Cozumel Carnival

The Carnival in Cozumel is one of my most memorable experiences. This Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea is located 80 km south of Cancun and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. To get there, you need to head to the port in the town of Playa del Carmen. There are two companies with ships that travel to Cozumel, and it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. The trip takes only about 30 minutes, but it can be quite a challenge for many. Upon boarding, vomit bags are handed out, which is a good idea to take just in case. The swaying of the ship is quite noticeable and can cause nausea and dizziness. The rocking is weakest in the middle of the ship, so it’s advisable to sit there to avoid any unnecessary discomfort.

Cozumel will impress you from the moment you arrive. The beach promenade is stunning. On one side, you can enjoy the sea view, watching the beautiful sunset or the arriving and departing ships. On the opposite side, glowing advertisements invite passersby to local restaurants and bars. Here’s where we went to find our friend and enjoy a beer together.

This is “Mr. Chile” bar, located right on the promenade near the port. It’s known for its wild parties, and as you can see from the photo, the customers are happy and often leave mementos. You can get a free Margarita or tequila if you show your breasts or take off your underwear. Tourists love this and go all out to keep the party alive, especially Americans.

Most of the tourists come from the USA, and they are the predominant visitors. Many Americans have even bought homes in the town, and there are numerous mixed marriages between Americans and Mexicans in the area.

Now, about the carnival. The carnival is simply amazing. It is celebrated in February and lasts several days. It’s celebrated in many cities, but the most extravagant one is in Veracruz, a city in central Mexico, while Cozumel hosts one of the best in the Yucatan region. During the carnival, nobody sleeps, neither adults nor children. Everyone eagerly awaits the upcoming festivities and is super enthusiastic weeks in advance. People from neighboring towns and villages plan vacations and head to Cozumel for the weekend to enjoy this event.

The carnival is lavish, colorful, and noisy. Fireworks light up the sky in different colors. Carriages parade along Cozumel’s beautiful seaside boulevard, with joyful faces in exquisite and colorful costumes waving from them. Each carriage is like a kingdom, and each passenger is a fairytale character. They truly manage to enchant you and draw you into their world. The magic of the night captivates everyone. Music, dancing, and good vibes take over the entire town. Everyone is happy and enjoys the passing characters in their beautiful outfits, who in turn throw small souvenir gifts from the carriages—colorful necklaces, treats, beer snacks, t-shirts, and more. People line up, hoping to grab a souvenir. Little mobile stands delight attendees with delicious local snacks and cold Mexican beer. Vendors pass by offering the popular spicy banana chips, which are a great beer snack. Even the local amusement park stays open, along with dozens of stalls and open-air cafes available all night, where hundreds of revelers flock to eat or just continue their evening.

On the streets of the carnival, you could buy a beer and various types of food, including quipe—a traditional Arab appetizer that’s also popular in the area.

After the parade, which ends sometime during the night, everyone heads to the bars or just the streets, where there is live DJ music, and everyone keeps celebrating.