If you’ve ever fantasized of lounging on a tropical island with a refreshing drink in hand and your toes wriggling in the warm, clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, Cozumel, Mexico, could be the place for you. Cozumel is a well-established, world-class holiday destination located 12 miles off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico‘s iconic Riviera Maya. Snorkelers and scuba divers from all over the world come to explore the island’s reef, which is alive with aquatic life. The weather is pleasant, with average temperatures in the 80s F and breezes from the Caribbean providing some relief during the hottest months when temperatures can reach the 90s F.
Cozumel’s average monthly cost of living is between $546 and $840. As a result, it is one of the most cost-effective cities in the world. This city is ranked 7687th in the world and 124th in Mexico out of 9294 cities. The average after-tax income is $403, which is enough to cover 0.7 months of living expenditures. With a population of only 100,000 people, Cozumel is one of Mexico’s most cheap cities when compared to other large towns.
Table of Contents
Is Cozumel the Best Place to Retire?
Those who desire to live an active lifestyle while also enjoying the pleasures of island living should choose Cozumel as a retirement destination.
Cozumel has an abundance of water-based recreational possibilities, including boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and kayaking, as well as modern infrastructure, including a robust electrical grid and high-speed internet.
Warm, tropical weather all year is appealing to many people, and Cozumel has enough of it. However, because this is a hurricane-prone area, hurricanes Emily and Wilma wreaked havoc on Cozumel in 2005. Residents pay great attention to the weather during hurricane season, even if they don’t happen very often. Cozumel is an excellent alternative for ex-pats seeking a tropical lifestyle.
It’s large enough to provide numerous amenities without having to travel to the mainland, but its proximity also allows inhabitants to hop on a ferry and visit Playa del Carmen, Cancun, or even the ancient Yucatan Peninsula.
Permanent residents on Cozumel have the option of living in San Miguel or one of the island’s smaller municipalities.
Smaller settlements like as Las Incas, Kilometer Cutthroat y Media, La Estrella, San Lorenzo, La Esperanza, and Huerta Familiar are predominantly populated by Maya and Mexican ancestors.
There are numerous beaches to choose from on the island. Some are made of jagged limestone and are ideal for snorkeling, while others are made of powdery white sand and are ideal for resting and reading.
Hundreds of dive boat companies compete for business in the port, while divers and snorkelers can enter for a modest fee at many private access points along the beach. Of course, there are no fees at public beaches.
Plan a visit to the El Museo de la Isla de Cozumel if you want to get away from the water (The Museum of the Island of Cozumel). It gives information about the island’s history and the ancient Maya people that lived there.
What Is the Cost of Living in Cozumel?
The cost of food varies greatly. There is a considerable police presence, and grocery stores and eateries have a wide variety of prices. Because taxis and hotels are among the most expensive on the island, getting around can be expensive.
Rent and fuel costs can be prohibitively high. Cozumel’s average annual wage is roughly $52,000. However, this is less than half of the average American wage.
A one-bedroom condominium will cost you around $150,000. For as little as $230,000, you can have a two-bedroom condo. The price of this house can be negotiated depending on the size and number of bedrooms.
In most cases, a one-bedroom apartment will cost between $150,000 and $180,000. A larger home will cost you around $350,000 per month to rent. On the other hand, a two-bedroom unit can be found for as little as $98,000.
Cozumel’s cost of living is relatively low, especially if you purchase a long-term property. The most expensive homes can be found for over $280,000. You may need to rent a short-term apartment while looking for a long-term rental if you plan to stay in Cozumel for an extended period of time. It’s worth noting, though, that the bulk of vacation homes on this island is fully equipped and designed specifically for visitors. If you can afford it, a one-bedroom condo can be a wonderful deal.
Cozumel is a little island (about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide), but it is not insignificant. You’ll almost certainly like to have some form of transportation. You may rent a bicycle, which is a terrific way to navigate around the city. If you aren’t seeking a workout, the trip to the “other side” is at least 9 kilometers long. It can, however, be a terrific method to get to the store or meet up with a friend. Bikes can be purchased at Ciclismo Sport, a full-service local bike shop, as well as most large grocery stores. In the Facebook Marketplace, you can also discover a lot of them for sale by locals.
Despite its high cost of living, Cozumel is a fantastic value-for-money destination. In actuality, because most of Cozumel’s housing is designed for short-term vacation stays, you’ll almost probably need to buy a short-term rental while hunting for a long-term rental. There are many furnished short-term rentals available. You may acquire a furnished one for $150,000, but it’s also conceivable to get one for up to two million dollars.
Why Does Cozumel Have a Low Cost of Living?
Because Cozumel is such a large island, the cost of living is inexpensive. While finding a low-cost rental in this region can be difficult, the island’s affordability is a major bonus for anyone planning to stay for a while. The island’s inviting and friendly atmosphere will put you at ease for months. You won’t have to worry about theft or other dangers because the cost of living in Cozumel is so low.
The cost of living in Cozumel is relatively low. The average daily food expense in Cozumel is M$711 ($38).
