10 Things To Do In Cozumel - Attractions and Activities

Cozumel Vacation Rentals


Carretera Costera Sur Km 12.8 Cozumel, Mexico |Toll Free (877) 259-0191

Location - Area Map & Aerial View

This Tropical Paradise is located on the most pristine strip of the Hotel Zone 8 miles south of San Miguel one mile north of the world famous Paradise Beach Cozumel and one mile south of Chankanaab National Water Park home of the Dolphin Discovery.

Cozumel Attractions
Casa Coralina is located in the only gated community on the island.  We are the closest villa to the entrance gate and parking, and a straight shot seconds walk to the community pool, 8 seat Jacuzzi and the beach.  Our beach offers a bit of both a white sandy beach and some rocky coral heads for snorkeling. Things to do in Cozumel Mexico
Arriving in Cozumel or Cancun
The uniformed agents, at the airport and the ferry docks that seem to want to help you get you to your destination, are a front to the time share sales.
For example: They walk up to you and ask:
"Which hotel?"
, and no matter what your answer is, they will say "This way please" 
- DON'T GO WITH THEM -

Don't volunteer any info, your name or where you are going, to anyone except to someone with your FULL name on their clipboard.

You will be given the name of our Onsite Rental Agent that will meet you at the Cozumel airport and assist in getting you to your car rental company or arrange transport by the only shuttle service from the airport.
(by law, they can't transport you) there are transportation monopolies at most tourist Mexican airports, only car rentals and certain transportation companies are allowed to take passengers.

Our Onsite Rental Agent will walk with you to the car rental, help with your luggage, and accompany you to the Villa where they will orient you to Casa Coralina and your surroundings.

If you find it less expensive to fly into Cancun, They have arrangements to have you met at the airport and transferred directly to Playa del Carmen where the ferry ride is only 35 minutes to Cozumel. This is for groups of 4 or more.  The round trip cost for ground and ferry transportation is about $60 per person.  You should allow 3 hours additional time each way

You need to save more than $200 per ticket for a group of 4 or more to make this approach worth the hassle.  Otherwise we recommend you fly directly to Cozumel.

 

Discover Cozumel
Discover all that Cozumel and its surroundings have to offer:  Reef snorkeling and diving a few feet right off the beach. Our private 135 foot community peer is ideal for your direct boat pickup for Scuba, snorkeling, parasailing, boating, and deep sea fishing excursions. You can also swim with dolphins in the sea, in Chankanaab National Parque which is only 5 minutes from the villas.  Horseback riding, ATV tours, Mayan ruins, special wildlife exploration tours, all within a few minutes. See the Cozumel Dive & Snorkel Section for directions to the best FREE PUBLIC beach snorkeling on the Island. 

Call us to customize an itinerary based on things you like to do; from extreme snorkeling, parasailing and diving adventures to best places for dining, to quiet secluded secret beaches and clubs on the island.
 

Adventure Tours Reservation
Upon signing the rental agreement and receiving your deposit, we will send you information about contacting the Island Rental Agent in Cozumel. They will help you with all you Adventure Tours Reservations, baby sitting,  car rental, other entertainment and excursion reservations and ideas to make your vacation effortless and unforgettable.

They can also arrange for Chef Service options and enhancements such as a crib etc. This is an optional extra cost program that is priced according to the specific services provided. Included, for example, are special needs menus, breakfast, lunch, dinner, parties with additional wait staff and entertainment, etc

Attractions in town include: Shopping, island hopping, dancing, fine dining, flea markets, golf courses with 18 holes, fine casual and fun dining, music from salsa to rock, in several famous discos for all ages, duty free shopping in superb shopping malls and romantic or pirate ship entertainment dinner cruises.

You also do not want to miss visiting some of Cozumel famous and not yet discovered beach bars.  See our Cozumel beach clubs and self Island tour article below. 

Cell Phone Use In Cozumel
Cell phone coverage is available at Casa Coralina.  Roaming is about $1.00/minute.  Use for emergencies only.  Caller ID works in Mexico.  Consider not taking calls on your cell phones and use the Casa Coralina phone to call back. 

Remember the phone at Casa Coralina gives you unlimited free calling to the US and Canada.  Family and friends can also stay in touch with you, while at Casa Coralina, by calling a US phone number.  You can also bring your laptop computer and use free broadband internet to keep in touch with email.

Cozumel Beach Clubs and self Island Tour

You need a car to do this, please read the article on the right.

