How to Visit Playa Palancar Cozumel Mexico in 2023
Are you interested in visiting Playa Palancar in Cozumel Mexico? You’ve come to the right guide!
Playa Palancar is hands-down one of the best beaches in Cozumel and an absolute must-see for anyone visiting the island.
As a travel blogger that lives in nearby Playa del Carmen, it’s my go-to beach anytime I visit Cozumel–it’s super relaxing and almost always seaweed-free!
In this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know about visiting Playa Palancar in Cozumel including how to get there, what to expect, and top things to do, as well as practical info like opening hours and costs.
So whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to unwind or in search of a fun day trip, keep reading to discover why Playa Palancar should be at the top of your Cozumel itinerary!
Where is Playa Palancar?
Playa Palancar is located on the southwestern coast of Cozumel island, about 30 minutes south of downtown San Miguel de Cozumel.
The beaches on the southwestern part of Cozumel island are considered the best on the island because they have powder white sand and are usually less rocky than most of the other beaches on Cozumel.
Playa Palancar’s location on the western side of the island also means that it rarely gets hit with seaweed like many other beaches in Riviera Maya.
Additionally, the location of Playa Palancar is a bit more secluded than other beaches in Cozumel, so it feels more like a hidden gem.
Driving times to Playa Palancar from nearby destinations are as follows:
- San Miguel de Cozumel to Playa Palancar: 30 minutes
- Playa del Carmen Ferry Terminal to Playa Palancar: 30 minutes
- Cruise Port to Playa Palancar: 25 minutes
- North Hotel Zone to Playa Palancar: 35 minutes
Playa Palancar Cozumel Mexico Map
Is Playa Palancar worth visiting?
Palancar Beach Cozumel is definitely worth visiting! With its crystal clear waters and powder white sand, it’s probably the best beach in Cozumel Mexico and a great place to relax and unwind.
But what makes Playa Palancar so attractive is that it’s one of the few beaches in Riviera Maya that rarely gets hit with seaweed.
So when the seaweed situation gets bad in other parts of Riviera Maya, Playa Palancar is a great option for those looking for an escape.
Plus, if you’re looking for a beach day, it makes for an easy day trip from Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya.
What I like about Playa Palancar is that it is a bit more secluded and doesn’t feel as touristy as some of the other beach clubs on Cozumel like Mr. Sanchos or Playa Mia Beach Club Cozumel.
Some of those other places can feel like a tourist trap but Playa Palancar feels more natural and untouched with a widespread beachfront.
Of course, there’s still a beach club and some water activities, but overall it feels less commercialized and has a more relaxed vibe.
Overall, a visit to Playa Palancar is one of the top things to do in Cozumel and shouldn’t be missed when visiting the island!
How to Get to Playa Palancar Cozumel
To get to Playa Palancar you can take a taxi, rent a car or jeep, or rent a scooter:
⛴ Note: If you’re coming from Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya, you’ll first need to take the ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. You can read my full Playa del Carmen day trip guide for more detailed info.
Take a Taxi
The easiest way to get to Playa Palancar is to take a taxi. There is a taxi stand outside of the ferry terminal in Cozumel, where you catch a taxi and it’s about a 30 minute ride.
Whenever you’re taking a taxi, always be sure to confirm the price with the driver before getting in. They usually have a rate card to popular destinations that you can verify as well.
The Playa Palancar taxi cost should be around $500 pesos (~$25 USD) each way. Be sure to have cash on hand (pesos or USD) as credit cards aren’t accepted.
If you’re going to Playa Palancar from the cruise port, there are taxis there as well and the price will likely be the same.
And if you’re staying at one of the resorts on Cozumel, the hotel staff can help to arrange a taxi for you.
Rent a Car or Jeep
If you want a little more adventure, you can also rent a car or jeep and drive to Playa Palancar yourself.
When my brother came to visit me, we rented a jeep in Cozumel and it was so fun cruising along the Cozumel coastline in an open top jeep.
Cozumel has some beautiful scenic drives along the coastal highway and the less developed eastern side of the island is just stunning!
Both cars and jeeps can be rented directly from the Cozumel ferry terminal once you arrive.
However, these are often in short supply so if you want to plan ahead, you can also search for Cozumel car rentals on Discover Cars online in advance.
If you do drive to Playa Palancar, there is a free parking lot on-site. Just be sure not to leave any valuables in your car.
👉 Search for Cozumel car rentals on Discover Cars by clicking here!
Rent a Scooter
Another option for getting to Playa Palancar is to rent a scooter. Similar to car and jeep rentals, scooters can be rented directly from the Cozumel ferry terminal.
Renting a scooter is a fun and fast way to get around the island. Just be sure to wear a helmet and drive carefully as scooter accidents are one of the top safety risks in Cozumel!
Is Playa Palancar free?
Yes, you technically don’t have to pay anything to visit Playa Palancar. There is no entrance fee and if you walk to the left of the beach club, there’s a narrow stretch of beach where you can relax free of charge.
All beaches in Mexico are legally open to the public so even though a lot of restaurants and beach clubs try to restrict access, you don’t need to pay any fee to visit the beach.
If you plan to do visit the beach on your own, just be sure to bring all of your own beach gear like a beach blanket, umbrella, cooler, snacks, etc.
On the other hand, if you want to utilize the Playa Palancar Beach Club for chair and umbrella rentals and food and beverage service, there is around a $12 USD consumption charge.