You’ll need to account for the cost of local transportation as well as food. Other expenses include rent, gasoline, and public transportation. If you’re considering relocating to Cozumel, consider the cost of living first. The island is relatively safe because there is little evidence of the violent crime.
The cost of living in Cozumel is lower than in other places in the United States. Because the island is protected by an ocean barrier, hurricanes are rare in the area. Cozumel’s weather is fortunately warm and sunny for the bulk of the year. Hurricanes, though, are still a threat. The island, fortunately, has a low cost of living, making it accessible to the bulk of the population.
Because it is a huge tourist island, the cost of living in Cozumel is very low compared to other parts of the country. With decent wifi and a robust police presence, Cozumel boasts a low cost of living and is a safe area to come to for extended periods of time. It’s also simple to move around on a bike or scooter, and living costs are inexpensive.
Is Cozumel a Safe Place to Live?
Absolutely. Even when it comes to accommodation, Cozumel provides excellent value for money. However, because the market is focused on short-term vacation stays, finding an apartment might be difficult.
You’ll almost certainly have to rent a place for a short period of time while you look for a long-term rental. Furthermore, the majority of long-term rental units are unfurnished. Those that are advertised as “furnished” may only be poorly furnished.
Condos are the most popular housing choice on Cozumel because of the scarcity of land, and decent discounts may be obtained in the $150,000 area for one-bedroom units. Two-bedroom apartments can cost up to $180,000. Cozumel is the ideal combination of laid-back island living and a plethora of activities.
You can have as active or as relaxed a retirement as you desire here. You may spend the day relaxing on a pristine stretch of white sand beach, listening to the waves while reading the latest bestseller, or snorkeling off the coast to explore the Chinchorro Coral, the world’s second-largest reef system.
Sea turtles, rays, and colorful clownfish can all be seen (and photographed) in the clear seas. Swimming with big whale sharks can also be arranged.
Cozumel is around 30 miles long and 10 miles wide and is about 12 miles offshore from Playa del Carmen, about an hour south of Cancun.
You can either indulge in an expensive steak and lobster meal by the sea for around $5 and wash it down with a $2 local brew, or you can get a couple of fish tacos for about $5 and wash them down with a $2 local brew. The city of San Miguel is home to the majority of Cozumel’s inhabitants.
Near the ferry port and cruise ship docks, there is a busy malecón, or main road, that runs down the shoreline. You’ll find a plethora of tourist-oriented stores, restaurants, and pubs if you arrive by boat. A few blocks inland, you’ll find yourself in a neighborhood where little houses and apartments line the streets and groups of uniformed youngsters go to and from school. Raise your gaze to the horizon, and you’ll see luxurious condo towers with all the modern conveniences.
Is Cozumel a Great Place to Live?
Long-term rentals, however difficult to come by, can be secured for $450 to $1,500 per month or more. The price is determined by the condo’s size, location, view, condition, and furniture. You don’t need a car on Cozumel, according to Luh Levitt Madera, a 15-year ex-pat resident.
“Due to congested, small roads and parking concerns, owning a car may be more of a problem than a convenience,” she explains. “For our business, I have a car and a truck, although they may be a hassle at times.” Motor scooters and various off-road vehicles are preferred by both locals and tourists to get around the island.
Aside from getting caught in the rare rain shower, scooters are less expensive, easier to park, and (with proper safety equipment) can be both safe and enjoyable. Around 10 p.m., Cozumel’s nightlife begins. Traditional Mexican music and current rock bands are among the many entertainment options available at local clubs, discotheques, and stage acts.
Senor frogs is a 100% Mexican bar, nightclub, and restaurant with excellent food, staff choreographed dance shows, and a party atmosphere, as well as enormous, trademark beverages.
Fat Tuesday is another popular hangout that provides delicious ice cocktails. It’s near to the ferry station and directly on the main square. Maya fire dancing demonstrations and live music can be found on public stages. For a more relaxing evening, cinemas show films in English and Spanish, with subtitles in some cases. The Necropolis, located in the Cheddar Plaza, is a new seven-theater complex with stadium seating and very low ticket rates ($3 to $5).
Cozumel has world-class shopping, from valuable stones to handcrafted artisan apparel and pottery, as well as all of your daily necessities. The majority of the shopping may be found on Avenues 5 and 10 or in the Plaza del Sol neighborhood.
This waterfront neighborhood is densely packed with tiny shops and a few larger ones. (For a terrific discount, head to Cinco Soles, a huge store directly on the waterfront selling Mexican crafts.)
It also features a tequila bar where you may try some of their wide variety. Food and other consumables are shipped to the island (making them slightly more expensive than on the mainland), and multiple desalination plants offer freshwater.
The cost of living on Cozumel is higher than it would be in a small Mexican town or far inland from the resort areas. You can, however, buy homes here that are big and built like rocks for a fraction of the price of a comparable home in a US vacation town.
Food prices are comparable to those at a smaller US city’s grocery shop. Restaurant rates range from $7 lunches in modest Mom and Pop establishments to $12 to $25 meals in high-end establishments. Overall, it is a fantastic place to live.