The Best Budget Hostels in Cozumel, Mexico

Staying on Mexico's idyllic Caribbean island of Cozumel is more affordable than you might expect
Staying on Mexico's idyllic Caribbean island of Cozumel is more affordable than you might expect | © byvalet / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Stephen Woodman
15 October 2020

Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, Cozumel, is hard to miss if you’re on the country’s Yucatán coast – it’s a top destination for divers and sun-worshippers, with ferries and flights ready to zip you across to its lazy palms and white sands. But the paradisiacal backdrop doesn’t have to cost the earth. The island is popular with young couples, and affordable-yet-on-trend hotels abound. Tighten up those purse strings with our top picks of hostels and hotels for wallet-friendly travelers.

Hostelito, San Miguel de Cozumel

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Centrally located Hostelito Cozumel is perfect for budget travelers craving a hint of boutique. Yes, it’s simple, but nonetheless comfortable, clean and as colorful as Cozumel itself with kaleidoscopic murals and bright textiles. The hostel offers spacious dorms with orthopaedic beds and more secluded private rooms, too. The sundeck is slung with hammocks, the kitchen fully kitted out and the centerpiece pool is the perfect spot for cooling off in the midday heat.

Amigos Hostel Cozumel, San Miguel de Cozumel

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Basic but cheery rooms and comfortable communal areas make this well-placed hostel a great bet. The impressive fruit garden has a large pool – perfect for soaking up the sun surrounded by tropical plants and palms – and there’s even an outdoor barbecue to put your Mexican cooking skills to the test. The communal palapa hut has a kitchen, free tea and coffee, and cable TV. As its name suggests, Amigos is a great place to make new friends, and scuba diving and snorkeling trips can be arranged from the property – including to the island’s Great Mayan Reef and neighboring Isla Holbox for whale-shark diving in season (May to September).

2Tank Dive Hostel, San Miguel de Cozumel

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Courtesy of 2tank Dive Hostel Cozumel / Expedia
Budget-conscious divers and marine enthusiasts should check out Cozumel’s 2Tank Dive Hostel. Staff are helpful and friendly, and boat trips, dive trips and PADI open-water courses can be arranged with pros on hand to guide you from shore to sea. After all, when you’re out on the water all day, it makes sense to pay less for your accommodation. Beds come in a range of sizes and styles: from female-only dorms to mixed rooms and private spaces for dive buddies of up to four people to crash out.

Alicia’s Bed and Breakfast, San Miguel de Cozumel

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Courtesy of Alicia's Bed and Breakfast / Expedia
This cosy homestay-style B&B, run by Alicia and Chuco (plus their dogs), offers five simple but spacious rooms in downtown Cozumel. Ticking all the amenity boxes, it has air conditioning, Wi-Fi and a breakfast of fresh fruits, eggs, waffles, tortillas and guacamole, cooked by Chuco each morning, who also doubles as a dive pro, pointing you to the island’s best spots. A convenient location just a mile (1.6km) from the beach, two miles (3.2km) from the airport and close to great restaurants confirms its broad appeal.

Tamarindo Bed and Breakfast, San Miguel de Cozumel

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Expect a warm welcome from husband and wife owners, Alex and Jimena, at this homey B&B, four blocks from the oceanfront in Zona Centro. Established 20 years ago, Tamarindo was taken over by the couple in 2017 and has been a mainstay on the Cozumel hotel scene ever since, thanks to its pool, exotic gardens, yoga and massage room, and rooftop terrace crowned by a bar. Tamarindo prides itself on top-notch service and traditional Mexican breakfasts. The couple live on site, so they’re always on hand for questions, and grown-ups are guaranteed a quiet stay, as only children over 10 are accepted.

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  • Villa Las Flores, San Miguel de Cozumel

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    This budget hostel puts an emphasis on the basics done right. Situated in San Miguel de Cozumel, it’s spotless and popular and just off the Plaza Central with ideal transport links to the rest of the island. Also down the road is the Punta Langosta Pier, a jumping off point for boat trips and tours, and one of Cozumel’s main ferry terminals. Within easy reach are a range of restaurants, including Amparo’s Breakfast Bistro, which serves hearty brunches until 3pm, and local-favorite El Gato Negro Cantina for live music and ice-cold beers.

    Hotel Mary Carmen, San Miguel de Cozumel

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    Courtesy of Hotel Mary Carmen / Expedia
    With over 40 years’ experience, Hotel Mary Carmen is legendary in Cozumel. Three miles (5km) from the airport and less than a five-minute stroll from the pier, it attracts visitors with its convenient location, next to the market and clock tower. For single guests on a tight budget, the simple rooms are just the ticket – double beds with wall-mounted TVs, USB connectors and private bathrooms with showers. Rooms extend to doubles, triples and study rooms, each with their own quirks and colorful walls, all surrounding a sanctuary-like tiled courtyard plotted with tropical plants. One of the best finds on the island.
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    Safari Inn, San Miguel de Cozumel

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    Great for couples with children (they have bunks), the Safari Inn is a quiet hotel that’s very much still on the beaten track. In fact, being on Avenue Rafael Melgar, you can take in the sigh-worthy views of the shoreline and be within reach of most of the island’s attractions in minutes. Situated above the Aqua Safari Dive Shop, guests have the opportunity to hire equipment and explore the island’s coral reefs on the sea-style safaris of the hotel’s name before returning to one of the 12 rooms – all with air conditioning, some with king-size beds.

    Hotel Plaza, San Miguel de Cozumel

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    Courtesy of Hotel Plaza Cozumel / Expedia
    Instantly recognizable by its quirky zigzag façade, Hotel Plaza is set just off Avenue Rafael Melgar, and its proximity to the pier and the sculptural, fountain-like Coral Reefs Monument makes it an attractive choice for travelers. Their standard double rooms have two beds (perfect for a group of four who like to keep costs down), and they come with flatscreen TVs with cable channels, city views, air conditioning, free toiletries and a handy wake-up service if you’re using the nearby ferry.
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    Additional reporting by Joe Varley.

    These recommendations were updated on October 15, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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