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Riviera Maya Travel Guide

How to get to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen?

When one hears about the island of Cozumel, the first things that should come to mind are cruise ships and reefs. This island is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the entire Caribbean and a nature paradise famous among divers from all corners of the planet.

This expanse of the Caribbean has incredible beaches, some land activities, and tours of water activities such as fishing, snorkeling, and diving. There is definitely enough to do here to have a good day and see something new, after all, Cozumel is considerably bigger and busier than Isla Mujeres.

If you are staying in the Riviera Maya, you may be wondering why go to Cozumel if everything it offers is the same as the Riviera.

But there are two main reasons to visit Cozumel: the Mayan journey from Xcaret to Cozumel is a historical event that is recreated year after year and the reefs. While there are coral reefs throughout the Mexican Caribbean, Cozumel’s reefs are something special.

The conditions of the sea that surrounds the island have allowed its reefs to prosper like few others in the world; just ask any diver you know and they will surely tell you about Cozumel’s fame.

How to get to Cozumel from Riviera Maya?

You can see Cozumel on the horizon from the beaches of Playa del Carmen and Xcaret since the island is located just about 20 km in front of these beaches.

It is likely that the island is your point of arrival in the Mexican Caribbean since it is one of the busiest cruise ports in Mexico, or that is on the mainland you want to visit to see its attractive reefs.

There are three options to access the island: by ferry, on a tour or private boat, or by air. We really don’t recommend flying to Cozumel from Cancun or Playa del Carmen as it’s more expensive than the other options and doesn’t save you much time.

Going by boat is a good option if you just want to see the reefs. There are diving tours that leave from Playa del Carmen to the Cozumel reefs, however, most of these will not allow you to go down to get to know the island.

The option we most recommend is by ferry.

There are two companies that offer services from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel Ultramar and Winjet, both using the same terminals.

The mainland terminal is located a couple of blocks from downtown Playa del Carmen and is easy to access by taxi or on foot (we do not recommend driving as parking can be difficult to find).

Meanwhile, the Cozumel terminal located in the center of the city gave its importance to the island.

The schedules of the two ferry companies are as follows:


  • De Playa del Carmen a Cozumel – from 8:00 to 22:00 every hour
  • De Cozumel a Playa del Carmen – from 7:00 to 21:00 every hour


  • De Playa del Carmen a Cozumel – at 6:45, and then 7:00 and every hour until 21:00, and then 21:45 and 23:00

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