El Cid La Ceiba Beach is an all-inclusive resort with sweeping views of the Caribbean and an onsite spa and dive center. While here, you’ll be right on the beach, a few minutes’ drive from the Playa del Carmen mainland ferry, and 3 miles from the shops and restaurants of downtown San Miguel.
Onsite dining: Meals are served at the waterfront La Chopa Restaurant and at the à la carte Trattoria Da Salvatore. A swim-up bar serves poolside snacks and unlimited domestic beverages.
Go swimming: Along with a stretch of private beach steps away, this resort has two swimming pools—one a tidal pool with waterfalls and rock formations.
Underwater views: Head to the onsite dive center to take lessons from dive masters and snorkel around the Paradise and Las Palmas reefs.
Special perks: This deal includes passes to the resort’s Fly High Adventures Eco-Park, where you can zipline through the jungle on six trails and catch glimpses of Cozumel’s greenery and animal life from above.
Cozumel, Mexico: Relaxed Tropical Island with World-Class Diving
Cozumel, Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, lies just off the eastern coast of the Yucatán peninsula. Compared to Cancún—Mexico's spring-break capital, located 50 miles north—Cozumel is decidedly laid-back. Formerly a fishing settlement, the island remains blissfully free of high-rise resorts and other signs of overdevelopment. Visitors here tend to focus more on exploring the wilderness than on late-night beach parties. Adventure-tour companies arrange expeditions by land or by sea, including trips to ancient Mayan ruins and the island’s jungles, marshes, and dive sites known for deep canyons and tunnels.
More than 500 species of fish swim among turtles, rays, and countless other aquatic animals inside the coral formations at Palancar Reef, one of the dozens of diving and snorkeling sites encircling Cozumel. Another site, just off the northwestern coast, houses a 40-passenger Convair airliner. Sunk in 1977 for the filming of a Mexican disaster movie, the plane has become overgrown with coral and sea fans and is frequented by schools of colorful parrotfish. Above the surface, you’ll find white-sand beaches frequented by sunbathers.
There's only one city on the island—San Miguel de Cozumel, where street vendors on a waterfront promenade sell everything from jewelry to Cuban cigars. It’s also where you’ll find an assortment of clubs and bars showcasing live reggae-salsa fusion and jazz bands.