Costera Sur
The Southern Hotel Zone, located along Carretera Chankanaab, and also known as the Costera Sur, offers the best beaches beginning at Playa Corona and ending at Playa Palancar.  The famous coral reef running parallel to this part of the coast is a protected zone called Parque Marino de Cozumel.
The first attraction along the way is the popular Parque Chankanaab, a park with a landlocked lagoon connected to the sea. Just off the fine sandy beach is excellent snorkeling where you can spot tame fish, underwater statues, a sunken ship and a pirate cannon.
The two largest beaches, San Francisco and Paradise Beaches, are popular spots with the cruise ship crowd that swarms both beaches by early afternoon. On Sundays, Playa San Francisco is the gathering spot for Mexican families who come to enjoy the beach and bring along their music, games and family picnics.

Mr. Sancho's You may want to visit Mr. Sancho's for its free admission, laid-back beach atmosphere and good Mexican cuisine. Crowds and noise aside, both beaches offer excellent swimming and snorkeling.

Along the way is Cozumel's original settlement founded in 1847. El Cedral is now a charming farming community known for its country fairs.  Beside its modern church are the remains of the oldest Mayan structure on the island.  Look for the tan arch.  Only do this if you have plenty of time

Do not miss an evening at Alberto's Seafood beach club, the only beach club  on the south side that stays open past 5:00 PM all the way to 10:00 PM.  They are right across from the EL Cedral Arch.  They only serve seafood and it is the best on the island.  It is one of the few undiscovered tranquil beaches, they have an excellent band that plays awesome Mexican and us beach music starting at 7:00 pm.  Watching the sun set while dining and listening to the awesome music, is as close to paradise as you'll get.  Don't miss this beach club, admission is free and food prices are reasonable.  They also have a volleyball sand court, and the bathrooms are much cleaner than in the past.

Palancar Beach
Another quiet not so discovered beach a couple kms south of Alberto's.  If you are willing to walk a bit past the concrete pier in the distance, you can find a secluded beach to call your own for a few hours.


Parque Punta Sur to Punta Molas
Just as the highway turns north you will find Parque Punta Sur, a national wildlife refuge. Inside the park is the ancient Mayan lighthouse, El Caracol, which was built as an early hurricane warning system. At the southernmost tip is Punta Celarain Faro, a historic lighthouse that has been transformed into a navigational museum.  For extreme snorkeling experience ask us about the beach at Punta Sur.  It is the best on the Island.

Those in search of more tranquility can follow the highway west to where Costera Sur takes a northern turn becoming the Costera Este (Eastern) Highway. Here the beaches are wild, wind-swept and, for the most part, deserted.

Playa Paraíso is the first beach just outside of the park's entrance. Close to Playa Chen Rio are two smaller Mayan ruins, El Mirador and El Trono. The best beaches for swimming are found at the crescent shaped Punta Chiqueros cove and at Playa San Martin. If you are on this beach during the full moon in May or June, you may see giant sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Further north is Punta Morena, which is popular with surfers and boogie boarders because of its pounding surf.


Punta Este has a blustery beach, perfect for beachcombing, and is the final stop before the paved highway turns west and becomes Avenida Benito Juarez, leading back into San Miguel. An unpaved road continues north, leading to some of the most unspoiled beaches: Ixpal Barco, Los Cocos, Hanan Reef, Ixlapak and Playa Bonita are all what you would expect from a Caribbean beach. Along the way is the Mayan ruin of Castillo Real.

Mezcalitos - Do a Google search on Mezcalitos, if you want to go there make sure your arrive about 4:00 because the place closes at 5:00.

The roads end at Punta Mola Faro, the island's most northern point. A tour is recommended to explore this extremely rugged area.
 

A Note About Rental Agent
The Onsite Rental Agents are of long time Cozumel residents, who will be able to assist you in multiple activities. Scuba diving, sailing, fishing, cultural sites, good places to eat, car rentals, best beaches, best shopping, parasailing, jet skis, snorkeling, sunset cruises, and more. They even have snorkel gear on site for inexpensive rental.

If you wish to rent a car, the On-Site Rental Agent can do that for you locally.  They use Pay Le$$ a local car rental company, with no office at the Airport. Gas is free with Payless, one less hassle to deal with.

However, several of our guests have been successful in using the standard US car rental companies by booking on the Internet and finding attractive rates. Their offices are in the Cozumel airport.  Read the Car Rental article on the right.
 

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Cozumel Villa Rental Front Entreance Villa Coralina
Car Rental & Insurance In Cozumel

We recommend renting a car in Cozumel.  Especially if you want to explore the island, discover its secluded beautiful breathtaking beaches, and have the freedom to do whatever, whenever.

