Playa San Francisco
The only town on the island, San Miguel is a lot more laidback than the likes of Cancun. Avenida Rafael Melgar runs through the town and along the waterfront, lined by informal restaurants, bars, and music venues. You can shop for silver jewellery and other Mexican handicrafts, or visit the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel for a history of the island and exhibits on the coral reefs and endangered species.
Inhabited from 200AD until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, the temple at San Gervasio was built to honour Ix Chel, the Mayan goddess of fertility, childbirth, and rain. In ancient times, every Mayan woman was expected to visit Cozumel at least once, to make offerings to Ix Chel in return for her family's fertility and healthy crops.
Visit this ecological reserve to discover coastal dunes, mangroves, reefs, lagoons, and deserted powdery beaches. As well as the tropical marine life in its reefs, Faro Celerain is home to flamingos, crocodiles, iguanas, and lizards. Look around the small maritime museum, and climb the steps to the top of the lighthouse for incredible views of the area.
Playa Del Carmen and the Xcaret eco park are an easy ferry trip from Cozumel. At Xcaret, you can swim with dolphins, glide through underground rivers, explore Mayan ruins and meet wildlife from turtles and fishes to birds and butterflies. At the end of each day the park comes alive with performances of Mexican dance and music.