Are you planning to visit the island and are not sure how to get to Cozumel? If so, this comprehensive guide is ideal for you. It examines all options, so you are bound to find your ideal way of getting there.
Of course, it all depends on your starting point, and while getting there is as simple as a ferry crossing if you are already in Playa del Carmen, getting there from other tourist destinations of the Yucatan is also no hardship. If you are looking to get to Cozumel from Cancun Airport, you ultimately have five options, whereby four of which include a ferry ride. However, you might also be able to fly straight to the island.
There are options for every budget, so all you have to do is find the one that is ideal for you and your itinerary.
Regardless of how you will get there: you are bound to have a great time once you have figured out how to get to Cozumel. Arrange your transport in advance so you do not have a stressful beginning to your holiday, or look up the best way to get there if the island is only one of several stops.
Not sure what to do once you are in Cozumel? One of the best things to do in Cozumel is scuba diving as the island has many amazing dive sites. So be sure to read all about diving in Cozumel!
Wonderful places you should visit include Playa El Cielo and the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park, but Cozumel also has many amazing restaurants that you should check out while you are there.
1. Fly directly to Cozumel
The easiest and most convenient way to get to Cozumel is a flight to Cozumel Airport. There are direct flights from several airports in the USA and Canada, and also flights from Mexico City.
While there used to be more direct connections, at the time of writing the following direct connections exist:
If you want a direct flight to Cozumel, you will find that the different connections are either offered by American Airlines or by United.
The current direct flights served by United depart Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, American Airlines connects Cozumel with Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Philadelphia.
If you are flying to Cozumel from Canada, you can book a direct flight from Montreal and Toronto. While both routes are offered by Air Canada, you can also use WestJet if you are flying in from Toronto.
The connection between Mexico City and Cozumel is currently only offered by Volaris.
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2. How to get to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen
To get to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen and essentially everywhere else, you have to take the ferry. The ferry crossing time is 40 minutes and the route is operated by two companies.
All passenger ferries depart at the Muelle near Portal Maya, which is one of the things to see in Playa del Carmen. In Cozumel, the ferries arrive and depart at the pier close to Parque Benita Juárez.
There are men with freight bicycles near the ferry terminals that will offer to transport your luggage right to the ferry or from the ferry to a nearby taxi stand. Agree on a price in advance and ensure that you have a sufficient amount of money on you.
If the weather conditions are bad and the sea is rough, there is a good chance that the port of Cozumel will be closed. I encountered this issue when I was originally trying to visit the island and ended up having to reschedule my trip.
Winjet is a Mexican company that owns four ferries that cross between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. You can buy food and snacks onboard, and if you sit outside, there might be some entertainment in the form of a singer. Up to 25 kg of luggage are insured.
It is possible to store wet scuba diving gear at the front of the boat. Just know, that your bag will very likely get drenched during the crossing. Therefore, it might be better to put your stuff into bigger trash bags and let them store your bag in the regular luggage area. Please just ensure, that there is no water leaking out of your bag.
Additionally, there are designated pet areas, which makes the Winjet ferries ideal if you want to visit Cozumel with your dog.
You can buy ferry tickets at the ticket counter right at the ferry pier, so you do not have to buy them at any of the non-official shops on La Quinta.
At the ticket counter, it is possible to pay in cash or by credit card, but you can only obtain your ticket online on the official Winjet website.
There are always seven or eight ferries per direction per day, but the ferry schedule of Winjet varies from month to month. It is split between even and odd days and the ferries to Cozumel depart every two hours.
See that ferry schedule for May to get a better understanding of how to get to Cozumel by ferry.
How much does it cost to get the Cozumel with the Winjet ferry?
The prices for everyone that does not have an official Quintana Roo, Yucatan, or Campeche ID are as follows:
Adults have to pay 220.57 MXN (∼12 USD) for a one-way ferry trip to Cozumel, and 440.57 MXN (∼24 USD) for a roundtrip. Children have to pay 130.57 MXN (7 USD) oneway and 260.57 MXN for a roundtrip.
