Things to Do While on a Cruise to Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is usually a one-day stop on most Mexico destination cruises and for a good reason. There is so much to see, do, explore and experience. Cozumel is known for its clear waters and crystalline beaches which allow for all kinds of water activities. From snorkeling, and scuba diving, to swimming among starfish or relaxing on one of their many white sand beaches. It is also a short drive to the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza.
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Things to do near Cozumel
While in Cozumel you will be pulled in many directions so planning ahead and knowing what you want to do is important.
If you are intrigued by ancient ruins and civilizations, Chichen Itza and/or Tulum is where you should spend your day.
Water Activities: Snorkeling, scuba diving or helmet diving, caverns, cenotes, deep sea fishing or visit my favorite spots: Rio Secreto, the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park, El Cielo Beach and Starfish Sanctuary.
Beaches: Cozumel beaches are pretty much paradise. There are many places, like Paradise Beach Club, where you can enjoy the day, relax on the sand, participate in sports activities, have a great meal and enjoy bottomless drinks to the sounds of live music.
National Parks: They have some too. Chakanaab National Park is their most popular. Visit Punta Sur Eco Beach Park to enjoy some local birds.
Day Trips from Cozumel
While visiting during spring break with my two teenage boys, and only having one day to explore Cozumel, we had to make it count. Both boys love the water so we opted for water activities. We got off the ship as soon as possible and had already contracted a local private guide who would take us four on a private snorkeling trip.
We boarded a small, yet very comfortable boat and headed out into the ocean. It was not your typical snorkeling trip that is right off a beach - we were deep in the ocean. We arrived at the destination and (wasting no time) dove in. We were not expecting to see so many fish and turtles, it was incredible.
We got back on the boat and headed out to my bucket-list destination, the Starfish Sanctuary. With crystal clear waters, and hundreds of starfish laying on white sands, we spent two hours snorkeling and taking it all in. With a short boat ride back to the port, we still had time to catch an amazing dinner at Restaurante El Pescador.
Places to eat & drink near Cozumel
Yes, many restaurants are included while cruising, and there will always be something to eat, however, you also have the option of purchasing a specialty dining package that includes steak, lobster and teppanyaki meals to name a few.
Just outside the port, if you wish to try some authentic Mexican dishes, you will find numerous restaurants and bars. Don't stop at the first one you see. Walk along the streets and find one on the beach. They usually have a "fish of the day" meal, with fish caught early in the morning, and live bands. If you are a Jimmy Buffet and Margaritaville fan, you are in luck, it's only a 10-minute walk. If you prefer a local restaurant, try Restaurante El Pescador.
Need to Know
When cruising you always have a choice in cabins, inside/windowless, oceanview, balcony or suites. If it's in your budget, go for a suite, but if you are like me, save a little on accommodations and spend more on private activities.
However, I highly recommend avoiding the inside/windowless cabins, especially if you are claustrophobic and need sunlight to function. I will always suggest and highly recommend spending a little extra on a cabin with a balcony. Having the ability to open the blinds and let the sunshine in, or open the door and have some fresh air is priceless. One other thing... picking the right deck is of utter importance, and look out for obstructed balconies.
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