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Guide to Cozumel Beaches
Cozumel island has three distinct types of beaches:
  • Sandy walk-in beaches on the west or leeward side of the island generally have calm water. Snorkeling may be disappointing in the sandy areas since any disturbance on a sandy bottom [waves, walking, jumping, playing] suspends sand particles in the water which decrease visibility and make it very hard for coral polyps to thrive. Without coral for camoflage and protection, one will not see as much marine life.

  • Beaches with a rocky limestone shoreline on the west coast are the best for snorkeling or shore dives since less sand is disturbed so visibility and coral growth are better. The more coral growth there is in an area, the more reef critters will take cover there to be seen while snorkeling or diving.

  • Sandy surf and large waves alternating with rocky limestone coastlines on the east or windward side of the island are beautiful but can be dangerous. The roaring surf creates strong breakers and undertows. Never enter the water alone. Swimming is not recommended on most of the east side beaches. There are now many areas where flags are displayed showing the level of safety for a particular area. Despite the dangerous swimming conditions, these beaches are stunning and serene for those wanting sunbathing, long walks or playing in the water very close to shore.
Typical West (leeward) Beach
Typical East (windword) beach

Cozumel Insider Beach Chart
Here is a handy Cozumel Beach Chart with descriptions, photos, hours of operations and amenities! Just click on the names of each of the beaches for complete descriptions. May we suggest our: Do-it-youself Snorkel Tour
BEACHES

West Coast - North of San Miguel
Playa San Juan - Buccano's A E
Playa Azul A E
Playas Las Casitas S L
West Coast - South of San Miguel
Playa Hotel Barracuda E A
Playa Calatita A L
Playa Villa Blanca E A
La Palapita Den Medio E A
Playa Barracuda Bar E E
Sand Dollar Sports Beach E A
Marina Caleta Playa Paradise Reef E A
PalMar SMALL Snorkel Beach Club E E View All Coupons
Patas & Alas Butterfly Sanctuary E E View All Coupons
Dzul Ha Beach E A View All Coupons
Piratas/Varadero Beach A A
Playa Uvas - Norte A L
Playa Uvas - Sur A E View All Coupons
Chankanaab National Park E L E View All Coupons
Playa Corona E A View All Coupons
Ocean VIP Beach Club A A
Carlos N Charlie's Beach A E
Playa San Francisco S L E
Paradise Beach S E
Playa Mia S L E
Mr. Sanchos S L E
Nachi-Cocom S E
Playa El Paso del Cedral & Alberto's S A View All Coupons
  Playa Punta Francesa (Closed) S
Playa Palancar S A View All Coupons
Punta Sur Ecological Park & Lighthouse A E
East Coast - Continuing from Southern Tip Northward
Playa Box & Rasta's/Paradise Café A
El Mirador
Playa Punta Chiqueros A
Playa San Martin A
Playa Chen Rio A L A View All Coupons
Coconuts A View All Coupons
Punta Morena L A View All Coupons
Playa Oriente & Sr. Iguana's A View All Coupons
Playa Oriente & Mezcalito's A View All Coupons
East Coast - Off Road by Tour Only
Punta Ixpalbarco
Playa Santa Cecilia
Playa Bonita Norte
Castillo Real
Punta Molas Lighthouse
Legend:
General: Yes / Available, C Entrance Coupon
Swimming: L Swimming with Lifeguard
Snorkeling: E Excellent, A Average
S Conditions Sparse due to lack of lack of coral in sandy beach areas
Restrooms: E Excellent, A Average

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Beach Conservation - Do Your Part
Cozumel has a protected Marine Park area that extends from the southern cruise ship piers southward and all the way around the tip of the island and up the other (east) side to Punta Chiqueros. Inside this area, the taking of ANY items from the SEA OR BEACH is prohibited by federal law and punishable with fines and/or imprisonment if caught. Even shells that wash up on the shore can become a home for some critter so please leave them in place in order to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.