Ultramar Passenger Ferry
The Ultramar ferries to Cozumel are also a good option and depart from the same pier as the Winjet ferries. These yellow ferries also operate between Isla Mujeres and three ports in Cancun and are a reliable option. You are advised to be at the terminal 40 minutes prior to departure, but as there is no fixed time on the ticket, you can always take an earlier or later ferry.
The tickets are non-refundable and are valid for 6 months from the day of purchase. You are allowed to bring 1 piece of luggage with a maximum weight of 25 kg, and a total size (HxLxW) of no more than 142 cm.
There are eight daily Ultramar ferries per direction between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. The departure times are as follows:
Ferry to Cozumel
Ferry to Playa del Carmen
How much does it cost to get the Cozumel with the Ultramar ferry?
A one-way ferry trip with the Ultramar ferry costs 250 MXN (∼12.50 USD) and a roundtrip ticket costs 500 MXN (∼25 USD). Children only have to pay 200 MXN (∼10 USD) for a one-way ticket. First-class tickets are available for 300 MXN (∼15 USD) oneway.
Passengers with a valid Quintana Roo ID only have to pay 150 MXN, while children living in the state only have to pay 100 MXN.
If you are looking to get to Cozumel with your own car, you can do so by taking the Ultramar Carga ferry that departs south of Playa del Carmen at Punta Venado (Calica).
There is one ferry per day going to Cozumel that allows private cars, while all two to three crossings from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen allow private cars to be transported. From Monday to Saturday, the ferry that allows you to transport your car departs at 4 PM. On Sunday, the departure time is 5:15 PM.
The one-way ferry fee for a private car that is no longer than 4 meters costs 680 MXN (∼34 USD). Should your car be longer, you have to pay an additional 555 MXN for every additional meter. Every additional passenger besides the driver has to pay 60 MXN,
If you want to bring a motorcycle, the oneway fee is 230 MXN, and bringing a bicycle costs 80 MXN.
While you could also take a rental car to Cozumel, I recommend checking if the rental conditions allow you to do so. Otherwise, no insurance would cover potential damages that occur on the ferry or while you are exploring Cozumel.
Alternatively, you can also use the Transcaribe car ferry, which also departs in Calica. Prices start at 750 MXN for a compact car, and it is less expensive if you do not reserve a spot in advance. The fee per additional passenger is 80 MXN, and taking a motorcycle costs 280 MXN.
3. Getting from Cancun Airport to Cozumel
There are different ways to get from Cancun Airport to Cozumel or from Cancun to Cozumel, but unless you are booking a private flight transfer, your transport will consist of first getting to Playa del Carmen and then taking one of the Cozumel ferries. There is an option for every budget, so you are bound to find a way of getting to Cozumel that is perfect for you.
Overview: Getting to Cozumel from Cancun Airport
Below you will find a short overview of the key facts on how to get to Cozumel. However, you should also read the more detailed descriptions below before deciding how you will be getting to Cozumel from Cancun Airport.
|Mode of Transportation||Costs||Duration|
|Private Flight from Cancun Airport to Cozumel||628 USD|
for 3 people
|less than 1 h|
|ADO bus to Playa del Carmen + Ferry||∼11.20 USD + ferry|
|0:55 h |
+ waiting time
+ ferry crossing
|Private Transfer to Playa del Carmen + Ferry||∼34.50 USD + ferry|
per person (2 passengers)
|0:50 h |
+ ferry crossing
|Rental Car + Ferry||22 – 26 USD + ferry|
+ pickup time
+ ferry crossing
|Taxi + Ferry (please read info below)||min. 47.50 USD + ferry|
+ ferry crossing
3.1. Private Flight from Cancun Airport to Cozumel
If flying straight to Cozumel is not an option for you, but you want to avoid having to combine different modes of transportation, the Cancun Cozumel Air Shuttle might be a good option for you. It is by far the most comfortable option to get to Cozumel from Cancun Airport, but it also comes with a much steeper price.
There are small propeller planes like a Cessna 182, which is suitable for three passengers, but there are also options for five, nine, and twelve passengers.
