Sunshine is in abundance along Mexico’s Riviera Maya, which is why this region draws in so many tourists every year. Cozumel is surrounded by beaches on all sides, and there are many great places to soak up some of the sunshine. The island is best known for snorkeling and scuba diving, and most of the southern portion of the island is protected inside the Arricifes de Cozumel National Park. There are also many sandy beaches to visit during your trip to Cozumel. Today we’re going to tell you about Palancar Beach, which is one of our top choices on the island.
Cozumel has some of the most beautiful stretches of beach anywhere we’ve found in Mexico. If you’re looking for a recommendations for how to spend your afternoon, the best places to relax on the beach are located along the western shore of the island. What we love about Palancar, is how remote it feels. From the main highway, you must drive along a dirt road through the jungle before arriving you to the parking lot. Palancar is located as far north as you can get on the west side before you reach the National Park, and the next area from here is El Cielo, which is only accessible by boat.
Once you arrive at the parking lot, there are guys there who will help you find a spot to park for a small tip, which is a small price to pay knowing that your car will be safe. Most of the beach clubs on the island charge an entry fee, but Palancar is actually free, although part of the expectation here is that you will visit the beach club.
There are plenty of amenities located here, including a nice covered beach club where you can order food and drinks or sit under a beach umbrella. The sand here is quite nice, and the water is perfect for swimming. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to sit on the beach, this is the place for you. One thing that we usually do before indulging in tacos and beers, is to walk straight to the water and take a left (head south) towards the empty stretch of beach here.
This is where you will find a beautiful long stretch of undisturbed beachfront and some privacy from the crowds. There are a few rocky features off the shore here that are good for snorkeling – last time we visited we saw hundreds of lobsters – but this beach is best for just swimming in the water and enjoying the sunshine. This secret spot is definitely the best free beach on the island.