Everyone should see Cozumel in Mexico, but you’re probably wondering how to get from Cancun to Cozumel. I love visiting the island as there are many fun things to do in Cozumel, especially scuba diving.
But Cozumel is an island, and getting there can put people off visiting—especially if you need to take the ferry from Cancun to Cozumel. In this post, I’m sharing how to get to Cozumel from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, the most common starting points.
Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress.
Best Cozumel Tours: Click here to check out the top Cozumel tours
Best Cozumel Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Cozumel
Best Cozumel Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Cozumel
The main thing to consider when asking, “How far is Cozumel from Cancun?” is that, unless you take flights from Cancun to Cozumel, you must take the Cancun to Cozumel ferry. There’s no direct ferry from Cancun to Cozumel, so you must connect through Playa del Carmen.
Need Accommodations in Cozumel?
Check out my guide to accommodation in Cozumel here. I recommend these three places:
Stingwray Villas Boutique Hotel in Cozumel
The Landmark Resort
Casa del Solar Centro Cozumel
How Far is Cancun to Cozumel? How to Get to Cozumel From Cancun
The best way to get from Cancun to Cozumel depends on your budget and how quickly you want to arrive. If possible, consider direct flights from Cancun to Cozumel. Even if it costs $100 extra, it’s probably worth it for the time you’ll save.
You can fly from Cancun Airport, but many companies only operate during peak season, and you’ll likely need to book a private plane. Expect to pay at least $500 for flights from Cancun to Cozumel (same for the return trip from Cozumel to Cancun).
If you can’t fly directly to Cozumel and renting a private plane is out of your budget, you must travel by land and sea. Depending on your budget and comfort level, there are several ways to do this. As mentioned, you must first get to Playa del Carmen for the Cancun to Cozumel ferry. To avoid the fuss, book a private transfer and ferry service.
Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.
If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.
Option 1: Flights From Cancun to Cozumel
If you have the budget, this is the way to go! Chartering a plane is easy via Fly Cozumel, and you can fly directly from Cancun to Cozumel with no “bag drag,” ferry lines, or fuss. Click here for a quote for a private plane to Cozumel (or from Cozumel to Cancun).
Option 2: Taxi and Cancun to Cozumel Ferry
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
I don’t suggest the taxi from Cancun as it’s overpriced and you’ll get ripped off if you’re an English-speaking tourist. Even if you agree on the price before you get in the taxi, the drivers will often demand large tips—avoid them unless you have no choice.
If you take a taxi, do not pay more than 1500 pesos and ask them to take you to the Cozumel ferry. They can’t drop you right there but can get you within walking distance. If you have many bags, bicyclists often bicyclists help with your luggage for a fee.
Option 3: Private Transfer and Ferry From Cancun to Cozumel
This is the best option for comfort. Book a private transfer to Playa del Carmen with Cancun Airport Transportation for as low as $50. They will be there waiting for you at the airport, generally with a cold, wet towel so you can freshen up. This isn’t ideal for solo travelers but is a good choice for groups from Cancun to Cozumel. You can also use a private transfer service, which includes a ferry transfer.
Option 4: ADO Bus and Ferry
Those on a budget who don’t want to pay for a minibus should opt for the ADO bus. From the Cancun airport, head to one of the ADO bus stations and book a ticket to Playa del Carmen. It will cost around $10-15 USD, but you must pay in cash. Carry some pesos on you—there are ATMs in the airport. The buses run regularly and are air-conditioned. The ADO bus station in Playa del Carmen is near the ferry to Cozumel, so your walk will be the same as taking a taxi or private transfer.
Playa del Carmen to Cozumel Ferry
From Playa del Carmen, you must take a ferry to Cozumel. Two companies operate this route and charge the same price. Both generally depart on the hour every hour, but there are some exceptions in the early morning and at night.
People will try selling you tickets to Cozumel as soon as you get off the bus or taxi. I always walk past them and buy from the office closer to the ferry because I prefer to pay with a card. Nine times out of 10, when I’ve purchased from the small booths, either the card machine isn’t working, or it’s so slow I’ve missed the ferry. It doesn’t matter much since they charge the same. I usually use Ultramar as I prefer their boats, but there isn’t much difference between the two companies.
Book a one-way ticket or a return—there isn’t a significant discount for booking roundtrip. The cost of the Cozumel ferry for tourists is around 400 pesos roundtrip. You can pay extra for a first-class ticket, but I never do.
Once you have your ticket, it’s time to go inside and get in line. Since both ferries leave at the same time, it often gets crowded. Look for the line of the company you booked—everyone enters together and has to go through security before boarding the ferry.
Things to Know:
- You can take your bike on the ferry for no extra charge. You will be directed to a different entrance on the ground floor, so you don’t have to get up the escalator with your bike.
- It’s the same if you have a lot of luggage or are in a wheelchair—enter from under the escalator.
- I always sit indoors in the AC rather than outside!
People Selling You Stuff
On both sides of the ferry, you’ll find many people trying to sell you stuff. Do yourself a favor and walk right past. You will never get a good deal on things to do in Cozumel, and you will never get the best deals while leaving the Cozumel ferry terminal. Wait until you get to your accommodations and ask the hosts for their company recommendations.
I highly recommend renting a car in Cozumel, as it’s the best and safest way to see the island. Do not be tempted to rent from any companies at the ferry—instead, book ahead of time with a reputable local company. I always use Fiesta Rentals, the island’s most honest and reliable company. They will drop you off and pick you up at your accommodations, so you don’t need to stress about traveling to them, and their prices are very reasonable.
A roundtrip ticket typically costs 500 pesos (around $25), but booking online is more expensive. Locals can get an excellent discount, so bring your local ID card.
QUICK TIP: Book your tours, rental cars, and transfers through my local contacts
I’ve been working with Living Dreams Mexico for years and they are who I send all my family and friends to when they visit the Riviera Maya. I really can recommend them enough for private tours and experiences. They have solid 5* reviews on Trip Advisor and Google from almost 4000 reviewers! You can view all their tours here.
If you’re looking for private airport transfers and rental cars then Vanessa and Oliver from Turismo Channel are personal friends of mine and I can 100% recommend them to make an inquiry click here and complete the form. Someone will be in touch within 24 hours.
How to Get From Cozumel to Tulum
I wrote a whole post on getting from Playa to Tulum. To summarize, you can take a taxi, book a transfer, hop on a collectivo, or take the ADO bus. The cheapest option is a collective, which will drop you near the ferry on Calle 4—it’s not the most comfortable. You can also book a deal with Ultramar that includes features from Tulum.
Transportation in Cozumel
Do you need to rent a car in Cozumel, or are you curious about the best way to get around the island? Read this post on the ScubaTony Blog.
Cozumel Travel Guide Planning
🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Cozumel?
🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Cozumel?
I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.
🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Cozumel?
If you are traveling from Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.
🤿 What is the best diving operator in Cozumel?
I strongly recommend ScubaTony on the island as they are hands down the best dive operator there!
👩⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?
I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here
✈️ Any flight recommendations?
📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?
I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.
With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.
🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?
🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?
How Far is Cancun to Cozumel? Final Thoughts
You can take a flight to Cozumel or take a taxi, bus, or private transfer to Playa del Carmen and go from there. The transportation method you choose depends on your budget and travel preferences. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to travel to Cozumel next time in Mexico!