Cozumel is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean and it is no wonder. The island of Cozumel is one of the most beautiful and safe places that you can go to in the Mayan Riviera. With the island at your disposal there are several things that you could do, even if you do not have more than a day to do them. You will probably be stopping at the island for about a day so make sure that you use the little time that you have wisely. Check with your cruise line about the time you will have to enjoy your visit to this wonderful island and make sure you make time to do these things.
The San Gervasio ruins in Cozumel are so great that you should make an effort to visit them. They are well-preserved and you can see the entire place in about two hours and a half. It is a good idea to visit by taxi or rent a scooter to visit the island's main archaeological site. To get to San Gervasio take the Carretera transversal. You will see signs for the site to the left. Keep in mind that it does take like 15 minutes to get from the main road to the ruins, and the road can have some potholes so if riding a scooter be careful.
The pre-Columbian Maya of the area used to travel here at least once in their lives to make offerings. Ka'Na Nah or the tall house is the largest structure of the site, and while it is not as impressive as the structures in Chichen Itza it is still very impressive. Walking the site can take a while and the structures are not so close to each other, so make sure to bring extra comfortable shoes. Your cruise line may also have tours to San Gervasio that leave from town so ask about such tours. Other ruins in the island include Buena Vista, Santa Pilar, Agua Grande and others.
Go For A Dive
As soon as your ship gets to Cozumel and you come off-board you will find that there are several privately owned boats which can take you diving. If diving is one of your passions, then you should not pass up the opportunity of doing it in Cozumel. This is one of the best areas in the Mayan Riviera for diving or snorkeling. The length of your diving trip is your choice, but 2-4 hours are the best so that you can have time to do other things while in the island.
Most of the boats that can take you for a dive are right by the ports, but your cruise company may have arrangements with guides. If your company cannot help you arrange a dive then you can rent a boat at the port or by the ferry that goes to Playa del Carmen by Carretera Transversal. The rate can go from 35 to 70 dollars depending on the length of your tour and most companies will accept dollars.
Hit The Beaches On The East
When you are in the Riviera Maya you need to make sure to hit the wonderful beaches in the area. There are two choices when it comes to beaches. You can visit Playa del Carmen via ferry or you can go to the east of the island and visit the beaches in the island of Cozumel. Your cruise company will more than likely offer tours to the beaches and this is a good idea for travelers. By taking a tour you will make sure that you enjoy the beach and are back in time.
some of the most popular beaches for tourists on the east of the island of Cozumel include Playa Oriente, Playa Bonita, Playa Punta Morena, Playa Chen Rio and Playa San Martin. Because these beaches are on the other end of the island it can take a little over an hour to get to them, so make enough time on your schedule to visit them. The reason it is better to go to these beaches as opposed to heading to Playa del carmen is that when you cross to the main land you need to always wait for the ferry which can consume some of your time. Going to Playa del Carmen is a great idea, but you should visit it on a separate trip, and not one that does not give you enough time.
Cozumel Island Museum
If you want to know more about the island then you could visit the Cozumel Island Museum which gives you 2 floors full of collections and exhibits that you will not see anywhere else. The museum tells the story of the culture of this wonderful Mexican destination including the pre-Columbian inhabitants, pirate attacks, and the wildlife in the area. The museum, though important to understanding the culture of this region of the country, will not take you more than 2 hours to see.
It is highly recommended that you try to have breakfast on the second floor's restaurant as you will be getting a great view of the sea. A lot of people decide to have breakfast in the ship, but this is the one time when going out to eat is very much worth it.
Shopping In Cozumel
Close to port you will see several souvenir stands; while those are very convenient, it is a better idea to walk around a bit. The more you get into town, the more likely you will be to find great prices. Take your time and remember that if a price sounds too high, then there is a chance that you will be able to negotiate it down. Remember that the closer you are to tourist areas, the more likely it will be that you will pay a higher price.
The shopping area in Cozumel is pretty close to the Cozumel Island Museum so you can make it one of your stops after breakfast. Some of the best items to buy in the island are jewelry, ceramics, leather goods, hammocks, handcrafts etc.