Cozumel is sometimes a forgotten destination on your Riviera Maya holiday, but we will say, it is worth a day trip to this island off the mainland. Getting to Cozumel may seem like a chore, but it is far easier than you think. It is a quick ferry ride across the channel between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island.
There are two ways to get to Cozumel Island; local ferries from Playa del Carmen and flights from the Playa del Carmen airport. (yes there is a very small airport in Playa del Carmen for local flights) We have done both, numerous times. The ferry is the most popular and affordable way to get to Cozumel. The plane ride is expensive and will require some planning but the views are spectacular. AeroSaab arranges your flight but be prepared to pay a hefty sum for this trip.
Ferries leave the pier in Playa del Carmen twice each hour. Two ferry companies leave on the hour and one ferry company leaves 15 minutes before the hour. The pier is located at the bottom of Ave. Juarez just east of 5th Ave. Tickets can be purchased at the pier right before you board.
There are three ferry companies that offer trips to Cozumel. When you purchase your ticket, we suggest you purchase a one way ticket. This provides flexibility for your return trip from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen. Ferry companies do not allow passengers to use other company tickets on their ferry. Discounts are not awarded when you purchase a return ticket, so purchasing a one way ticket on each leg of your journey will not result in spending more money.
Travel time can vary between 35 to 55 minutes. Your trip time is contingent on sea conditions. On rough days the trip is longer, on calm days the trip is shorter. We always plan for an hour trip just in case. This planning is important for cruise ship passengers and those who have transport waiting on either the main land or the island.
If you have to be somewhere at a particular time, buy your return ticket from any of the ferry companies taking their schedule into account. Check their return times when you reach your destination, knowing that there are three companies with three different schedules.
Enjoy your day in Cozumel and try something new!