As a popular cruise stop and beach vacation destination, Cozumel is home to a spectrum of island activities. Even if you have just one day, venturing out to Cozumel’s many attractions and experiences is a must.
Visit the Beaches of Cozumel
Cozumel is a small island, meaning you won’t have to search too hard for a great beach. Try Stingray Beach on the northwest coast—it’s an eco-park attraction right on the beach. While their conservation efforts are nothing to scoff at, the big draw here is the stingray and shark encounters. Visitors are given two hours to engage with these fascinating creatures.
Spend the Day at Chankanaab
Chankanaab, a Mayan word that translates to “little sea”, is a beach adventure park located within Cozumel’s National Marine Park south of downtown. True to its status as an “adventure park”, there’s lots to do, with educational cultural exhibitions, dolphin encounters, clear-bottom kayaks, scuba, snorkel and more. Of course, if you’d rather let the family do the adventuring, there’s a spa, hammocks and the beach to allow you time and space for relaxation.
Swim with Dolphins
Time spent at Cozumel’s gorgeous beaches may find you wanting more time with aquatic mammal friends. Dolphinaris lets you do just that. Book a 40-minute dolphin encounter on the company’s website and experience the strength and intelligence of these fascinating creatures. Dolphinaris offers on-site dressing rooms, bathrooms and showers along with meals and beverages to round out the experience, ensuring comfort for visitors of all ages.
Get Cultural at Xcaret Park
If you make it to Cancun’s Xcaret Park, you’ll find anything and everything you could possibly want all in one place. There’s an aquarium, aviary and museum of Mayan cities to explore, plus lagoons, cenotes and natural pools for swimming. That said, be aware that it takes a 45-minute ferry ride to reach this “eco-archaeological park” on the mainland, so make sure you have ample time before embarking.
Explore the Mayan Ruins
Exploring ancient ruins is a must when visiting Mexico. Instead of venturing out to the more popular sites, Cozumel Choice offers a “Best of Cozumel” tour that takes you through the island’s enchanting San Gervasio ruins. This tour costs $95 for adults and $75 for children ages 12 and under and shows you the ruins in full before cutting you loose to snap photos, grab a drink or take a dip in the ocean.
See the Amazing Secret River
A visit to the Amazing Secret River will find you wading and floating in what seems like a whole new world beneath the earth. A network of turquoise water flows through intricate textures of an underground cenote. Take in nature’s architectural achievements while you enjoy a refreshing swim in the river. Check if your cruise offers a shore excursion to this natural wonder; for example, see the offerings through Carnival.
Try Helmet Diving
Another possible activity worth seeking out, helmet diving lets you enjoy the underwater equivalent of a relaxing walk through the park. With specially made Sea Trek helmets that keep your head and shoulders completely dry—and keep you breathing, of course—you can walk among vibrant marine life without a care in the world.