Beaches - ALL the island's beaches are open to the public! Even the big hotels cannot, by law, and do not restrict access to their beaches. On the east side facing the Caribbean Sea, quiet beaches alternate with rocky shores along the deserted coast. The waters on the east side are generally more calm, while the heavy surf on the east coast creates serious breakers and VERY strong undercurrents.

West Coast: One of the best beaches on the island, Playa San Francisco, is located 10 miles south of the center of town. Here you'll find numerous dive shops, restaurants and bars. There are also public facilities for changing and showering. Playa Palancar is the more isolate part of the beach and extends three miles to the South. Between Playa San Francisco and the center of town is Chankanaab Park (see below). The beach is elevated above a sea wall that stretches along the cove. Diving and snorkeling are very popular here and the beach is a powdery sand. Large palapas, umbrella-like structures, dot the beach, providing relief from the sun. North of town is Playa San Juan, one of the best beaches for swimming and other water sports.

East Coast: Although the heavy surf is quite impressive, it makes for some dangerous swimming: BEWARE. Playa Oriente, is a good beach you'll find where Cross Island Road comes to an end. Further south, there are three nice, nearly deserted beaches: Punta Morena, Punta Chiquero and Chen Rio. Punta Morena is clearly marked. Punta Chiquero is a large crescent shaped beach. Chen Rio is only identified by a large outcropping of rocks that form a small bay, ideal for swimming and snorkeling. At the south end, where the road turns back west, you'll find El Mirador, a clean shore with few rocks. Further South towards the lighthouse are smaller stretches of beach.

Cedral, a small village is the agricultural center of Cozumel. Many Mayan ruins can be found in and around its confines. Cedral is also the site of an annual celebration featuring bullfights, prize-winning livestock, games, dancing, food, and an ocean of beer. The event is held May 1-3.

Celarin Lighthouse on the southwest tip of the island. Fantastic view from the top if you can handle the 127 steps. Fried fish, ceviche and beer on Sundays.

Chankanaab Park - Completely rebuilt and restored in 1996, this beachfront park, just 9 km south of San Miguel, offers diverse attractions in a lovely setting. The main beach is studded with palapas for sunbathers, while just offshore there's outstanding diving and snorkeling with equipment rental and dive shop available. Back from shore is a fascinating Archaeological Park, complete with winding jungle trails, replicas from sites throughout Mexico, a typical Mayan village, and free, guided tours. There's also an excellent Botanical Garden with over 300 plant species from 22 countries. Topping things off is the site's beautiful lagoon - a sinkhole filled from the sea by underground tunnels. There are several shops, snack bars, a restaurant, and a Mayan Museum. Open Daily. Admission is $10 (US) and children are free.

Chankanaab Lagoon - A marine inlet that allows snorkelers to swim freely among hundreds of rainbow-colored fish.

El Cedral - Located about two miles off the main highway, this is the easiest to reach of Cozumel's ruins. It is believed to be the oldest on the island.

East Coast (known as "the other side") is replete with long, empty beaches, shells, and waves. A free self-guiding tour map of this area is available at the Dive Paradise dive shop.

Golf - Cozumel Country Club - Play a few rounds in Paradise - what could be better - diving, of course!

Museo de Cozumel - Features displays showcasing Cozumel's history, people and natural geography.

Museum of Indigenous Instruments - Showcases over 600 authentic pre-Hispanic instruments from all over Mexico.

Playa Del Carmen - Originally named Xaman-Ha (waters of the north) Playa del Carmen is a living vibrant part of the Maya World (Mundo Maya). Located on the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast some 40 miles (60 kms.) south of Cancun, Playa, as it is now affectionately known, is the perfect base from which to explore the fascinating sites along the Cancun-Tulum Corridor of Quintana Roo (now called the Mayan Riviera). Playa del Carmen is blessed with miles of unspoiled white sandy beaches and crystal-clear Caribbean waters that's proving harder and harder to find. It's a place for those in search of the real Caribbean.

Punta Celarin - Lighthouse located at the southern end of the island. It has an excellent view from the top.

Punta Molas Road is a dirt/sand, "jeep only" type road that leads to the northernmost lighthouse. It passes several great beaches and some Mayan ruins along the way. CAUTION: Insurance on your rental vehicle is null and void when you leave the paved road.

San Gervasio Ruins (pronounced san-her-ba-see-oh) is a major excavation of Mayan ruins covering an area of about 10 acres and situated in beautiful & cool forest surroundings. Easily accessible by tour.

San Francisco Beach - This beach is famous among visitors for its clear stretches of never ending white sand, and its crystal clear water. There are facilities available, and volleyball courts and snorkeling gear for rent.

San Gervasio Mayan Ruins- While not as impressive as Tulum or Chichen Itza, San Gervasio provides you with a sense of the Mayan culture and history. San Gervasio was once the island's capital dedicated to the goddess Ix Chel who was the wife of Itzamma, the Mayan God above all. The structures are mainly foundations of small temples and shrines. Entrance is approximately $3 dollars (27 pesos) and bilingual guides can be hired if so desired. Take Avenue Juarez until you intersect with the San Gervasio access road and head north for approximately five miles.

 

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