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Best way to explore Cozumel | Mexico

Overwhelmed with all the tour options in Cozumel and just want to explore the island at your own pace? I have a perfect option for you!

Rent your own motorbike or car and follow my route around the Cozumel island!

Trust me it is very simple, as there are loads of rentals upon your arrival. Everything is tourist focused, so you can sort out the rental part in 20 minutes, and off you go!

In this article, I will cover all the practical bits and will share with you my route step by step.

  1. All about the rentals

  2. The route I took around the Cozumel island

  3. A few things to know before your trip

Where to rent? Car or motorbike?

So firstly, you do not need to plan anything in advance unless you want to. I literally arrived on the island in the morning and sorted out a motorbike for the day in 20 minutes.

Where to rent? I do not have a specific place to recommend as upon your arrival there will be at least 10 stalls to choose from. Literly there in front of you, once you exit the port, you won't miss them. Also, once you cross the main street and keep walking straight, there will be more car rentals on the side. They all are stalls and not the actual rental offices so once you choose one, you will then go to the actual office to sort out the paperwork and get your ride.

So which one to choose? Just go with the best price! The average price for a motorbike for 12h is MXN 400 (~$xx) and for a car MXN 800 (~$xx). So just ensure to not pay more than that! Also, feel free to haggle! You might even get it for cheaper.

Note, that you will need some extra cash for the deposit and usually paying with cash is better as you avoid the credit card charges. Also, make sure to clarify the petrol policy. In some places, if you arrive with an empty tank, you will need to pay for it, but trust they will calculate the gas price much higher than it is!

If you do want to ensure you are all set for your arrival, some very good deals you can find on TripAdvisor!

Cozumel Route around the Island

You of course will start at the Cozumel Downtown. Then you will take the road up to the other side of the island:

This part is just a long strip to get to the other side of the island. It takes around 30 minutes with the motorbike and will be quicker with a car.

All the roads I will be presenting to you are of good quality. Every part is alright to drive with a motorbike or a car.

After you have made it to the other side, you will take the road by the coast until Punta Sur:

During this ride, you will see a few spots where you can stop for some views, drinks, and even food. The whole coast is rocky so not too many beaches but there are a few spots where you can go for a swim. I would save a swim break for the next part.

So now your main task is to find the entrance to the Punta Sur Ecological Park. Do not worry there will be a big sign on the left side. Just be aware once you get closer to the end of the island.

The entrance fee is MXN 306 or $17 for an adult and MXN 198 or $11 for a kid. Trust me it is so worth it! The first stop is a crocodile lagoon. You can see crocodiles really close in their natural habitat. Then you have a beautiful stop by the Celarain Lighthouse where you can take some rest with beautiful views of the Caribbean sea. And finally, you can enjoy some chill beach time at the few beach spots at the end of the road. The crocodile spot is about 5 minute drive from the entrance, then the lighthouse is another 5-10 minutes, and then the beaches are about 10 minute drive away from the lighthouse.

After you have reached the beaches you will need to make your way back to the park entrance to get back to the main road:

From there you then make your way back to the Cozumel downtown:

On the way, on the right side of the island, there are a few more beaches. Some are private that you can enter by paying a fee and some are public. The private ones normally close around 4PM. If you want to chill on the public beach then type into your navigation 'Playa Mia', it is a private one, but next to it, there is an entrance to the public beach.

You can do the whole above trip in about 4 hours. That is if you do not stop for too long anywhere. My trip lasted 6 hours.

A few things to know before traveling to Cozumel

  1. Prepare Cash! Even if the place says that they accept the card, most times, in reality, they will say that there is no internet coverage and the machine doesn't work. Especially outside the Cozumel Downtown.

  2. Cozumel is an expensive island! So if you are traveling on a budget, the best would be to prepare some snacks for your trip and then eat once you are back on the mainland in Playa del Carmen. We run out of water, and had to buy a bottle of water at one of the beach bars for MXN 70, which is more than $4!

  3. Pick Winjet over Ultramar when traveling with a ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. So much better value for money! I have a whole separate article on the differences between both: Which is a better ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel? Winjet or Ultramar?


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