Playa Palancar Beach Club Cozumel
The Playa Palancar Beach Club is pretty much the only business located on Playa Palancar. It’s a bit of an older establishment and isn’t that special but it’s a nice place to relax and enjoy the beach.
Once you arrive, you’ll enter through the beach club, and you can sit at the restaurant/bar area with dining tables and thatched-roof palapas or head to the right side to rent lounge chairs on the beach.
Here’s what to know about the Playa Palancar Cozumel Beach Club:
Playa Palancar Beach Club Opening Hours
Playa Palancar Beach Club is open daily from 9AM-5PM. The property is gated so they are pretty strict about closing at 5PM even if you’re not using the beach club.
Playa Palancar Beach Club Cost
Playa Palancar Beach Club does not charge an entrance fee but if you wish to rent lounge chairs, there is around a $12 USD consumption charge.
If you’re planning to have any food and drinks, it’s not hard to meet the minimum consumption and it’s pretty inexpensive compared to other beach clubs in Cozumel.
The beach club does not do any type of all inclusive Playa Palancar day pass, so all food and drink items are a la carte.
Credit cards are accepted there but it’s always good to have cash on hand in case there’s any issues with credit card machines. Cell service/wifi can be a little spotty in Cozumel.
Playa Palancar Beach Club Menu
The menu at Playa Palancar Beach Club serves your average beach club fare like nachos, tacos, burgers, seafood, and sandwiches.
Plus, there’s a full bar so you can order whatever cold drinks you like, including frozen cocktails, beers, and margaritas.
Like most beach clubs in Cozumel, the food there is not amazing but it will hit the spot and you can’t beat the view!
Playa Palancar Beach Club Amenities
There aren’t too many amenities at the Playa Palancar Beach Club so don’t expect swimming pools or loads of activities like you might find at other Cozumel beach clubs.
But there are restrooms and an outdoor shower available where you can freshen up at the end of the day.
Plus, there’s a small souvenir shop on-site if you want to pick up any Cozumel souvenirs.
Playa Palancar Beach Club Parking
Free parking is available outside of the beach club. There is a parking attendant there that might expect a small tip, but it’s not required.
Things to Do at Playa Palancar
These are the top things to do at Playa Palancar:
Relax at the beach club
The best thing to do at Playa Palancar is to simply relax at the beach club! They have umbrellas and comfortable lounge chairs available for rent.
Plus, there’s a full menu of food and drink options–all which will be brought right to your chair.
Not much better than kicking back with a margarita or cold beer on a gorgeous beach in Mexico!
Enjoy some water activities
At Playa Palancar, there are some water sports and activities available like a floating platform just off shore.
There’s also a dive shop on the beach, where you can rent snorkel gear and equipment if you want to do some Playa Palancar snorkeling and and see some marine life.
This makes Playa Palancar a great family-friendly beach destination. It’s not quite as action-packed as other beach clubs but there’s still enough to keep kids entertained.
Book a Playa Palancar snorkeling tour to El Cielo
There’s a small dive shop on the beach called Dalila Divers Palancar, where can book Palancar beach snorkeling tours and scuba diving trips around Cozumel.
One nearby snorkeling tour is to El Cielo, which is one of the most popular snorkeling spots on Cozumel and not that far from Playa del Carmen.
El Cielo is a stunning sandbar where you can snorkel with giant starfish in unbelievably turquoise water–it is truly incredible! Plus, you’ll get to snorkel at Colombia and Palancar Reef as well.
I booked this tour from the dive shop one of the times I went to Playa Palancar and it was a blast–and it’s a little cheaper than if you book an El Cielo tour from downtown Cozumel.
See some wildlife
Another unique thing about Playa Palancar is that the beach club is home to some exotic wildlife.
While there, you’ll likely get to see large peacocks, coatis, and raccoons around the property. The peacocks are brightly colored and make for a great photo op!
Getting Back to Downtown Cozumel
Once you’re ready to leave Playa Palancar, getting back to downtown Cozumel is easy and you can just reverse your chosen transportation method.
There are usually taxis waiting outside of the beach club so it’s easy to get a taxi for the return trip. Just remember to have enough cash on hand — it should be around $500 pesos (~$25 USD).
The beach club closes around 5PM so you’ll pretty much need to leave around this time.
Playa Palancar Cozumel: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Playa Palancar Cozumel Mexico:
Playa Palancar is located about 20 minutes south of the Cozumel cruise ship dock.
A taxi to Playa Palancar from the Cozumel ferry costs around $500 pesos (~$25 USD) each way.
There is no entrance fee for Playa Palancar but if you wish to rent chairs and umbrellas at the beach club, there is a $12 USD charge.
The clearest turquoise waters in Cozumel can be found on the western side of the island, as it rarely gets hit with seaweed.
Not usually. There can be seaweed occasionally at Playa Palancar but the majority of the time it is seaweed-free.
The western side of Cozumel typically has no seaweed since it is blocked by the island’s eastern coast.
Conclusion: Playa Palancar Beach Cozumel Visitor Guide
Are you ready to visit Playa Palancar?! I hope this Playa Palancar Cozumel visitor guide has given you some insight on what to expect when visiting.
It’s my favorite beach on Cozumel and the perfect place to spend the day soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the crystal-clear water.
Plus, it’s more low-key and relaxing than most of the other more action-packed beach clubs in Cozumel.
While the Playa Palancar Beach Club isn’t anything special, the beach itself is beautiful and is definitely worth checking out. I hope you love it as much as I do!