Here are some tips to help you get the best deal and avoid some gotchas.  You will not find any of this information anywhere else so read entire section carefully and print this section to take with you.

Renting a vehicle on the island is a bit different than in the US or Europe. For one thing, you're are in no way guaranteed a spiffy under-one-year-old vehicle with that new car smell. We suggest you book ahead of time on the internet.  No credit card is required for reserving the car, so your card cannot be charged if you don't show up.  Print out your reservation form and take it with you to guarantee the price you were offered on-line or chances are you will be in line for a bait and switch game.

Arriving at the Cozumel International Airport

The first question is; Which car rental company actually have a desk at the Cozumel International Airport?

The answer is there are Five (5): Avis and Hertz have offices inside the airport building,  Thrifty, Dollar, and Executive are outside the airport building and require a 2 minute walk with your luggage to their offices.  The walk is worth the difference in price. $12-25/day for a mid size car. We recommend Thrifty.

Jeeps do not have air, and cost 2 to 3 times an air conditioned midsize car.

Book with two rental companies on-line, and when you get there see for yourself which has the better car and the best deal.  Ask them to show you the car before signing any papers.

(No one requires a credit card to book, and your card can't and will not be charged if you don't show up). Thrifty, Dollar are in the same office, so don't bother booking with both. Thrifty is less expensive.  We found that memberships with Avis and others do not really get you a much better deal.

Other rental companies may advertise desks at the airport, but will require taking a shuttle (which you have to pay for) to their offices downtown. Too much hassle especially when it comes to returning the car. It will end up costing you more.

Arriving in Cancun via the Ferry at the Dock - Executive (ACE), Thrifty, Avis, Dollar, Budget, and Alamo have offices one to two blocks from the ferry Dock.  You'll have to take your luggage a couple of blocks, for a $3 tip you can have one of the luggage carriers guide you to the car rental agencies.

Car Liability Insurance - One insurance expense you must take is personal liability. If you have the misfortune to injure someone locally, you will be taken to the police station to settle up the bills. No foreign insurance card will be accepted. No credit cards will be accepted. You would have to settle up everything in cash. Take the liability insurance your car company offers; most of the time it is mandatory -- it's generally $11/day. This is a necessary expense. Some car rental companies bundle this in their price. Others don't. Be sure to ask when shopping for price.

Car Collision Insurance - The second insurance expense, which is optional, is the collision to pay for damages to the car you are renting. This is a big money-maker for local companies who seem to uniformly charge $10/day for $800 deductible and $20/day for no deductible. This can easily triple your car rental.  if you use your credit card car rental insurance, you would have to settle up everything in cash, and turn in a claim when you arrive in the US.  Get all the receipts with you.

Our suggestion is to get travel insurance to cover the entire trip including car rentals, and many other travel issues, for less that you pay for collision insurance alone.  We met a couple on a plane, where the husband had a clogged artery in his leg while on a cruise, they had to forfeit the rest of their cruise, pay for emergency water taxi to get them off the ship, plus the hospital bill in cash before leaving, and pay for additional first class airplane tickets back home; because there were no coach seats available - Total bill $20,000 in cash.  Even if you have insurance you still will not get out of Mexico (or perhaps out of jail) until the bill is paid in Mexico.  You can then claim with US insurance company back home

Option 1 - Travel Insurance - Covers the car collision, villa rental, plus much more including health and weather related vacation interruptions, such as hurricane evacuation, and emergencies, like a seriously ill family member back home, and the like type of vacation interruptions.  Travel insurance covers your entire vacation for the less than the price of car collision insurance they sell you at the car rental agencies.

Check out: http://www.csatravelprotection.com or search for "vacation insurance" on the internet.

Option2 - Your Credit Card covers the collision part of your car insurance. 

Visa and Master Card car collision coverage is free.  as long as you charge the rental on your credit card. Call the 800 number on the back of your credit card and verify car collision coverage in Mexico.   If you carry American Express,  you must sign up for their Premium Rental Protection for $19.95 per rental.  Don't assume you have it, call you credit card company and check.  As mentioned earlier, you must settle all collision and liability claims before you leave the island (or perhaps out of jail) until the bill is paid in Mexico.  You can then claim with US insurance company back home

No matter where or what you rent, be sure to check out the car VERY CAREFULLY before you accept it. This includes things like rolling down all the windows and then rolling them back up, checking to see all the doors and the trunk locks work, etc. We don't recommend renting a Jeep except for couples (No air, not much room for a family of 4).

