Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, is located near the eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. In the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cozumel is approximately 10 miles wide and 30 miles long. Cozumel's only town, San Miguel, stands on the western side of the island, which is home to most of the island's hotels.
A haven for nature lovers, snorkelers, scuba divers, and romantics, Cozumel was considered by ancient Mayans to be the home of Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility.
Cozumel is also seductive to Mexico travelers on a budget: Cozumel was recognized by a U.S. News & World Report Travel Agent Survey as the North American and Caribbean destination offering the best vacation value. In the poll, Cozumel topped the list for providing good value for money, being a safe destination, having an average daily temperature of 80 degrees, and offering unique vacation experiences.
Cozumel's Beaches and Beyond
If you don't snorkel or scuba dive, you're missing half the beauty of Cozumel. Its vivid sea life attracts water lovers from around the world. The warm, clear, turquoise waters surrounding the island hold the world's second-largest reef network, filled with limestone caves, tunnels, and rare black coral. And if you want to learn to scuba dive, your hotel should be able to help you arrange to take lessons, get gear, and sail to where the underwater sights are best.
Cozumel Reefs National Park, a protected 30,000-acre national area at the southern section of Cozumel, encompasses 85 percent of the island's dive sites.
Other water sports couples can engage in include snorkeling, swimming, fishing, windsurfing, and parasailing. The west coast of Cozumel boasts long stretches of golden-sand beaches besides calm waters.
Popular spots include Playa San Francisco, Chankanaab Lagoon, and Playa San Juan. For landlubbers, there's horseback riding, tennis and hiking.
Seeing the Sights of Cozumel
Another reason couples in love choose Cozumel is because it's rich in history and natural wonders. Popular destinations include:
- Ancient Maya ruins on the north side of the island
- Sanctuary of the fertility goddess Ixchel at San Gervasio
- Museum of the Island of Cozumel
- El Cedral, the oldest Maya structure on Cozumel, built A.D. 800
- Punta Celarain lighthouse, featuring a 360-degree view of the island
- Cozumel Marine Reef National Park
- Chankanaab Park and Lagoon
- Punta Sur eco-tourist park in the Colombia Lagoon
- Chankanaab Park Botanical Gardens
- Dolphinorium, for dolphin encounters
- San Miguel's zocalo (town square) Plaza del Sol and downtown pier
- Day tours to Maya ruins and other attractions on the Yucatan peninsula
Shopping/Dining/Nightlife in Cozumel
A duty-free zone, Cozumel is well-stocked with jewelry fabricated in sterling silver and gold with precious and semi-precious stones. Village shops and hotel boutiques carry clothing, perfume, Mexican crafts, and souvenirs. And you'll probably want to import some authentic Mexican tequila as a memento of your visit.
There are dozens of restaurants and cafes in Cozumel. The Cozumel Gourmet guide (available at most hotels, shops, and restaurants) provides details about the island's restaurants. In addition to numerous beachfront, downtown, and hotel bars, Cozumel is home to a couple of discos. But you may decide the most fun of all is a romantic stroll by the waterfront and tequila shots at a friendly bar.
Packages for Honeymooners and Other Romantics
Cozumel couples can choose to stay cuddle in full-service hotels, all-inclusive resorts, rustic oceanfront villas, and beachside bungalows. This is truly a place where you can follow your passion, whether it's golf, spa, snorkeling and diving, According to contributors to TripAdvisor, these are the island's top dozen resorts, in order:
- Presidente Inter-Continental Cozumel Resort & Spa
- Fiesta Americana Cozumel All Inclusive
- Playa Azul Golf, Scuba, Spa
- Villas Las Anclas
- Casa Mexicana Cozumel
- Coral Princess Golf & Dive Resort
- Scuba Club Cozumel
- Blue Angel Resort
- Casita de Maya
- Iberostar Cozumel
Members of the Cozumel Hotel Association occasionally offer honeymoon packages.