Cozumel Mexico Facts
- Money Exchange: top
The island has several banks and casas de cambio, as well as ATM machines. Most places accept dollars, but you usually get a better deal paying in pesos.
- Ferrys: top
The "Mexico Water Jets" whisk you from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel island in about 35 min. They are air conditioned passenger ferrys with comfortable seating & music videos. Cost @ $7 US. There is still some advertising in circulation for a ferry that once ran from Cancun to Cozumel but it is no longer operating. There are now buses that will take you directly to Playa Del Carmen from the Cancun airport. The bus can be arranged just as you leave the airport terninal. The trip to Playa takes about 1 hour. Many people think that they can rent a car in Cancun & come over on the car ferry . This is a serious mistake. The car ferry is your worst nightmare. Renting a car once you arrive in Cozumel is easy & affordable.
Watch that last ferry!!
If you get there late you will be spending the night in Playa del Carmen and there may or may not be rooms available, depending on the season.
You will never tire of diving in Cozumel. The large majority of divers who come will come again many times over the years. It is habit-forming ! Use the key below to help to determine minimum dive skills needed to safely enjoy our most popular dive sites.
- Visas: top
Citizens of many countries - including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Argentina, Chile and virtually all Western European countries - do not require visas to enter Mexico as tourists.
- Travel: top
Direct flights are available from Houston and Miami.
You can also fly into Cancun if you would like to split a stay between the mainland and Cozumel. Island hopper flightsare available from the Cancun airport or you can travel by air conditioned bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and ride the water jet over to the island.
- Food: top
Generally no problems, but caution is suggested when buying from street vendors; drink only bottled water, and use bottled water for oral hygiene; peel all fruits and vegetables, and avoid lettuce; concentrate on eating only cooked foods.
- Recreation: top
The leeward west side of the island is populated, containing the vast majority of activities; diving is at the south end, drifting to the north; ruins of Mayan temples, as well as the museum (Museo de Cozumel) in downtown San Miguel.
- Time Zone: top
Mexico spans three different time zones. Mexico City and Cozumel, for example, are on central time, putting them in the same time zone as Chicago, or 6 hours behind Greenwich mean time, 6 hours behind London, 3 hours behind São Paulo, 9 hours behind Moscow, and 16 hours behind Tokyo. Two of Mexico's time zones observe daylight saving time during the summer months; during that time clocks are advanced by 1 hour.
- Climate: top
The climate on Cozumel Island is typical of the Caribbean. The average annual temperature is 27 degrees Celsius. From November to May, temperatures are slightly lower at about 25 degree Celsius. The weather is breezy with low humidity.
From October to December there can be strong winds all over the Yucatán, as well as some rain. May to September is the rainy season.
The busy winter tourism season, when prices reach their peak, overtakes the island from mid-December to April. This time of year is attractive not just because it's winter in North America and Europe (and you can make friends back home jealous with your souvenir tan), but also because it's not raining and the heat isn't unbearably muggy. May, the end of the dry season, and June, the start of the rains, sees Cozumel at its hottest and muggiest - don't come at this time, if you can help it.
Summer tourists start pouring in during July and August, which are hot, with temps in the high-80°s to low-90°sF (30-33°C), and not overwhelmingly rainy. September and October are less rainy and a lot less crowded. The ideal time to arrive, however, is probably November through to early December, when it is even drier and quieter.
- Flora and Fauna: top
With majority of the island undeveloped and covered primarily with scrub and dense jungle, Cozumel Island has a diverse population of tropical birds, lizards, coati, deer and other wildlife. Bird watchers will not be disappointed with the flocks of multicolored parrots, blue warblers , white egrets and macas.
- Diving: top
The island's diving association assesses a fee of $2.00 per dive, with the proceeds going to protect the reef. A separate daily fee (about $1.00) is also assessed to support the island's recompression chamber, which any diver can then use at no additional charge. This fee is waived if you have a DAN membership.
- Transportation: top
Driving is on the right, as it is in the United States, and rental cars, taxis, bicycles and mopeds are also available. An International Driver's License is not required, and Mexico recognizes the license that was issued by your state or province.
- Taxis: top
Cozumel has lots of taxis and a very strong drivers' union. Fares have been standardized--there's no bargaining.
- General Information: top
Cozumel is Mexico's largest island, nestled just 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel measures 28 miles long & 10 miles wide,and is world renown for it's dazzling white sandy beaches and the remarkable clarity of the multi-hued azure Caribbean ocean in which it rests. The climate is subtropical & the people native to Cozumel are of Mayan descent.
Cozumel itself was a sleepy little fishing community until 1961, when a Frenchman by the name of Jacques Cousteau declared it one of the most beautiful scuba diving areas of the world. Since that time Cozumel has become an underwater marine park to protect the delicate balance of it's dazzling coral reefs & abundant variety of tropical fish. The underwater wildlife is absolutely amazing here & due to the clarity of the water ( 100 - 200 ft visibility, depending on the season ), you do not have to be a diver to enjoy it. Simply put on a mask & snorkle and jump in & you will feel like you have been dropped into a tropical fish tank !!
- Emergency Numbers: top
Throughout the country, the number to call for any police emergency
is 18-39-54; to reach the fire department call 14-20-50; for any medical emergency, call the Red Cross at 15-20-55.
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|Caribbean Travel Tips|
On the day of the trip or just before you leave, use a Polaroid camera and take photos of each child in your party. Keep the pictures with you at all times. If you become separated from your child, you will have a photo of what your child looks like right then, that day.
Travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself against financial loss. The most useful plan is a comprehensive policy that includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, default, trip delay, and medical expenses (with a waiver for preexisting conditions).
Without insurance, you will lose all or most of your money if you cancel your trip or have to cut it short, regardless of the reason. Default insurance covers you if your tour operator, airline, or cruise line goes out of ... more
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