There are actually three different pier locations.
Punta Langosta is located right downtown and after leaving the ship and walking towards the city down the dock, you will go over an overpass into a shopping mall. You are right in the heart of downtown Cozumel. One can also take a ferry to Playa Del Carmen.
The International Pier is about a 10-minute taxi ride south of town (you can walk it in about 30 minutes right along the coastline, but if it is hot, take a taxi.) If the lines are really long just get out of the taxi line and walk out the exit of the pier to the street - turn left and walk toward the El Cid La Ceiba Hotel. There are taxis coming from town trying to get into the pier and they are thrilled to get a fare without having to get in the long line of cars at the pier.
The third pier (Puerto Maya) is just beyond the International Pier and has the same dynamics.
Finally, when there are too many ships in port, some ships will anchor outside and tender into the Punta Langosta pier.
Most Carnival cruise line companies dock at Puerto Maya.
Printable map to take along on your cruise.
Watch a destination video.
Most visitors travel to Cozumel to see what is underwater. While there are quite a few beach clubs that offer to snorkel, the main attractions are the reefs offshore and the multitude of dive shops ready to take you there. The main town and dive operations are on the west side of the island, but if you rent a Beetle or scooter then the east side of the island is the place to go. The east side of the island is mostly undeveloped, but there are beautiful beaches, big waves, and rocky outcrops over the ocean. If the waves are sufficient you can find a few small blow holes. You will also find a restaurant on the beach every few kilometers. List of beaches.
Rent a car from any of the well-known firms. You will find them near the cruise ship docks. Since there is only one main road you will not get lost.
Expect to pay $10 for the ride into San Miguel from the pier. Most taxi drivers ask much more when in doubt, ask to see the rate card required of all taxi drivers to carry.
San Miguel is very walkable and you can easily explore the waterfront and plaza area on foot. The main attractions are the small eateries and shops that line the streets and the main square.
The primary gateway between Cozumel and the mainland of the Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancun and the Riviera Maya, is the passenger ferry to Playa del Carmen, which is especially popular with cruise ship passengers coming to the mainland to see attractions like the Mayan Ruins, Xcaret, or Xel Ha.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Chankanaab National Park, (About 9km south of town), 7am - 5pm daily. The park includes a beach, restaurant, bar, changing rooms, walking trails, and a lagoon with a large iguana population. Activities include snorkeling & diving, swimming with the dolphins, scuba, and Seatrek. $2 coupon and packages available at their website. approx. $22 for adults.
Being the only active Pearl Farm in the Caribbean, Cozumel Pearl Farm is located in a natural protected area that remains pristine and untouched; it is only accessible by boat since it is surrounded by the mangrove lagoon ecosystem on one side and the fascinating turquoise color waters of the Caribbean on the other.
Most tourist oriented shopping in San Miguel is around the main plaza and its easy walking.
The currency of Mexico is the peso (MXN). The symbol for pesos is the same as for US dollars, which can be slightly confusing. Prices in dollars (in tourist areas) are labeled "US$" or sport an S with a double stroke. There is about 17 peso to 1US$.
Credit cards are not as widely accepted as in Europe or the USA. Some companies make an extra charge of around 5% on such transactions. Cash is King here.
Spanish is the main language. English is largely spoken in border cities with the United States as well as tourist destinations.
Traditionally, stores are open from 9 to 1 (except Sunday) and 5 to 9, but those nearest the pier tend to stay open all day, particularly during high season. Most shops are closed Sunday morning.
Easter is widely observed nationwide, according to the yearly Catholic calendar (the first Sunday after the first full moon in Spring
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