Hi, my name is Mac Candee. Welcome to my guide on the best things to do in Cozumel. I’m a full time traveler who shares his journey through social media. I plan to visit every country in the world and am passionate about exploring new cultures and having incredible experiences through travel.
I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois but I grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Business and Marketing. During my studies, I spent a year abroad in Spain and fell in love with travel. I explored seven to eight different countries in that time and wanted to remember them with more than just photos.
This led to me creating videos of the experiences. Little by little, I fell in love with the art of videography and photography. I wasn’t looking to start a business or anything like that. However, my passion for capturing the moment led me to create more and more. Soon enough, I had my own YouTube channel where I was sharing my adventures with the world.
A Special Month in Cozumel with my Dad
I decided to visit Cozumel because I was looking for a nice, low-key place where I could enjoy myself and most importantly – stay safe during the pandemic. Another motivating factor was my dad, since I wanted to make him a part of my lifestyle and enjoy some family time. After some discussion with my dad, we decided to stay in Cozumel for a month.
The longer duration allowed us to plan a more reasonable budget and enjoy the trip more. Because of the lengthier visit, I got to know the island well and I explored a lot of what it has to offer. Cozumel is a place where you can quench your thirst for adventure because there is so much to do.
And of course, I wanted to try all of the activities. I did everything from going to Chankanaab and scuba diving, renting a moped and a buggy to do a lap around the island, to enjoying the delicious food and more.
The Discover Scuba Diving course in Cozumel was something that stayed with me because it was such a beautiful, exhilarating opportunity. Going around to see more of the island was also a highlight because of the stunning natural beauty it offers with its perfect beaches and landscape.
When I first arrived in Cozumel I was under the impression that it would be really crowded. However, I was mistaken. Aside from the downtown area – which was more populated – the spectacular sights all around the island offered not only their beauty but also enough space for everyone to enjoy.
I was also impressed with the area of Punta del Sur which has lovely beaches and a charming lighthouse. Another showstopper was the food. I couldn’t get enough of it! The tacos in particular were absolutely delicious.
Why Cozumel should be on your Bucket List
If you have never visited before, let me introduce you to Cozumel. It’s one of the best places in the world for scuba diving, has many divine beaches and natural attractions, delicious food and great bars. Overall, no matter what your preferences are, you will have fun. Cozumel is a welcoming place for families, friends and couples. Trust me, you won’t want to leave!
When I first arrived, I was greeted with welcoming people, warm sun and natural beauty. I know many people treat it as a quick stop on a cruise but they are missing out on a lot. A weekend trip doesn’t begin to cover everything there is to see and do. I’m happy we decided to stay for a month and I definitely recommend it over just spending a few days.
My favorite experience was scuba diving. This experience is something that stayed with me and I was enamoured with all of the beauty I saw underwater. Also, as an inexperienced diver, I was happy to enjoy the experience without feeling like I needed to be an expert. I got to see many schools of fish as well as sunken statues and caves. It was incredible!
Top 7 Things To Do in Cozumel
I wouldn’t put these in any specific order but I definitely recommend doing the below seven experiences. There are many more things besides these seven. This is just a small preview of what Cozumel offers. Discovering the hidden treasures of the island is something that will make you enjoy your experience that much more, so definitely don’t miss out on that too.
- Go Scuba Diving or at least Snorkeling: It’s stunning underwater.
- Visit the Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park: There are many things to do here and everyone speaks English, so it’s easy to get around.
- Take a Boat over to Isla de la Pasion: This is a dazzling stretch of island with unbelievably clear water. The perfect island for a day trip!
- Check out the Punta Sur Ecological Park: Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Cozumel as well as a charming lighthouse.
- Do a Snorkeling Catamaran Cruise: If you are of age then you can do the booze cruise. Otherwise, you can just stick to snorkeling. In either case, you are sure to have a fun time! It’s a full day cruise where you visit a few different snorkeling spots and enjoy the stunning blue waters. You will get to see Playa “El Cielo” and many starfish! To top it all off, you finish the cruise with a nice dinner and drinks when you get back.
