a drink and enjoying one of these beautiful Cozumel beaches.
7. Playa Encantada
Playa Encantada sits at the southern tip of Cozumel, near Punta Celarain, is a coastline that dominates and enchants the whole place with its lighthouse: Playa Encantada.
If you are traveling to Cozumel and are looking for tranquility, this is one of the most secluded beaches and, therefore, one of the favorites.
With its delightful climate, refreshing waves, and space for long walks along the water’s edge, it is no surprise that it is one of those ideal corners of Cozumel.
But if you prefer something else, 4 km away is the Archaeological Zone of El Caracol, a Mayan observatory, from where the ancient Mayans could predict the arrival of storms and hurricanes.
8. San Juan Beach near Cozumel
San Juan Beach is located in the Northern Hotel Zone, 5 km. from downtown Cozumel.
It’s a small coastline of whitish sand and calm waves ideal for practicing land activities such as horseback riding, tennis, and hiking.
In addition, you can find all the possible comforts at the best prices: deck chairs, restaurants with the most varied food, hammocks, a swimming pool, and exclusive areas for snorkeling.
Its small size makes this beach a comforting corner but with all the services that one of the most beautiful beaches in Cozumel can offer.
9. San Martin Beach
Playa San Martin has been known for many years as “the naked turtle.” This is another beautiful beach worthy of a spot on this list.
Formerly it was also known as Playa Bonita, and although it no longer has the attractions for which it was known before (zoo and horseback riding), it is still worth visiting.
It is located on the island’s windward side, and to access it, you must go along the coastal road where there are numerous parking areas.
Due to beach erosion, the water is reclaiming the space of the sand, so water activities and sunbathing will have to be left to another location.
Nevertheless, you can stop by for a quick drink while touring the island.
Plus, it’s the perfect place to stop the car, use the restroom or relax with the view. They also sell Mexican crafts out front.
10. Las Tortugas Beach
Playa Las Tortugas offers the most varied food in its restaurants.
Located on the Carretera Costera Sur Km. 8.3, in the Southern Hotel Zone, is one of Cozumel’s private beaches.
The beach has first-class places to eat with food ranging from the most exotic to the simplest.
It is one of the best private beaches in Mexico where you are under no obligation to consume, and you can use the lounge chairs at no additional cost.
Also, like any self-respecting Cozumel beach, it is perfect for snorkeling because of its calm and transparent tide and fine sand, which makes it one of the most kid-friendly beaches in the area.
There is always a lifeguard available that you can see as soon as you get to the bay if the ocean conditions get tricky (or if you have kids) or simply for your peace of mind.
11. Chen Rio Beach
Mexico always has its secret corners that should be known, but for some reason, they stay that way: quiet and secret. Playa Chen Rio, in the east, is one of them.
On this beach, small pools of crystal clear warm water are formed because there is a line of dwarf rocks that allow the waves to enter, but at the same time, the water comes out slowly.
For this reason, it is one of the best beaches in Cozumel to go with the family, tour the island and set up a tent while children swim safely.
12. Caletita Beach
Caletita Beach has many rocks in the water but is transparent and calm.
Located in the historic center of Punta Sur, Playa Caletita is one of the most charming Mexican beaches in the area.
Caletita is well known for its lighthouse (faro in Spanish) located nearby and the restaurant (called “El Faro”) that is at the entrance.
The beach is very pebbly, so wear sandals or appropriate footwear.
And with the restaurant almost right next to the water, you can sip on a cold beer and have a meal while enjoying the views.
13. Mezcalitos Beach
This coast is located on the east side of the island. It has white sand and strong waves, so it is not one of the best beaches for swimming in Cozumel.
However, Mezcalitos is ideal for a stroll along the seashore and enjoying a cold beer while gazing at the horizon.
Here you will find the legendary bar “Mezcalitos,” one of the oldest places on this Mexican beach.
This bar is known for many things, like the ring toss game, the fabulous fajitas, and the killer Margaritas.
Mezcalitos is fun to eat and drink at! Plus, it’s notable for having plenty of hammocks around.
14. Santa Maria Island
Looking to get away from the city and take a break from all that urban noise?
Then Santa Maria Island, in Cozumel, is a great option for you.
Especially if you want to sleep, read, meditate, or walk feeling the sand under your feet.
This beach is located very close to the glorious Chankanaab Lagoon, specifically in the southern part.
It is located 25 km from the town of San Miguel. Another great beach where you will enjoy a peaceful day of relaxation, as the area is away from the hustle and bustle.
15. San Clemente Beach
San Clemente is another ideal location that keeps its waters calm and tranquil for snorkeling.
It’s a great location ideal for trips and beach tours in Mexico since it is located between the popular Playa Corona and Playa San Francisco.
There are several private rental homes nearby and a few small roadside restaurants where you can grab a beer, but not much else.
It is a nice beach for walking, but not one of the best swimming beaches in Cozumel.
Best Cozumel beaches: Conclusion
As you can see, the beaches here are great places to vacation with your friends or family.
They seem naturally planned for human travel and enjoyment.
With its characteristic coral reefs, the island challenges you to dive into its waters to unfold the mysteries already discovered but only possible to understand by seeing them live with the help of solid snorkel equipment.
In addition, with the great variety of hotels of all categories, restaurants, and bars for all budgets, and various stores ranging from the simplest handicrafts to the most luxurious jewelry stores, your vacation in Cozumel will be one to remember.
What are you waiting for? Visit this destination, and don’t forget to take a souvenir of your favorite place!