Mexico Family Travel

7 Epic Things To Do In Cozumel With Kids: Best Cozumel For Kids Guide

January 7, 2024

You might think a trip to Cozumel, Mexico is ideal only for couples and retirees. But did you know there are plenty of amazing things to do in Cozumel with kids too? Read on to learn the great things you’ll find in Cozumel for kids and families!

We visited Cozumel as a family in 2021 and loved all the fun things to do there with kids. Our family played on the beach, went snorkeling, ate fantastic food, and enjoyed the beautiful ocean views. It was idyllic!

A colorful sign of Isla Cozumel for kids and families on the island of Cozumel
Isla Cozumel sign in Centro (photo by Astrid Vinje)

The island of Cozumel is the perfect place for a family beach vacation! With temperatures ranging consistently between 70° and 90° Fahrenheit, and an average of 2,510 hours of sunshine per year, families can enjoy pleasant weather in Cozumel almost all year long. 

If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Cozumel with your little ones, whether on its own or as part of a bigger Yucatan itinerary, take a look at these unforgettable things to do in Cozumel with kids.

This article was originally published on June 24, 2021.

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Cozumel with kids highlights

If you don’t have time to read the whole post and just want the highlights of visiting Cozumel with kids, here are my top 3 recommendations for things to do. These are all activities my family and I have done and absolutely loved!

  1. Spend an afternoon at Chaankanaab beach park
  2. Snorkel at Palancar, Columbia, and El Cielo reefs
  3. Ride the Atlantis Submarine

Where to stay in Cozumel for kids and families

The official hotel zone in Cozumel is located north of the airport. However, you’ll be able to find hotels all through San Miguel de Cozumel’s Centro neighborhood, as well as Airbnb vacation rentals. 

Enjoying a day at The Cabana Beach (photo by Deb Preston)

Additionally, there are several higher end resorts found along the western coast of the island, including all-inclusive resorts. Check out these highly rated hotels and resorts you can book for your trip to Cozumel with kids.

InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa

For an upscale lodging option while you're doing your activities in Cozumel for kids, consider staying at the InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa. This 4.5 star hotel has shopping onsite, a private beach, and a spa to pamper yourself. There's also a gym and other outdoor activities available. A buffet breakfast is offered at a cost.

Families visiting Cozumel with kids will enjoy this hotel because there are several room options that sleep four or six people. Extra beds are available for free. And rooms come with free WiFi.

Casa Colonial

Families looking for a home-like experience while doing their activities in Cozumel for kids should consider staying at Casa Colonial. This colorful hotel offers villas that sleep 4, 8, or 12 people. While the property is not located right on the beach, it's a great choice for large families!

Villas come with multiple bedrooms, living room with tv, kitchen, and outdoor access. They also come with free WiFi. The property has an outdoor pool, free parking on-site, and a spa that offers massages. Families traveling to Cozumel with kids who are very young can also get babysitting for a cost.

Villas El Encanto

Another villa option for families is Villas El Encanto. This hotel is located closer to the beach and offers apartments and family cabins for families of four or five. The tropical style grounds offer a great retreat after a full day of activities in Cozumel for kids!

Rooms have free WiFi. They also have microwaves and fridges. Some of the rooms are wheelchair accessible as well. The property has a few outdoor pools, an art gallery, and laundry facilities. The hotel also offers a beach shuttle for a cost - perfect for beach outings during your trip to Cozumel with kids.

Find other places to stay in Cozumel with this map

Best things to do in Cozumel for kids

Cozumel is full of fun things to do for kids and families. From learning about the island’s history, to exploring the beautiful waters that surround the island, families will want to pack in as much as they can into a visit to Cozumel with kids.

A beach in Cozumel

As you’re exploring the many things to do in Cozumel with kids, be sure to brush up on some basic Spanish phrases for travel as well. This will make your experience in Cozumel so much more worthwhile.

Then take a look through this list to see our top recommended activities for things to do in Cozumel for kids. You're sure to have an unforgettable vacation!

