The Yucatan Peninsula is not only famous for the Mayan ruins but also for its beautiful beaches like the gorgeous Cozumel Beaches. For this reason, 2 million avid travelers flock to these beaches every year. Continuing to awaken this beautiful sleepy island to a fast-developing-bustling tourist hub.

Cozumel is blessed with plenty of beautiful beaches that cover almost the entire borders of the island. The beaches are too many that even the most frequent visitors are yet to explore them all. A port day or even a week of vacation in this place is not enough to go through all the beaches on this island. Warranting the place a few repeat visits.

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To help you get a feel for the beach layout on the island and to plan your Cozumel beach experience during your cruise vacation wisely. Here are 15 best Cozumel beaches to visit:

Western / Leeward Side Beaches

The beaches on the western side are the most popularly frequented beaches. Not only because they are closest to the ship’s pier, but because they are more developed offering plenty of tourist attractions. They are divided into two categories, lay in the sand type of beaches and snorkeling beaches.

Do check all these beach accessories for your cruise vacation.

Family Cozumel Beaches

1. Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach is the perfect beach for the family. It features a huge aqua park with inflatable water toys such as trampolines, wall-climbing-icebergs, and floating paths. This touristy beach is found on the leeward side of the island.

To get there you can take a taxi from the pier which will cost you $5 per person each way or $15 per family or group of 4. You will be charged $21 per person, to use the inflatable water toys. $3 for a beach chair and umbrella or $10 mandatory food cover.

It will all be worth it, though, as the beach is very beautiful and has everything you need to enjoy the perfect beach day. Starting with plenty of sun loungers and hammocks on the long stretch of white sandy beach.

Paradise beach also has a huge heated freshwater pool, clean bathrooms, a swim-up bar and a restaurant with palapas at the beach for additional seating. You can enjoy signature cocktail drinks at the two bars at this place with one at the poolside and the other at the beach.

Water sports are also in plenty, take a snorkeling or parasailing excursion from the pier on its south. Or go kayaking, exploring the nearby reef and the coastal outline. But for a total day of relaxation try a massage and take a floater into the waters, to float your day away.

Caution, however, only swim from where there is a green flag. There are some parts of the water that is too rocky to swim in. You and your family will have a blast here.

2. Playa Mia

Playa Mia is the largest beach on Cozumel and accommodates plenty of guests from cruise ships. It is very similar to Paradise beach with the only difference being the size. Playa Mia is larger and has much more to offer than just common beach resort activities.

Large groups with kids will especially love this beach. It has a water park with inflatable toys. A kid’s play area in the sand with professional supervision. A large freshwater swimming pool, within a huge restaurant and bar. And plenty of sun loungers and hammocks to relax in.

The beach also offers all manner of water sports.  You can break the beach bum routine, by taking a snorkeling or jet ski tour of the coastline. Paddleboarding is also fun or try the water slides at the beach. You can catch a glimpse of a few fishes here and there while snorkeling near the beach, but for the real deal, try booking an excursion.

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Most cruise lines offer an excursion to this beach. The excursions include a tour to the cocoa factory. Where you learn how to make chocolates and even get to sample them. Or a cooking class, where you are taught to make delicious Mexican dishes by a professional chef. Whatever you cook then becomes your lunch.

Getting to Playa Mia is easy, just take a taxi at the pier which will cost roughly $20 per 4 people. Or take an air-conditioned bus ride, booked by your excursion facilitators.

3. Mr. Sanchos Beach

Mr. Sanchos is a beautiful Mexican beach resort located only 15 minutes away from the ship’s pier. It is the largest private beach in Cozumel and is perfect for all age groups. The best thing about this place is that they don’t charge a cover fee to use the beach.

Mr Sanchos Beach, Cozumel
Photo By: Chris (Creative Commons)

They offer an all-inclusive day pass package that can be reserved for $5 and starting at $55 for adults or a pay as you go service. So, you can stop by and check it out without feeling the pressure of commitment. It has 3 huge pools, 2 of which have swim-up bars. One amazing feature at the bars is the swing seats, that have replaced normal bar stools. Cool right?

Enjoy the scenic ocean view while sipping on a cold Pina Colada in a swing seat.

The bars are not the only places with a great view, enjoy the Caribbean breeze in a palapa on the beach. As for the dishes served at the restaurant, they are to die to enjoy the best that Mexico has to offer.

Feeling a little romantic?  Mr. Nachos has a great romantic getaway package priced at $230. This package comes with a private cabana and extras like free massages and concierge service.

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However, do not be dismayed if you are solo, you can try your hand at water sports. Try the wave runner at this beach, it’s absolutely thrilling. But the absolute must do on this beach, has to be horseback riding. For only $35 or more enjoy riding on these majestic yet gentle creatures along the beach and even in the water. For the best views of Cozumel, take a parasailing adventure priced at $75.

This is also the perfect beach if you have kids. The kids will totally love the aqua park which features inflatable water toys. But remember kids have to be able to swim really well, without easily getting tired to enjoy the park. As the park is set up at least 100 yards away from the beach, and the waters there aren’t too shallow either.