You will be asked to give a credit card to secure the car rental, and the security deposit ($500-3,000 US Dollars).  That's okay, just be sure you get both credit card original slips back, especially if you pay in cash at the end.

When you're comparing prices of cars, be sure to find out what is included in the base price. If you have insurance coverage for collision damage via your credit card or travel insurance company, you may be able to waive the collision insurance from the Cozumel rental company. This is a big money-maker for local companies who seem to uniformly charge $10/day for $800 deductible and $20 for no deductible.

Here again, as with all the companies listed here, be sure to find out the total price -- including insurance -- before making a decision based on price alone.

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Turn signals- Many people do not use their turn signals, so stay alert and drive defensively. If they do use turn signals it can mean different things than what one might assume.

Turning left - Some times a left turn signal from the car in frot o you can mean some one is turning left, but it can also mean that they are signaling to you to let you know that it is safe to pass them on the left side. This has caused accidents in the past so just be cautious.   Beware when turning left from the highway!  It is absolutely critical to look BEHIND you to make sure there is no traffic.  Most Mexicans, when making a left turn from the highway where a dedicated lane is NOT provided pull off the road to the right, they put the left blinker or emergency flashers on and wait for all traffic to clear in both directions before making the left turn.  Americans normally put their left turn signal on and wait for oncoming traffic to clear and then turn left.  Just be aware, and don't be surprised if you hear tire squeals behind you, or when in Rome you may do like the Romans do.

Passing - When traveling on the highway be alert and vigilant for aggressive drivers.  Drivers in the on-coming lane may choose to pass and cross the centerline of the highway at unexpected times. Be ready to move right. Watch for vehicles driving or stopped on the road shoulder.  Let tailgaters pass.

WARNINGS:

Money Switch at the gas pumps: PEMEX is the only Mexican Gas Company.  They only take cash.

As much as we love Mexico and its friendly and honest people, many of the gas attendants have developed the bad habit of using the money switch scam.  You hand them a $20 bill and they quickly switch it with a $2 bill and say you gave them a two. 

Money Switch pay attention

They do this with any bill amount Pesos or dollars. Some are bold to switch a $10 for $1 and a common practice to switch the 500 and 200 pesos for 50 and 20 pesos respectively.

Here are some suggestions to guard against this scam: 

1. Get your last fill up the day before you have to return the car, or allow yourself plenty of time before you go the the airport.  Sometimes gas stations run out of gas and then you have to find another station. Know where at least two gas stations are.
2. Get out of the car at the gas station and make sure the pump is ZEROED out before you give them the key to open the gas tank door.
2. Don't ask them to fill up.
3. Have the exact change ($20 US dollars) for a half tank, or $40 US dollars for a full tank.  Show it to them before filling up.
4. Count the money twice in your hands in front of them.  Before you give it to them.  And immediately get them to say "correct".
5. Don't let the window washer (s), sometimes two of them, clean your windows, this is a sign of trouble and a reason for more distractions. Say NO once and be firm.  Besides you don't need your windows cleaned when you are on your way to return the car and in a hurry to get to the airport.  Better yet, complete you last fill up the day before you go to the airport.  Don't worry the gas needle won't move much.
6. Although the exchange rate is 10 pesos to $1 Dollar. They sometimes want an extra $1 US dollar for the exchange rate.  Consider it a tip.  Keep it simple and don't let them confuse you.

Car Rental Credit Card Charge
It is always better to pay for your car rental in  US Dollars. They don't take Travelers Checks. 
Here is why? ...
The rental companies convert the US Dollars they quoted you to Pesos at a horrible rate costing you 15 to 20% more to charge the Pesos on your credit card.  And then, the Credit Card company converts the Pesos back to US Dollars at a more reasonable  exchange rate plus the international 3% conversion charge costing you another 5-10%. You end up with 20-30% more on your credit card bill.  Pay in US Dollars cash.  We do not see any reason to convert money to Pesos, most other places take travelers checks.

Scooters: We strongly advise against renting scooters on Cozumel. We have seen more accidents than we can count due to pot holed roads and inexperienced drivers who don't know their way around.

If you want to keep your expenses low, rent a VW convertible instead. Much, Much safer.  You'll have more room, more shade, less wind.

Jeeps do not have air and cost 2 to 3 times an air conditioned midsize car.

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B5 Costa Del Sol | Carretera Costera Sur Km. 12.8 |Cozumel Mexico | Toll Free (877) 259-0191

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Other Villas to rent with Villa Coralina for additional space
Villa Amigos 4BR  | Cozumel Sol 4 BR | Villa Debra 4BRVilla Dos Loros 3BR  | Villa Bonita 3 BR

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