12 Best Beaches in Cozumel

Updated On October 4, 2023

Cozumel, situated just offshore from Playa del Carmen, is a stunning Caribbean jewel famous for soft white sand and brilliant blue water.

Being an island, Cozumel is all about its coastline and has some gorgeous beaches.

Each has a distinct character, from the tourist-friendly on the western coast to the more quiet, rugged, and local-orientated beaches on the eastern shore.

And it’s also one of Mexico’s largest cruise ports, which makes it an exciting combination of tourist playgrounds and a natural idyll.

Cozumel, situated off of Mexico’s Caribbean side, is approximately 30 miles long, 10 miles wide, and located near one of the most captivating reef systems in the world, making it a top spot for snorkeling and diving. 

Divers can snorkel directly from the beach for sensational views of tropical fish, coral, stingrays, and nurse sharks.

Cozumel’s west coast (facing Playa del Carmen) has calmer beaches and better snorkeling.

The cruise ship ports are on this side, so the beaches closest to the port tend to be more crowded. 

The island’s east coast faces the open sea; it’s often more scenic but usually has stronger currents and rougher waves.

Farther from the port, beaches are less crowded but aren’t the best for swimming or snorkeling; much of the island’s rocky coastline allows sea life to linger, making for great snorkeling but not necessarily for the prettiest beaches.

However, Cozumel does have some beautiful sandy beaches that are great for swimming, snorkeling, scenery, or watersports.

Best Beaches in Cozumel

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park
Playa Mia Grand Beach Park

Playa Mia Grand Beach Park

Located on the western coast, it’s a hot spot for visitors and those coming off ships, and Playa Mia has plenty to do, from water park activities to walking along the white-sand beach.

Book a snorkel tour or ATV, or take a jet boat ride.

This beachfront water park is one of Cozumel’s most extensive beaches. 

Playa Mia is a beach club geared toward families and has wheelchair access. 

People flock to Floating Park, which includes a 500-foot-long adventure circuit.

One popular attraction is the underwater “Mayan City,” a replica of a submerged lost city. 

Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach Club

Paradise Beach is a sheltered area five miles from the cruise ship pier, and the waters are calm and perfect for swimming.

A beach club offers a pool, lounge chairs, and refreshments.

Then, explore the family-friendly floating adventure park.

The beach club is all-inclusive and includes refreshments, a pool, and facilities, and the optional Fun Pass offers access to the water park, snorkel gear, kayaks, and more.

There are also options for enjoying parasailing and jet skis.

Playa Punta Morena
Playa Punta Morena

Playa Punta Morena

The eastern coast of Cozumel is the most beautiful on the island.

The port is on the western coast, and tourist traffic usually stays on the western and southern shores; the eastern coast is more raw, rugged, untouched, and local.

Playa Punta Morena, about halfway along the eastern coast, has a lovely sweep of powder-soft sand.

Because the eastern beaches are exposed directly to the sea, they can attract surfers and those who adore those who ride the waves.

There’s a small beach club with a pool, loungers, and munchies available. 

Playa Bonita
Playa Bonita

Playa Bonita

This quiet stretch of coastline along the northern side of Cozumel’s rugged east coast is gorgeous.

While many beaches along the eastern coast are choppy, Playa Bonita is gentle and calm, with beautiful vistas and turquoise water.

However, it should be noted: it doesn’t have any facilities, so while it’s ideal for quiet and getting away, bring in–and take out–everything you’ll need for thPPayip, pay a pilgrimage to the nearby Maya to make the most of your trip.

This site was of major significance to the Mayan people, and they believed that here was the end point of the known world. 

Playa Azul
Playa Azul

Playa Azul

This beautiful beach is conveniently located on the island’s northwest corner, not far from San Miguel but still relatively secluded.

The waves here are perfectly calm, and the water is gorgeous.

Enjoy the many beach and water activities, such as sunbathing, snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming. 

Showers and refreshments are available, plus, for overnighters, you’ll find a few hotels in the area.

Playa El Cielo
Playa El Cielo

Playa El Cielo

Playa El Cielo is heaven for beachgoers.

Enjoy a stretch of soft white sand and translucent water home to thousands of starfish. 

Located at the southern tip of Cozumel, El Cielo is at the entryway of the Columbia Reef, abounding with tropical fish and coral.

El Cielo is unreachable by car since, unlike Rome, no roads lead directly to the beach.

And it’s challenging to go on foot. Want to know how to get to “heaven”? Good deeds?

