Cozumel, Mexico is an island in the Caribbean Sea that is a well known cruise ship port. It is a popular tourist destination known for its tranquil waters that are perfect for scuba diving and marine life observance. It is home to some of the best diving sites and has a reef system that is the second largest in the world (second to the Great Barrier Reef). The extensive amount of sea life and thriving coral make Cozumel a great place to explore the depths of the turquoise waters. 

Although the island has plenty of nature and wildlife tours, the Mesoamerican reef system is one of the most popular attractions. The vibrant coral of Cozumel has gained global attention, so snorkeling and diving at places like Palancar Reef and Columbia Reef are popular activities for tourists. For travelers that prefer to just unwind in the sun, there are options too. The beaches, namely the Punta Sur Ecological Beach Park, offer a great backdrop for a serene tropical vacation. There are even private beaches that may be best for those that want to avoid crowds and commotion. Tourists will find that there are many things to do in Cozumel, like visiting archaeological sites. A popular spot is El Cedral Cozumel, which is the oldest Mayan ruin on the island and was built around 800 AD. 

Isla Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and is a dream destination for many different types of travelers. It offers a more laid back feel for its guests compared to some of the more popular vacation spots in Mexico. But this differing atmosphere does not isolate it from the realities or dangers of traveling abroad. For travelers wanting to travel to Mexico, safety may be a concern. While the safety level of Mexico may concern potential visitors, it is of the utmost importance to do research to see if a destination’s reputation is accurate or not. Cozumel has its own unique experience since it is separate from mainland Mexico, so we have compiled the most important information for potential visitors. 

Best Travel Advisories

Learn more about the safety of tourists in Cozumel, Mexico. 
pictured: Cozumel, Mexico's beach with tourists enjoying the turquoise waters near a boat

Since Cozumel is a generally safe destination (and is isolated since it is an island), there are not many areas to avoid within it. Local police patrol the island, which is a cruise port, so Cozumel is heavily monitored to ensure the safety of both cruise passengers and visitors. It is recommended that travelers utilize travel advisories like the U.S. Department of State’s (or regional equivalents) to get a more thorough idea of places to visit and avoid during their time in Mexico. According to the Department of State, travelers should take some precautions to avoid petty crimes while in Cozumel. These precautions include doing things like keeping valuables safe, ensuring taxis are licensed, and staying in areas that are well lit. It may be recommended by authorities like the U.S. Embassy to exercise increased caution in other areas of Mexico, depending on the destination and time of year.

For travelers concerned for the safety of their health, there are reputable resources available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable information on the health of destinations across the globe. Travelers can utilize their website to learn more about travel health notices, medicines, preventable illnesses and even region specific travel tips. This means that travelers can stay informed about the health threats (or lack of threats) in potential travel destinations before even planning their trip. The CDC even assesses environmental safety threats and gives travelers advice on securing their personal safety.

Is Cozumel Safe for Tourists and Solo Travelers?

Cozumel is an island that offers a safe haven for travelers that do not want the buzz of other Mexican destinations.
pictured: A street in Cozumel filled with street vendors and shops

Yes, Cozumel is a safe place for travelers of all kinds. It is actually among one of the safest destinations to travel or live in throughout Mexico. Cozumel is known for its high safety rating among tourists, so potential visitors can rest assured that they will be comfortable, as long as they exercise regular travel precautions (especially solo travelers). There is a significantly lower amount of crime in Cozumel compared to other areas of Mexico. In general, Cozumel is considered a pretty safe place to travel to and has a low rate of crime (with a rating of 33.33 out of 100, which is low on the index and a positive score compared to Mexico City’s rating of 78.02). Due to the island’s separation from mainland Mexico, there is a difference between the island’s culture and therefore, significant safety. The island is accustomed to a high level of tourists and they generally do not have any trouble unless they become involved in cartel or drug activity which primarily occurs on the mainland.

How to Stay Safe in Cozumel 

Cozumel, Mexico is a popular destination for relaxing and safe vacations. 
pictured: A Cozumel beach with white sand and lush green palm trees

For first time or repeat travelers of Mexico, it is important to be knowledgeable about the food and water standards of the country. Although some accommodations may use some type of filtration system for their water, it is recommended that tourists do not drink the tap water. This means travelers should secure bottled drinking water for everything, including brushing their teeth and washing produce. If travelers do not follow any safety precautions to ensure they do not consume tap water they may contract water-borne digestive issues.

Washing your hands routinely and carrying hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content is important while traveling in general. In Mexico, this will come in handy for travels between excursions or meals. It is also recommended that travelers have Pedialyte or know where to find it while traveling through Mexico, since it helps with digestive sickness and potential hangovers. 

For travelers depending on public transportation in Cozumel, there are many ways to stay safe. Although Cozumel can generally be explored on foot in central areas, many tourists like to utilize either rental cars or taxis. If staying downtown, travelers do not really need to worry about transportation other than getting from the Cozumel International Airport (CZM) to their accommodation. Luckily, there are government regulated taxis available for airport transportation that are relatively cheap (around $7). For travelers looking to get out of central Cozumel, taxis are even regulated in the city. The taxis in Cozumel are regulated by zones and cost only around $3 to get from zone to zone. If travelers do not plan to stay in central tourist areas or want to explore the island for an extended stay, a rental car is also a good option. Travelers with a valid U.S. driver’s license can drive a rental car around. But it is recommended that travelers driving abroad obtain incident coverage, just in case. In general, tourists can expect that their trip to Cozumel will come with limited travel safety threats as long as they exercise regular safety precautions. Always secure personal belongings while in public transportation vehicles, confirm fares beforehand and promptly exit situations that feel unsafe.

Where to Stay in Cozumel

The west side of Cozumel is the most popular place for tourists. San Miguel is a popular neighborhood on the west side of the island. There tourists can expect to experience a thriving (and walkable) urban center. Much of Cozumel’s most popular attractions are located in San Miguel. This includes El Museo de la Isla de Cozumel, which is the island’s downtown museum. This part of Cozumel is where cruises dock, so there may be crowds. The streets are filled with local markets and food shops, so it is no surprise the majority of travelers love this area.

Costera Sur is another recommended place to stay for tourists. While it is not as central to the popular attractions of Cozumel, it has its own perks. This coastal area is on the southern tip of the island and therefore it is a great place for aquatic adventures. Scuba divers and snorkelers will appreciate the access to the water and stunning views of this side of the island. Costera Sur is also home to a majority of Cozumel’s luxury resorts, some of which are even all-inclusive.

Best Time to Visit Cozumel

The best times to visit Cozumel are from March to June. Between these times, travelers will experience the best weather. Moderate temperatures of 60 to 90 degrees are common and travelers can avoid the hurricane season. This is especially important for visitors that want to enjoy the beach with aquatic adventures or do not want to be baked by the sun. Marine life lovers will enjoy this season since the sea turtles begin to make their nests on Cozumel island.

Travelers that want to avoid the Mexico spring break experience should plan to visit Cozumel from May and October. Although Cozumel is not as popular as Cancun and generally offers a more relaxed experience, travelers will find they can avoid the busy season during this time of year. Since the high season ends in April, May and the fall months (like September and October) are the low season.

H2 – People Also Ask

Is it worth going to Cozumel? Yes, Cozumel has an array of great experiences to offer travelers. From history buffs to beach unwinders, Cozumel is the perfect place to be.

Is it safe to walk at night in Cozumel? Yes, it is safe to walk at night in Cozumel. Travelers should simply exercise safety precautions and stay aware of their environment.