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Guide to Cozumel Beaches
Cozumel island has three distinct types of beaches:
  • Sandy walk-in beaches on the west or leeward side of the island generally have calm water. Snorkeling may be disappointing in the sandy areas since any disturbance on a sandy bottom [waves, walking, jumping, playing] suspends sand particles in the water which decrease visibility and make it very hard for coral polyps to thrive. Without coral for camoflage and protection, one will not see as much marine life.

  • Beaches with a rocky limestone shoreline on the west coast are the best for snorkeling or shore dives since less sand is disturbed so visibility and coral growth are better. The more coral growth there is in an area, the more reef critters will take cover there to be seen while snorkeling or diving.

  • Sandy surf and large waves alternating with rocky limestone coastlines on the east or windward side of the island are beautiful but can be dangerous. The roaring surf creates strong breakers and undertows. Never enter the water alone. Swimming is not recommended on most of the east side beaches. There are now many areas where flags are displayed showing the level of safety for a particular area. Despite the dangerous swimming conditions, these beaches are stunning and serene for those wanting sunbathing, long walks or playing in the water very close to shore.
Typical West (leeward) Beach
Typical East (windword) beach
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Cozumel Insider Beach Chart
Here is a handy Cozumel Beach Chart with descriptions, photos, hours of operations and amenities! Just click on the names of each of the beaches for complete descriptions. May we suggest our: Do-it-youself Snorkel Tour
BEACHES

West Coast - North of San Miguel
Playa San Juan - Buccano's A E
Playa Azul A E
Playas Las Casitas S L
West Coast - South of San Miguel
Playa Hotel Barracuda E A
Playa Calatita A L
Playa Villa Blanca E A
La Palapita Den Medio E A
Playa Barracuda Bar E E
Sand Dollar Sports Beach E A
Marina Caleta Playa Paradise Reef E A
PalMar SMALL Snorkel Beach Club E E View All Coupons
Patas & Alas Butterfly Sanctuary E E View All Coupons
Dzul Ha Beach E A View All Coupons
Piratas/Varadero Beach A A
Playa Uvas - Norte A L
Playa Uvas - Sur A E View All Coupons
Chankanaab National Park E L E View All Coupons
Playa Corona E A View All Coupons
Ocean VIP Beach Club A A
Carlos N Charlie's Beach A E
Playa San Francisco S L E
Paradise Beach S E
Playa Mia S L E
Mr. Sanchos S L E
Nachi-Cocom S E
Playa El Paso del Cedral & Alberto's S A View All Coupons
  Playa Punta Francesa (Closed) S
Playa Palancar S A View All Coupons
Punta Sur Ecological Park & Lighthouse A E
East Coast - Continuing from Southern Tip Northward
Playa Box & Rasta's/Paradise Café A
El Mirador
Playa Punta Chiqueros A
Playa San Martin A
Playa Chen Rio A L A View All Coupons
Coconuts A View All Coupons
Punta Morena L A View All Coupons
Playa Oriente & Sr. Iguana's A View All Coupons
Playa Oriente & Mezcalito's A View All Coupons
East Coast - Off Road by Tour Only
Punta Ixpalbarco
Playa Santa Cecilia
Playa Bonita Norte
Castillo Real
Punta Molas Lighthouse
Legend:
General: Yes / Available, C Entrance Coupon
Swimming: L Swimming with Lifeguard
Snorkeling: E Excellent, A Average
S Conditions Sparse due to lack of lack of coral in sandy beach areas
Restrooms: E Excellent, A Average
Beach Conservation - Do Your Part
Cozumel has a protected Marine Park area that extends from the southern cruise ship piers southward and all the way around the tip of the island and up the other (east) side to Punta Chiqueros. Inside this area, the taking of ANY items from the SEA OR BEACH is prohibited by federal law and punishable with fines and/or imprisonment if caught. Even shells that wash up on the shore can become a home for some critter so please leave them in place in order to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.

There are many stores and kiosks in town that sell shells however no one really knows the origin of these shells and if they were harvested from a protected area of the island or an open one. So in general, if your desire is to help our conservation efforts, it's best not to purchase shells at all. For this only encourages poaching and illegal harvesting when naturally available supplies are depleted.

I know they are all so beautiful and it is very tempting to say "well it's only one shell so..." But if you keep in mind that according to Carnival cruise lines recently, there will be a couple of MILLION cruise ship visitors this next year to Cozumel, then you can just imagine the impact if each person elects to take just one shell!

Perhaps consider adopting the DIVER'S CREDO when travelling the world:

"Take only pictures and memories and leave only bubbles behind!"

