14 Best Public Beaches in Cozumel That Are Free

We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Luckily, there are still some pretty awesome things in life that aren’t subject to an admission price — public beaches!

Yes, if you want to enjoy a day on the beach without shelling out cash, you can find several great spots around Cozumel that don’t require any payment (or close to being free).

Come with the expectation that you won’t leave the island feeling disappointed when it comes to the sandy shores.

In this article, we cover the top 14 best public beaches in Cozumel that you need to check out.

1. Playa Azul

Looking for a secluded spot to enjoy some sun, sea, and sand? Playa Azul will tick all the boxes.

This idyllic spot is located on the northwest corner of Cozumel, and it’s the perfect place to relax and recharge.

Whether you want to go snorkeling or sunbathing, you’ll find everything you need here – the waves are perfectly calm, and the water is crystal clear.

And if you get peckish, the restaurant at Playa Azul Beach Club is definitely worth checking out.

Pack your beach bag and get ready for an unforgettable day by the sea at Playa Azul!

Playa Azul
Playa Azul Photo by zanzibar

2. Playa Corona

Playa Corona is an unassuming beach in Cozumel, and its shorelines certainly won’t win any beauty pageants.

Don’t expect to find anywhere to lay out and soak up the sun – this isn’t that kind of beach.

But what Playa Corona lacks in sandy beaches, it makes up for in underwater adventures. 

Visitors can enjoy some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in Cozumel, all against the backdrop of a stunning coral reef.

The Chankanaab Reef is just offshore, making it easy to jump in and explore the vibrant underwater world. So if you’re ready to get wet, this is the perfect place to cool off.

Just be sure to bring your own snorkeling gear, or be prepared to rent it when you get there.

If you’re looking for a public beach that’s typically less crowded than other options, Playa Corona is definitely worth a visit.

3. Playa Uvas

Take a break from sweltering heat by enjoying some refreshing beach time at Playa Uvas.

There are two main beaches here – Playa Uva Norte and Playa Uva Sur – which means there’s lots of space on either side so you can find your own little slice without being disturbed.

At Playa Uva Sur, you’ll find the beach club has a pool and loungers for relaxing in style, while the restaurants serve authentic seafood delicacies.

Playa Uva Norte is more limited in facilities, but if you’re looking for a more remote and secluded spot, it’s the place to go.

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4. Isla Pasion

Just when you thought your Cozumel experience couldn’t get any better, Isla Pasion comes along to prove you wrong.

This idyllic destination is connected to Cozumel by a small land bridge, and it boasts all the amenities that have made Cozumel renowned: white sand beaches, palm trees, and endless views of the Caribbean sea.

But what sets Passion Island apart is its intimate atmosphere; with only a handful of visitors each day, you’ll feel like you’ve found your own personal paradise.

While there is a small fee to enter the beach club, it is well worth it for the amenities (umbrellas, loungers, and hammocks).

So if you’re looking for a truly unique Cozumel experience, be sure to add Isla Pasion to your itinerary.

Isla Pasion
Isla Pasion Photo by bettyloulou70

5. Playa Chen Rio

Playa Chen Rio is one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches on Cozumel’s East Coast.

It can get crowded at times, but the stunning blue waters and soft white sand make it well worth the effort.

This beach is especially lovely because it is sheltered from the strong trade winds that often whip up the waves on other parts of the island.

As a result, Playa Chen Rio is one of the calmer beaches on the east coast, making it wonderful for swimming. Lifeguards are on duty as well!

And when you get hungry, head to the nearby El Pescador restaurant for some delicious seafood.

6. Playa El Cielo

Playa El Cielo, or “Heaven’s Beach,” lives up to its name with crystal-clear water that seems to go on forever.

This secluded spot is only accessible by boat, so you can be sure that you’ll have the beach practically to yourself. The easiest way to get here is to join a snorkel tour by catamaran.

And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a few of the thousands of starfish that call El Cielo home. Snorkeling is a must here, as there are plenty of reefs to explore just offshore.

7. Playa San Juan

Looking for a place to soak up some sun and enjoy the turquoise waters of Cozumel? Head on over to Playa San Juan – one of the island’s most popular family beaches.

