The Cozumel Ferry Guide from Playa del Carmen
To get to the beautiful island of Cozumel, you’ll have to take the ferry. The ferry to Cozumel is pretty straightforward, and you shouldn’t have any trouble on your journey. We’ll go over how to catch the Cozumel ferry, where to get tickets, and a few instructions and thoughts about taking the ferry.
Taking the Playa del Carmen Ferry to Cozumel
Currently, there are two companies operating a ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel: Ultramar and Mexico Waterjets. The two companies are fairly similar, and the experience isn’t different enough to really care which company you ride with. The prices, service, safety, and ride are all comparable.
Where to Catch the Cozumel Ferry
First, you will need to know where the ferry actually is! The Playa del Carmen ferry can be found just southeast of Parque Fundadores, directly toward the beach from the mall. It’s the large pier right here, and you really can’t miss it. Although you cannot drive directly up to the ferry terminal, you can take a cab or drive pretty close. It’s just a block off the end of 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.
Getting Ferry Tickets
If you’re walking around town or 5th Avenue, you will likely see many vendors selling tickets for the ferry to Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. Although you can indeed by tickets in many places, we recommend buying yours at the actual Playa del Carmen ferry location. This ensures you get genuine tickets, and you’re likely to get the best price. Many of the third-party vendors just buy tickets and mark them up to make a profit. You can get your tickets at the ferry, or online ahead of time. Again, we recommend buying your ticket when you get there.
Costs of the Ferry to Cozumel
The costs of the ferries are constantly changing, but it’s relatively affordable. The ferries cost about 150-200 pesos each way, with a discount if you buy round-trip tickets. With the exchange rate changing, this comes out to about 8-10 USD each way per person. Frankly, we often take whichever ferry has room and is leaving next rather than worrying about the dollar or two difference you may find. If you’re local, you can present a resident ID for a substantial discount. Children also are about 40% cheaper.
When you buy your ticket for the Cozumel ferry, we recommend steering clear of extras. You may be told that you should get a premium, first class, or VIP ticket. However, the ferry to Cozumel is pretty comfortable and you shouldn’t find yourself needing anything extra for the quick thirty minute crossing. Whether you’re taking the Mexico Waterjets or Ultramar ferry to Cozumel, you may be surprised how comfortable and easy they are.
The Cozumel Ferry Schedule
The ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel does not run 24 hours a day. The return trip from Cozumel to Playa also has limits. Generally speaking, the ferries start at about 6:00 or 7:00am and end at 9:00 or 10:00pm. Times will vary during different seasons. The ferries run every hour, and leave on time. We recommend getting to the ferry terminal a bit early, maybe ten or fifteen minutes. It’s a relatively smooth process, easy to board, and find a seat. You just want to make sure you’re on time as they will leave without you!
Comfort on the Ferry
Perhaps the best adjective to describe the ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel is easy. As far as we know, all boats now have air conditioning, outdoor areas, and snack/drink service. Many of them also have live music and staff walking around offering food and drinks. It’s a pretty simple ride, and you can sit back and relax. Usually there isn’t much rocking, and seasickness isn’t a huge concern. The ferry to Cozumel takes just about thirty minutes, and you will land right at the center of San Miguel de Cozumel.
Getting from the Bus Station to the Ferry Terminal
If you’re traveling from Cancun or outside of Playa del Carmen to get to Cozumel, you may not end up right at the ferry building. The ADO bus drops off nearby, and taxis can indeed park pretty close. You can pull up a map, ask a taxi driver, or ask anyone walking around where the Cozumel ferry is if you don’t know. The ferry to Cozumel is about a mile from the main ADO station, and just two blocks from the stop on Fifth Avenue.
The Cozumel Car Ferry
If you need to bring a car over to the island, there is also a Cozumel car ferry. Transcaribe operates one of the car ferries, and this terminal is located a bit south of town (about five miles) in Calica. The cost is significantly more, running about 600 pesos each way. The departures are much less often, running about five times a day. It also takes much more time and you have to book in advance. You can get all the information at www.TransCaribe.net.
For what it’s worth, we strongly recommend not bringing your car over to Cozumel for many reasons. First, it’s expensive and generally not worth the cost and time. Unless you need a car for specific medical or personal reasons, you don’t really need to spend the money and deal with the whole thing. Second, cars aren’t super necessary on this island. There are taxis all around which are quite reasonable and you can rent a scooter on the island. Finally, Cozumel isn’t really a car island. There isn’t a ton of parking, and many people who bring cars find it to be more of a hindrance than a helpful tool.
Once you get over to Cozumel, enjoy yourself. Remember to plan your trip back and look at your flight times as the ferry is not running at all times of the day! Give yourself a little extra space with travel times. If you’re looking for things to do in Cozumel, be sure to check out our post 11 Exciting Things to Do in Cozumel!
Staying in Playa del Carmen? Be sure to check out our favorite hotels in Playa!