Getting Around in Cozumel, Mexico
Each cruise ship pier in Cozumel has it’s own small shopping area and bars for cruise passengers to enjoy however if you want to get out of the main tourist areas to experience the local culture and food you will have travel to San Miguel. Be sure to visit our Places To Avoid page for tips on traveling safely in Cozumel. Downtown San Miguel is about a 3 mile (5km) walk from the International Pier and the Puerta Maya pier. This is an easy walk along the Malecon that takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour. Along the waterfront in San Miguel there are many bars and shops to enjoy before you return to your cruise ship. If you are cruising on Disney, Norwegian or MSC you will most likely dock at the Punta Langosta pier which is already in Downtown San Miguel and there is a short walk outside the port area to the shops and bars of San Miguel.
Taxis are available near the port entrances and will take you wherever you need to go. Typical destinations by taxi are San Miguel or the Cozumel beaches. Taxis to San Miguel range $5-$10 per ride (1-4 people) and $10-$15 if you want to go to the beaches all depending on distance. The taxis have a rate sheet that spell out the prices that you can ask to see to be sure you are not being overcharged. Always agree on the fare prior to getting in the taxi and departing. Also be sure to confirm whether the fare is in Pesos or dollars.
Taxis can accommodate wheelchairs if needed simply by asking at the taxi stand. They will radio for a van with wheelchair access for you.
The only buses available in Cozumel are the local buses that provide service within the city of San Miguel primarily for locals to get around the city.
Cars are available for rental to explore Cozumel on your own. Particularly popular are the Jeeps and 4-wheel drive vehicles. Alamo Car Rental is just outside the Puerta Maya pier and Thrifty Car Rental is just outside the International Pier.
Rentals can be expensive however and can be as much as $20-30 per hour and it can take around an hour to get the car and an hour to return it. Be sure to account for this so that you aren’t a pier runner!! Also be cautious of rates and extra charges for rentals including insurance and gasoline. Click here for a good local option that has locations at all three cruise piers!
Ferries to the Mainland
There are two primary companies operating ferries from Cozumel (San Miguel) to the mainland (Playa del Carmen). Both operate from the same pier in San Miguel, just north of the Punta Langosta pier. It is a short walk (5 minutes) from Punta Langosta however if you are docked at either the International Pier or the Puerta Maya pier then you will need to catch a taxi to the ferry pier for roughly $6-$8 per ride (1-4 people). The ferry cost does vary slightly based on which company however the ferries operate on a schedule and alternate companies so to go with another company to save some money may mean you have to wait an hour or two. This is also a good reason not to book a round trip ticket since they are only good on the same ferry. Booking a one-way ticket will allow you to choose the next ferry no matter which company it is which is especially crucial if running late. Ferry rates are around $10 for adults and $6 for children. The ferry ride takes about 45 minutes each way.
If you are booked on an excursion through the cruise line (especially to the Mayan ruins of Tulum or Chichen Itza) then the ferry will pick you up next to the cruise ship pier where you docked and drop you off there as well. The cost of the ferry is typically included in your excursion as well.