1. Explore Centro

If you only have a few hours to visit, and are looking for something low-key to do in Cozumel for kids, take a stroll through Centro. The main city center is full of restaurants and shops where you can buy souvenirs and get a good meal.

The main square in Centro (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Along the northern end of Avenida Rafael E. Melgar, you’ll find the Museo de Cozumel. This museum has exhibits showcasing Cozumel’s history. Admission to the museum is $9 USD for children over 3 years old and adults. 

The museum is open on Tuesdays to Sundays. Hours of operation are 9 am to 5 pm.

If you prefer to have a guide on your visit to Cozumel with kids, book this private tour of the island. Besides touring through Centro, your guide will take you to other highlights of the island too.

2. Spend the day at a beach park

A popular activity to do in Cozumel for kids is to spend a day at a beach park. Many of the beach parks have lounge chairs you can rent. And they offer swimming, snorkeling, diving, and massages, as well as food and drink.

Private cabanas for rent at The Cabana Beach (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Chaankanaab is a popular beach club that also has live dolphin and seal shows. Admission to Chaankanaab is $28 USD for adults, and $20 USD for children between the ages of 4 and 12. The park is open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm. Food, lounge chair rentals, shows, and activities cost extra.

If you want to splurge during your time in Cozumel with kids, you can also rent beach cabanas for the day at The Cabana Beach, which is adjacent to Chaankanaab. Cabana rentals cost $105 USD for the cabana, plus $17 per individual guest over the age of 3. Cabanas can accommodate a maximum of 6 people, so groups larger than that will need to book 2 or more cabanas. Along with the cabana rental, you have access to Chaankanaab park, and free snorkel gear rental.

Other well-rated beach clubs in Cozumel for kids include Paradise Beach, Mr. Sanchos Beach Club, and Punta Sur Eco Beach Park.

3. Snorkel experiences in Cozumel for kids

The beach parks in Cozumel all have options for snorkeling. The island is surrounded by coral, so you’ll usually be able to see fish and coral just by swimming off the shore.

Snorkeling at Playa Palancar while in Cozumel with kids (photo by Astrid Vinje)

However, the best snorkeling experience in Cozumel for kids and families is to visit Playa Palancar. At the Playa Palancar Beach Club, you can take a 2 hour snorkel trip to the deep water reefs.

Entrance into the beach club is $20 USD per person, and the trip costs $54 USD per person. The snorkel trip includes a guide who will take you to the Palancar, Columbia, and el Cielo reefs. You’ll see starfish, rays, and maybe even a sea turtle!

Everyone is provided a snorkel, a mask, fins, and a life vest. If your kids aren’t strong swimmers, there are life rings they can hold on to as they observe the underwater life. Remember to use reef safe sunscreen when you're snorkeling.

As an alternative, you can book one of these snorkeling tours around the island during your time in Cozumel with kids:

4. Learn to dive in Cozumel with kids

Due to the many coral reefs surrounding Cozumel, the island is a great place to learn how to dive. If your children are over 10 years old, your family can take a dive certification course during your trip to Cozumel with kids through Cozumel’s many PADI dive schools.

Coral reef fish in Cozumel

Blue Magic is a great dive school for kids. Courses range from $145 USD for a 4-5 hour introductory scuba lesson to $456 USD for a 3-4 day open water dive certification course. More advanced courses are also available for experienced divers. 

If you’re already proficient in diving, the dive schools also offer equipment rental. The beach clubs also offer equipment rental for visitors. Take a look at this resource for scuba diving in Cozumel for more information.

For those who are brand new to scuba diving, an introductory diving lesson would be a great fit while you're in Cozumel with kids. While kids need to be at least 10 years old to get their scuba certification, they can be any age to do an introductory diving lesson. However, they should be strong swimmers and be able to follow directions.

5. Submarine ride in Cozumel for kids

If you’re not into snorkeling and diving, but you still want to see marine life, take the Atlantis Submarine tour while you're in Cozumel with kids. This is a 2 hour submarine tour that takes you as deep as 100 feet underwater.

