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Compelling Cozumel

A great number of diverse activities make Cozumel an appealing destination for almost any traveler

Cozumel\’s Mayan site of El Cedral is a rugged area best explored by four-wheel-drive vehicle or on horseback.
The Mexico Caribbean island of Cozumel has been welcoming visitors since long before Cancun or the Riviera Maya gained popularity with tourists. The causes of its popularity remain compelling reasons to travel there today – namely, a relaxed and compact vacation destination perfect for divers, families, and budget-minded travelers.

The main action on Cozumel occurs in the port town of San Miguel. Visitors will find boutique hotels, fine duty-free shopping, nightclubs, and more than 90 restaurants and cafes. The town is also a great place to mingle with locals for an authentic taste of Cozumel.

Cozumel’s beach scene is divided into the more tourist friendly west side, and the more rugged east side. In addition, the island features a number of beaches that operate as beach clubs, where visitors pay a small fee for access to the beach and facilities such as chairs, restrooms, and showers. A few popular beach clubs include Playa San Francisco, Playa Mia, and Paradise Beach.

For another beach option, consider the popular Passion Island excursion, which leaves from the dock in downtown Cozumel. Participants take a 15-minute boat ride and spend the day relaxing on the beach or exploring the small island.

The island’s lasting claim to fame is its world-class scuba scene, facilitated by crystal clear waters, amazing coral reefs, and more than 40 diving sites. There are options for divers of all skill levels, and the island even hosts the annual Cozumel Scuba Fest each December.

Even if you’re not a diver, Cozumel’s stunning water scene can still be enjoyed. Take a U.S. Coast Guard-certified Atlantis Adventures submarine ride to see the area’s colorful reefs on a 40-minute journey to Chankanaab National Park. For a visit with the local sea life, take a swim with the dolphins at Dolphinaris Cozumel or interact with stingrays at Stingray Beach.

Back on land, options range from a Jack Nicklaus championship 18-hole, par 72 golf course at the Cozumel Country Club to horseback riding at Buena Vista Ranch. For a cultural connection, explore the ancient Mayan site of El Cedral, either via four-wheel-drive vehicle or on horseback.

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