Are you planning a day trip to Cozumel? If you’re visiting the Riviera Maya, Cozumel is the perfect day trip during your stay. Here are the top places you can explore to make your trip extraordinary on Mexico’s largest island in the Caribbean Sea.
How to get to Cozumel
The Island of Cozumel is located 12 miles opposite Playa del Carmen and 45 miles from Cancun in the Yucatan Peninsula. Unlike Cancun, which is considered a party destination, the island of Cozumel is a quieter alternative. You can take a ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel, which will take 30 to 45 minutes to get across. There are two companies Ultramar and Winjet, that operate on different days, and sometimes their websites do not reflect updated information. We suggest you purchase tickets upon arrival; it is better to wait in line than buying a ticket you won’t be able to use. If you get there early, you’ll beat the crowds and enjoy the views along the ride!
Explore Punta Sur Eco Park
Punta Sur is the largest and most important ecological reserve on the Island. Here you will find many great activities, in addition to admiring the incredible paradisiacal landscapes. The park is located south of Cozumel, and this 2,500-acre reserve has the best beach, and it’s a perfect spot for nature lovers. You can admire sea turtles, exotic birds, and crocodiles. Snorkeling is one of the top activities with a majestic reef to explore. You can visit the Celarain lighthouse, the Cultural and Navigation Museum, tour the marshlands and the ruins of a Mayan tomb. Admire the rich vegetation, beautiful flowers, go bird watching or just hang out at one of the hammocks and enjoy the sun.
Visit the Mayan Ruins
Not many people know that Cozumel has an archeological site and an excellent option for a day trip. San Gervasio is an archeological site tucked into the jungle and a 20-minute drive inland. Here you will see the most important pre-hispanic site, considered the center of pilgrimages where the Mayans worshiped the fertility goddess Ixchel. It was also a strategic commerce and political area. You will find isolated temples and architectural sets joined by a network of roads. The general entrance gives you access to the sites, parking, and resting area. You can also get a guided tour for an additional fee. Bring comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking across rocky surfaces most of the time.
Take an ATV or Jeep Tour
We know Cozumel has so many beach and water activities, but why not have a jungle adventure on an ATV. A private guide for this ATV tour allows you to admire the beauty of the Island’s tropical jungle that you just can’t experience any other way. There are many safe guided tours for the whole family. Jeep tours are also a very popular way to experience the Island. You can go through the woods and then make your way to the beaches. This is a fun and exciting way to get the lay of the land on this paradise island. So skip the lounge chair and drive through the jungle for a day!
Spend the day at a Beach Club
If you rather spend your day relaxing under the sun, there are many great beach clubs and bars located on the west coast of Cozumel. Here you can enjoy the calm and turquoise ocean at private beaches with restaurants, bars, lounge chairs, swimming pools, beach umbrellas, romantic cabanas, and many other amenities. You will find beach activities such as kayaks, snorkel, and other water sports. Popular beach clubs include Paradise Beach Club, Mr. Sanchos Beach Club, and Buccanos Grill & Beach Club.
The Best Snorkeling
Cozumel is one of the best snorkeling destinations in Mexico, mainly because it’s part of the Mesoamerican Reef, which is the second-largest reef in the world. It’s the perfect place to experience the marine life of all sizes and colors. There are a great number of snorkeling locations you can enter from the shore, or you could take a boat tour to the incredible reefs. If you’re there only for the day, a shallow reef boat trip may be the perfect way for you to experience the underwater world. There are more extended tours to the deeper sections of the reefs to try and spot some of the larger species that call this water home. Whatever you choose, you will be delighted the entire time.
Cozumel used to be a secluded island hideaway, but now it has become one of the most recognized destinations in Mexico’s magnificent Caribbean expanse. With countless activities, your visit is sure to be one you will remember for years to come.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com