Cozumel Beach
Photo By: Russell Otway

Snorkel Beaches

4. Dzul Ha

Dzul Ha now called the Money Bar Beach club is found on the western side of Cozumel near San Miguel town. This is one of the most popular beaches for snorkeling right off the beach.

The snorkeling on this beach is exceptional and there are plenty of fishes to see. The entrance of the beach leads you to the Money Bar Restaurant. At less busy times you might get excellent service but on busier days it might not be so.

Carry your snorkeling gear or rent one and good water shoes, as the beach is quite rocky. The staircase off of the restaurant leads you directly into the crystal-clear waters. That’s where the snorkeling adventure commences. If you are staying overnight, enjoy live band performances at the restaurant’s happy hour.

5. Playa Corona

Playa Corona is another great beach for snorkeling right off the beach. Thanks to the Chankanaab reef located about 100 yards off the beach. Therefore, making it a hotspot for snorkeling.

Enjoy a quiet day of reading, sunbathing and snorkeling at this rustic place.

Bring your snorkel gear and meet Ramona the friendly 5 foot long barracuda that hangs around near the beach. Other sea creatures which you might see are sea fans and various schools of fishes in the coral reef. If you forget to carry your gear you can always rent one at the Sand Dollar Sports rental. The rental shop also organizes snorkeling excursions charged from $45.

When you get hungry grab a plate of fish and beef tacos with a huge serving of ceviche enough to feed four. Other food fares served at the place include nachos and chicken are priced at $9 per plate.

The entrance fee for Playa Corona is $5 per person. Bring a volleyball and enjoy a game of volleyball on the pitch at the place.

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6. Sunset Beach

This is the third of the three snorkeling beaches, perfect for snorkeling right off the beach. It is centrally located on the western side of the island and closest to the town of San Miguel. This is the perfect place to visit when you are pressed for time on your port day. Enjoy the views from Sunset restaurant and definitely try the chicken and shrimp tacos. Sand dollar sports organizes snorkeling and scuba diving excursions. But you can bring along your own snorkeling gear and enjoy snorkeling right off the beach in the crystal-clear waters.

The reef balls added into the water, are great for attracting shoals of fish, which have colonized them making a home for themselves. This to your delight and pleasure when you have a sneak peek into their colorful, busy lives.

7. Sky Reef

Sky reef is the closest beach to the cruise docking port. However, due to its rocky nature, it’s more suitable for snorkeling rather than play in the sand kind of a beach day.

It’s located south of the cruise port, on the southern highway of Cozumel. A taxi ride will only take 10-minutes to get you there. It’s best to come with your own snorkeling gear. Do not be fooled to pay any cover charge, entrance is free and you can go snorkeling if you have your own gear.

Snorkeling here is decent. Just as the name suggests, this beach has access to the Chankanaab reef which is a part of the second largest reef system in the world. When the waters are calm, there are plenty of fish to see. You can also grab a Mexican or seafood lunch at the sky reef restaurant with cold drinks to cool off your day with. It’s a great place to pass by, before trying out other more relaxing beaches for the day.

8. Playa Palancar

This is a beautiful stretch of beach resort found on the southwestern-leeward side of Cozumel. Playa Palancar beach is dotted with palm trees and features a beautiful stretch of soft sand. It is a truly beautiful place to experience your port day in.

The beach is free, but you have to purchase food and drinks from the restaurant on the beach. While the place isn’t famous for its food, it’s still a great place to swim, sunbathe or just catch a nap in the hammocks under the palm trees.

To load up on relaxation, you can also get a massage at the beach for roughly $30-$45 for 20 mins and 30 mins massage respectively.

Playa Palancar Beach, Cozumel
Photo By: Falco Ermert (Creative Commons)

There is plenty of fun to keep you entertained at this beach. You can take part in kayaking, snorkeling, snuba and deep-sea fishing trips. The best thing is that they ensure you get your money’s worth of experience when you snorkel, or snuba with them.

Carry your snorkeling gear, sunscreen, bug repellant and beach towel to enjoy a relaxing day at Palancar beach. Sun loungers and umbrella are available for rent at $12.

9. Punta Sur Eco Beach

Punta Sur Eco beach is an untouched piece of paradise. Found at the end of Punta Sur Ecological park on the leeward side of Cozumel. The beach is a majestic splendor to behold, no wonder it’s so popular. This is the ideal beach to spend your day on at Cozumel, it has 3 ecosystems in one.

Most cruise ships and local tour companies offer excursions to the park adjacent to this beach. The excursions involve a hike, and nature walks through the park, mangrove, and the crocodile’s lagoon to end with a relaxing beach day at Punta Sur beach.

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The beach has a gorgeous stretch of white sandy beach with palm trees scattered everywhere on it. At one end of the beach is Malo’s Point Light House. Enjoy panoramic views of the beach from this viewpoint and take plenty of photos to remember the place by.

The beach has plenty of beach chairs and hammocks. Grab one and enjoy the view of the ocean while sipping on a cold coconut concoction. Punta Sur is found approximately 27 kilometers from downtown. Take a taxi and pay $12 entry fee to the park for a self-guided trip.

