Cozumel Neighbourhoods, Locations and Districts
(Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico)
Mexico's significant island of Cozumel is bursting with Caribbean character and close to the Playa del Carmen. San Miguel de Cozumel is the island's only town and often abbreviated to just San Miguel, comprising a series of small districts and interesting neighbourhoods.
More broadly speaking, the regions of Costera Norte (North Coast) and Costera Sur (South Coast) are where you will encounter the main beach resorts and coastal activities. Always extremely popular with holiday makers in Cozumel, the Costera Sur is sited around the Parque Chankanaab, and boasts an array of superb beaches, which stretch between the Playa Palancar and the Playa Corona. Here you can enjoy everything from sunbathing and swimming, to water sports and even peaceful moonlit walks along the beachfront itself.
San Miguel de Cozumel
Located on the north-western coast and directly south of Cozumel Airport, San Miguel offers a relaxing place to spend a holiday, amidst an appealing mixture of traditional Mexican architecture and everyday conveniences. The very heart of San Miguel de Cozumel is the Parque Benito Juarez, a bustling, pedestrianised central public plaza generally referred to as the Plaza Central or alternatively simply El Zócalo. Much of day-to-day life here revolves around this area and the main attractions radiate outwards from the Zócalo, including an array of places to see, stay, eat, drink and be entertained.
Many of the best shops, boutiques and department stores are to be found lining the Avenida Rafael Melgar, a prominent local thoroughfare in this part of San Miguel de Cozumel. Nearby, the Malecón is a particularly special coastal boulevard and boasts spectacular views and some interesting sculptures en route. The highest concentration of tourist attractions on Cozumel are to be found within San Miguel including a number of museums, such as the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel / Del Museo (Island of Cozumel Museum) along the Avenida Rafael Melgar and the Punta Celerain Faro / Navigational Museum (Punta Celerain Lighthouse) on the Avenida Benito Juarez.
Costera Norte District (North Coast)
Directly north of San Miguel de Cozumel are a large group of sandy beaches and luxury hotels with sea views. This resort is known as the Costera Norte district or the northern hotel zone. Close to the airport, the main beaches within Cozumel's Costera Norte region include both the Playa San Juan and also the Playa Santa Pilar, both of which offer endless facilities nearby. Regular boat trips are available from this area should you wish to head further north and enjoy the natural coastal attractions.
Costera Sur District (South Coast)
A further cluster of hotels lies directly south of San Miguel de Cozumel and this area is referred to as the Costera Sur district. Popular beaches within this part of Cozumel include the Playa Sol and Playa San Francisco, where arriving cruise ship passengers often descend. Scuba diving is especially popular is this area and in particular is the beautiful lagoon at the Parque Chankanaab. Those looking for quieter, more natural beaches should follow the nearby Costera Este Highway (Eastern Coast Road).