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Self Guided "On Your Own" Island Tour
1: Book a rental car now ...
Since Cozumel has few paved roads around the island, you can rent a car and strike out on your own island tour with very little chance of getting lost. Circling the island via paved road can take as little as 2 hours or as many as you want depending on how many stops you decide to make at the beaches and points of interest.


2: Order an Island Map now ...

3: Print the Beach Chart and review it along with the map to familiarize yourself with the area.

4: Pick points of interest to you from the beach chart or these other points of interest in Cozumel. This trek outlined assumes you head SOUTH first from downtown.

5: Have fun & enjoy your day in Cozumel!!
Downtown San Miguel Area
Cozumel Island Museum
  • The history of Cozumel is represented by its museum, which is located in the building that was originally the first luxury hotel opened on the island in 1936. Four large exhibition rooms take residents and visitors into daily life on the island and in the waters around it, from the past to the present. The Museum is located on the corner of Melgar & 8 Norte
Central Lighthouse
  • Located just past Hotel Cozumel at Playa Calatita, this is the island's newest lighthouse completed in 2000. There are 2 other lighthouses as well around the island: one inside Punta Sur Ecological Park and one on the far north end of the island called Punta Molas.
Heading Southward out of San Miguel Downtown
Be sure to take the old highway turn-off where a sign says CALETA because this road stays close to the sea for beautiful views and beach access.

Estate Beach Club and Patas & Alas Butterfly Sanctuary
For snorkeling and to see Cozumel's butterflies!
Chankanaab Park
  • The principle attraction of the park is Chankanaab Lagoon, which means "small sea" in Mayan. A result of rain and seawater eroding the porous limestone, the lagoon is considered to be a unique ecosystem on a global scale. The influence of the nearby ocean causes the formation of petrified coral in the lagoon and a large community of fish moves between the ocean and the lagoon through two underground caves.
  • Explore the cultural past of Mexico in the archeological park where 60 exact replicas of works of art in stone take you on an extraordinary magical tour of Mesoamerica. A lush and aromatic botanical garden surrounds the lagoon.
  • The beach at Chankanaab is the best place to try water sports such as snorkeling and diving. On-site shops provide everything you need to explore the marvelous coral reefs and watch the multicolored fish. The beach offers fun for everyone as well as lounge chairs, palapas, restaurants, stores and bathrooms.
  • Dolphin Encounter, Swim, Snorkel and Scuba are also featured inside the park along with Sea Lion shows. Read more/book dolphin activities!
Visit Various Beaches at Leisure for activities outlines on the Beach Chart!

Cedral ~ Off tour path on interior island road across from Mr. Sancho's beach.
  • This small village in the southern interior of the island is the agricultural and farming center of Cozumel. There is also a small Mayan Ruin in the area. Another easy way to see this area is on the horseback riding tour.
Southern Tip of the Island
Island scenery changes dramatically as you reach the "windward" side of Cozumel. The east side of the island from south to north is desolate, pristine beach where turtles nest each year due to the lack of development and activity.

Paradise Cafe
  • Make like a "local" ~ hang in a hammock and enjoy the tradewinds, an order of ceviche mixtos and a cerveza!
Punta Sur Ecological Park
  • Island Locals - IguanaThe ecological park called Punta Sur is located in the southernmost point of the island. Here nature shows its unity and diversity in the interaction of various elements like Columbia Lagoon, mangrove swamps, birds, reptiles, fish and vegetation.
  • People have inhabited this area since Prehispanic times. A Mayan ruin in the shape of a shell was probably used as a lighthouse. This unique structure has shells imbedded in its walls that whistle in different tones depending on the direction of the wind.
  • The Punta Sur Ecological Park is dedicated to the preservation of local flora and fauna. Tour the park's museum, whose theme is the history of navigation around the island. There are various beaches for swimming and organized excursions into the jungle.
  • Past the museum, closer to the beach, are the remnants of a 19th century masonry structure with a circular staircase leading to a rectangular tower which would have been equipped with a lantern to warn ships of the hazards of the coral infested coast. It would also have served to indicate the entrance to the safe harbor of Columbia Lagoon and the piers of the hacienda of the same name, which exported the agriculture produce of the island.
  • On the way back to Celarain Point along the access road bordered by white sand dunes, Sothern Island Beach the remains of the small temple "El Caracol" continue to resist time and weather.

