(Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico)
The many sandy beaches and beautiful stretches of coastline are the main reason that the island of Cozumel has become one of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations. Bordering the warm, crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, Cozumel's main beaches and resorts are scattered along the western and southern side of the island.
A handful of quality beaches are also located on the western coast and particularly close to the town of San Miguel de Cozumel, such as the Playa la Ceiba. Next to the Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Hotel and the Bahia Chankanaab (Chankanaab Bay), the Playa la Ceiba features a gentle surf and can be found directly north of the Parque Chankanaab and to the south-west of Cozumel International Airport.
The Main Beaches
Sited just over 15 km / 9 miles south of San Miguel de Cozumel, the Playa Palancar (Palancar Beach) is one of the most easily accessible beaches on the whole island and is sandwiched between both the Playa San Francisco and the Parque Punta Sur. Cozumel's Playa Palancar features a good beach club, where you are able to hire snorkelling equipment, hydro bikes, sea kayaks and even boats. Scuba divers often visit the Playa Palancar for its nearby coral reef (Arrecife Palancar), an enormous area filled with colourful marine creatures.
The Parque Punta Sur can be found at the far southerly tip of Cozumel and is currently marketed as an 'eco park' with a variety of tours available. Open vehicles transport visitors around the park, to interesting places such as the Celarain lighthouse and also the Laguna Colombia, where crocodiles and waterfowl live.
Cozumel's eastern shoreline is the most lively and vibrant part of the island, where you will discover many beautiful, natural seascapes. Swimming is generally dangerous on the eastern coast of Cozumel, due to strong rip tides. However, swimming is possible around the beaches of Playa Chen Rio, Punta Chiqueros and Punta Morena, where many good seafood restaurants reside. Other beaches include:
- Playa Bonita
- Playa Box
- Playa El Mirador
- Playa Encantada
- Playa Los Cocos
- Playa San Martin
- Playa Santa Cecilia
- Playa Xhanan