AAA Travel Tips / Tips for Getting to Cozumel, Mexico

Tips for Getting to Cozumel, Mexico

By AAA Travel Editors
November 02, 2022
Whether you’re looking to escape the cold winter weather or just enjoy a beautiful beach vacation, Cozumel, Mexico, is a great destination. Ready to explore this amazing Caribbean island? Here are some tips for getting there. Habur

Most Convenient: Taking a Flight to Cozumel

The Cozumel airport (Cozumel International Airport) is about 3 kilometers (2 miles) north of San Miguel de Cozumel on the island of Cozumel.
Direct flights to Cozumel, Mexico, are offered by many airlines in the United States, including American Airlines, Frontier, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and United.
International flights are available on Aeroméxico and Air Canada.
Airport transfers to your hotel can be arranged with private taxi vans or shared passenger vans known as colectivos.
Shared vans are cheaper, but you will have to wait to depart until the vehicle is full. You can purchase tickets for a shared passenger van from the driver or at the airport’s exit. For your return trip to the airport, your cheapest option is to take a city taxi from your hotel.
If you’re traveling during peak tourist season (mid-December through mid-April), you’ll want to check for discounts on hotels and flights. Contact your local AAA travel advisor for help with finding current deals on flights, tours and private airport transportation.

Most Scenic: Taking a Cruise to Cozumel

Many visitors to Cozumel arrive by cruise ship — on Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess or Royal Caribbean. The cruise ships dock in either Cozumel or Playa del Carmen, a 45-minute ferry ride from Cozumel.
Cruises that dock in Cozumel will arrive on the western side of the island and anchor at one of three piers. Punta Langosta cruise pier (in downtown San Miguel) is where Holland America and Norwegian ships will generally dock. The International Pier is a few miles south and is where Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships will dock. The third pier is just south at Puerta Maya; this Cozumel cruise terminal serves Carnival and Princess cruise lines.
If you’re interested in booking a Cozumel cruise, contact a AAA travel advisor to find savings and discounts for AAA/CAA members.

How to Get from the Mainland to Cozumel (and Back)

Since Cozumel is on an island on the Yucatan Peninsula, you’ll need to take the Cozumel ferry to get to it from anywhere on the mainland (like Tulum, Cancun, Akumal, Puerto Morelos or Riviera Maya).
Two passenger ferry companies — Ultramar and Winjet — make the 45-minute trip that links the island of Cozumel with Playa del Carmen on the mainland.
Both Ultramar and Winjet offer a fleet of air-conditioned passenger ferries that depart every two hours throughout the day, from about 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Return trips from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen are on approximately the same schedule, but generally depart a little earlier in the day (and end earlier in the day, as well). Be sure to check the Cozumel ferry schedules before planning any excursions on the mainland.
Whether you go with Ultramar or Winjet, the one-way ferry cost is roughly the same: around 250 pesos for adults and 200 pesos for children on Ultramar, or $10 for adults and $8 for children on Winjet.
The passenger ferry pier in Cozumel is across from San Miguel de Cozumel's main plaza.
If you’re planning a day trip to Playa del Carmen, it’s recommended to buy a one-way fare and leave your return time open in case you decide to stay longer or come back early. If you’re prone to seasickness, take proper precautions for the ferry ride on windy days.
For travelers who need to transport a rental car over to the island, a few companies (including Ultramar) offer a car ferry that links Playa del Carmen with Cozumel. In Playa del Carmen, car ferries depart from Punta Venado, also known as the Terminal Maritima Calica.