    A Prehispanic Mayan structure probably built in the 12th or 13th century, this temple appears, from its technologically advanced architecture, to have been used for navigational as well as religious purposes. This building would have played an important navigational role during the height of Mayan maritime commerce, which, at the time, extended to other parts of Mexico and Central America.

    This fortunate combination of architectural elements led the Cozumel Foundation of Parks and Museums to focus the thematic content of the marine museum on bringing the memories and cultural heritage of the island to life. The museum is housed in what was originally the lighthouse keeper's residence.
  • Thus, the Celarain Lighthouse Museum unites several functions: preservation and conservation of the lighthouse keeper's home and nearby ruins, information and education; while maintaining the monument in its original state. The museum incorporates bilingual material and displays directed at various age groups and comprehension levels in order to provide an interesting and enriching experience for each visitor.
East Side of the Island
Blow HoleUse the beach chart and/or drive and stop along the way at your leisure for photos of beautiful beaches that inspire you!

Coconuts and a big Photo Op
  • Don't miss this highest vantage point on the island for a great photo of Cozumel's undeveloped, pristine, beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Mescalito's Bar
  • The official turning point of the highway as you head back into downtown San Miguel.
Mescalito's BarPunta Molas Road
  • Check your rental car contract before taking this "jeep only" sand/dirt road because most agencies prohibit rental cars from leaving paved surfaces. This road behind Mescalito's Bar leads to the northern lighthouse and passes several great beaches and a Mayan Ruin (Castillo Real) along the way. AGAIN, most all rental agencies prohibit passage on this road with their vehicles. Typically the best way to see this region of the island without getting in trouble with rental car agency contracts is to do the incredible Jungle Jeep Tour!! If you happen to get stuck in the sand on this tour at least you have help getting out!!
Heading West Toward Downtown San Miguel
Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio
  • Pronounced san-her-BA-see-o, this is a major excavation site of a Mayan Ruin covering about 10 acres. Experience first hand the mysteries of Mayan culture by visiting San Gervasio, the largest archeological site on the island. A strategic location from both a commercial and political point of view, San Gervasio was also a sacred place for the Maya.

    Inhabited from 200AD to the Spanish conquest, San Gervasio was the sanctuary of the Goddess X'chel as well as an important commercial, political and cultural center.

    Engravings at the site relate to events all over the Mayan world.
    The ruins are located off the transversal Highway between Mezcalitos & San Miguel.




The Foundationís new "Passport card"available at Chankanaab, Punta Sur or the museum, allows you to visit all four locations listed above for the low price of just US $20.00.

Sounds fun but .... don't want to drive yourself around?
Prefer to just enjoy the view?


and let some else drive with our guided island tours (LISTED BELOW)!
~ ~ After all, you ARE on vacation!


For those that need a little guidance ... on their vacation!
Submit Feedback
 Cozumel Butterfly Sanctuary Tour & PalMar Beach Club
Visit Cozumel's only Butterfly Sanctuary! See multitudes of colors, learn about butterfly habits and the miracle of metamorphosis. Take photos and then stay to enjoy snorkeling and the other ammenities of the Beach Club. Great family fun & excellent value!
US $13 Adults /US$8 Kids Educational Family Fun!
 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 Design Your Own Island Tour!
Have a big group and want to charter a bus or van to do your own thing? Not seeing an excursion that exactly fits how you and your family would like to spend your day here in Cozumel? No problem! Design an island sightseeing excursion just for you and your group!
From US$ 300 for 4.5 Hours!
 PalMar's SMALL Snorkel Beach Club
Bring your group and spend the day at PalMar's small, private beach facility and enjoy a day of snorkeling at Cozumel's premier beach entry snorkel spot! No crowd here and gates close daily with a maximum of 50 people on site!
US $13 Adults /US$8 Kids Includes FREE Beverages!
 Cozumel Marine Turtle Observation & Baby Liberation Events with FP&M
Sign up for an observation and education session about Cozumel's nesting sea turtles and the volunteer brigades that help in their conservation. Learn about these amazing creatures in the Fundacion de Paques & Museos program and help release hatching baby turtles as they make their way to the sea.
From $ 40 - 70 / person donation

