Important COVID-19 update: Because of the COVID pandemic, ferries run less regularly. In February 2021, the two passenger ferries (Ultramar and Winjet) alternate their services each day. One day Ultramar runs the ferry and the next day Winjet. Always check the latest schedules on the booking platforms or check at the ferry terminal.
How to get from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel (and back)?
Cozumel is a paradise destination for scuba divers and sea lovers in the Mexican Caribbean. A part of the world’s second-largest barrier reef is within the limits of Cozumel, with over 30 diving spots for both beginners as well as experienced divers.
If diving isn’t your thing, you don’t have to miss out. You can still explore the underwater wonders with a submarine expedition, a very popular and unique experience offered in Cozumel.
Cozumel has enough activities to keep you busy for a week. In addition to scuba diving, you can chill at one of the many crystal water beaches, take a snorkelling trip, sample the island’s delicious food and enjoy its gorgeous sunrise views. Situated on the island, you’ll also be able to find Mayan ruins that are considered one of the most significant in the Mayan religion.
If you are short on time, you also visit Cozumel as a day trip from Playa del Carmen, but we recommend spending at least a couple of nights to be able to explore the island in-depth.
2 ways to get from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel (and back)
The only way to get to travel from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel is by boat. Most tourists take a passenger ferry that takes about 40 minutes. Ferry companies offer both single and roundtrip tickets and rates range between 210 – 290 MXN ($10 – $14) for a one-way ticket.
The ferries depart several times a day from the port located on Playa del Carmen’s city centre. The boats offer both indoor and outside seating. You can choose to enjoy the ocean views or the refreshing air conditioning indoors.
Also, if you wish to travel with your own or rented vehicle, you’ll need to travel via the vehicle ferry. This service is provided by Transcaribe and prices start at 800 MXN ($37). These ferries depart from Calica Port located 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen’s city centre to the south.
Itinerary from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel (and back)
Passenger ferries to Cozumel depart from Playa del Carmen’s ferry port, located at the end of fifth avenue, the main street in Playa del Carmen. It’s within the city centre and several accommodations are just a few minutes walking from the port.
The ferry service is provided by two companies: Ultramar and Winjet. Both are very similar in terms of service and have big and stable boats that shouldn’t make you feel seasick.
They are both equipped with comfortable seats, toilets and a cafeteria on board where you can buy soft drinks and snacks.
Ultramar is a bigger company that serves other routes within the Mayan Riviera, but it’s also more expensive. If you are looking for the cheapest way to get to Cozumel, we recommend you using the Winjet ferries which provide a great service at a lower price.
Boats depart from Playa del Carmen’s port roughly every hour from 07:30 to 22:00. You’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure. You can check the availability and book both the Ultramar and Winjet ferries through BookAway, or directly on their websites.
If you wish, you can buy your tickets directly at the port but be aware that there are many travel agencies around that will overcharge you. Therefore, avoid third parties and buy your tickets directly at the companies’ ticket shops.
The boats will drop you at Cozumel’s Ferry Port located in the town’s centre. Lots of accommodations are located within walking distance. To move around the island the best option is to rent a bike, golf cart or car.
Taxis are also available, and their rates will depend on the distance and your ability to negotiate with the driver. Usually, the taxi rates start around 50 MXN ($2.30).
Cozumel to Playa del Carmen by Passenger Ferry (the way back)
Duration: 40 minutes Cost: From 210 MXN ($10)
Going back to Playa del Carmen from Cozumel is very easy. If you booked a roundtrip ticket you just need to show up at the port at the time and date you chose.
If you didn’t book a return ticket, you can book your ticket online on BookAway or directly at the port.
Ferries going back to Playa del Carmen depart from the Cozumel’s Ferry port on the northwest side of the island, the same place where the ferry drops you off from Playa del Carmen.
The ride takes around 40 minutes and the boat will drop you at Playa del Carmen Ferry port, the same one where you boarded the ferry that brought you to Cozumel.
As we mentioned previously, the ferry port is located within the city centre, within walking distance of many accommodations. In case you want to continue your journey to another destination, it’s also just two blocks away from Playa del Carmen Turistica Bus Station.