Located near Buccanos Beach Club, this beach is convenient and easily accessible, with plenty of things to do nearby.

If you’re visiting when cruise ships are in port, just be aware that it might be a bit more crowded than usual.

Snorkeling is a popular activity at Playa San Juan and you can rent gear right on-site.

But if you’re looking for more amenities, check out the beach club that serves fresh seafood, snacks and refreshing drinks.

There are also plenty of hammocks hidden away in the trees so you can chill out in style.

Sunset Beach Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving Photo by Sunset Beach

8. Sunset Beach

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get your snorkeling fix while in Cozumel, Sunset Beach is where you want to go.

Located right next to the cruise port, Sunset Beach is known for being one of the best snorkeling beaches on the island.

There’s no need to walk through sand to get to the water here – just a set of stairs that will lead you right into the crystal clear waters. Once you’re in, you’ll be able to see an array of colorful fish and coral.

If your time is limited on the island, this is definitely the closest and most convenient option.

Keep in mind that if there are a lot of cruise ships in port, the Sunset Beach Restaurant adjacent to the shore will likely be quite crowded.

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9. Playa San Francisco

Playa San Francisco is a beautiful beach that offers plenty of activities for tourists and locals alike.

The turquoise waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, and the soft sand is ideal for sunbathing and building sandcastles.

This popular beach is packed with visitors in the high season, but it’s still a great place to stroll along the shore or go for a swim.

There are also several restaurants and bars in the area, so you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail or a delicious meal while enjoying the stunning views.

And if you’re looking for a taste of local flavor, stop by on Sunday when the locals flock to the beach to eat fresh fish.

Just be sure to bring your sunscreen – this is one sunny spot you won’t want to miss!

10. Playa Palancar

Looking for a quiet spot to relax on the island? Located just 15 minutes away from the cruise port, Playa Palancar is a long stretch of white sand that beckons weary travelers with its tranquil aura.

You don’t have to pay a cent to enjoy the sandy shores here! This free beach has plenty of space for you to spread out, plus bathrooms and change rooms if you need them.

You can also rent beach chairs and umbrellas from vendors on-site ($10 for the day).

So whether you’re looking to soak up some sun or enjoy a peaceful stroll along the shore, Playa Palancar is definitely worth a visit.

Playa Palancar
Playa Palancar photo by Corey Balazowich

11. Playa Dzul-Ha

Looking for a place to get your snorkel on? Playa Dzul-Ha is located near the InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort and is one of the best spots for snorkeling.

You don’t need a guided tour because you can simply wade into the water and start exploring the coral reefs.

The beach itself is a bit rocky, but it’s worth it for the amazing views of the surrounding reef. You can bring your own gear or rent equipment from the resort for about $10 per day.

If you’re not feeling confident in your snorkeling skills, don’t worry! There’s also guided snorkeling tours available.

12. Playa Punta Morena

Are you tired of the same old sun, sand, and sea? Cozumel’s East Coast is the perfect place to find some peace and quiet.

The white sand and turquoise waters of Playa Punta Morena are simply stunning, and there are bathrooms and showers available if you need them.

After a refreshing swim in the ocean, be sure to check out the seafood restaurant for some delicious food and live music. You won’t be disappointed!

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13. Playa Bonita

Playa Bonita is the Eastern Coast’s best-kept secret. This secluded coastline is known for its gentle waves, powdery shoreline, and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

The best part? It’s relatively unknown, so you can avoid the crowds that flock to other beaches on the island.

And if you’re looking for something to do beyond lounge on the beach, you’re in luck. Just a short walk from Playa Bonita, you’ll find some incredible Mayan ruins.

These ancient structures are definitely worth a visit, and they provide a fascinating glimpse into Cozumel’s rich history.

14. Playa San Martin

Cozumel’s Playa San Martin is a hidden gem, tucked away from the crowds of cruise passengers that flock to the island’s more well-known beaches.

This secluded spot offers soft white sand and stunning turquoise waters – the perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Cozumel.

However, the currents can be a bit strong here at times, so swimming isn’t allowed. Despite this, Playa San Martin is definitely worth a stop.

Do note that you’ll need to rent a car or hire a driver, as this remote beach can be hard to reach without one.