Is Cozumel a port-of-call on your cruise itinerary? The island is a paradise with plenty of beautiful beaches and things to do. Looking for a day of fun in the sun? Spend a day at Paradise Beach in Cozumel, Mexico.
We fell in love with the island of Cozumel when we first visited with Norwegian Getaway.
Our first time in Cozumel, I booked a private Jeep excursion with Cozumel Cruise Excursions (.NET), which provided us with a Jeep Wrangler and a guide for the day. It gave us the opportunity to freely drive around with someone who has local knowledge and left us with a great first impression.
We visited a few main attractions, a couple of different beaches, had the privilege to release a sea turtle (completely unplanned), and had an amazing lunch with a snorkeling adventure soon after.
We were 100% certain we’d return someday, we just didn’t know when. Lucky enough, we found ourselves back in Cozumel a year later.
Cozumel, Mexico was our first port of call on our 9-day Western Caribbean itinerary with the Norwegian Pearl. It turned out to be a Sunday. From my research, I learned on Sundays many of the resorts, stores, restaurants, and bars shut down.
Now, there were plenty of excursions available through the ship, but we normally like to do independent excursions to save money. That is our personal choice.
So we decided a relaxing beach day would be the perfect start since we had another 5 ports ahead of us.
Please note: this trip and post was written pre-Covid.
What to do in Cozumel, Mexico
Best Beaches in Cozumel Mexico
As a planner, I like to have some sort of general idea of what it is we will be doing when we arrive at a destination because I do not like wasting the precious time we may have there. I do understand sometimes plans fall apart and you just have to go with the flow. This is what happened to us when we hopped in a cab at the port in Cozumel.
That said, here are some of the best beaches and beach clubs in Cozumel, Mexico:
- Nachi Cocom (Beach Club) Book in advance as they limit the number of guests. It’s all-inclusive.
- Mr. Sanchos (Beach Club) Great for families.
- Paradise Beach (Beach Club) Small entry free
- Punta Sur Beach State Park
- Isla Pasion
- Playa Palancar
- Playa Mia Grand Beach and Water Park
Keep in mind when you’re planning that Cozumel has some of the best snorkeling. It has the 2nd largest reef in the world.
It turns out the beach I had in mind, Playa Palancar, is closed on Sundays. I was confused because I read online it would be open. I really should have emailed them during my research for confirmation, but failed at doing so.
In the taxi, the driver drove in the direction to Playa Palancar and inquired over the phone to see if it was open. He shortly received confirmation that it was closed. I was disappointed. Hubby wanted to turn back to the cruise port, but that was not an option for me.
We are on an island. Just because one beach is closed, doesn’t mean the rest are. We were a ship of over 2k passengers, obviously, some establishments were expecting us.
The driver rattled off options, most of them weren’t foreign to me bug Paradise Beach in Cozumel, Mexico is a popular one amongst cruisers. After agreeing, off we went.
Cruise Tip: Have some idea of the top things to do at the ports, especially if you’re taking a taxi. Some drivers will take advantage and drop you off at a subpar location with a high entry free where they will get a kickback from. This happened to someone close to me; the beach and Cozumel left them completely disappointed.
Plan Your Day at Costa Maya Cruise Port
Rent a golf car and be your own tour guide. Make as many stops as you want and explore this beautiful Mahahual village off the Caribbean coast.
Paradise Beach in Cozumel, Mexico
We arrived and were greeted immediately by a staff member that wrapped a wrist band around our wrists.
Basic Cost: $3 per person for entry.
Requirement: Spend $10 per person food/beverage minimum.
• Clean Bathrooms & use of facilities
• Use of pool
• Beach chairs at the pool or beach
• Outdoor showers
Fun Pass to use the water park, kayaks & snorkeling is an extra $18 pp.
An all-inclusive option is available for $64 per person which includes unlimited drinks and everything above.
We were given the option to sit anywhere we’d like. There is plenty of seating by the pool or the beach. They only required that we spend $10 pp on food and drinks. Not a problem. After having had spent part of our day there drinking Piña Coladas and munching on quesadillas, it truly is worth the value.
The beach club itself is beautifully maintained and has everything you need for a day of fun in the sun.
