Cozumel Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico)
Cozumel is the biggest island off Mexico's coast and a great place to spend some time. Life in Cozumel is appealing to tourists, who will immediately enjoy the beaches, coastal views and scuba diving.
The unofficial tourism organisation is currently operated by the Cozumel Island Hotel Association and provides visitors with the most current hotel prices and information about holiday, travel and diving packages. Travel tips are below, along with information about life in Cozumel and what to expect during your stay.
Useful Contact Details
English-speaking staff are on hand at the office of the Cozumel Island Hotel Association and offer various maps of the city, showing the main beaches, ruins, shops, restaurants and hotels. This is also a good place to obtain up-to-date listings of the most reputable scuba diving clubs and operators.
Operated by the state, the Cozumel Tourist Information Office is another popular source for leaflets about Maya ruins, the best diving spots and coral reefs, duty-free shopping and more. Located within the Plaza Central, this bureau is easy to find and bringing a Spanish guidebook is often a good idea to aid communication, since not all its staff are fluent in English.
Cozumel Island Hotel Association
Address: Calle 2 Norte at Avenida 15 Norte, San Miguel, Cozumel, 77600, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 987 872 3132
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 19:00
Cozumel Tourist Information Office
Address: Plaza del Sol, Main Plaza (Plaza Central), Cozumel, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 987 872 7563
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 15:00
Tourist Information Booth
Address: Ferry Dock, Cozumel, Mexico, MX
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 16:00
Tourist Police Kiosk
Address: Main Plaza (Plaza Central), Cozumel, Mexico, MX
Cozumel's Tourist Police Kiosk is a good place to ask for directions and also to find out general city information.
Open hours: 09:00 to 23:30
Language and Dialect
Natives in Cozumel speak their own version of Castilian Spanish. Mexican Spanish differs only slightly in that locals speak with a different accent and have adopted numerous indigenous words.
Many tourists visiting Cozumel find that Mexicans respond more positively if you try to speak to them in their own language and therefore bring a pocket-size Mexican Spanish phrasebook or similar. Some basic Spanish phrases are listed here.
- Hello - buen dia
- Excuse me - disculpe
- Do you speak English? - habla inglés?
- I'd like a room - quisiera una habitación
- Can I see the room? - puedo ver la habitación?
- Please confirm the price - puede confirmar el precio
- Can I park here? - puedo estacionarme aqui?
- Can you show me on this map? - me lo podria senalar en el mapa?
- Is it far? - está lejos?
- What time is it? - qué hora es?
- What time does the train arrive? - a qué hora el tren llega?
- Can I take a photograph? - puedo sacar una foto?
- Goodnight - buenas noches
Do's and Don'ts
- Black Coral - when shopping for souvenirs in Cozumel, avoid purchasing anything made from black coral. This is expensive, endangered and banned in some countries
- Docks - Cozumel's docks are known for their pushy car hire agencies and timeshare salesmen, who often use free meals, tickets and gifts as enticements to attend their long seminars
- Drinking Tap Water - do not drink that tap water in Cozumel, as it is likely to cause sickness and diarrhoea, due to parasites and bacteria within the water itself. Boiling for at least one minute is usually more than adequate to make tap water quite safe
- Internet Access - cybercafes are situated between Avenidas 15 and 20 Sur
- Medical Services - if you are in need of medical assistance in Cozumel, head to San Miguel's Centro Médico de Cozumel, which is located on the Calle 1 Sur
- Pickpockets - always be aware of your valuables at all times, particularly when walking in large crowds of people. Items such as passports, traveller's cheques and plane tickets should be left in the hotel's safe if possible
- Smoking - smoking laws in Cozumel are fairly relaxed, although an increasing number of restaurants are now creating smoke-free zones for patrons. Smoking is now also restricted on buses
- Sunburn - to avoid the possibility of sunburn in Cozumel, always use high-factor sunscreen and sunblock, particularly if you are planning to do a spot of sunbathing on the beach
- Tipping - only tip in the biggest restaurants and tip the main hotel staff. These is no need to tip taxi drivers in Cozumel, unless they have been particularly helpful
- Using the Toilet - if toilets in Cozumel have adjacent wastepaper bins, then this is where you will need to discard any used toilet paper, as the sewage system may get blocked up otherwise. Public toilets can be in short supply and many don't even provide their own toilet paper