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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 ~
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
Wow! You have been so helpful Sherri! thank you so very much for taking the time in giving me so much details that would help me with the excursions! you are so sweet! if I have any other questions I will be sure to let you know. Thank you again for being so helpful! Have a blessed day! :) K. Shields ~ Little Rock, Arkansas USA

Dear Sherri,
Our family met you just a week ago when we arrived in Cozumel, a little overwhelmed and in need of a hotel. You gave us great suggestions and we had a lovely week at Hotel Cozumel. I wanted to write and thank you for all your time and consideration. We also followed your beach suggestions and had wonderful snorkeling. Thank you, Sherri, for taking the time with us. And thank you for your wonderful website. We wish you the very best in the New Year and always. Foley Family ~ Minnesota

I just wanted to let you know we really enjoyed our experience with the turtle salvation program this week. It was an amazing evening I will never forget. I will be sure to share the info with my local dive shops and SCUBA club when I return. I know that many others would love to participate and support the turtles. Thanks again and if you could pass along our appreciation to the biologists and other volunteers, we know it is all of your dedication that helps the turtles. J & D Lamb ~ Tucson, AZ

Sherri, I did receive both email confirmations. Thank you again for your great customer support and service in getting these activities scheduled for me. I will recommend your site to all of my friends who visit the island. Thanks again!! A. Washburn ~ Not Given

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Adios! Jana Helbach ~ Not Given

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