Cheap Flights to Cozumel
Many people have heard of the Yucatan Peninsula vacation destination of Cozumel. Not everyone realizes, however, that Cozumel is actually an island. Located in the Caribbean 12 miles from the mainland Mexican coast, Cozumel attracts divers from all over who come to explore the underwater caves, underground rivers and coral reefs first brought to the world's attention by Jacques Cousteau in the 1960s. The only airport is Cozumel International Airport (CZM) on the northern outskirts of the island's largest town, San Miguel, which boasts a laid-back charm and a vibrant Mayan community.
Cozumel International Airport (CZM)
The airport is serviced by airline carriers such as Delta, United and American Airlines offering regular non-stop flights to Cozumel. Once you exit the aircraft via a staircase, you must walk across the tarmac to the airport's only terminal where there are ATMs, a small snack shop and some duty-free stores. The options for leaving the airport grounds include using a rental car or taking an airport transport shuttle; some of the hotels offer complimentary shuttle service. There are taxi stands just off the airport property with an average ride costing about $13.
Avenida Rafael Melgar, the principal seaside thoroughfare in San Miguel, is a little over a mile from the airport. It's lined with restaurants, stores and hotels and is where ferries offer service to the mainland. Once on Cozumel, there are many ways to get around this 30-mile-by-10-mile island, including by bike and scooter.
Attractions in Cozumel
The miles of sandy beaches and incredibly clear ocean water are the star attractions on Cozumel, so enjoying nature is the central focus of most vacationers. Paradise Beach and Palancar Reef are great spots to sunbathe, scuba and snorkel. There are also plenty of boat tours and opportunities to swim with dolphins. Family-friendly eco-parks, such as Punta Sur and Chankanaab, offer the chance to see turtles and sea lions. For those inclined to learn about the isle's culture and history, some great museums to visit are the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel and the Mayan Cacao Company where guests are treated to chocolate samples and a presentation on the chocolate-making process.
Ancient Mayan ruins can be toured at San Gervasio and El Cedral, and there are two landmark lighthouses to visit at Punta Celerain and Punta Molas. Accommodations tend to be clustered around the San Miguel area with its walk-able downtown area as well as on the island's western coastline to the north and south of San Miguel where many of the hotels are all-inclusive resorts.
Cozumel Travel Tips
Cozumel's excellent climate is tropical; daytime temperatures hover in the 70s to high 80s all year. The island hosts several sporting events that take advantage of its great weather such as the GFNY Cozumel bike race, the Ironman Cozumel Triathlon and the Playa Azul Invitational Golf Tournament. In addition, Cozumel's annual Carnaval celebration takes place during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday in February. Highlights include dance and costume competitions as well as live music in city streets and parks.
Island restaurants offer plenty of variety, from freshly caught seafood or traditional Mexican specialties to Italian and Argentinean cuisine. Two people can enjoy a meal in a high-end eatery for about $40, and there are many inexpensive alternatives.