This tiny island off the coast of buzzy Cancún measures just 10 miles wide and 28 miles long. Cozumel is no stranger to hosting visitors (especially divers), and in the past few decades it has become a hub for numerous itineraries. In fact, for such a small spit of land, it may be surprising to know there are three piers for cruise ships.
What We Love
Mayan Ruins: Tulum and Chichén Itzá get all the ink, but the San Gervasio site, on the northern portion of Cozumel, is just as important to the ancient empire. The smaller collection of ruins spans 10 acres and is said to have been a popular pilgrimage spot for Mayan women who came to worship the goddess of the moon.
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Snorkeling: The west side of the island promises the best opportunities to spy tropical fish and cool coral formations.
Swimming with the Sharks: No, this isn’t a Jaws moment. The vegetarian whale sharks are gentle giants that just happen to gather off the coast of nearby Isla Holbox. Excursions are limited, so book ahead.
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Who It's Best For
Party People: Let’s not forget this tiny island is located just off the coast of Spring Break Central Cancún, and the main drag is lined with bars that are seemingly open for business — and offering specials on shots — at all hours.
Inclusion Seekers: Apart from shopping and imbibing downtown, the most popular excursions here are to the beach clubs on the island. Entrance fees provide access to endless amenities including shaded areas, restaurants, and bars, plus nonmotorized aquatic adventures.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Crowd Control: In addition to being a popular cruise port, the island is a day-trip hot spot for those on the mainland and now home to a series of large all-inclusive resorts. Rent a car at the port and head over to the east coast for the least amount of company.
Jenna Mahoney is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Allure.