Photos of Cozumel often look like the work of a masterful Photoshop artist, but the sand really is that white and the water is truly a brilliant turquoise. Add to the mix balmy year-round temperatures, world-class diving, a smattering of Mayan ruins, hopping nightlife and all-age attractions and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect getaway.
Who should go?
Moms and dads with kids of all ages in tow.
Whether you’ve got very young kids or teens, Chankanaab National Park ticks all the boxes for fun—seal shows and shallow pools for the wee ones, snorkelling and animal encounters (crocs and seals) for the older set. School-age kids can also get a fun crash course in the country’s history at the Discover Mexico theme park.
With its eclectic, inexpensive menu and free wi-fi, Rock ‘n Java Caribbean Bar & Grill has burgers, nachos and plenty more to satisfy even fussy types. For something fancier, head to Guido’s. While parents feast on lobster carbonara and seafood platters, youngsters can nibble on pizza and house-made coconut and lime tarts.
Skip the expensive snorkelling tours and buy your own equipment at the local MEGA store. Or head to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, where beach access, snorkelling and water toys are free.
Who should go?
Party-hearty types who survived spring exams and are looking to live it up, on and off the beach.
Here, it’s all about the beach scene, and there’s no shortage of thumping music, boozy cocktails and line dancing at Carlos ‘n Charlie’s Beach Club on Playa San Francisco. Take a dip, dance, drink and repeat.
Don’t let appearances fool you. Mister Taco’s food is top-notch, fresh and cheap (less than $1 each). That’s why it’s always crowded with locals. Try a taco al pastor, made with sliced roast pork. For a more refined experience, go to Kinta Mexican Bistro. The margaritas are sublime (especially the hibiscus and mango versions), and the shrimp dishes are wickedly good.
Best place to imbibe
Loud and lively Neptuno brings together hundreds of locals and tourists with serious dance fever and dazzles them with a kicking sound system and light show. Don’t bother showing up before 11 p.m. The party starts late here.
WestJet flies to Cozumel twice a week from Toronto.