Enjoying Atlantis Submarine while in Cozumel with kids (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Tours with Atlantis Submarine cost $115 USD for adults and $75 USD for kids. The tours are timed, so check the website to see which tours are available. You can also combine the submarine tours with other activities such as a Jeep tour, a snorkel expedition, or an afternoon at a beach club. 

Kids taking the Atlantis Submarine tour will be able to see various types of reef fish, rays, and sea turtles. The submarine also takes you to the edge of the coral reef, where the seafloor drops off to as much as 2,700 feet! Our kids were so amazed at all the sea creatures we saw on the submarine ride.

6. Explore things to do in Cozumel with kids on the east side

Most visitors to Cozumel stay on the western side of the island. But there are also fun things to do in Cozumel for kids along the island’s east side as well.

If you are looking for a relaxing day on the beach while you're in Cozumel with kids, Playa Chen Rio has tide pools that kids can play in. It’s also a good surf spot for those who enjoy surfing. Cozumel Surfing with Nacho offers surf lessons for individuals and groups of all abilities. You can also take surfing lessons at Playa Punta Morena with Machito Surf Lessons.

A beach on Cozumel's east coast (photo by Astrid Vinje)

The water is much more choppier on the eastern side of the island than on the western side. Plus, you’ll need a car to get there. Alternatively, you can arrange for a taxi to pick you up at a pre-arranged time. The cell phone signal is not very strong on this part of the island, so plan accordingly. 

Additionally, while there are some restaurants along the beach, you won’t find the same beach amenities as on the island’s west side. If you’re planning a visit to the beach, bring along your own snacks and drinks.

As an alternative, you can take a guided e-bike tour of the eastern side of the island. That way, you won’t miss out on the must-see spots. This tour is ideal for families with teens, as the minimum height requirement is 5 feet tall.

7. Other activity ideas in Cozumel for kids

If you have more time on your hands while you're in Cozumel with kids, there are plenty of other things to do in Cozumel for kids that will keep them entertained and engaged.

A road sign in Cozumel (photo by Astrid Vinje)

If you want to explore an archaeological site in Mexico, visit San Gervasio. This was a sacred site for Mayans during the pre-Hispanic era. Families can also explore the agricultural-focused activities in Cozumel for kids with a visit to the Mayan Bee Sanctuary or the Mayan Cacao Company

Take a look at these tours you can book to make the most of your time in Cozumel with kids:

Other tips for planning a trip to Cozumel with kids

As you’re planning your activities in Cozumel for kids, take some time to understand the basics of traveling to Cozumel, and Mexico in general. Additionally, have a look at our Mexico trip planning suggestions to help with your Cozumel trip planning.

Signs for snorkeling (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Familiarize yourself with the basic geography of Cozumel. Also, figure out the best way to get to and get around Cozumel with kids. And once in Cozumel, research where to stay and eat, as well as how much things will cost on the island.

Basic Cozumel geography

Cozumel is an island located 23 kms off the eastern coast of Mexico. It’s part of the state of Quintana Roo, in the Yucatán peninsula. As of 2011, there are approximately 100,000 people living in Cozumel.

Starfish at El Cielo (photo by Astrid Vinje)

The main city in Cozumel is San Miguel de Cozumel, which has 77,000 people. Because of the coral reefs that surround the island, tourism is a very important part of Cozumel’s economy. Read more about Cozumel's history and geography in Lonely Planet's Cancun, Cozumel, and the Yucatan guide as you're getting ready for your trip to Cozumel with kids.

Getting to Cozumel for kids and families 

For families coming to Cozumel with kids from the mainland of Mexico, the best way to get to Cozumel is by ferry. From Playa del Carmen, Winjet and Ultramar both offer ferry rides.

Ferry boats for visiting Cozumel with kids (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Fares cost between 290-360 pesos (roughly $14-18 USD) per person, one way, depending on the company. Check their websites for schedules and up to date fares. You can also purchase tickets online ahead of time, or at the kiosks at the ferry terminal.

If you’re coming to Cozumel by car, you can take a Transcaribe ferry at the Calica cruise ship port just south of Playa del Carmen. Fares range from 780-2,500 pesos per family car (roughly $39-125 USD), one way, depending on the size of the car. 

