The Mexican Caribbean has once again proven its leading role as a tourist hotspot after it was revealed that over 4 million people traveled there on cruise ships in 2022, a nationwide record. Cozumel, the largest cruise ship port in the area, attracted more cruise ship passengers than any other destination in Mexico. In this article, we’ll uncover why travelers should choose Cozumel for their next Caribbean cruise.
Cozumel is a tropical island located some 20 kilometers off the coast of the Mexican Caribbean mainland and the resort town of Playa del Carmen. Cozumel has gained popularity in recent years and was voted among the top island destinations in North America this year. The island’s soaring popularity is largely explained by the growing number of cruise ship passengers flocking to get a taste of its white-sand beaches, unparalleled diving opportunities, and pristine tropical waters.
What Makes Cozumel So Special
Unlike mainland destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, Cozumel – the largest island in the region – offers a distinctive experience for travelers. The 478-square-kilometer island abounds with lush greenery and tropical beaches, making it one of the top destinations for beachgoers and nature lovers. With an average annual temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Cozumel’s year-round weather makes it a solid choice for outdoor activities.
Cozumel is also home to the largest cruise ship port in the Mexican Caribbean, and cruise ship passenger numbers have steadily grown after the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the industry. Cruise ship bookings are up steeply and are projected to grow rapidly throughout 2023 as travelers rush to book their spring and summer vacations.
Cozumel International Cruise Terminal
Cozumel has 3 cruise ship terminals, including the large International Cruise Terminal, located just several kilometers from the island’s largest city, San Miguel de Cozumel. Ships may also dock at the Punta Langosta Pier or the Puerta Maya terminal, all of which are conveniently located.
Travelers can enjoy several amenities within the island’s sophisticated cruise terminals, from shopping to dining and everything in between. The 2023 season is expected to be a busy one, with over 30 vessels expected to dock on the tropical island in the first week of the year alone, carrying tens of thousands of travelers to the sunny destination.
What To See In Cozumel
Most cruise liners stop at Cozumel anywhere from half a day to a full day, giving travelers plenty of time to enjoy some of the island’s top sites. One of the best ways to make the most of your limited time on the popular island is to book a shore excursion offered by the many cruise lines operating in Cozumel.
Travelers can also explore the island on their own by renting a scooter, walking, or getting around by taxi. Cozumel’s beaches are among the best in the Mexican Caribbean, offering ample sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling opportunities. Some of the top local beaches include Paradise Beach Cozumel, Playa ‘El Cielo’, and Playa Mia Grande Beach Park.
Cozumel has become one of the most popular destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, alongside classics like Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Playa del Carmen. The island destination welcomes thousands of visitors during the busy Holidays, and this year is no different. Authorities have tightened security measures during December and January this year to protect tourists and deter organized crime, and travelers are likely to encounter more law enforcement patrolling the island’s beaches, downtown areas, and cruise ship terminals.
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