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8 Things You Should Never Do in Cozumel

8 Things You Should Never Do on Cozumel

What Not to Do in Cozumel: Navigating Common Tourist Mistakes

Hey there, fellow adventurers! Welcome to Cozumel, the stunning island jewel that glistens like a sapphire in the Caribbean Sea! Prepare to have your breath taken away by the stunning beauty of this tropical paradise, which earned its well-deserved spot as the #3 Best Place to Visit in all of Mexico for 2023! With 29 miles of pristine coastline and soft, powdery sands that invite you to sink your toes in, Cozumel is your slice of heaven just waiting to be discovered!

Cozumel offers something special for everyone, whether seeking an exhilarating scuba diving experience or a peaceful beach getaway. But hold on, folks—while you’re soaking up all the fun and excitement, it’s super important to know what NOT to do in Cozumel to ensure your trip is unforgettable and safe! That’s where this handy guide comes in, as your trusty companion to help you avoid tourist traps and highlight the activities you’ll want to skip. From resisting the urge to rent a scooter to being cautious with the local water, we’ve got you covered every step! So buckle up, adventurers, and prepare for an incredible journey filled with wonder, wisdom, and amazing treasures in Cozumel! Let’s dive into this unforgettable adventure together!

1. Do Not Drink Tap Water:

Alright, explorers, let’s kick things off with a crucial tip to keep you healthy and happy in Cozumel: hydration! Staying hydrated is key, but here’s the scoop—you’ll only want to stick to bottled or purified water. The tap water here isn’t the safest and can harbor nasty stuff that could ruin your trip. So, always choose bottled or purified water and ensure that even your ice is made from it! Bottled water is your best friend for everyday activities like brushing your teeth or washing fruits. Some resorts, like Fiesta Americana, even have in-house purification systems for extra peace of mind.

2. Do Not Be Careless With Belongings:

As you explore Cozumel’s vibrant streets and markets, keeping your belongings safe is a must! Here’s how to ensure your valuables stay secure: exchange money at local Cambios for the best rates and use bank ATMs for withdrawals. Carry your cash discreetly, perhaps in a money belt, and consider using bags with lockable features. Keep your phone close and use hotel safes for important items like passports. When you hit the beach, a waterproof phone bag will keep your valuables close even while swimming. Stay vigilant and consider travel insurance for added protection.

Top Places To Watch Football In Cozumel Mexico

3. Do Not Look Cheap:

Understanding local etiquette and tipping customs will help you have a respectful and enjoyable experience. Here’s a quick guide: tip 15-20% at sit-down restaurants, while local eateries appreciate around 10%. Street food vendors don’t expect tips, but tour guides should receive 15-20% of the tour cost. Gas station attendants and grocery store baggers rely on tips, so giving 10-20 pesos is appreciated. Divemasters typically get $12-$15 per tank. Greet people with “Buenos días/tardes/noches” and dress modestly at religious sites. Bargain respectfully in markets; you’ll foster positive interactions and support local customs.

cozumel reef safe sunscreens

4. Do Not Forget Your Sunscreen:

Be mindful of the marine environment while being considerate of your skin because the sun in Cozumel is no joke. Choose reef-safe sunscreens that avoid harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate. Opt for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide products, and ensure they’re labeled as biodegradable and non-nano. Brands like Stream2Sea and Beauty by Earth are great choices. By picking the right sunscreen, you’re protecting yourself and helping preserve Cozumel’s stunning coral reefs.

Scooter Accident

5. Do Not Rent Scooters:

Zipping around on a scooter might seem fun, but it’s risky. The streets can be confusing, with many one-way roads and tricky conditions. Plus, scooters often have subpar brakes and are prone to skidding. Instead, opt for taxis or rent a car for a safer and more reliable way to explore the island. Your safety comes first; these alternatives will ensure you enjoy Cozumel with no mishaps.

Raccoons on Cozumel Mexico - Stingray Villa

6. Never Touch the Wildlife:

Cozumel’s marine life is incredibly delicate, and our interactions can have lasting effects. Human skin carries oils and bacteria that can harm marine creatures. Touching fish or coral can remove their protective mucous layer, making them vulnerable to infections. Coral is especially fragile and can take years to recover from damage. Remember, it’s illegal to harass wildlife in Mexico, so always observe from a respectful distance and never feed the animals.

7. Refrain From Searching or Buying Drugs in Cozumel:

Stay safe and steer clear of any drug-related activities. Cozumel, like many popular destinations, has its issues with drugs and organized crime. Avoid engaging with anyone involved in the drug trade, as it can lead to serious legal trouble and personal safety risks. Stay informed about your surroundings and stick to safe, reputable areas. Prioritize your well-being and enjoy all that Cozumel has to offer without putting yourself in harm’s way.

8. Don’t Forget to Ask for the Bill:

In Cozumel, your dining experience is relaxed and unhurried. Servers await you to signal when you’re ready for the bill, so make eye contact or politely ask with “la cuenta, por favor.” If you’re in a hurry, request the bill when your food arrives. Review your bill for accuracy and secure transactions, and request that the card reader be brought to your table. Carrying some local currency is also handy for smaller establishments and tips.

9. Do Not Disregard Your Environmental Responsibility:

Let’s all do our part to keep Cozumel beautiful! Wear water shoes on rocky beaches, choose eco-friendly tours, and support local conservation efforts like the Cozumel Pearl Farm. Use refillable water bottles, minimize plastic waste, and join beach cleanups. Engage with local culture by trying traditional foods and buying local crafts. Pick dive shops that are committed to sustainability, such as ScubaTony. We can help preserve Cozumel’s unique ecosystems and vibrant communities by being mindful of our environmental impact.


As we wrap up our journey through Cozumel, remember that smart choices turn good trips into unforgettable adventures! You’ll have an amazing time in this Caribbean paradise by paying attention to these tips and making thoughtful decisions. From choosing reef-safe sunscreens to respecting local customs, these practices not only enhance your experience but also help preserve the beauty and culture of Cozumel for future travelers. So, let’s embark on this adventure with respect and excitement, making every moment count and ensuring that Cozumel remains a magical destination for years. Happy travels!


What not to do in Cozumel?

1. Don’t touch the coral. 2. Avoid drinking tap water. 3. Don’t forget sunscreen 4. Skip feeding the wildlife. 5. Don’t litter. 6. Don’t expect to get the bill at a restaurant without requesting it. 7. Don’t rent scooters. 8. Don’t Leave Your Things Unattended. 9. Do not even try to buy illegal Drugs.

Are there any food or beverages I should avoid in Cozumel?

For drinks in Cozumel, it's wise to drink bottled water.

Does a cartel operate in Cozumel?

All of Mexico must deal with the cartels and drug sales. Please be smart and do not engage with these people.

Is Cozumel safe for walking at night?

Cozumel is very safe for walking during the day, with a safety level of 88%. The safety level for walking at night is slightly lower at 65.43%, but it is still regarded as safe.
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