Cozumel, Mexico is on many people’s radar when they are considering where to retire, and for good reason!
It’s a beautiful Caribbean island just 12 miles off the shore of Playa del Carmen and an hour South of Cancun by car. While being so close to these bigger cities, Cozumel and its population of about 100,000 people feels worlds away.
As soon as you walk along the Malecon, have a bite to eat, and chat with a few locals, I challenge you not to fall in love! We call it the “Cozumel fever” and it makes you never want to leave.
Why is this place so appealing?
While there are many reasons, I have narrowed it down to these top 10:
1 – The Weather
Dreaming of a place you can wear shorts and a t-shirt all year? Cozumel is it! January is the coldest month with an average low of 66.9°F and an average high of 83.5°F. The hottest month is August when the low is 74.3°F and the high is 91.4°F. So temperatures stay pleasant and comfortable!
We do have a rainy season from May to October (precipitation levels range from 4 to 10 inches per month), which keeps the island green and lively.
But even when it rains, it’s still warm!
Source: The National Climatic Data Center
2 – Affordable Living
You can stretch your income further here than in many cities in the U.S. and Canada. While it is a town that thrives on tourism and has tourist prices for some things, you can quickly learn how and where to get local prices. Plus, local cards are available so you can get discounts on the ferry, at several parks, and at some beach clubs and restaurants.
When it comes to the cost to rent or buy a home, we can help you to find the perfect fit that matches your preferences and budget.
Further, property taxes are very low which helps to cut costs (i.e., a 3-bedroom home would have approx. $400 per year in property taxes). And services like water, gas, and electricty (if you do NOT use your air conditioner 24/7) are very affordable.
3 – Good Healthcare
The island is also home to great English-speaking hospitals, medical specialists, and dental care. Many tourists come here specifically for the affordable medical services as they can offer a comparable quality of care at a fraction of the cost.
courtesy of Costamed
4 – Lots of Restaurants
Cozumel is a foodie’s dream destination!! It’s hard to believe how many great restaurants are tucked into this ten by 30-mile piece of land, with most of them in the main town of San Miguel.
Expat entrepreneurs come from all over the world (Greece, India, the U.S., Italy, Indonesia, Argentina, and more) and they bring their cooking styles and flavors with them.
And then, of course, there’s the irresistible local Mexican food! From taco carts to fine dining, it’s all good in its own right and can suit any budget. Pick up an empanada, churro, or torta while driving through town, or stop in a restaurant for a hearty plate of nachos, tacos with an array of salsas, lobster tail, or chicken mole.
Is your mouth-watering yet? It will take you years to try all of the restaurant on the island, and the journey will be a tasty one! Oh, and there are delivery services so any dish you want can be brought to your doorstep.
5 – Friendly Community
How about the people? Cozumel is a very warm and friendly place where English is commonly spoken. Uncharacteristic of a tourist hotspot, it still has a small town charm to it. A large part of that comes from the locals who are very family-oriented. Further, many of the expats make lifelong friends that become like family. And everyone comes together for community events such as the IronMan triathlon, Day of the Dead, and Carnaval.
There’s a feeling of looking out for each other that you don’t get in many bigger cities.
6 – Easy Access for Family Visits
Next, Cozumel isn’t far from the U.S. or Canada, which makes family visits more convenient. That’s a good thing too because the island is great for entertaining guests! After they come once, they’ll want to come again and again. It’s also in a good location for traveling to other countries.
Note: There is an international airport on the island, small planes go between the Cancun and Cozumel airports, and a ferry goes between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen after which you can take ground transportation to the Cancun airport.
7 – Beautiful Beaches
Looking for a place to put your feet in the sand? There are many beautiful beaches to choose from!
On the West side, you’ll find a number of beach clubs where you can spend the day lounging in a chair, snorkeling, and ordering food and drinks. (See Buccanos, Mr. Sanchos or Paradise for example).
Or, if you prefer open public beaches, you can pack up your towels, snacks, drinks, and chairs and head to the East side. Be sure to check out Chen Rio and San Martin.
8 – Interesting Culture
The local culture is a mix of traditional ancient Mayan, modern Mexican, and modern Caribbean with influences from the island’s millions of yearly visitors.
You’ll experience it when tasting the local food, living amongst local families, partaking in holiday celebrations, visiting island attractions (such as the San Gervasio ruins and Kun Che park), and shopping for souvenirs (stone carvings, painted wooden masks, handmade leather bags, pottery, terracotta figurines, hammocks). Have fun learning about a different and beautiful way of life!
9 – The Arts
Something about being near the ocean seems to bring out the artistic side in people, and Cozumel is no exception. The island and its surrounding areas are home to many very talented artists; notably musicians and painters.
As you roam the streets of the island, you will come across eye-catching murals painted on the sides of walls and buildings.
There are also many amazing local artists I have featured here on my blog which you can hire to create pieces for your home such as Peter Terrin, Pedro Fonseco, and Carina Barbachano.
And keep an eye out for art exhibitions as we have those regularly!
As for the music lovers out there, you can find live music throughout town every night of the week, whether it’s at a restaurant, at a bar, or in the city square.
10 – Recreational and Sporting Activities
Lastly, how can you spend your free time here? Many people are attracted to the beautiful turquoise water surrounding the island.
With water temperatures ranging from 79°F (26°C ) to 84°F (29°C), you can comfortably swim year round. And, Cozumel’s Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the second largest coral reef in the world, so snorkeling and scuba diving are a big deal around here!
Additionally, many locals enjoy cycling, golf, tennis, cooking classes, dance classes, yoga, paddleboarding, fishing, surfing, sailing, triathlons and much more.
Enjoy Retirement in Cozumel; You Deserve It!
It’s no wonder why so many people are choosing Cozumel as their retirement landing spot. It has everything you need and more, from the must-haves like a good infrastructure, affordability, healthcare, and safety, to the fun stuff like an interesting culture, a wide range of restaurants, friendly people from all over the world, and lots to do.
Throughout all these years selling real estate here, I’ve watched a vibrant retirement community blossom; one where people are active in TONS of activities that keep them young and happy. The island is a place to truly make the most of your life and I personally hope my future retirement in Cozumel looks like what I see around me daily of the retirees already here!
To learn more about how to make this dream a reality, reach out to my team at Cedral Caribe Realtors and I.
We help people join the Cozumel community every day, and I have gone through the process of buying and building myself!
I will help to answer any questions you have and can also get started on the process of finding your perfect home.
Have you felt the magic Cozumel has to offer? Share your favorite thing about the island below!