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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

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

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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 ~
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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!
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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
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

We just got back from Cozumel last week and I'd like to thank you for answering all my questions and for setting us up on the Fury Snorkeling & Beach Party Tour and the van from Budget. This was the 4th time visiting the island and the 1st time that I didn't have the first bit of trouble with booking something online. Your service was great and I will be sure and book with you on my next trip. Thanks again! Danny Neal ~ Marshall TX

Less than an hour ago, I booked a dolphin swim package through your website. You have already confirmed my order with exactly what we wanted! I was really in a panic because when I tried to book directly through the Dolphin website, they said there was nothing available. I had read great things about your company on the on one of the popular message boards. I have to agree they are true! Thanks so much for your prompt service! I know this experience will be a great memory for my kids! L. Walker ~ Crosby, TX

Thank you so much!!! Thank you for arranging the dolphin encounter for my family!!! Even in the aftermath of Hurricane Emily, Cozumel Insider came through with flying colors --- yall are perfect... A. Sikes ~ Frankston, TX USA

It is very cold here, it snowed last night. Welcome home to us right?! Just wanted to send an email thanking you for making our experience the best ever in sunny Cozumel. We wanted to let you know that the day we spent at your PalMar Beach Club we had your homemade tamales, (which are my favorite, by the way!) and they were excellent. Also we think that you have very good employees, Juan (there at the beach club/your house) we especially appreciated him, he treated us very well and we just wanted you to know that. Thanks again for the ride to the ferry, we made the 10:00! Also we were very thankful for your advice to stay there in Playa. We were able to get a room and just enjoy our last day on the beach which is what I really wanted. We were within walking distance from the bus that took us to the airport the next morning so it was all very convenient. You were very helpful and we will definately recommend your villas to anyone going there in the future. K & J Gilbert ~ Unknown

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