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Sunsets & Snorkeling on Cozumel’s North Side

Come for a snorkel and stay for the sunset. We’ve been cold for months, ever since we returned to Canada. In order to counter this, we needed some tropical pictures to warm us up. Today we’ve decided to show off the north Side of Cozumel. Winter is much more difficult in the north and it’s making us miss the island even more. The North side of Cozumel is home to several big hotels, condos, beach clubs and the island’s golf course. The thing we enjoyed the most about the north side was the sunsets, especially from Puerto Abrigo.

The concentration of buildings are all found along the waterfront, making this a small sliver of land surrounded by nature; the crystal blue Caribbean on one side and the wild jungle on the other side. Puerto Abrigo became one of our favourite places on the island to come watch the sun go down, and many of our best sunset pictures were taken here. Cozumel is Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, but most of the island is still uninhabited jungle. We usually visited here to come watch the sunset, take a dip in the water to snorkel with the fishes or take the dog for a walk on the beach.

We came here to snorkel a few times, and if you choose to take a dip in the water, remember that the North side has a wicked current that has taken the lives of several people, so please do be careful. If you just choose to come for the sunset it’s much safer with just your legs dangling over the edge.

What makes Cozumel’s North Side so amazing?

There are many great reasons to head up north to see what this side of the island has to offer. Located just north of the airport and the heart of San Miguel this small sliver of civilization is the perfect place to kick back and relax away from the crowds. With all the incredible views and great places the rest your head, the main reason we visited the north side was for the sunsets. Especially at seawall located next to the the Marina, Puerto Abrigo.

Many of our most memorable Sunsets on Cozumel were taken there. If you’ve seen any of our sunset pictures from previous years, you will know how much we love watching the sun disappear over the horizon of the Riviera Maya. While pulling pictures to feature here, it became quite clear that this really was our top place to watch the sun disappear. As you will see from the few pictures we have included today, they’re pretty unforgettable.

Puerto Abrigo Sunset. 2019.

How do you get to the North Side? It’s pretty simple. Just keep driving north. There is only one road that travels up and down the coast. Most of this area is walking distance from the edge of town and a short taxi ride for those of us who want to go into the middle of town and not just the edge. This part of the island is where you will find the tallest buildings on Cozumel, all clustered along the single road that travels north.

Olonés: the sunken Pirate Ship of Cozumel

The Olonés (named after the famous pirate Francois I´Olonnals) is one of the most famous boats on Cozumel. Their 2020 story is not the happiest of tales, and much like everyone else, had to overcome some serious challenges.

The island has seen its fair share of storms over the years and the islanders know how to brace themselves for the worst. During one of the many tropical storms in 2020, the island’s beloved pirate ship sunk in the harbour just north of the ferry terminal. The tourist industry had already been devastated by the effects of Covid and the lack of cruise ships. This was too much. Cristobal (the tropical storm) had sunk the boat.

Rescued Pirate Ship. 2020.

Hope seemed lost, but with the help of donations and the efforts of locals the ship was returned to the surface. It took three tries. They were fortunately able to raise the boat from the bottom of the ocean. We followed the news closely online, hoping for the best from this rescue. We watched the live stream of their attempts on Facebook. A few days afterwards, we took a boat trip towards to Isla de la Pasión and got a close up view of the work in progress.

While we were never able to ride the famous Galleon during our time on the island, we will hopefully have the chance again in the future. The dinner and a show (which includes an open bar) is one of the most highly rated attractions on the island.

How do you get to Cozumel’s North Side?

As explained above, there is no real secret to visiting this side of the island; just keep driving north. There is only one road and it will tell you when it’s time to turn around. Cozumel is one of the Riviera Maya’s hidden gems. While it is quite popular with cruise ships and day trips from Playa del Carmen, those who choose to spend longer than 24 hours will be rewarded with great food, incredible attractions and most importantly, the best place to watch the sunset on the Riviera Maya.

Cozumel’s North Side

North Side. 2019.
From above. Flying into Cozumel. 2019.
Sunset at Puerto Abrigo. 2018.
Rescued Pirate Ship. 2020.
Hotel B. 2019.
Lighthouse. 2020.
Sunset from Hemmingways. 2019.
The blue water at Puerto Abrigo. 2019.
Crashing Waves. 2019.
Snorkeling on the North Side. 2020.
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Arriving at Puerto Abrigo. 2018
Hemmingways. 2020.
Cozumel’s North Side. 2020.
Snorkeling on the North Side. 2019.
Hotel B from the sea. 2020.
Rescued Pirate Ship. 2020.
Snorkeling on the North Side. 2019.
Sunset on the North Side. 2020.
Mayan temple on Melgar. 2019.
View from Hemmingway. 2020.
Hotel B. 2018.
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Fishing Boat arriving at Puerto Abrigo. 2018.
Kayaks on the North Side. 2020.
Snorkeling on the North Side. 2019.
The beach at Monina Restaurant. 2020.
Hotel B. 2018.
On the North Side. 2020.
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Sunset at Puerto Abrigo. 2020.
Team photo (Rob and Maya). 2019.
North Zone hotel. 2020.
You are here. 2018.
Looking north from the patio at Hemingways. 2020.
Sunset on the North side. 2019.

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