The flights depart from the private flight terminal of Cancun Airport and land at Cozumel’s regular terminal. There are some weight restrictions when it comes to the luggage allowance per person, so keep that in mind if you are a diver traveling with scuba diving gear.
How much does a private flight from Cancun Airport to Cozumel cost?
The exact costs depend on the number of passengers flying to Cozumel. Below, you will find a list of the prices of the different options including how much they cost per person. The Cozumel Airport tax of 11 USD per person is added to the costs per person based on the costs of a one-way flight.
- 3 passengers: 595 USD oneway and 1180 USD return — 198 USD per person + 11 USD
- 4 passengers: 625 USD oneway and 1240 USD return — 156.25 USD per person + 11 USD
- 9 passengers: 1450 USD oneway and 2850 USD return — 161.11 USD per person + 11 USD
- 12 passengers: 1780 USD oneway and 3500 USD return — 148.33 USD per person + 11 USD
3.2. ADO Bus + Ferry
The ADO buses are a safe and reliable mode of transportation, and a great option if you do not want to spend too much money on getting to Cozumel. You should know that there are two ADO bus terminals in Playa del Carmen. While the ADO Terminal Túristica is only a short 220 meters (0.14 miles) walk about from the ferry pier, the ADO Terminal Alterna where to Airport bus will take you is 1.5 km (0.93 miles) away from the ferry pier. Therefore, it is recommended to take a taxi which should cost you no more than 100 MXN (5 USD).
The direct ADO bus from Cancun Airport to Playa takes 55 minutes and a ticket costs 225 MXN (∼11.20 USD). The buses serving this route run from 3:10 AM to 9:55 PM, whereby there is a bus every 20 to 30 minutes from 6:10 AM onwards.
If you want to plan ahead, it is best to do so via the Busbud website. Sadly, the ADO website itself has major loading issues. It is also possible to get your ticket right at the airport ticket counter. You can pay with your card or in cash. Hereby, it is best to pay in MXN, as the exchange rate is not in your favor.
Price: 225 MXN (∼x USD) + ferry ticket
3.3. Private Transfer + Ferry
While it is not the least expensive way to get to Cozumel, booking a private transfer from Cancun Airport right to the ferry terminal in Playa del Carmen is the most convenient option. All you have to do is to book the transfer in advance and enter your flight data, and then your driver will greet you only meters behind the terminal exit door. And as the company has your flight information, you also do not have to worry in case your flight is delayed.
I personally think a private transfer is worth every single cent if you had a long flight or just want problem-free transport to the ferry terminal upon arrival. Just do your due diligence and take a look at the reviews of the individual companies that offer private transfers from Cancun Airport.
How much does a private transfer to Playa del Carmen cost?
The costs of private transfers vary, and the cheapest offers are often not the best ones. Some companies offer a fixed price per shuttle, while others base the price on the number of passengers. Hereby, the price per passenger is less expensive when you are traveling with a bigger group.
I booked a private transfer with eTransfer, and their prices are as follows: A private transfer from Cancun Airport to the Playa ferry terminal costs 686 MXN per person if there are 2 passengers and 457.24 MXN per person if there are 3 passengers. Four passengers have to pay 343.04 MXN each, while the price for six passengers is 228.62 MXN per person. If the shuttle is full with eight passengers, the price is 171.21 MXN per person.
Meanwhile, Happy Shuttle Cancun offers a price per group. A roundtrip for up to seven passengers costs 3827.52 MXN.
3.4. Rental Car + Ferry
If you want more flexibility upon arrival and want to stop along the way to visit Puerto Morelos or even go to the supermarket, renting a car for a day might be a good option for you. It is also an option worth considering if you arrive late in the day and have booked a hotel somewhere en route between the airport and Playa del Carmen. After all, you would otherwise have to take a taxi to Playa even if your hotel happens to offer a free airport pickup.
The cheapest option for a 24 hours oneway rental from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen is around 435 MXN. The prices of a medium-sized rental from Europcar or MEX Rent a Car usually start around 520 MXN.
Here’s what you should know about driving in Mexico:
First of all, it is mandatory to have personal liability insurance that covers Third Party Liability, so double-check if it is included in the rental agreement. Additionally, you should have insurance that covers damages to the rental car. After all, there are a lot of so-called ‘topes’ – speed bumps that are not always marked.