Well, that’s one acceptable answer.

And by boat is another.

You’ll find tours offering to take you to heaven/El Cielo.

Or conversely, visitors can hire a water taxi to transport them from one of the more accessible nearby beaches.

Passion Island
Passion Island

Passion Island

Ringed with a white-sand beach, peppered with palm trees, and endless turquoise water views, this smaller, even more, undeveloped paradise is just off the north coast.

The best–and cheapest–way to reach Passion Island (no jokes, please–too easy) is from the Punta Langosta cruise terminal, where Passion Island guides can arrange transportation to the smaller pier with boats to the island.

It’s about a five-minute crossing from Cozumel to Passion Island.

Visitors can drive to the ferry at Bahia Ciega, about a half hour from downtown.

Or you can book a full-service tour.

Playa San Juan
Playa San Juan

Playa San Juan

Playa San Juan is one of Cozumel’s more popular family beaches at the northern tip of the western coast.

Close to shopping and resorts, it’s easily accessible and full of things to do.

However, remember that things can get crowded when cruise ships are in port.

Playa San Juan is popular with snorkelers and windsurfers because it has calm water and excellent conditions. 

Playa Palancar
Playa Palancar

Playa Palancar

Palancar Beach, named after the coral reef just off the shore, is a good choice for those who want to enjoy a beautiful swimmable beach yet still get away from the crowds.

Its location on Cozumel’s southern end is a powdery, pristine sand space.

Playa Palancar is one of the most stunning beaches on Cozamel, with white sand and turquoise water, and because Playa Palancar’s close to the more rugged Cozumel coast, it keeps a reasonably laid-back vibe.

Palancar Beach has free access, while there’s a fee for tables, chairs, and loungers.

Like most beaches on the coast of Cozumel, snorkeling discloses a treasure trove of marine life. You can also hire a guide to the reef.

Playa Uvas
Playa Uvas

Playa Uvas

Playa Uvas, comprised of Playa Uva Norte and Playa Uva Sur, is popular among locals and visitors, and these beautiful beaches can get busy, especially when a ship docks.

Sur is the more developed beach of the two, with a beach club, restaurant, pool, loungers, and small spa. Imagine sweet, white sand and stunning views out to sea.

Playa Uva Norte is equally scenic, but because there aren’t many facilities, visitors should bring their supplies, especially food, and water. 

Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park
Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park

Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park

Chankanaab, in the Mayan language, means “little sea,” and Chankanaab Beach is part of a larger protected area extending over 35 acres.  

This beach is best for people looking for great snorkeling opportunities, and it’s a perfect spot for a first snorkeling experience if you’ve never done it before!

Nearby is a saltwater lagoon containing the world’s only inland reef. 

The lagoon is a natural aquarium with over 60 species of coral, tropical fish, and crustaceans.

Other attractions include:

  • A nature walk.
  • Dedicated scuba diving and snorkeling areas.
  • A botanical garden.
  • Dolphin encounter 
  • Zipline. 
Punta Sur Eco Beach Park
Punta Sur Eco Beach Park

Punta Sur Eco Beach Park

Discover a beach ideal for adventurers and nature lovers at the southernmost tip of Cozumel Island.

First, go to the lighthouse named Faro Celerain.

Next, visitors will discover a captivating white sand beach with stunning ocean views near the lighthouse.

Here’s an ecological reserve home to iguanas, turtles, crocodiles, and a vast array of avian wildlife. 

You can climb up to the peak of the lighthouse for a panoramic view or take a catamaran boat ride in the Columbia Lagoon to visit the crocodiles.

Cozumel Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Cozumel Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there stingrays in Cozumel?


Visitors can take a trip to Stingray Beach and get to touch, hold and feed stingrays, giving new meaning to the phrase “swimming with the fishes.”

What month is the hottest in Cozumel?

August earns the honor of being the hottest month, averaging a temperature of 82°F.

What are popular local Cozumel dishes?

Some popular local foods include the following:

  • Cochinita Pibil
  • Huarache
  • Ceviche
  • Tacos al Pastor
  • Empanadas
  • Pescado Frito

What is Cozumel famous for?

The island’s celebrated for scuba diving, and Cozumel hosts numerous top dive sites.

Plus, and this is major, the Mesoamerican reef system is one of the world’s largest, with incredible coral and spectacular aquatic life.

1 Comment on 12 Best Beaches in Cozumel

  1. J
    Jiraiya says:

    The Punta Sur Eco Beach Park is an ideal spot for snorkeling, diving, and swimming.

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