Looking for things to do in Cozumel during your cruise vacation?   Over 3 million people cruise to Mexico’s most populated island every year and all of the mainstream cruise lines including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC, Princess Cruises visit the island.  It is one of the most visited cruise ports in the world.
As many as 8 cruise ships could be in port at one time.
Personally, I love visiting Cozumel.  I love the weather, people, environment, beaches, and overall vibe.  Every time I visit I find something new, so this post will detail some unique and fun experiences you can have at this fantastic stop along your cruise.
Planning what to do in Cozumel head of time can be a bit daunting.  There is a lot to do and see in this beautiful, exotic location.
From the pristine coral reefs and endless beaches to the plentiful shopping in town Cozumel has something for everyone.  Oh, and there is even something for the Indiana Jones in you if you want to explore some archeological sites.
The weather in Cozumel is about as good as it gets throughout the year.  Average temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s (Fahrenheit).
In this post we will give you some of the best things to do in Cozumel along with some helpful information in how to get around the island, what to expect, how to pay, etc.

A little information on Cozumel

cozumel things to do
ID 4143674 © Emiliobrath | Dreamstime.com

There are over 100,000 people living at this municipality which is just off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.  The largest city is San Miguel which is right near the cruise ports on the west end of the island.
The economy of Cozumel relies heavily on tourism, so the people there will be very glad to help you and make sure you have a pleasant experience.
Many times I’ve had locals on the island help me out or point me in the right direction all while asking for nothing in return.
There are even special vehicles that drive around the island in order to help any tourists that have broken down and need help.  A service that is offered for free.
Cozumel is mostly flat with the highest point being just 50 feet above sea level.  As you travel out of town you will notice the mangrove forests that dominates the landscape inland while both rocky and sandy beaches surround the exterior.
Do you need to know Spanish?  Most people living in Cozumel speak English  and can understand you perfectly fine.  But trying to learn a few Spanish words and phrases is very much appreciated.

Cruise ports in Cozumel: How far are they from downtown?

cozumel cruise ports
Puerta Maya

This is a little confusing to those who have never been to Cozumel before.   Even if you have been to Cozumel before you might get off the ship and not recognize your surroundings because you could be at a completely different terminal.
There are 3 different cruise ship piers in Cozumel.  One is close to downtown and the other two are a few miles out.    So, let’s look at each terminal and its location.

  • Punta Langosta. This pier is the closest to the downtown area, only about a 5-minute walk.  You can join a walking tour of San Miguel or just explore on your own without having to walk very far at all.
  • International Pier.  This is where some of the larger cruise ships will dock: ships like Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships and larger Norwegian Cruise Line ships.  This is the oldest cruise pier in Cozumel and is about 3 miles from downtown.
  • Puerta Maya. This pier was built by Carnival Cruise Line and is only used for Carnival owned ships.  It’s right next to International Pier.  It’s been nicknamed “Little Cozumel” as many shops, restaurants, and modern amenities are offered right within the terminal area.

Both International Pier and Puerta Maya are about 3 miles from San Miguel, but it is a safe and scenic walk to the downtown area which I have done a few times.   Taxis are cheap, but if you have extra time the walk is doable.
Sometimes, ships will have to anchor just offshore if it’s a very busy day with 7 or 8 cruise ships coming in.  In these cases the ships will tender passengers to some of the smaller piers near Puerta Maya.

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