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I fly into Cancun. What is my best way to arrive in Cozumel?
After passing through customs (red light / green for search) you will enter the taxi, bus, time share, tours, etc area. There is only one exit so you can ignore everybody and find the exit (assuming you do not wish to purchase Cancun timeshares, of course). Once outside stay to your far right and advance past the mini Margaritaville bar (go ahead, grab a cerveza!). Up ahead by maybe 30 meters / yards you should see the small ticket booth for ADO buses and perhaps even a parked bus. The cost was 160 peso as of January 1, 2016. Do double check bus goes to Playa del Carmen (FYI “playa” means beach so be sure include “del Carmen”). The buses are old greyhounds with luggage underneath, good AC, and a movie to watch during transit. The buses leave roughly every 30 minutes. When you leave the bus may stop twice in the airport – each of the 3 terminals – then off you go. It is about a 1 hour ride. You’ll know you are close when the road becomes an elevated highway in Playa del Carmen. The bus will exit the highway and turn left. The direction the bus now travels heads to the water (important). The bus will stop in a covered bus stop with many buses. This is located on the corner of 5th Avenue, which is the main tourist district of Playa del Carmen. Exit the bus station heading towards water. Look for the chapel, it has a big white cross on it’s roof which is high in the air across from the bus depot. From there you can see the ocean. Smile 🙂 Walk the path towards water and follow it as turns to the right parallel to ocean. It will dead end at Senior Frogs but don’t go that far. Before you get to Senior Frogs you’ll pass 3 different ferry companies. Each company hangs a sign up front with their next departure time. You may wish to find soonest time, or give yourself an hour or so to shop and eat if you wish to relax for a bit. However, do not buy a round trip ticket as it locks you into one ferry company and thus a much stricter departure schedule, yet doesn’t save you any money. The ticket varies by company from roughly 140-160 peso or within $1usd thereof (as of January 1, 2016). The ferry dock is next to Senior Frogs. From the bus station to the ferry is maybe 100 meters / yards or so, certainly no more than a 4-5 minute slow walk. Most the ferries have free WiFi, although it is often very slow. Once the ferry docks in Cozumel gather your luggage and exit the port area. There will be a line of taxis ready to take you to your rental property. If you still need WiFi access at this time usually the ferry still has WiFi at the dock, or you can exit the port and locate the nearest restaurant or bar. Las Palmas is directly across the street, but they will request you purchase a cerveza in order to receive the password.
But I prefer to avoid a bus and ferry. Can I fly?
Sure can! But the time schedule is not nearly as flexible. You can book your Cancun > Cozumel leg online with Mayair. Flights are usually around $70usd one way. I will note that flights are non-refundable if you miss your connection, which is not uncommon when flying into Cancun. As a resident that lives here I’ve gotten into the habit of taking the bus / ferry combo on the Cancun > Cozumel leg to avoid those hassles, but enjoy the ease of a flight on the Cozumel > Cancun return leg.
I fly into Cozumel. How do I get to my vacation rental?
After you exit customs you will be funneled into the time share and tour package sales area. Inside there to your right are the windows to pay for your airport shuttle. They will need the name or address of where you will be staying. From there you will be directed to the mini-bus that will take you to your rental property.
Please note airport shuttles are the only transportation offered from the airport. Taxis, hotel / resort shuttles, and private individuals are not allowed to provide transportation exiting the airport. Prices listed are per person.
In Town Area (Centro) 57 peso
North Hotel Zone to Melia Maya 96 peso
South Hotel Zone to Presidente 96 peso
South Zone Fiesta Americana to Wyndam 114 peso
South Zone Allegro 115 peso
South Zone Iberostar / Occidental Grand 141 peso
How much should I expect to pay for my taxi?
Below are the taxi fare charts that were accurate as of January 1. 2016 (yes I know it says 2012 on the images). You can use these to not only ascertain the expected cost to your rental unit from the ferry, but also all taxi rides for the duration of your stay. Please note the fare chart from the airport is different.
Can I use my phone / How can I use my phone?
Many USA and Canadian phone carriers now offer a per month International roaming rate that is often reasonably priced. It is worth a phone call or email to your phone carrier to inquire about company and package specific details. This is often the easiest path to using your mobile device in Cozumel.
If your phone is “unlocked” you can get a SIM card locally from one of the many TelCel branches. If you do not speak Spanish you may wish to use the company headquarters store. Be sure to request the USA plan when setting up the SIM card. It is a free option that must be enabled by a company representative and it allows you to phone and text the USA with no additional charges.
Alternatively, there are many free app-based options including WhatsApp and Skype, but all of them require data (WiFi). You can easily get WiFi and most any restaurant or bar on the island, but obviously is not as convenient.
Should I get pesos before I arrive? What currency should I spend while there?
If you can easily acquire a small amount of peso prior to leaving home it would be helpful, but it is not essential. Often the exchange rate in the airports is not great, but good enough to get a small amount. Enough to cover your taxi / bus / ferry fares should be sufficient. However, US dollar is widely accepted, but often at a poor exchange rate. Once you are on the island (or mainland Mexico) there are banks and ATM’s which you can use to receive peso. We suggest not getting US dollar from Mexico ATM’s even when possible as it often incurs additional hidden “currency conversion” fees.
Spending money and knowing the best way / currency to do so is often tricky. Most tourist-oriented operators, ourselves included, quote prices in US dollar. In that instance it usually best to pay in US dollar. However, if a restaurant or bar tab is quoted in dollars you are best off to politely ask them for the peso amount. You will want to pay in peso when possible. If you choose to use your credit / debit card, kindly request they charge your card in peso. Your bank will calculate the exchange rate for you, which is almost certainly going to be better for you than allowing the establishment to decide the exchange rate. If you are using services away from the tourist zone expect to pay in peso only, including not being able to use a credit / debit card.
I heard commercial Sun Block in not allowed in the Cozumel Marine Park. Is this true?
- Toll-free from North America
- 844 - SCUBA - CZ (844-728-2229)
- Local Mexican Number
- WhatsApp +521-987-111-9138
- Must include the + symbol
- Para espanol
- WhatsApp +521-987-112-4089
- Must include the + symbol