The island of Cozumel is known for its beautiful weather, diverse wildlife, and rich Mayan history. Visitors seek out the island for a sunny getaway that’s calmer than the hustle and bustle of mainland Mexico. For an introduction to Cozumel’s natural beauty, pay a visit to one of the island’s breathtaking white sand beaches like Playa San Juan, Playa Santa Pilar, or Playa Palancar. The beaches on the west side of the island tend to be more popular amongst tourists, as their sandy shores are naturally protected by the land’s geography, but the east-side beaches offer an equally beautiful respite for those who prefer a rockier landscape.
For fans of snorkeling and scuba diving, Cozumel is the place to be. The 175-mile-long Mesoamerican Reef System—the second-longest coral reef system in the world—is located just off of Cozumel’s shores on the southwest side. Divers and snorkelers can look forward to seeing a variety of sponges, coral heads, and tropical fish including the splendid toadfish, a species local to Cozumel. With clear waters and an impressively varied sea floor with ledges, tunnels, and caves, Cozumel is a favorite destination for divers.
After a day out in the sun, sit back and refuel with some of the island’s flavorful culinary specialties. Cozumel’s cuisine is known for being a mixture of multiple food cultures, drawing from Mayan, French, and Spanish influences. Visitors can enjoy well-loved Mexican classics such as tamales, tacos, enchiladas, and chile rellenos or try something more distinctive, such as grilled snapper or grouper served on a plate made out of a banana leaf. Yucatecan cooking is characterized by ingredients like achiote paste and sour oranges, and is especially known for its hyper-fresh flavors. End your meal with a refreshing watermelon, hibiscus flower, or tamarind agua fresca.