Explore Cozumel’s Beauty on a Cruise!
By Tom Seest
At TopCozumelNews, we help people traveling to Cozumel plan their trips and activities using information collected on our trips to the beautiful island.
No matter if you are coming by cruise ship or making the journey on your own, Cozumel Mexico has plenty to explore. From stunning white-sand beaches to ancient Mayan ruins, there is something for everyone on this stunning island.
Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island and one of the top cruise destinations in the Caribbean, boasting over 3 million annual visitors.
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Cozumel boasts three primary cruise ship ports, each serving a different area of the island. Closest to San Miguel are International Pier and Punta Langosta piers; further south in Puerto Maya lies another cruise ship port.
The port area of Cozumel is bustling with shops, restaurants, and attractions that make it a great place to spend the day before or after your cruise. There are even some activities right on shore like Planetario de Cozumel (the planetarium) and Los Cinco Soles – an air-conditioned shop featuring authentic Mayan wares from throughout Mexico.
If you’re in the mood for a delicious dinner, Guido’s Restaurant in Milan serves Swiss-Italian cuisine and is open for dinner with an idyllic patio overlooking the ocean.
Buccanos at Night is another excellent option; this beachfront restaurant serves a wide range of seafood dishes and more to its patrons. This establishment is popular among both locals and tourists for its great food, drinks, and stunning ocean views.
For lunch on board your cruise ship, you have two options: International Pier or Senor Frogs bar-restaurant chain located adjacent to the port. Be aware that both have a large crowd during port days, so be sure to eat early or reserve a table in advance.
After your lunch, enjoy the port area’s duty-free shopping and entertainment options. International Pier also houses Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant as well as several popular bars that serve up big drinks for an enjoyable atmosphere.
The port also boasts several shops where you can pick up souvenirs and t-shirts, as well as a pharmacy in case of emergencies that you forgot to pack at home. Plus, there are some places where you can enjoy live music performances.
For a taste of culture on Cozumel, El Museo is an excellent place to visit. Situated along the oceanfront broad walk just blocks away from Punta Langosta pier, it’s worth taking time out for. Additionally, head over to the town square on Sundays to experience lively performances like beauty pageants or musical concerts that you won’t want to miss!
If you need to get around Cozumel without a rental car, taxis are readily available at cruise ship terminals, ferry piers, and most major hotels. Prices for rides will vary based on where you pick up from and to your destination; however, generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $8 and $35 per ride.
Cozumel boasts three main cruise ports, each offering its own shopping and dining options. But for an authentic taste of Cozumel’s culture and cuisine, it is recommended to disembark at San Miguel.
Downtown San Miguel is just a short walk away from each of the two main cruise ship piers. Here, you’ll find numerous restaurants and bars along the waterfront as well as souvenir shops. Plus, it’s known for its vibrant nightlife scene, so there will always be somewhere fun to hang out before returning to your ship.
Taxis are readily available at each cruise ship terminal and can be reserved with a driver or simply flagged down on the street. The price of a ride will be displayed clearly on a sign, and drivers usually carry their current rate card with them.
Cozumel’s government has set taxi rates that are used throughout town, so you won’t have to worry about getting scammed or haggling with a cab driver in Mexico. Just be sure to inspect the rate card before entering and confirm its accuracy before departing from the port or hotel.
Cozumel taxi rates are so strict that they have their own union. The Sindicato de Choferes Taxistas helps ensure a consistent and safe travel experience for visitors to the island by having taxi drivers follow a code of conduct.
Standard taxi rates offer an easy alternative to haggling with a driver for transportation around town. They’re especially useful when planning out the cost of a tour or having multiple stops or destinations within one day.
Once your cruise ship docks in Cozumel, there are plenty of activities to make the most of your stay. Whether you opt for an official excursion or explore on your own, there is something special for everyone on this island.
If you need an easy way to get around the island without worrying about transporting your luggage from the port, taxis are your go-to solution. They’re readily available at most major hotels, passenger ferry piers, and cruise ship piers.
Before hailing a taxi, it’s essential to know the rates. This will prevent any confusion and help ensure you don’t get overcharged. All rates are clearly posted at airports, piers, and downtown San Miguel de Cozumel so you can easily determine how much a ride will cost for your destination.
Taxis in Spain are organized through a union called Sindicato de Choferes Taxistas (Taxi Drivers Association), making it easier for tourists to get an honest price from a reliable service. Most taxis you’ll see will be white with red stripes, and each will display its company name as well as specific prices specific to the destination area you’re heading to.
On average, taxis in San Miguel de Cozumel charge between $8 and $16 to transport you from the cruise port to downtown. Fares increase depending on distance; for instance, a trip to the airport will cost around $30 pesos, while trips to Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park or Playa Palancar will be charged $35 pesos each way.
Taxis typically accept US dollars, though you may have to pay more for tips. Bring small bills and coins in case the driver doesn’t have change available – many cab drivers won’t carry large bills or coins.
Cozumel boasts three primary cruise ship piers. The International Cruise Terminal, also known as SSA Mexico, is the preferred terminal for Celebrity and Royal Caribbean guests, while Langosta Pier (Punta Langosta Cruise Dock) serves Disney, Oceania, Norwegian Silversea, and Regent cruise lines.
Puerta Maya Cruise Pier, mostly used by Carnival cruise lines, is situated just south of the International Pier and approximately three miles from downtown San Miguel de Cozumel. While this pier does offer some shops and restaurants, it’s not as big or busy as its sister piers in Punta Langosta or International.
Cozumel is a popular vacation spot for cruise ship passengers due to its stunning beaches, outstanding scuba diving spots, and laid-back island lifestyle. However, with no public transportation system onboard Cozumel, cruise ship passengers must find another way of getting around while here.
The most convenient option is to hail a taxi. You can do so from the street or designated “sitios.” Taxi drivers usually charge an hourly rate and tend to be friendly in nature.
You can ask a cruise ship employee for recommendations on a taxi driver. They should be able to give you the name of an experienced, licensed company.
If you are a disabled cruiser, it is wise to request a taxi with wheelchair-accessible seating and an accessible vehicle. Without asking, you may end up paying more and may have trouble locating an accessible cab.
Taxis in Cozumel offer a convenient and safe way to get around the island without having to navigate on foot. Their services are well-run by an established taxi union that regulates their prices accordingly.
One of the best ways to guarantee you’re paying the correct price is to obtain an up-to-date taxi rate card before getting in a cab at the port. These can usually be found at major taxi stands near the ferry terminal or other outlets and hotels throughout town.
When booking a taxi to the airport or to a beach club, make sure you look at this rate card before getting in the cab and confirm its price with the driver. Doing so can help avoid any disputes over how much your ride will cost you.
Another advantage to taking a Cozumel taxi is that you’ll be riding with an experienced local. These drivers are well-trained and know the best places to visit, making them invaluable resources for navigating around the island and providing helpful suggestions on things to do during your vacation.
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