Traveling to Cozumel with kids?
Cozumel, is a beautiful Island about 30 minutes from Cancun, Mexico. Located in the Caribbean Sea, you will get amazing crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and 85 degree water year around. Cozumel is known for it’s excellent diving with some of the most iconic reefs to explore in the entire world! The food here good, but it will have the mayan flavors and not your typical mexican dishes. The people are kind and welcoming and it is truly a little piece of paradise!
Where should you stay?
The presidente intercontinental
Pros: The nicest luxury resort on the Island with a private white sandy beach, scuba directly from the resort. Kid friendly pools and wonderful food. No Day passes sold here so you’ll get privacy and no crowds.
Cons: It’s not all inclusive and you won’t find entertainment or activities on the resort.
Pros: All inclusive luxury resort with a beautiful pool and amazing service. Great for kids and families alike. No day passes sold here so you’ll get privacy and no crowds.
Cons: It’s not directly on the beach it sits one street behind so you’ll have to cross the pavement to get to the white sand!
Pros: All inclusive luxury oceanfront resort. Great food and amenities. They also have the best atmosphere and entertainment which makes a really fun vibe and energy while lounging at the pools.
Cons: Kids are not allowed.
playa azul golf and scuba
Pros: It’s beautiful and well maintained with excellent service. Located on the ocean and offers a private beach and beautiful pools.
Cons: They offer day passes to cruise ship guests so expect crowded pools and beaches!
Check out this video of our recent stay with the kids:
I’ll show you a tour of the resort we stayed at. A look Inside the rooms, the food and also exploring the Island with kids and families!
Best places for happy hour
I The only happy hour joint open until 9pm. Located on a white sandy beach with breathtaking views! Live music is Friday Saturday and Sundays from 6pm-9pm. The other nights are very quiet and slow! You’ll come for the drinks and views not necessarily the food 🙂
Jimmy Buffet Margarita Bar
I mean, if you are here on a cruise ship you will probably end up here since it’s located right by the ships and is on the water! You’ll come for a fun crowd ready to party, good music and great views of course.
The best margaritas and food on the Island! So much fun and AMAZING cuban music nightly! Just be prepared to drive to the furthest point of the Island to enjoy the gem! (Probably hard to do if you are here on a cruise ship)
Turquoise Beach Bar Restaurant
Beautiful views, great music swings and margaritas! Be sure to pay in pesos not american dollars so you don’t get ripped off. This bar is made for cruise ship goers not the locals so just be savvy and you’ll have a great time!
Don't miss these
If you are staying on the Island here are the 3 things you should NOT miss!!
Sunday Night downtown
Sunday is the only evening there are no cruise ships. This means the downtown area comes to life with locals, families, kids live music and the way cozumel is intended to be! Take a cab downtown for dinner and then walk through the town and enjoy!
Albertos on the water
When I first came to the Island 15 years ago Alberto was one man with a tiny fish shop on the sand. He now owns 3 restaurants and they are all amazing! The original is still on the sand and the fish is caught daily!
The reefs are incredible and you cannot leave the island with taking a peak under the water! Best Scuba is with Scuba Doo – They take amazing care of you and go to the best spots!
Top 5 things to order on Amazon before your trip:
My review of Chakanaab
Well first make sure you watch my video above so you can watch a tour of the resort and see it for yourself first hand! And here are the top points I think you should know before you go:
- They open at 8am and I suggest getting there before the crowds!
- Do not eat here and do not buy the pass the includes the buffet or lunch. The food is GROSS. Just don’t even bother.
- Do not do the dolphin activity! The dolphins are held in captivity and it’s actually quite sad. Last month 10 of them escaped when there was a storm and the water swelled over! (woo-hoo dolphins!!) Also the dolphin excursion itself isn’t that pricey but then they will try to charge you like $300 dollars photos it’s insane. Save the money!
- Do not waste your time watching the sea lion show. Kinda cute, but not really. Also very hot outside and your time is much better spent elsewhere. Like the water!
- The snorkeling really is amazing and the reefs are protected and full of sea life! This is especially useful for kids or beginners since you don’t have to swim far or travel on a boat to get to the reefs.
- The snorkel gear provided is sub par. It’s ok but not great. They also don’t have flippers/fins in kids sizes. (Adult sizing only) They do have kid size masks and life vests.
- Alligators – lame. They were asleep and there are only two in a cage.worth a quick view if your already here to show the kids but not worth coming just for these.
- Mayan ruins – cute to walk through for about 5/10 minutes max
In short I would plan to come here to snorkel for about an hour maybe two. Then head elsewhere for some lunch and another activity. I would not plan to spend your day here.
Shop the cutest sundresses and lounge wear:
Let's talk money
How much should you plan to spend?
Spring Break in general is one of the most expensive times to fly here. Because the weather is so perfect at this time of year you’ll get warm sunny days 85 degree water and minimal humidity. Plan to pay around $650 round trip per person. With a family a 4 that’s about $2600.00
There are many variations of hotels to choose from. You’ll have to decide whether to stay at a resort that is all inclusive that includes the food and drinks or a resort that just includes your stay. Honestly, you’ll probably end up spending the same in end. But with kids I really like all inclusives so I don’t have to worry about the cost and them eating 6 times a day. To give a rough estimate we stayed at the Presidente which is not all inclusive and spent around $350 per night with the luxury oceanfront room.
Food & Drink cost
As a family of four, we spent roughly $200 USD per day on food and alcohol. Which is pretty decent considering my kids ordered food all day everyday by the beach and pool and we did a few nice dinners as well. If you stay at an all inclusive you will most likely still pay $200 a day since they add the cost to the nightly stay.
Scuba diving is roughly $85 per person per day (two tank dive from 8am-12pm)
Snorkel tours roughly $50 per person
Day passes excursions and other local activities range from $45-$70 USD per person.
On our flight over to Cozumel we didn’t want to fly kids out of LAX at 6am so we opted to break up the trip and stay in Dallas for the first leg of the trip.
Hotel cost =$150.00
I would also plan for extra spending money for shopping, ice cream downtown, dinners off the resort, spa treatments, tipping the staff at kids club and other little things here and there. We brought $500 cash and that seemed to be plenty for our family in 8 days.
A Shuttle service or Cab from the airport to the hotel/resort will be roughly $30 PP round trip. Other than that you might want to rent a jeep for a day or so and the cost is $100 per day plus fuel. The gasoline was a little pricey and filling up 3/4 of the tank cost me $45USD.
Taxi’s are everywhere and you can always grab one to get around. Remember, no car seats or seat belts for the kids in most of these, but your not going to far so we just went with it. Price will depend on where you are going but I feel like most of the time it was around $10 USD one way.
A good tip to remember:
Save yourself the hassel and exchange your dollars for pesos. With a recent new law in mexico they cannot accept money that is damaged or has any marks on it (which is strange and almost all money has marks on it) plus if you have pesos its easier not to get ripped off. Several times we asked how much and they would say $200 pesos which is about $10 and if you would have to do the conversion yourself. If you ask them how much in USD they will likely say $15. This happened on multiple occasions and I always had to correct them. Then they would say Ok yes.