This resort island 12 miles east off the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula is a popular visitor destination. It is also FABULOUS for running, owing to the 65 km cycle path that was built to replace the old highway and that circles the southern part of the island. There are several lengthy sections with wonderful ocean views. The path on the eastern side of the island is especially spectacular! Our guide to running on Cozumel breaks up the coastal road into three sections, with a focus on the nicest spots. Also included are some of our favorite beaches for running.
- West Side of Island, Heading North. There is a dedicated waterfront multi-use path that goes north from the cruise ship terminal. The best section is the first 6 km, to just north of the airport. Wonderful views of the water. It’s 3.4 km to the Palace Resort & City Hall and 5 km to the Museum. It’s also possible to continue for a full 10.5 km to the northern hotel zone and country club, but there are more interior sections and where the path is not as good. MAP
- West Side, Heading South. The Cartera Costera Sur road comes off the main highway 2 km south of the ferry terminal. This is a wonderful coastal road for running, with great water views for about 8 km. Near the Playa Mia Grand Beach Park, the coastal road rejoins the highway. MAP
- East Side Coastal Path. The old road right by the water is now a full-on wide, dedicated bike path that has fantastic coastal views for much of its 19.2 km (12 mile) length. Bikers, runners, and walkers rule! The path runs between the southern tip and the road that cuts across the island. While beautiful, this side of the island is more rugged and there aren’t many commercial spots — so plan for water accordingly. MAP
There’s some lovely beach running on Cozumel. The beaches aren’t that wide, but generally the sand is firm near the water. Note that tidal differences here are not significant. Note some of the beaches might have admissions restrictions or charge a fee. Our favorite areas for beach running:
- Between Paradise Beach and Palancar Beach. This 6 km stretch of beach on the west side is among the best for running on Cozumel. Quite wide in sections, firm sand closer to the water. Runnability might vary depending on weather & surf.
- Playa Punta Norte. ~1-2 km of nice beach for running on the nothern part of the western side, near the hotel zone.
- East Side There’s a beach along much of the east side coastal rode. It varies in runnability – some sections are wider, and it’s more rugged with bigger surf and less predictably firm sand near the water.
It’s also possible to run around the town of San Miguel, where most of Cozumel’s 80,000 residents live. Many of the streets are narrow and don’t have sidewalks, but a leisurely DIY jog around town can be a ‘runseeing’ pleasure. Some of the nicest sections of the coastal multi-use path on the western side runs near San Miguel.
The Transversal de Cozumel is the 14 km road that runs between the west and east sides of the island. It has a good shoulder for most of the way, but it is interior and not as interesting for running.
- West side: routes of 5 km north & 8 km south; East side: coastal path for up to 19 km
- Generally flat
- West side: Cruise ship terminal is a good anchor point; East side: any point
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The link to the “West Side – Heading North” map appears to be broken – would love to see it! Hoping to run it as part of a cruise stop someday…