Aside from that, it is good to have a credit card as rental car companies usually hold a higher amount until you have returned the car and a driver’s license that is valid in Mexico.
Price: 435 to 520 MXN (24 hours) + ferry ticket
3.5. Taxi + Ferry
Let me start out by saying that taking a taxi from Cancun Airport to the ferry terminal of Playa del Carmen is the least favorable mode of transportation. It is less convenient than a pre-arranged private transfer, and there is a not-too-small likelihood that someone will try to scam you. Here’s what you should know if you want to take a taxi anyway.
According to the official price list of the ‘Sindicato De Taxistas Lázaro Cárdenas Del Rio’, a transfer between Playa del Carmen’s ADO Terminal Alterna and Cancun Airport costs 950 MXN, which is approximately 47.50 USD. Transport to Cancun Centro is currently listed as 1050 MXN.
However, there is a good chance that the other direction will be at least slightly more expensive. Keep in mind, that you should only ever board official taxis and that it is crucial to agree on a fixed price for the ride before you enter the taxi. Doing so is the only way to avoid getting scammed.
Price: at least 950 MXN
4. How to get to Cozumel from Tulum
If you are already in Tulum and want to get to Cozumel, the best way is to take the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen where you will board the ferry to the island. If you are traveling with little luggage, you can also take a colectivo.
There is an ADO bus every 1 or 2 hours between 8:10 AM and 8:25 PM. It takes 1:10 hours to get from Tulum to Playa del Carmen. These buses stop at the ADO Terminal Túristica, which is right at the ferry pier.
Price: 108 MXN (∼5.40 USD) + ferry ticket
Is Tulum your first stop, but you are not sure how to get there? Read this guide on how to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport.
5. How to get to Cozumel from Cancun
Getting to Cozumel from Cancun Downtown is rather easy, as there are frequent ADO buses and colectivos that will take you from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, where you will then board one of the ferries to Cozumel. Alternatively, you could also arrange a private transfer, but unless you are traveling with a lot of luggage, it is not necessary.
The taxis in Cancun tend to be incredibly expensive and even negotiating a better price means you will very likely be paying more than the price of a private transfer. In fact, I can tell you that a third of the distance from Cancun to Playa del Carmen can cost 1200 MXN (∼60.30 USD) – and that was after we managed to negotiate a good discount. So do yourself a favor and just book a private transfer.
If you are in the hotel zone of Cancun, you either have to get to Cancun Downtown, where the buses and colectivos depart or opt for a private transfer. There is no regular mode of transportation between the hotel zone and Playa del Carmen.
FAQ: Transport to Cozumel
What is the best way to get to Cozumel?
Nearly all ways to get to Cozumel are good, and at the end of the day, the best option for you depends both on your budget and how convenient you want the transfer to be.
If you are traveling on a budget, it is best to take the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen and then the ferry. Should you be arriving at Cancun Airport and do not want to worry about a thing, a private transfer straight to the ferry terminal in Playa is ideal.
And of course, you can also fly directly to Cozumel if you are departing or connecting in a selection of American and Canadian cities.
Is it worth it to travel to Cozumel?
The island of Cozumel is great, and offers everything from fantastic scuba diving, to snorkeling, great food, street art, and archeological sites. Therefore, Cozumel is well worth a visit.
Roundup: Getting to Cozumel
As you can see, there are different ways to get to Cozumel, and it is usually never more than two modes of transportation including the ferry that takes you to the island. Therefore, it is quite easy to reach the island even if you do not book a direct flight or want to spend money on a private flight from Cancun Airport.
There are options for every budget and convenience. You only have to decide which way to get to Cozumel suits your needs the most.
At the end of the day, Cozumel is amazing, and you will not regret visiting the island. Therefore, you should consider taking the ferry there even if only for a day. However, I highly recommend staying longer, so you can see more of what this magical island has to offer. I, for one, cannot wait to return!
Not sure how to get Cozumel?
Pin This list of transport options!