Best Way to Spend the Day in Cozumel on a Carnival Cruise
Jason Daniel Shaw
COZUMEL – MEXICO
Our biggest debate about our cruise stop in Cozumel was whether to stay on Cozumel or go over to the mainland. We decided to stay on Cozumel and explore what it had to offer since we had never been there. In deciding that, we also decided to not book an excursion through Carnival and to try it on our own. We did book the excursion in advance but through a third party. In hindsight, it worked out fine but the coordination of where and when to meet was a little awkward. There are plenty of vendors waiting just outside the cruise terminal gates that offer the same tours and some of them for cheaper so my advice would be to wait and book it on site. Another option would be to rent a car and do the tour on your own. It is a small island and you will basically make a big loop so nothing that is too complicated. Read on to find out where you should and shouldn’t stop along the way.
THINGS TO SKIP IN COZUMEL
The first stop on our tour was at the “tequila farm.” I wouldn’t call it a tequila farm as much as a tequila store. I guess there are several of them around the island but they are all virtually the same. The one that we visited was a family resort in the middle of the island (although it did have a nice looking pool). The guide handed us off to our tequila “tour guide” who sat us down in chairs and started educating us about the process of making tequila using well-worn pictures on foam board. From there it was a full press sales pitch to get you to buy some of their family tequila for pretty high prices (due to “high quality” of the “real tequila”). I didn’t think that it was a good use of our time.
One of the things that we really wanted to do in this part of Mexico was to visit a cenote. We let our guide know and she said that there was one along the way that we would stop at. It ended up being what looked like a tiny spring in a mosquito-infested swamp. It didn’t take much time and it was along the way so it didn’t waste too much time but we did all get eaten up by mosquitos. These are the only two stops that I would recommend skipping while in Cozumel and to be honest, the cenote was our request so we can’t blame anyone but us for that one.
There are a couple things that are a must in Cozumel that will make your day perfect. The drive along the eastern shore of the island is well worth it. It is a long stretch of beach that is deserted since one of the hurricanes wipe out a lot of the businesses. There are quite a few places to stop along the way to get out and take a walk on the beach, explore some tide pools and enjoy a swing on the beach. Playa Chen Rio is one of those places. There is even a small Cozumel sign so that you let your friends know where you are. One of the stops that we didn’t do was Celarain Lighthouse at the southern tip of the island. It is a slight detour but the views are supposed to be spectacular. As you make your way back to
As you make the final turn on the loop there will be lots of signs for beach clubs. These spots are a great way to grab some lunch and finish your day on Cozumel. We stopped at Tortugas Snorkel Center and Beach Bar. Here, you can have some lunch and some adult beverages before jumping in the clear water to do some snorkeling. However, there isn’t much to see under the water. There is a trampoline in the water that is a lot of fun, though. Relax and spend as much time here as you want, soaking up the sun before making your way back to the ship.