Cozumel Design Your Own Island Tour!
Giant Pool by the Sea!
PalMar's SMALL Snorkel Beach Club
Cyberswim, Inc Get adult and kids costumes for Halloween. Plus Size Swimsuit Sale Luggage Sets on Sale
Personal Experiences
Submit Feedback
Hello my name is Brent C. and I did the Turtle Observation & Release on June 27th. I can honestly not put into words how great and breathtaking the whole experience was! it has always been a dream of mine to watch turtles nest up close and personal but you guys topped that dream and did even better! I almost cried tears of joy when i found out I got to get up close and help remove the turtle eggs as she was laying them! I plan on becoming a marine biologist one day and this whole experience has pushed me farther into my passion for marine biology! I can not say thank you enough! Also cant forget the helpful crew of young men and women that helped us along the night and where ever so kind! Here is a picture of the green sea turtle I named April after she had laid her eggs! Thanks and God Bless Brent C ~ USA

Hello Cozumel Insider - Just wanted to thank you very much for organizing the tour to Coba and Tulum and the snorkel at Akumel for our family on December 27th. We had a wonderful day and would like our appreciation for our driver and guide to be noted. We understood our tour was for 8 hours and after spending too much time at the sites of the ruins (they are amazing and, with our daughter who is in her 3rd year of archaeology, spent longer than most visiting Coba) our day was running a bit short of time. We thought we would have to forgo our planned snorkel at Akumel, but both our driver and tour guide agreed to put in an hour and a half extra to allow us to swim.

We truly appreciated this - Mexico is a beautiful country with many diverse treasures and to have people so eager for us to see and enjoy them made them all that more special!!

Thank you!! Julie Bose Family ~ Salmon Arm, BC Canada

Sherri...thank you again so very much for your fantastic website and for your excellent stories on life in Cozumel. We fellow Texans that are not fortunate enough to actually live there are able to do it through you and we are all extremely grateful...and incredibly envious! Having been an airline employee until retirement I have been lucky to have been down island over 20 times and it NEVER gets old. I thought I knew all about Cozumel, but was delighted to learn of new things and places through you and your website. Your current posting of how you came to Cozumel was so cool. You really need to work on that book! Congrats on this milestone, and continued luck and success in all you do. See you in September for our annual trip down for my birthday and Mexican Independence Day. M. Goodwin ~ Dallas, Texas

I considered your advice to drop by & remembered reading that most public beaches get really crowded if there are a lot of cruise ships in port. There were 7 ships in Cozumel on Saturday & I was prepared, got off the ship first thing at 9 with husband and snorkel gear in tow & inquired about taxi rates. I was a little apprehensive when the taxi organizer didn't know where Palmar was but I had your directions & coupon printed out so I told them it was between the two hotels and mentioned the beach name & all was well. I then realized it was a blessing for them not to know where I was going - that had to mean it wouldn't be too popular/crowded!

I believe we met your husband Mauricio? He was very nice and made us feel very comfortable, showed us to a locker and we were off across the street. A bit hard to get in the water with all the rocks (this is what makes the water so clear!) but it was beautiful & shallow snorkeling with lots of neat corral - and 2 different 2 ft. barracudas guarded the shore.

When we came back we ordered guacamole and chips as well as a mango and pina colada daiquiri. It was obvious it was all just prepared and really fresh - best guacamole I've ever had, the chips were fresh, and the shakes were delicious. In summary, your location was beautiful, thank you for opening your home as a beach club so we could get away from the crowds, we felt so special! Mauricio was as good a host as he was a chef! We'll definitely be recommending Palmar! G. Nielsen ~ Cruise Passenger

Dear Sherri -
I just wanted to tell you how much my friend and I enjoyed spending the day at Palmar when we were on a cruise last week. Juan and Enrique are 2 of the most gracious, polite, and accommodating gentlemen I have ever met. This was my second visit to Palmar and the first for my friend. She was overwhelmed by the hospitality, and we both enjoyed Enrique's tour and explanation of the butterflies. Thank you again for a wonderful day at Palmar. Sincerely, JG Joan Gourley ~ N/A


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