Beaches to Explore
Cozumel has some of the nicest beaches in the Mayan Riviera. Yes, the western side of the island has many rocky stretches with small beaches, but the Eastern side of the island is very dramatic with breaking waves and long white sand beaches with out a soul in site. If you want to get away from it all, this is the place to go. Just either rent a car or scooter for the day and head out to the other side via the transverse road, which takes about 25 minutes to cross. Once on the other side, you can turn south and cruise along the ocean road and pick out your favorite spot. Or, if you are adventurous, you can turn left up the sand road going north where you will find some uninhabited and long sandy beaches. Be careful though as you do need an off road vehicle such as a jeep.
Recommended Beaches on Eastern Side
Mezcalito's - Small beach here with large lounge chairs under the palapas. Difficult to swim at due to rocky shoreline. Excellent place for drinks, but not a suggested meal location.
Punta Morena - Excellent beach for surfing or hanging out. Good food served including ceviche. Experienced swimmers should only go out when surf picks up.
Chen Rio - Very protected sandy beach. A favorite among locals on Sunday. Restaurant has great food! Try the whole fried fish that serves two or three people. It is one of the best things served on the island! Very safe spot to go swimming.
Coconuts - This is not a beach but a bar located up on a rocky outcropping. Very scenic here with great views. Try the rock shrimp quesadilla for lunch.
Playa Bonita - Nice Long White Sand beach. Not much shade here except under the bar area. Restaurant and Bar are not always open.
Punta Sur Park - This is located on the south end of the island. Entrance fee is about $10.00. There is a lighthouse at the tip of the island as well as a new restaurant. There is also Columbia Lagoon, which is the major source of food supply for the reefs. Here, you will see lots of waterfowl feeding and nesting.
Beaches North of Mescalito's - If you make the left turn right where Mescalitos is, you will be heading north up the sand/dirt road that meanders all the way to the north tip, a good 15 miles. There is a lighthouse up there where the military is stationed You really need four wheel drive should you become stuck in deep sand. If you go just 3 miles north, you will find some really nice deserted beaches. Rent a jeep, take an ice chest with cold drinks and food, an umbrella and have a good time!
Recommended Beaches on Western Side
This side of the island has many beach club type of places with a café-bar and a beach area where they rent windsurfers, sailboats, lounge chairs etc. Corona Beach - A very good beach club to hang out, have lunch and do some of the best snorkeling around.
Chakanaab Park - Underwater national Marine Park. Entrance fee is $5 US per person. Very good snorkeling here. Full facilities including a dive operation. Dolphin experience program is here .This program allows you to swim with the dolphins in a fenced in area.
Playa Palancar - Near southern end of the island. Small beach club with beautiful white sand beach, you will find this location very relaxing with out many people. Highly recommended.
Playa Azul - This Beach is located in the northern part of the island where some of the first beach hotels were established back in the late 1960s. There is a public beach here with a beach club where you can hang out and have cold drinks, rent jet skis, lay out on the beach etc.
Paradise Beach Club - This is one of the more popular commercialized beach clubs. Good food and drinks. Can be crowded on days when there are cruise ships. Rental available. Dzul-ha - A favorite spot to go for snorkeling and enjoying a meal and drinks. Located near the Fiesta Americana Hotel.