THE ISLAND

a pictureCozumel floats like an emerald in a sea of turquoise and indigo. Located 12 miles from the eastern coast of the Yucatán Península, and 36 miles from Cancún, the mainland town of Playa del Carmen connects this island by ferry. It is the largest populated island in Mexico and is approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide.

The name of the island derives from the Mayan word Kuzamil, "Land of the Swallows".was first settled by the Mayans more than 2000 years ago. Many remnants of the great Mayan civilization survive in the form of ruins on the island, but most visitors are more interested in diving and shopping the markets of San Miguel. Travelers interested in Mayan history and architecture usually seek out the larger ruins located on the nearby mainland.

San Miguel is the only town in Cozumel. Like all of the major development on the island, it’s on the sheltered western side. Once a fishing community, San Miguel began shifting toward a service economy, catering to divers, in the early ‘60s. Now that the cruise ship industry has learned about our secret, the economy is also powered by these huge floating hotels, which periodically disgorge hordes of tourists who overrun the waterfront for a few hours at a time. But unlike the earlier ship borne invaders, cruise passengers come to spend money. Luckily for divers, these incursions often take place during prime diving hours, after which San Miguel returns to “Island Time” and the pace relaxes once again.

If at any time you desire more distance from the crowds, rent a scooter or car and drive to the wilder side of the island. The east coast offers spectacular panoramas of the Atlantic, as well as a few secluded beach bars, restaurants, gift shops and long stretches of untamed oceanfront.

Cozumel Climate

Average air temperature: 80°F [27°C]
July/August - High 80's to low 90's°F [32°C]
December/January - Mid 70's°F [24°C]
Winter Months: Cold fronts may create windy, cloudy and cooler weather. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, usually lasting for an hour.
Water temperatures range from 77°-82°F [25°-28°C] throughout the year.