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12 Useful Cozumel Tips & Advice

12 Useful Cozumel Tips & Advice

Cozumel Travel Tips: Your Ultimate Guide

From azure beaches to delicious cuisine and vibrant marine life – Cozumel, Mexico’s largest island in the Caribbean Sea, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and exciting activities. Planning a family trip to this paradise can be overwhelming, but worry not! We’ve curated a list of essential Cozumel travel tips for families to ensure a memorable vacation.

1. Communication: Language and Connectivity

The official language in Cozumel is Spanish. However, English is spoken in tourist areas, making communication easy for English-speaking visitors. Learning a few basic Spanish phrases can enrich your experience, and locals always appreciate the effort.

Most cellular services from the U.S. and Canada work in Cozumel, often with no additional charges. Even if it doesn’t, you can include service in Mexico for as little as $10. Over the past several years, the fight for your cell phone business has forced various carriers to provide additional advantages. One of those is service in Mexico and Canada. Various plans now have Mexico included in the plan for no extra charge. There’s no need to get a new SIM card or jump through hoops. And if it’s not included? Call your provider and tell them you’re headed to Mexico. They can advise you on the opportunities you have for service in Cozumel. Often you can get service extended to the country for about $10 per day.

2. Currency: Pesos Or Dollars?

While the Mexican Peso (MXN) is the official currency, people accept U.S. dollars in Cozumel, especially in touristy areas. There are advantages to using pesos to acquire things in Mexico, but in the tourist hotspots like Cozumel, they accept US dollars. Bills from restaurants will appear at a price that’s both in pesos and dollars and you can determine which way you want to pay. You will usually pay less using pesos because of the exchange rate levied by the establishment. Still, if you don’t choose to change money over, you don’t have to. Keep in mind you might get change for dollars back in pesos.

3. Sun Protection: Essential In Cozumel

Even if you come to Cozumel from a tropical place, like Florida, you aren’t equipped for the sun at lower latitudes. Here the sun’s rays are more direct, meaning that you get their impact more than you would back home. Use sunscreen and reapply often. This isn’t so much for health reasons but for your enjoyment of your vacation. You don’t want to be inside the room because you got burned on your first day at the beach.

4. Exchange Rates: Know Your Pesos

Need to know how much something is in dollars? Take the price in pesos and divide it by 20 to get a rough estimate. Likewise, you can use 20 times the number of dollars to establish how much it is in pesos. While the exchange rate will not be 20 pesos to the dollar, it’s close enough to give you an idea. Take something that costs 1000 pesos. Divide by 20, and you know it’s about $50 in U.S. currency. Likewise, if you want to know how much something is in pesos that cost $30 US, then multiply it by 20 to see that it would cost 600 pesos.

5. Time to Travel: Choose Wisely

You can travel to Cozumel year-round, but you have choices. Summers are sultry, with frequent thunderstorms that can blow up seemingly out of nowhere. June through November is hurricane season, and yes, hurricanes can affect this area of the tropics. Many people prefer to visit in the winter, but this is the prime season when rates rise because snowbirds seek a warm place to visit. That’s why we don’t think there is a perfect time to visit Cozumel, but just be aware of the general outlook for the time you plan to visit. Our favorite time on the island is around April or May when it’s warm and prices are lower.

6. Money Matters: ATMs and Tipping

The two ways to get the most favorable exchange rate are to use a credit card, or to take cash out at a Bank’s ATM. We recognize many people may not be comfortable using their cards abroad because of the risk of identity theft or skimming. If you plan to use cash, you’re better off using a bank’s ATM than trying to change money at another exchange booth. You’ll get a favorable rate that’s as close to the real exchange rate as you’ll find.

If your Spanish isn’t great, a propina is a tip. By the time you leave Cozumel, you’ll know the word. As a tourist destination, people’s incomes rely on the cash that tourism brings. That means just about everyone will expect a tip. That includes drivers, waiters, maids, and whoever else provides any direct service. How much to tip depends on you, but figure approximately 10% of the bill or a few bucks a day for things like housekeeping.

7. The Art of Bargaining

Did you find a souvenir you like? In most shops, the price of the item is a launching point for negotiations. You’ll get a feel for where you can barter and where you can’t. Places that seem like the stores you’d find back home have set prices. But smaller vendors you can negotiate with. The rule of thumb is to offer about half of what they list the item at and then work yourself up from there. Don’t feel comfortable negotiating? You’re on vacation. You shouldn’t do anything you don’t want to do. It’s ok to pay full price, know that it might not be the best deal.

8. Stay Hydrated: Drink Purified Water

Even today, it’s an excellent idea to drink purified water when you are visiting Cozumel. Restaurants go out of their way to either serve you a bottle or let you know they purify the water. Still, if you aren’t sure, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they purify the drinking water. A little prevention by being vigilant and making sure can benefit you and save numerous stomachaches later on.

9. Airport Arrival: Be Prepared

Maybe it’s a coarse description of people just seeking to make an income, but it can feel like you’re a mouse walking out of the Cozumel airport with hawks circling you. That’s a nickname for all the people selling timeshares. The delightful news is that they will take no for an answer, but they will make you say no again and again. Let them know you aren’t interested in their services with a courteous “no, gracias” and they will move on to the next person.

You Might Win the Prize at the Airport – OK, it’s not a real prize, so don’t get your hopes up. Passing through customs, each person will walk up to a red and green light. Hit a button and hope that you get green. If you get the green light, then you’ll pass right on through the sliding doors and leave the airport. They stop those who get the red light and inspect their bags. Don’t think you did anything wrong or look suspicious. It’s a random draw who gets green and who gets red.

10. Respect Local Laws and Customs

Cozumel might feel like a relaxed vacation destination, but remember to respect local rules and customs. This includes observing laws related to drug use, public behavior, and environmental protection. Treat the island, its people, and its wildlife concerning ensure a positive experience for everyone.

11. Explore the Island: Car or Bike Rental

Cozumel is small enough to explore, yet large enough to host a variety of activities. Renting a car or bike can be the best way to explore the island at your own pace. This will allow you to visit less crowded beaches and discover hidden gems.

12. Activities: Make the Most of Your Visit

Cozumel offers a plethora of activities for all age groups. From snorkeling and scuba diving to exploring ancient Mayan ruins, and indulging in local cuisine — there’s something for everyone. Plan your activities and make reservations where necessary.

Cozumel is home to many eco-tours and activities. Visit the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, explore the Jade Cavern, or join a tour of the Isla de la Passion. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, try zip-lining or horseback riding on the beach.

Traveling to Cozumel doesn’t have to break the bank. Opt for local eateries over fancy restaurants, use public transportation or rent a bike, and choose free or low-cost activities like beach visits or self-guided tours. Remember, the beauty of Cozumel lies in its natural wonders. We can enjoy many of them without spending a dime!


Cozumel is a tropical paradise teeming with adventures and breathtaking natural beauty. With these Cozumel travel tips for families, you’re now equipped to explore this vibrant island and create unforgettable memories. So get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Cozumel and embark on the trip of a lifetime!

Why Book With Us?

Book through this website, and we guarantee you’ll get the lowest price online. You’ll be dealing with us and we never charge booking fees, so you will save up to 30% of the cost over sites like Airbnb. Book our Cozumel Boutique Hotel here.

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