Going by plane is another option for getting to Cozumel for kids and families. Cozumel International Airport has limited flights from Mexico and the United States. Airlines that service the airport include United, American, Sun Country, Southwest, and Volaris. Look for flights for your trip to Cozumel with kids on Kayak.

Options for getting around Cozumel

As previously mentioned, the main city in Cozumel is San Miguel de Cozumel. The central part of the city is called Centro. It is located right at the ferry terminal. If you’re planning on mainly staying around Centro during your time in Cozumel with kids, it’s easy to walk around.

Cars in Cozumel (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Taxis are available to help you get around Cozumel with kids, especially young ones. Within the city, fares are 50 pesos. If you’re going out to the beach clubs or other parts of the island, expect to pay at least 140 pesos.

For peace of mind if you're coming from the airport, you can pre-book a private shuttle from the airport to your hotel, so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of finding a taxi.

If you’re looking for other options for getting around Cozumel for kids and families, you can also rent a car. Avis has a rental office right at the ferry terminal. Their base rates range from $41-$132 USD per day, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. 

You will be able to find less expensive rates if you rent a car through a smaller locally owned rental company. There are many locally owned car rental offices located near the ferry terminal. Additionally, you can rent cars from the Cozumel airport.

Best restaurants in Cozumel for families

In terms of where to eat, Gastropark 140 is a great place in Cozumel for kids to explore different cuisines throughout Mexico. It’s located on 15A Avenida Sur, between Calle 1 Sur and Calle Dr. Adolfo Rosado Salas.

Visiting Gastropark 140 while in Cozumel with kids (photo by Astrid Vinje)

For a more seafood-focused restaurant that’s popular with locals, head to Coctelería La Estrella on 20 Avenida Sur. You’ll get local dishes like salbutes and tacos made with seafood like octopus and snails. And if you want to experience a sunset dinner, head to Sunset Restaurant and Bar on Avenida Rafael E. Melgar.

To really get to know Mexican food while you're in Cozumel with kids, taking a food tour is the way to go! This Cozumel food tour takes you to five locations around the island. You’ll get a great introduction to Yucatecan cuisine.

Money matters and basic costs in Cozumel

Mexico uses the peso as its currency. The paper bills come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and sometimes 1,000. For coins, you’ll find 1, 2, 5, 10, and sometimes 20. At the time of this writing, the dollar-peso exchange rate is 20 pesos for $1 USD.

A child snorkeling in Cozumel (photo by Astrid Vinje)

While Mexico is generally a cash economy, you can still use a debit or credit card (referred to as tarjeta) at some restaurants and stores. Hotels and resorts will accept cards. And some attractions in Cozumel for kids, particularly the beach clubs, will also allow you to pay with a card. 

Major banks in Cozumel are Santander and Banorte. These banks have ATMs for withdrawing cash. Expect to pay between 35-40 pesos for the ATM transaction fees. To keep your cash secure, be sure to pack along a unisex travel belt that's compact and discrete.

In terms of planning for costs in your Mexico travel budget, the costs in Cozumel are on par with costs in most parts of Mexico. Lodging can be as little as $26 USD per night for a family of four, or as high as $800 USD per night. Food can range from 30 pesos per dish to upwards of 400 pesos per dish, depending on the restaurant. 

Creating memories in Cozumel for kids 

Visiting Cozumel with kids will surely be the highlight to any Mexico itinerary. The island is steeped in natural beauty. And there is also a lot of history and culture that you can experience in Cozumel as well.

If you’re planning a visit to Cozumel, be sure to include these activities into your itinerary. These activities will surely give your family a memorable experience in Cozumel for kids and adults alike!

Have you visited Cozumel? Share our suggestions for things to do in Cozumel for kids to your friends, and leave a comment on our Facebook page about which activity you like the best.

7 Unforgettable Activities in Cozumel for Kids | Mexico Family Travel

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Enjoy this post about exploring Cozumel for kids? Take a look at our other ideas for a beach vacation in Mexico:

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