10. Passion Beach

One of the most picture-perfect beaches in Cozumel has to be Isla Passion beach. With an abundance of palm trees like no other beach has. Enjoy the tropical beach magic on this beach. Located on the northern side of Cozumel this private beach is only accessed through excursions from your cruise or local tour operators.

Passion Island Beach, Cozumel
Photo By: Russell Otway

A typical excursion to this beach gives you 4 hours of beach time. The pristinely white sandy beach has the clearest waters in Cozumel. Enjoy relaxing at this beach on a sunny day, with signature cocktail drinks from the island’s bar.

Isla Passion is so beautiful that it doubles up as the most popular wedding destination in Cozumel, if not the entire Caribbean. It will take you 45 minutes to get there via a catamaran or 1 hour via land.

Also Read: Should You Cruise the Eastern or Western Caribbean?

Beaches on the East Side – Windward side

While the beaches on the western side of Cozumel have a lot to offer, one thing they lack is privacy and silence. If you don’t like crowded beaches and seek out secluded private beach getaways. Then tour the windward side of Cozumel for some of the most remote beaches.

11. Playa Del San Martin

Playa San Martin beach is a perfectly secluded picturesque beach on the eastern side of Cozumel. It is by the roadside and features a long stretch of powdery white sandy beach.

There are no amenities on this beach, so remember to carry your beach towel, umbrella, and lounger. To enjoy some sunbathing and beach bumming on this beach.

Though the waters at San Martin are pretty tempting, they can be quite deadly, only go into the waters, when green swimming flags are out or if advised so. A red flag means, do not go into the water. There are lifeguards on duty on the days when there are strong currents. Heed what they say for your safety.

Across the road, there is a food area, which serves excellent meals and drinks. There are also some few colorful stalls where you can get some authentic Cozumel merchandise.

To get to San Martin, you need a car rental, fuel it fully so that you don’t get stuck out there, as there isn’t any gas station nearby.

12. Playa Chen Rio

Another beautiful beach you should check out in the east is Chen Rio. A beautiful stretch of beach great for swimming, relaxing and snorkeling on.

Though, a bit rocky it has a gorgeous stretch of white sandy beach perfect for a day of beach bumming. It also features a nice little swimming lagoon for kids. Created by the dead coral reef sticking out of the water that surrounds the lagoon and protects it from tidal waves. Please note, it is not advisable to swim in the lagoon right after a heavy down power, so avoid it in such times.

The best fish in Cozumel is served on this beach, make sure to order the fried fish platter and the ceviche at the restaurant on the beach.

A taxi ride over to the beach will cost you roughly $12 each way from the cruise port terminal. Please remember to wear good water shoes.

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13. Playa Bonita

Playa Bonita is a nice romantic beach also found in the east. Besides the pristinely white sandy beach, with clear turquoise waters, this beach is known for its food. The food is delicious and served in huge portions. Enjoy the best of shrimp and beef tacos at the place, the guacamole is a must try.

Don’t mind the rundown structure that is the restaurant, try the food first and it will be worth the trouble. The beach has loungers and umbrellas, grab a spot and bask in the sun while enjoying a cold margarita in their big margarita glasses. Enjoy the scenic views of the ocean from the bar and take a couple of snaps while at it.

14. Punta Morena

This is another private escape on the windward side of Cozumel. It has a nice stretch of beach, that you can relax in and enjoy your day at. If you don’t like touristy places, try this beach, perfect for long walks and romantic escapes. The beach is free to use but the restaurant on the beach charges a mandatory food and drinks cover of $10 per person. Enjoy the guacamole and fajitas and some alone time on the sand under the sun.

15. El Mirador

Though not a beach for swimming due to the strong currents and rocky nature of the beach. El Mirador found on the windward side of the island provides the perfect photo op. This picturesque beach features some incredible rock formations, carved out by the wave action on the beach over many years. There is a carved-out arch on the coral rock that sticks a few feet above the water that forms a bridge over the water.

There are holes on the rock that act as blowholes when there are high waves. Other than the rock’s, there is a considerable stretch of sand, that you can set up a beach chair in and enjoy your beach day. This is a nice stop while you are out sightseeing Cozumel.

Also Read: Costa Maya Mexico, Here’s What You Can Do

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are truly plenty of Cozumel beaches. It’s now up to you to make a decision. However, whatever you choose, remember to relax and enjoy your vacation, as that’s what it’s meant for.

Our best pick is Playa Del San Martin in the east, Punta Sur in the south, Isla passion in the north and Mr. Nachos on the west. Check these places out and have a blast on your next trip to Cozumel. Remember always check the color of the flag raised at the beach, and when you are not sure, ask.

Also, remember to get good water shoes, as most of these beaches are really rocky. An important tip to note as well is that most restaurants, shopping stalls, and even excursions accept only cash. Therefore, carry cash, lots of sunscreens, water, bug repellant (especially if you visit during the summer season) and a good camera. Happy Cruising!!

When on your cruise vacation in the Caribbean you'll need to know the best Cozumel beaches.
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