How to Get to El Cielo Beach in Cozumel (+ Snorkeling and Tours)

Cozumel Island, the perfect getaway for both the peacefulness and the heavenly El Cielo Beach. The island of Cozumel is located less than 50 miles from Cancun and less than 30 miles from the accessible neighbor Playa del Carmen.

Cozumel is about 250 square miles vast and is home to some of the most beautiful spots in Mexico.

El Cielo Beach is exactly what makes Cozumel so special and visitors can find a retreat far from the tourist spots around.

El Cielo in Cozumel is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in one of México’s top vacation spots. The Spanish word for “heaven,” is aptly so-named because it looks like a place out of this world.

If you’re new to Cozumel or you simply miss some details about the area, this is everything you need to know about El Cielo.

How To Get to Cozumel?

Cozumel is a Mexican island just off the coast of Cancun. Visitors from Cancun can fly directly into Cozumel’s international airport. However, it isn’t the most cost-efficient way to travel to Cozumel.

The most affordable and overall best way to get to Cozumel is by getting to Playa del Carmen or Punta Venado to then jump on a ferry from there.

The trip from Cancun to Playa del Carmen will cost you anything between $6 and $9 depending on the company you choose.

On top of that, if you’re traveling from outside Mexico, a tourism tax has to be paid upon arrival in Quintana Roo. This hassle-free procedure takes only a few minutes and can be done very quickly on Visitax. Just like the online travel permit for St. Lucia – another Caribbean island, available at, Visitax is mandatory for every foreign visitor.

Where is El Cielo Beach Located?

After being hidden from the public for years, El Cielo beach, a pristine and secluded paradise, is now a popular destination among tourists.

El Cielo can be found near the southernmost point right on Cozumel Island. There isn’t much to visit around apart from the jungle and the stunning reefs, making it a hidden gem.

How to Get to El Cielo Beach in Cozumel?

El Cielo is not accessible by car although the main road, Quintana Roo C-1, isn’t far. That said, you would need to walk through the jungle to get to the Playa El Cielo, which, unfortunately, makes things pretty hard.

As a general rule of thumb, visitors who want to reach El Cielo in a reasonable and comfortable way will need to take a boat.

The most popular and common way to get to El Cielo is by joining a daily tour which will set you back to anything between $50 to $70 per person.

Can I Get to El Cielo Beach By Car?

Touring Mexico by car is an unforgettable experience. However, as mentioned previously, the only way to get to El Cielo Beach is by getting a boat.

In fact, Playa El Cielo is one of those places where vehicular access isn’t possible and you’ll need to leave your car away. We recommend coming on a normal ferry from Playa del Carmen and join a day trip to the beach.

Nevertheless, if you want to get to this place without any hassle then all you need is an airport shuttle service which can take care of everything for you.

What to Bring to El Cielo Beach in Cozumel

Since you can’t travel by car to El Cielo beach in Cozumel, you’ll need to get everything ready for your boat trip.

First and foremost, you’ll want to bring a towel and a camera to record your memories when snorkeling. In fact, once at the beach, you’ll be in close contact with starfish, turtles, coral reefs, and even dolphins if you’re lucky.

Secondly, don’t forget your sunscreen as we’re pretty sure you don’t want to get sunburnt. That said, it needs to be biodegradable since Cozumel prohibits regular one due to it damaging the coral reefs.

Last but not least, and while most companies provide them on tours, you should also bring masks and snorkeling fins to make the most of it.

Best Spots Around El Cielo Beach in Cozumel

Snorkeling is the main and most unique activity on El Cielo beach. However, these are the other things to do that are worth the long trip through the jungle and stunning waters.

Palancar Reef

Palancar reef is one of the most unique and things to do in Cozumel. The Palancar Reef is an underwater wonderland, home to the most diverse group of marine life in the Caribbean. The 3.5 mile-long reef features a variety of coral formations with varying dive depths and incredible visibility for snorkeling amateurs. Apart from being stunningly beautiful, it’s important to mention that the Cozumel reef is second in size in the world and has hundreds of varieties of marine life!. Only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is bigger, to give you an idea.

Colombia Reef

Colombia Reef is another idyllic paradise. It is one of Cozumel’s top snorkeling and diving spots, with its shallows offering incredible views for beginners to advanced divers alike.

At Colombia reef, you can see these beautiful creatures up close without having to venture too deep beneath the water and get prepared for El Cielo sandbar.

El Cielito Cozumel

After visiting El Cielo, most tours and private boats usually go to Playa El Cielito – which translates to “Little Heaven”. El Cielito is another beach with impressive turquoise water that you can’t miss. You’ll get to relax in the shallow water and enjoy your time before going back to the hotel area in Cozumel.

Should You Book Your El Cielo Beach Snorkeling Tour in Advance?

The most practical way to get to Playa El Cielo is simply by joining a day tour. In fact, you’ll be served food and drinks the whole day, be taken to the sandbar and the reefs mentioned above, and it will make the experience unique.

Most El Cielo snorkeling tours cost an average of $60 per person unless you get to Cozumel on the spot and negotiate the price with boat drivers directly.

That said, we recommend booking your tour in advance, especially after the pandemic, as tours might be sold out quickly.

Last but not least, all guides and drivers speak English which is an advantage, especially if you don’t speak Spanish.

Are There Sharks Around Cozumel?

When you dive into the Cozumel waters, there will be all kinds of sharks waiting for you. They pop up out of nowhere in their natural environment all year round.

Shark sightings near shore mean an incredible opportunity for people who have never experienced what they’re like up close before.

Final Take on El Cielo Beach

El Cielo Beach is a great place to visit if you are looking for an authentic Mexican experience. If the activities of Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta don’t suit your needs, then Cozumel’s beautiful beaches will be just what you need.

With white sand and clear blue waters that go on forever, it is no wonder why people flock here from all over the world.

To sum up, El Cielo beach is a hidden gem. With crystal clear waters and stunning views, the beach offers an escape in paradise for those who want to leave it all behind. If you’re looking for a place to relax with family or friends that will offer peace of mind, this is definitely worth checking out.



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