Shopping in Cozumel  is aimed straight at cruise ship passengers—and it’s no wonder, since they tend to spend a lot of money quickly. Avenida Rafael Melgar is where most of the action is, with a succession of marble-floored shops blasting air-conditioning to entice sweaty passersby in for a refreshing look around. Overpriced jewelry, T-shirt, and souvenir shops see the most buyer traffic, although here and there are a few shops worth checking out.
Los Cinco Soles (Av. Rafael Melgar at Calle 8, tel. 987/872-0132, www.loscincosoles.com , 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m. daily) has room upon room of impressive Mexican folk art: pre-Columbian replicas, barro negro pottery, colorful rebosos (shawls), and hand-carved furniture. It’s definitely worth a stop, if even just to admire the artisanship. There’s a smaller satellite shop at the Punta Langosta mall, too.
Located on a quiet residential street, Galeria Azul (Av. 15 btwn Calles 8 and 10 Norte, tel. 987/869-0963, www.cozumelglassart.com , 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) displays works of art by the locals, including expat Greg Dietrich and others. Beautiful handblown glasswork, wood carvings, and paintings on silk dominate the gallery, but there also is poster art and tinwork. The artwork is pricey but one of a kind.
Though pricey, Pro Dive Cozumel (Calle Rosado Salas at Av. 5, tel. 987/872-4123, www.prodivecozumel.com , 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–8 p.m. Sun.) has a great selection of snorkel and dive equipment—perfect if you’ve forgotten your mask or lost a fin.
Punta Langosta (Av. Rafael Melgar btwn Calles 7 and 11, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. daily) is Cozumel ’s swankiest shopping center. The ultramodern open-air building is home to high-end clothing boutiques, air-conditioned jewelry stores, and fancy ice cream shops.