Cozumel at first glance is just another cheesy cruise-ship destination – at least, if you limit yourself to the hotel zone. But leave the tourist area behind and you'll find an island of quiet cool and authenticity. Garages still have shrines to the Virgin, there’s a spirited Caribbean energy and, of course, there are some vacation things to do, such as diving at some of the best reefs in the world.
While diving and snorkeling are the main draws, the town square is a pleasant place to spend the afternoon, and it's highly gratifying to explore the less-visited parts of the island on a rented scooter or car. The coastal road leads to small Maya ruins, a marine park and cliffside bars, passing captivating scenery along the unforgettable windswept shore. And while the nightlife here doesn't rival Playa's or Cancún's, there's plenty to do after the sun goes down.