~ Sherri ~
Beach Safety is Important! "SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK"

Beach Warning and CautionsBring life vests for any persons with limited water skills wishing to partake in water activities.

Observe all beach signage and warning flags posted on beaches which indicate current swimming conditions.

While only a few years old, Cozumel's Lifeguard Program now has over 30 Lifeguards on duty daily and continues to develop. Read more here about our Lifesaving Program.
With this program, there are lifeguard towers and lifeguards at some beaches but not all of them.

So please be cautious and consider all beaches to be "SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK"

A few beachy things you might be interested in!
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 Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!
Tired of visiting the sights as part of the "herd?" Not seeing an excursion that exactly fits how you'd like to spend your day on the mainland? No problem! COZUMELINSIDER can custom design a mainland excursion just for you and your group! From US$168
 Cozumel's Most Complete Island Jeep & Snorkel Tour
You'll see more in one day than others see in a lifetime! $ 85 Adults/$ 50 Kids
 Cozumel Island Map & Reef Creatures Cards
Beautifully drawn and virtually indestructible Cozumel Map and Fish Identification cards showing lots of detail including beaches, reefs, streets and landmarks! Maps & Fishcards From US$ 4.95
 Zwick's Cozumel Chart (Island Map)
The original hand drawn, detailed historic reference chart of Cozumel Island is back and available only through Cozumelinsider. From $35 (TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK)
 Cozumel Fox Hill Underwater Video ~ The Beauty of Cozumel
Share the beauty of Cozumel's reefs with family and friends with this spectacular underwater video! Only $25
Personal Experiences
Submit Feedback
Sherri ~ WOW!!! We just returned from our cruise! What a wonderful time we had!! Your COZUMELINSIDER.com bookings for our Dolphin snorkel adventure and Sea Trek were the highlight of the cruise. They were easy and saved us about half the cost of booking through the cruise line. We simply hopped into a cab and spent the day at the Park (we could have spent a week there.) They were even able to work us into the Sea Trek early. All the people were friendly, helpful and overall just treated us great. While we were standing around waiting a short little man came up and ask if we wanted a snorkel tour. I instantly remembered what you had said and looked at his name tag. It was Mario! His tour was fantastic! If you see him ask him if he remembers Señor Ed and his family (he never caught that my name was Ted, but that’s okay!) I had a waterproof digital camera and he snapped lots of pictures of us. We had a wonderful time and much of it was thanks to you, your website and staff!

I know you probably get lots of pictures but I had to send you three. Look at the smiles on my boy’s faces. That says it all! Thank you so much for all your help and advice. We can’t wait to return. Your website is the first place we will stop! I wish we could have met in person. We will next time! T. Mahler Family ~ Howe ,TX

You ladies (at COZUMELINSIDER) are the best ---- will write more when it doesnt costs 75 cents per minute --like it does on the ship. Our driver, humbuerto was awesome ! seak trek thing was the coolest thing in the world ---- we LOVED it --- we bought the cd-rom --- we are such tourists !!!!!!!!!!! i'm a tv reporter and the guy who shot the underwater video is a good photographer ----
had some really neat shots ----- i'm a sucker for videos -------- did not really want to snorkel with mario --- those guy were really sweet ---- will talk more when at home --- just wanted you to know ASAP-- highly impressed with your service ----- wish i knew a milllion people to recommend to you !! Tressa Bush ~ Tennessee

Just wanted to thank COZUMELINSIDER for getting us booked for our activities while we were in Cozumel. The dolphin swim was fantastic! I'd do it again in a minute. We didn't get to do the SNUBA diving ..... we ended up doing the Helmet dive instead for the same price. We plan on visiting Cozumel again possibly next year and will be contacting you to book some excursions prior to our vacation. We saved a significant amount of money booking the excursions through COZUMELINSIDER instead of the cruise line. Thanks again! S.Forgette and G Wichtowski ~ Not Given

My family and I have returned to Cozumel many times - it's a favorite destination and we have watched it change over the past 20 years. The Cozumel Insider is a great publication - it's a wonderful way to keep up with the news about one of our favorite islands. We are preparing to visit again this August and the Insider has shown us some different activities to try, as well as helped to bring us up to date with local political and ecological happenings. We're delighted to see the interest in wildlife conservation throughout the area. Keep up the good work on this terrific site. D. McClean ~ unknown

My husband and I lived in Cozumel for just over 6 months and completly LOVED it! We spent most of our time on the other side of the Island where it is just a completely different world. I highly recommend Cozumel to anyone travelling to the Mayan Riviera. I know so many people who go to Cancun, but have never been to Cozumel even though it is only about 40 minutes away! Take advantage of this beautiful Island!!! A. McIntosh ~ Toronto, Canada





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