One of the Restaurants at Chankanaab Park in Cozumel
Cozumel, Mexico Information
Language and Currency
What is Cozumel Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
The official language of Cozumel is Spanish, however English is widely spoken by everyone. This is a great place to try your Spanish out, as the locals really appreciate your attempts and will reward you with smiles and hospitality. The currency is the Mexican Peso, but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.
Cozumel is a small island off the east coast of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea. It is the proverbial fishing village in paradise with all of the creature comforts that anyone could want. Recently, Cozumel has exploded with growth and is somewhat hectic with congestion, noise and aggressive street vendors. Remember to be friendly and respectful and you will have a great time. Many days it is not uncommon to have tens of thousands of visitors in a town that was built for the occasional fisherman.
Cozumel can be hot (especially in the summer months) It is blessed with a tropical climate and lots of sunshine.
Cozumel's International Pier
There are actually three different pier locations. Punta Langosta is located right downtown and after leaving the ship and walking towards the city down the dock, you will go over an overpass into a shopping mall. You are right in the heart of downtown Cozumel. The International Pier is about a 10-minute taxi ride south of town (you can walk it in about 30 minutes right along the coast line, but if it is hot, take a taxi.) The third pier (Puerto Maya) is just beyond the International Pier and has the same dynamics. Finally, when there are too many ships in port, some ships will anchor outside and tender into the Punta Langosta pier.
Cozumel's Langosta Pier Right Downtown
Hint: If the taxi queue is quite long at the International pier, simply walk past the queue out onto the street and start walking into town. You will be able to hail a cab without wasting time standing in a long hot line.
The Langosta Pier and Downtown Cozumel
Hint: Do not use the pay phones that say "Call the U.S. Here" or something to that effect. You will pay dearly if you do. Cozumel has a good number of communications centers that offer fair rates and you can also purchase a MexTel prepaid telephone card for 100 Pesos that will allow you to call home as much as you want. Simply ask around where you can buy one, as they are widely available
There is an extensive shopping center at Puerto Maya and along the street fronting both out-of-town piers, but for unlimited, non-stop shopping one must go downtown. The new mall at the foot of Punta Langosta is a large multi-story mall full of shops, stores and boutiques. The downtown area along the ocean front street is loaded with boutiques, shops, stores, restaurants, bars and just about everything you could imagine. Behind, and to the right (looking inland) of the town's main plaza is an extensive local crafts market. If that is not enough, there are many local "mercados" on the sides streets leading to Cozumel's interior.
Everything Mexican and then some. Jewelry, art work, duty free shopping, Mexican crafts, blankets, liquor, leather goods, simulated Mayan artifacts, onyx carvings and lots more.
There is so much to do in Cozumel that it is astounding. First is the shopping. Downtown Cozumel is a shopper's paradise. The prices are much less than they are in Cancun and the selection, so much more. Then there are the ocean activities. The beaches are wonderful and offer a good assortment of activities. Here are the favorites.
Chankanaab National Park Beach
Chankanaab Marine National Park: One of the first beaches south of town, Chankanaab offers visitors a glimpse of several attractions. First, there is a replica of an ancient Mayan Village to explore. Then there is a formidable botanical and archaeological garden with an inland lagoon. All of this is on top of a great beach and mediocre snorkeling. There is a fee to get in (currently $12) but many find it well worth the price. Chankanaab is very popular with first-time snorkelers and folks wanting to experience Cozumel's beauty without too much effort. There are also several unique experiences offered (swim with the dolphins, deep sea helmet diving and so on.) Of course, this will all cost a good amount of money. Check out the thorough report on Chankanaab if your a considering a visit.
Cozumel's Playa Palancar Beach
Cozumel's West Coast Beaches on the South Side of Cozumel: Here is a special report of Cozumel's incredible west coast beaches and beach clubs. Be sure to read this report if you want to find just the right beach for you. While you would think they are all the same, each beach caters to a different clientele. Like to party? Want a family friendly environment? Want adventure? Find out where to go by reading this report.
Cozumel's Chen Rio Beach
Cozumel's East Coast Beaches: Here is a special report of Cozumel's beautiful and remote east coast beaches. Be sure to read this if you are looking for some solitude. You might be enticed to places like Chen Rio or Playa Bonita.
The diving in Cozumel is legendary, as is the snorkeling. The fishing is outstanding for both offshore saltwater and inshore varieties (especially bonefish). Exploring the island via rental car or moped can be a lot of fun, as can simply hanging out at Fat Tuesdays.
Many visitors elect to visit the Mayan ruins on Mainland Mexico, but this is a full day's trip requiring crossing over to Playa Del Carmen on the ferry and also returning the same way. If you are going to another Mexican port on the mainland, then you may want to wait until then to visit these fascinating sights.
I would say that if you visited Cozumel and did not enter Carlos and Charlie's (see below) that you missed a major attraction.
Yes, first, Tom Milano suggested "Pancho's Backyard" and I would have to second the recommendation. If you want superb Mexican cuisine, don't miss it. I have also enjoyed "La Cabana del Pescador" for an outstanding meal of lobster (a tad expensive but worth it.)
Senior Frog's at the Foot of the International Pier in Cozumel
As for bars, one of my favorites is Senior Frog's (was "Fat Tuesdays") at the foot of the International Pier. It offers great snorkeling, cold beer, volleyball and friendly folks.
Carlos and Charlie's New Location
Of course, no visit to Cozumel would be complete without a visit to "Carlos and Charlie's" It has relocated to the new shopping center at the foot of the Punta Langosta pier, but is still the same outrageous party scene, as found in its former location.....be sure to bring Advil for your headache when you leave.
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