You’re on the tropical paradise island of Cozumel, with its amazing weather and sunshine that complements its stunningly beautiful crystalline water! Take some time and enjoy various parts of the island–from the open, undeveloped eastern coast with its rugged landscape and rocky shores, to the protected leeward side of the island with its calm waters and tropical fish.
It’s not hard to find a beautiful spot to pull up a lounge chair and relax with your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand.
If you, like the majority of visitors to the island, are only are visiting for the day, you’re probably curious what the best beach is or where to go for some fun in the sun…
The Eastern coast of the island is unprotected and primarily very rocky, as opposed to the sandy type of beach that you’d typically want. However, that does not mean the east coast is without its beauty and nice beaches. There are just far fewer of them and they are a bit more challenging to get to (there is only one main road that traverses the eastern shores of the island).
This is a gorgeous location with white, soft powdery sand. It’s nestled in a cove that has a restaurant/bar right next to it called Punta Chiqueros. The beach is great and the water is clear, with gentle waves and very little undertow. It is a nice break from what you generally find on the east side of the island.
PLAYA CHEN RIO
*Lifeguard on Duty
At this beach, there are huge rocks that break the surf and provide a protected area for swimming and snorkeling that stays about 4 to 5 feet deep. There is a small rock island that sits right offshore that is fun to explore. This beach also has a new restaurant called El Pescador. There they provide showers and lockers if desired, as well as many other amenities.
TIP: There are several beaches on the east coast that can only be accessed by guided tours.
Looking for great snorkeling, diving and perhaps lounging at a beach club for the day? You’ll find your favorite spot for all of that along the long stretch of sheltered beachfront on the western coast of the island. There are a several sandy beaches scattered between iron-shore [limestone] coastline.
TIP: Most of the pristine beachfront is commercialized in some way with a restaurant, bar, or beach club establishment. All beaches are public, and finding beach access isn’t too difficult if you’re driving a rental car.
PLAYA HOTEL BARRACUDA
This is the closest walkable beach for those who may be docked nearest to downtown at the Punta Langosta Pier. It’s located across from the MEGA grocery store.
PLAYA VILLA BLANCA
Moving a bit further south, this is a built-up area with dive shops, a couple restaurants as well as a nice little beach club. This is a nice place to spend the day and enjoy some good food and drinks. This beach sits directly across from the Villa Blanca Hotel.
PLAYA LA PALAPITA DEN MEDIO
Sitting in a fantastic location midway between the southern cruise ship piers and downtown, La Palapita is a sweet little beach club that stays open both day and night (rare). It is a quick 3-minute taxi ride into the downtown shopping area. This is a very nice chill spot to come for the day as it is generally a very relaxed and comfortable beach (most of the cruise shippers go to beaches even further south).
This is a great beach to hit in order to avoid any major crowds, since no big cruise ship tours begin or end at this spot. It is located right next to the butterfly sanctuary, which is also a neat thing to check out if that’s something of interest to you. This beach is also known by a different name–one many snorkelers would quickly recognize–Dzul Ha. Needless to say, there is great snorkeling here!
PLAYA UVA NORTE AND UVA SUR
Uva Norte is a longstanding popular beach for locals. It has no real amenities and only the shade from a few palm trees. It is a long stretch of both sandy and iron-shore (limestone) beach, with a nice gradual slope out to deeper water.
Uva Sur is the same beach area, but it has been built up into an unreal contemporary beach club with a super cushy vibe. It has huge outdoor overstuffed sofas that sit under magnificent coconut palms. There are fluffy sun beds scattered about the property with white drapery hung around them for privacy. And there are teakwood rockers that are out of this world comfortable–it’s almost impossible not to fall asleep in them! They also have clear kayaks here that you can rent. (Be warned, cruise ships sell the clear kayak tours as well, so if you’re here during the day it can get pretty packed.)
You might want to go to this beach just because of the name alone! Playa Corona is one of the oldest beaches in all of Cozumel and got especially popular long ago with divers. This is the last section of good snorkeling beach to the south. It is located just beyond Chankanaab Adventure park and is a cool place to go in its own right. It’s yet another great place to relax in the sun, swim, and snorkel.
Once you go beyond this point heading further south, there are other nice sandy beaches and beach clubs, but the majority require an entry fee.
This is a big attraction for cruise ship travelers, but boasts arguably the most beautiful, sheltered beaches. This island is its own little trip just north from Cozumel. The trick here is you have to take an all-inclusive tour to get to this island, since you have to be ferried over. Once you arrive, it is total fun-in-the-sun with great food and drink in beach heaven. Enjoy!
It’s fantastic to get a rental car and drive around the island–explore, see the sights and have fun. The island is full of excitement and plenty of adventures both in the water and out. So take your time and find the best that this gorgeous little tropical island has to offer…you might just find it on the beach!
Depending on the weather, wave and tide conditions, beaches are marked with a flag indicating whether it is safe to swim there:
Black Flag Don’t swim, too dangerous. Red Flag Use caution, dangerous. Yellow Flag Use caution. Green Flag Water conditions okay safe to swim.
Very rarely do they fly green – even if it is calm – exercise caution.