Cozumel is a Caribbean paradise island that’s just a quick ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. It makes for a great side excursion to go snorkelling or scuba diving on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, enjoy a quiet beach club, or explore the town of San Miguel de Cozumel. Keep reading to learn how to take the ferry to Cozumel.
The ferry is technically two ferries operated by different companies: the yellow and blue Ultramar ferry and the orange Winjet ferry. They run every our, on the top of the hour, from the ferry terminal near Parque Los Fundadores.
One ferry departs one hour, then the next company departs the next hour, and they alternate each day. So the key is to not get hung up on which ferry you want to take, and don’t worry about booking in advance. Simply get to the ferry terminal, and purchase a ticket on the next departing ferry. The ticket booths for both Ultramar and Winjet clearly indicate the time of the next ferry departure. For the same reason, only buy a one-way ticket, to give you flexibility with your return.
As you approach the Playa del Carmen ferry terminal, you’ll likely get approached by hawkers and booths claiming to sell ferry tickets. Ignore them and make your way to the terminal, where you’ll find ticket booths for Winjet (in orange) and Ultramar (in yellow and blue). If you’re going with Ultramar, they have automated ticketing machines that take credit card, which might help you skip the ticket line.
With your ticket in hand, you can enter the terminal and wait for boarding. The Playa del Carmen ferry terminal has some basic bench seating, but unfortunately on the way back, there’s no seating at the Cozumel ferry terminal. Luckily, with hourly departures you’re never waiting too long.
If you have large luggage, you’ll hand it over to baggage handlers at the rear of the ferry before you board. You’ll take small luggage onboard with you.
The crossing takes about 35 minutes since both ferry companies operate high speed catamarans. Both offer an interior, air conditioned cabin with comfortable seating, as well as exterior seating. The Ultramar ferry also offer exterior seating at the very front of the vessel (although be be prepared for some sea spray).
On windy days, the crossing can get a bit choppy, so be prepared with Gravel.
You’ll arrive at the Cozumel ferry terminal, centrally located in San Miguel de Cozumel near Parque Benito Juárez. If you need to take a taxi to your destination, you’ll find an organized taxi stand just to your left as you exit the terminal.
Returning from Cozumel operates similarly, although the Cozumel ferry terminal is much more chill compared to Playa del Carmen. As you enter the terminal, you’ll find the ticket booths for both Winjet and Ultramar across from each other, both clearly displaying the time of the next departure.