At the pool, you’ll find restrooms that are clean and well attended. There is a beach bar near the pool. Tables and chairs to have lunch at. Waiters are available to take your orders and keep your beach drinks flowing as long as you order them.
If you’re looking for a massage, you can book one here right at the beach.
The beach bar has two beautiful parrots you can hang out with.
There is also a lifeguard posted on the beach.
The staff is friendly.
The blow-up water toys are fun, especially for your kids. I learned after the fact that they are extra to use… $18 pp for unlimited use.
Let’s discuss this $18 pp fee for the waterpark.
We were never given this option upon entry by our greeter, waiter, nor by anyone else when we chose our seats at the beach. We lounged at the beach, swam, and snorkeled (with our own snorkel and mask). We even played on the blow-up toys at the very end. Never once did anyone ask us for $18. However, hubby did get charged $18 to rent a pair of snorkeling fins.
These days we bring our own snorkeling equipment.
Later I learn on Cruise Critic that $18pp is for the fun pass – unlimited use of the toys and snorkeling gear, plus other things like the kayaks. This was never explained to hubby when he rented fins for $18. We thought the price was a little steep for a rental, but after only paying $3pp for entry, we chose not to get dwell on it.
I tell you this as a warning to try to do your due diligence and research before you leave on your cruise. It’s good to have this sort of knowledge ahead of time in order to avoid miscommunication and/or scams.
Since Paradise Beach Club was a spur-of-the-moment decision for us, and since I couldn’t recall these details before getting there, we rolled with it. It was a Sunday and a slow day, perhaps they decided on a different set of rules, or maybe they didn’t notice?
Either way, $18 pp for a fun pass to use the water park, kayaks, snorkeling gear, and paddleboards is a great deal. If you need more information on the fun pass, find it here.
Beach Packing List
Get beach-ready with this packing list! Whether you’re heading on a day trip to the beach or taking a beach vacation, this beach packing list comes in handy each and every time. Don’t miss packing any of these items. Printable included!
Great time at Paradise Beach
We had a great time at Paradise Beach in Cozumel, Mexico, even with an overcast day. Drinks and delicious quesadillas were consumed. The clouds did not stop us from relaxing or swimming.
At around 2 PM, we decided to head back to the ship. Taxis are lined up outside the beach club waiting to take people back to their cruise ports. If there are none, you can ask someone at the front to call one for you. By the time we returned to the ship, it was raining.
I do recommend spending a day at Paradise beach. If you are looking for a great beach day, pay them a visit. It’s only 5 miles from the cruise port.
At some point in the future, I may return. It was a nice beach club with great food, drinks, and I do appreciate a beach club that is clean and well maintained. It is a great value and without a doubt family-friendly.
However, on a regular day during the week, when everything is open, there are many different options to explore in Cozumel Mexico. Only having part of a day there with a cruise, on a regular business day, I can’t say Paradise Beach will be my first choice.
Next time I’m in Cozumel, hopefully, on a business day, I rather spend my time discovering a new beach, taking a snorkeling excursion, or renting a vehicle to do my own exploration. That’s just me.
Other Things to do in Cozumel, Mexico
1. Private Jeep Excursion
As I mentioned at the beginning of this, we absolutely loved our tour with Cozumel Cruise Excursions (.NET). It’s a private tour in a 4 Wrangler, you get to drive and have a guide with you to give you a comprehensive tour of the island. Lunch is included.
2. Amazing Cozumel Race
Feeling like something fun and adventurous? Take your group on a Cozumel tour and sightseeing scavenger hunt.
3. Submarine Dive
Take a 100ft dive in an Atlantis Submarine expedition. If there is one place you’d like to see the world under the sea, Cozumel is one of them.
4. Bike Your with a Taco Tasting
Take a tour of Cozumel on an electric bike and enjoy a taco tasting. This tour had me at taco tasting. Margaritas may be extra.
5. Sail & Snorkel
I can almost never say no to a Catamaran Snorkel tour. Take this 4-hour snorkeling tour from Cozumel. Even if you don’t snorkel, you’ll enjoy your time sailing off the coast of Cozumel. The water there is breathtaking.
Next Stop: Grand Cayman Cruise Port
Have you been to Paradise Beach in Cozumel? What is your favorite thing to do in Cozumel?
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