Within eyesight of Playa del Carmen, Mexico is the Caribbean island of Cozumel. In the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cozumel is home to some 77,000 residents, many of which are of Mayan descent. Their Mayan heritage is proudly reflected in their culture, art, and architecture. And I was recently told by more than one tour guide, they diligently guard their island from gang violence to protect their #1 industry: tourism.
Regardless of how you arrive on the island, there are many fascinating tours to be discovered on Cozumel. Excursions are offered by the many cruise ships that arrive there daily. These excursions are also offered through local hotels and timeshare resorts. They are easy to find, and easy to afford.
Last week I went on a tour of the Mayan Ruins of San Gervasio. The ruins were once a hub of worship of the goddess Ix Chel, deity of the moon, childbirth, fertility, medicine, and weaving. The ruins provided abundant evidence of the Mayan rituals and religion. It was indeed fascinating!
One of the most popular excursions/tours on the island is swimming with dolphins. Close to the international ship terminal and downtown is Dolphinaris – a series of connected lagoons. Participants can choose to be observers (not get wet, just watch); have a dolphin encounter (pet and touch the dolphins in waist-deep water, but not swim with them); and swimmers (do everything the encounters do, but also get more opportunity to pet the dolphins and to ride on a dolphin and interact with them in deep water.
Rent a jeep, dune buggy, motorcycle, moped, or bicycle! From Viator.com: “Get in your Jeep Wrangler or Jeep Patriot, taking off on an exciting drive around town for insights into local life. The scenic route provides breathtaking views of tropical Cozumel and you’ll keep in contact with your tour guide via a state-of-the-art radio system installed in every Jeep. ”
Another very popular tour or activity is scuba and snorkeling. Thanks to the magnificent reefs protected between the island and the main land, there are plenty of places for underwater photography and exploration.
Submarine Tour – Dive to depths of 100 feet (30 meters) in a submarine, piloted by a professional and licensed crew. Discover why Cozumel is one of the top dive destinations in the world on board the Atlantis Submarine!
A Day At The Beach – There are a number of places where you can enjoy a pampered day at the beach. They offer everything you could possibly want for an unforgettable day of sand, sea and sun. Packages normally include full use of a resort, pools and water park, as well as towels, open bar and all-you-can-eat buffet.