There are many stores and kiosks in town that sell shells however no one really knows the origin of these shells and if they were harvested from a protected area of the island or an open one. So in general, if your desire is to help our conservation efforts, it's best not to purchase shells at all. For this only encourages poaching and illegal harvesting when naturally available supplies are depleted.

I know they are all so beautiful and it is very tempting to say "well it's only one shell so..." But if you keep in mind that according to Carnival cruise lines recently, there will be a couple of MILLION cruise ship visitors this next year to Cozumel, then you can just imagine the impact if each person elects to take just one shell!

Perhaps consider adopting the DIVER'S CREDO when travelling the world:

"Take only pictures and memories and leave only bubbles behind!"

~ Sherri ~
Beach Safety is Important! "SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK"

Beach Warning and CautionsBring life vests for any persons with limited water skills wishing to partake in water activities.

Observe all beach signage and warning flags posted on beaches which indicate current swimming conditions.

While only a few years old, Cozumel's Lifeguard Program now has over 30 Lifeguards on duty daily and continues to develop. Read more here about our Lifesaving Program.
With this program, there are lifeguard towers and lifeguards at some beaches but not all of them.

So please be cautious and consider all beaches to be "SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK"

A few beachy things you might be interested in!
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 Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!
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 Cozumel's Most Complete Island Jeep & Snorkel Tour
You'll see more in one day than others see in a lifetime! $ 85 Adults/$ 50 Kids
 Cozumel Island Map & Reef Creatures Cards
Beautifully drawn and virtually indestructible Cozumel Map and Fish Identification cards showing lots of detail including beaches, reefs, streets and landmarks! Maps & Fishcards From US$ 4.95
 Zwick's Cozumel Chart (Island Map)
The original hand drawn, detailed historic reference chart of Cozumel Island is back and available only through Cozumelinsider. From $35 (TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK)
 Cozumel Fox Hill Underwater Video ~ The Beauty of Cozumel
Share the beauty of Cozumel's reefs with family and friends with this spectacular underwater video! Only $25
Personal Experiences
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Just returned from Cozumel where we participated in the FP&M Turtle Salvation program and it was the highlight of our trip. Our guides picked us up at our hotel right on time. They were very nice and one spoke fantastic English. Being able to participate in the extraction of newly hatched baby sea turtles from their nests and then watching them scurry into the ocean was so amazing. There were 4 nests hatching that evening so we were interacting with baby turtles for several hours. Those little turtles are SO adorable and so VERY determined to get to the water. This activity exceeded our expectations. I would recommend it to anyone who loves nature and wants to help this endangered species. It is awesome that cozumelinsider.com donates its resources to handle the bookings for this activity to help raise funds for this great cause. Thanks for an awesome experience! T. Daily ~ Arizona

I want to take a moment to thank you at COZUMELINSIDER for all of your help. This is the first time I have ever booked activities such as these online and was very nervous about how it all worked. You took the time to answer all of my questions and even followed upwith a phone call to make sure you had all the information you needed to book the perfect vacation fun for my family. Thanks so much for making this a great experience! I can hardly wait to get there and enjoy all of these wonderful things! S. Daggett ~ Woodland Park, CO

En mi opinion, Josefina es una asombrosa profesora. Pienso que si necesitas aprender Espanol, ve a ver a Josefina!!
Adios! Jana Helbach ~ Not Given

Thank you so much!!! Thank you for arranging the dolphin encounter for my family!!! Even in the aftermath of Hurricane Emily, Cozumel Insider came through with flying colors --- yall are perfect... A. Sikes ~ Frankston, TX USA

Hey ~ I just wanted to follow up and say what a great time we had swimming with the whale sharks. I also wanted to commend our tour guide Cesar. He was very knowledgeable of the people, the land, the culture, and the history. I would highly recommend him to anybody wanting to tour Mexico.
Thanks again for all of your help, Matt Brosh ~ Austin, Texas

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