- Ride around the Island with a Scooter or Buggy: Not only does this allow you to stop wherever you want and cruise at your own pace, but you can also see so much more of what this island has to offer. You will have a newfound appreciation of the island after driving all around it.
- Get Surf Lessons in Cozumel: For only $40, I was able to get surf lessons. I had so much fun! I had never tried it before and for sure I wasn’t disappointed. It was a fantastic experience riding waves.
Local People, Culture & Food
I found the locals to be welcoming. Pretty much everyone spoke English well because of tourism. This made it a lot easier to get around. Everyone is very inviting and you can expect to have a great time. I didn’t have a single bad experience during my month. That is how kind the people are. I met quite a few locals, we became friends and we communicate to this day.
Another fantastic thing about Cozumel (and Mexico) is the food. I’m a taco enthusiast. Every time I visit Mexico, that is my main food of choice. Local options are always my number one pick. In Cozumel, Mister Taco was the best. I probably went there 17 times. They were the best tacos I had ever tried! And the people who worked there were amazing and super friendly.
Another place where you can get delicious meals is Los Taco Tales. As you can tell, I loved their food and definitely recommend them. Sadly, I visited for the first time on my last night on the island. I would have gone many more times had I only known about it earlier!
Those are my two favorite places but feel free to experiment, stroll around and discover the magic of the local spots. I don’t want to give you too many names because so much of the fun is just walking around, stumbling upon delicious smelling local food and enjoying the authentic Mexican cuisine.
I have to say, I didn’t have a single bad meal during my month in Cozumel. Every single place I ate at was spectacular – both the more tourist oriented establishments and the local ones, so you can’t go wrong when choosing.
Where to Stay on the Island
My personal preference when traveling is to use Airbnb. I find them to be the most authentic. I would definitely recommend checking out the listings on the website, since there are a lot of great options. The specific Airbnb I stayed at was called Villas Colibri. The staff were amazing, very accommodating and helped us with everything we needed for our stay.
I wholeheartedly recommend it as an option. It has the advantage of being in the heart of Cozumel near the local food. You can also opt for an affordable hostel or a fancy, all-inclusive hotel – there are options for both.
What you choose depends on your budget and preferences. I can’t give you any personally tested recommendations because I only stayed at an Airbnb. But you will definitely find what you are looking for on the island.
Favorite Memory from Cozumel
Looking back on my trip, there is one memory that stands out. One afternoon, my dad and I were doing a lap around the island. The moped drive took about an hour with small stops in between for a bite to eat. Riding across the coastline in the sunset with the perfect weather and my family near me was a magical moment I will always cherish.
The island of Cozumel is very safe, relaxed and low-key. So you feel comfortable cruising around the island. Being able to take all of this natural beauty in and enjoying the moment was something I will never forget.
Need to Know Before you Go
I would recommend watching a few YouTube videos or other content to get yourself acquainted with what there is to do and what you can expect. This will help you pick between the many options you have for things to do.
Don’t be the standard tourist who goes to Cozumel for two or three days. If you can, stay for a bit longer like a week or more. Also, do a variety of things – you can spend some days at the beach and some doing excursions. The food should also be a big part of your experience, since it’s so amazing.
Also, try to connect with the locals. This will allow you to better enjoy your stay. Right now, I feel like I could go back and meet a bunch of people. This is so special to me and makes me value the place even more.
A tip I have is to use cash in restaurants because that is what most of them prefer. Most places also accept cards but you can expect to be charged a 5% fee. Having some pesos in your wallet will save you money throughout.
The island is also easy to navigate, with taxis right at the airport ready to take you to the downtown area. The majority of the people also speak English, so it should be a piece of cake finding directions. Just keep in mind that there is no Uber there but the traditional taxis work just as well.
If you are looking to do a day trip, make sure you check the ferry schedule. There are two different companies which offer rides and during the pandemic they operate less frequently. Double-checking their timetables is important. Also, you should note that the two companies switch days. If you go today with one company, the next day the other one will be going.
You should keep that in mind when purchasing a roundtrip ticket. Other than that the ferry is very convenient. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Playa del Carmen. If you want you can also bring a car with you. If you need any directions, you can go to the desk – people will be more than willing to help you. Apart from those things, just enjoy your time in Cozumel!