The name Cozumel comes from the Mayan phrase “Ah Cuzamil Peten,” which means “the island of swallows.” It's believed that the Maya settled here in the early part of the first century, although older artifacts have been uncovered on the island. The first European exploration occurred in 1518 when as many as 10,000 Maya inhabited the island.
Located south of Cancun along the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel is Mexico's largest Caribbean island. Most of Cozumel's resident population lives in San Miguel on the island's western shore. Its modern economy relies heavily on tourism, charter fishing, and diving, so there are numerous hotels, restaurants, and shopping experiences to choose from during your stay. Whatever your reason for visiting Cozumel, it's important to do your research so you can find the best hotel that suits your travel style.
Best Time to Visit Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel's climate is considered a tropical savanna, but it closely borders a tropical monsoon climate, resulting in a lengthy wet season bookended by a short dry season. The best time to visit Cozumel is from May to July, when daytime temperatures hover around 80 degrees. The summer is short but sweet, offering great hotel rates and memorable festivals.
August through November sees highs in the 90s with a constant threat of rain, making this the least popular season. If you prefer to avoid crowds and take advantage of the year's best hotel rates, book during the wet season—just keep an eye out for hurricane activity.
December through April is Cozumel's peak tourist season, so it's naturally the most expensive time to plan a trip. The winter months draw in northern snowbirds looking for a reprieve from frigid weather, and prices tend to spike with the influx. Christmas and Easter are particularly expensive times to visit. However, if price isn't a factor, you'll enjoy dry, pleasant weather and a number of events, including Carnaval.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Cozumel, Mexico:
Cozumel by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Cozumel, Mexico. You can use these illustrations to determine the best time to make a reservation in Cozumel for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Cozumel, Mexico
4 Star Average Prices: $205.27
If you'd prefer to splurge on upscale accommodations in Cozumel, there are several unique choices available. Hotel Melia Vacation Club Cozumel is a seven-kilometer drive from Cozumel International Airport. The all-inclusive resort boasts a prime location on Santa Pilar beach, and offers airy guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies, flat-screen TVs, paid internet access, minibars, and suites with whirlpool tubs. There's even an on-site terrace buffet, restaurant, snack café, and swim-up bar, as well as a game room, spa, fitness center, and outdoor lagoon pool.
Secrets Aura Cozumel is an adults-only resort offering 24-hour room service, all-inclusive dining and drinks, an on-site fitness center, private beach, multiple pools, a spa, and live entertainment. Well-appointed guest suites feature flat-screen TVs, terraces or balconies, minibars, whirlpool tubs, and free Wi-Fi. Some even feature rooftop solariums, sea views, swim-in access, and lap pools.
Set in mangrove forests, Occidental Grand Cozumel Resort is a lovely beachfront accommodation within easy driving distance of Paradise Beach and Dolphin Discovery Cozumel. The airy guest rooms come with minibars, Wi-Fi access, dining rooms, and available room service, while the resort itself offers multiple restaurants, pools, a fitness center, spa, and kids' activities.
Affordable Hotel Options in Cozumel, Mexico
3 Star Average Prices: $79.74
It may surprise you to learn that finding an affordable hotel in Cozumel is easier than you think. Hacienda San Miguel is an affordable three-star property on the island's western coast. The hotel is situated in a colonial-style building within easy walking distance of the beach. San Gervasio archaeological site, Dolphin Discovery Cozumel water park, and Cozumel Country Club are also nearby. Guest rooms, suites, and townhouses include full kitchens, free Wi-Fi, and cable television, and you can even enjoy breakfast served in-room.
Hotel Plaza Cozumel overlooks the water and is within walking distance of the Museo de Cozumel, making it a great choice when you're on a budget. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, a rooftop terrace, an outdoor pool, business center, ocean views, in-room kitchens, and colorful décor.
Located a block from the beach, Hotel Flamingo is a Colonial-style three-star property within walking distance of the Coral Reefs Monument. Guest rooms and villas are tropically-inspired with vibrant décor, and feature cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and safes. Upgraded rooms go a step further with separate sitting areas, balconies, mosquito netted beds, and minibars, while villas throw in rooftop decks and kitchens.
Situated across the street from the beach, Casa Mexicana features casual rooms and suites with handmade furnishings, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and balconies with city or sea views. Guest amenities include a breakfast buffet on the terrace, an outdoor pool, poolside bar, and free parking.
Other budget-friendly accommodations include Suites Bahia Cozumel, Costa Brava, Hotel Posada Edem, and Villablanca Garden Beach.