Before landing please makes sure your forms are filled out, you know where your passport is, and you have all your belongings repacked. My advice is to utilize the airplane restrooms 30-45 minutes before landing. The lines for immigration can be long, and you wouldn’t want to waste time not getting in the queue right away because you need to use the restroom.
(please see my “how to fill out immigration and customs form” step-by-step blog)
Once you land the first line you will come to is immigration. Please make sure you fill the top and bottom portion out on your immigration form. The immigration officer will hand the bottom part back to you. DO NOT LOSE THIS PIECE as you will need it to depart Mexico. Losing it will cost a fine and a HUGE hassle, and you can miss your flight. Once you pass immigration, you can put your passport and visa (the little piece of paper ) away since you will not need it again.
The customs form should have been given out to you on the plane by the flight attendants or at the gate at your departure. The customs form is 1 per family. If you have a different last name, then each member fills out a form. Families of two or more can just put one name on the form.
Next, you will walk to where the conveyor belts are and claim your bags. Check the monitors for your flight and find that carousel. If anyone wants to use the bathroom, this would be another excellent opportunity to use them since the one on the bus is small. And you don’t want to do it after waiting for your bags because then, well you could miss the next bus and have to wait another 30-45 minutes. Once you have all your bags, you will go through customs. Place “all your items” on the bag belt for screening
( not jackets or pillows). Walk to the side of it and grab items before they fall on the ground. Walk to the customs agent, hand then your customs form and they will ask if you have anything to declare- say no and then press the button. If you get a green light walk out the sliding doors. If you get a red light, they will inspect your bags on the counter.
Once you are outside the customs doors, there will be a money exchange counter and ATMs. The exchange counter is usually a lousy exchange rate so I’d use your ATM card and pull the max out. It will be in English along with Spanish, or there will be a button asking if you want English. It charges you a small fee, but it’s still usually a better exchange rate in the end. There is a button on all the ATM to donate to some charity that most think is saying okay to the service fee so make sure you read what you are hitting. Make sure you do push “yes” to the service fee, or it won’t give ya any money. Once you have your pesos, proceed past ALL the vendor people trying to get you to a timeshare presentation. Walk outside where there will be shuttle people and taxi drivers. Once out take the sidewalk to your right. There is a little stand “MargavitaVille” that sells beer, sodas, water, and snacks if you want something, grab it here. Otherwise, keep walking to where you see all the shuttles and buses.
*****WORD OF CAUTION******** There has been some unkind activity on the bus to PDC. Please keep an eye on your items you place above your seat. It’s been RUMORED that when the bus stops at Puerto Morelos that some of the people getting off are walking off with others belongings OR have removed important items from luggage placed in the overheads. Just keep an eye on all your belongings, even those placed under the bus.
The first stand is ADO buses and the bus to Playa Del Carmen (PDC). This stand is where you buy your ticket. There are two buses from here one to Cancun and one to PDC. The coach to PDC is usually the second slot. They will yell out the name of the city. Take your bags to the side of the bus to load them on the bus – there may not be anyone to assist you. After putting bags on the bus hand the driver your ticket and take any open seat. This bus will cost you approx. $12.00 each way for the bus or they will have a sign with the price in pesos. It departs every hour on the .45
( i think). It will take you right into the Playa Del Carmen bus station. The ride is approx. 60-90 min. It will make a brief stop in Puerto Morelos and then continue.
Photo-Playa Del Carmen Bus Station
When you get to the bus station in PDC, grab your luggage, and you will head out the front of the station. In front of you, you will see McDonald’s, turn right and then at the first plaza with the little church turn left. It will be maybe 25 feet away from McDonald’s, turn left towards the ocean when you get to the ocean, turn right towards Senor Frogs, buy a ticket for ” next boat.”
There are two boat companies every hour. Cost is approximately $12.00u.s. Per person. The ride is approx. 30-45 min long. If you get seasick, I find the best place to sit is outdoors. It’s best to refrain from drinking before the ride if you do get sick because sometimes it can be a little rough through the channel. It’s only rough if it’s windy. They have indoor seating with air-conditioning or outdoor seating. I always sit outside to enjoy the views and get the fresh air opposed to the compressed air.
I love watching the waves crash and the sound of the water. It has a sense of peace to it all. Playa Del Carmen will slowly disappear while the beauty of Cozumel will quickly appear.
Once you disembark in Cozumel, there will be an area they take any checked bags to. Grab your bag, show the person your ticket and off you go.
If you head towards the plaza, there will be a taxi stand to your left.
Welcome to paradise!