From Playa del Carmen the local ferries to Cozumel leave on the hour, and so it’s a good day out and a chance to see another place
To get to the ferry dock just head to Calle 1 down from Fifth avenue and it’s hard to miss. You have the choice of the slow ferry for $9 or the fast ferry for $15. Either way, the slow ferry is 45 minutes and the fast one 30. The fast ferry is just nicer looking, with an on-board bar and Mariachi band. To experience both we took the slow ferry there and the fast (yellow) ferry back.
On reaching Cozumel you will be instantly swamped with guides, people offering you scooters, jeeps, snorkel trips, glass bottom boats etc. We opted just to walk around the port town of San Miguel, which was pleasant though definately geared for tourists stepping off the ferry. The town got more pleasant the further away from the docks we ventured so we spent a little time wandering the streets, until we stumbled on a great lunch spot called Abuelo Gerardo (Grandfather Gerard). This was located at 10th avenue 21 Juarez and 2 Norte.
We enjoyed a wonderful family atmosphere and great food in the gardens of this restaurant whilst listening to bad '80s music!!
Next we got a taxi van ($25 for six of us) to the nearby beach of Playa Paradise and Playa San Francisco.
Compared to Playa Del Carmen these beaches are a little disappointing and had obvious damage from hurricane Wilma, giving them a run down feeling in parts. Playa San Francisco was fun though with a couple of bars, beach chairs, Kayaks (to rent), and big water trampolines to play or just sunbath on.
We spent a pleasant afternoon here before heading back on the late afternoon ferry