Cozumel Cruises:Exploring on Your Own

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One Day on Cozumel -- A Guide to Striking Out on Your Own

You Can Do Better!

Why run with the pack AND pay more for the privlege? We live on the island and can scout out the best of the best tours. You'll save a little money -- and get a lot more personalized experience.

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Also check out these other kewl links to help you make the most of your One Day on the Island.

Taxi tips: . At the cruiseship piers taxi rates will be prominently posted out at the taxi stand. Be aware that you'll pay a few more dollars if you hire a parked taxi. This is called a sitio. They're sitting there waiting for you and you should rightfully expect to pay for the convenience of a pick up right at the foot of the cruiseship pier. On your way back to the pier, you will save a little bit if you flag a cab going by instead of picking one from a lineup. Unless it's posted, don't get in the cab until you agree on the rate. If they refuse to tell you what it's going to be, wave the cab on and try another until you get a fair price. All drivers are required to carry a rate card. Ask to see it if you feel you are being charged a lot more than you think you should be.


Although many folks prefer the convenience of paying for a small, personalized tour of one sort or the other, we're here to tell you that if you do desire to get out and explore on your own, Cozumel is a perfect place to try it.

Mail order a Cozumel map from the Cancun Map Company ahead of time, then rent a car for the day and hit the road. This is a small, very flat island with paved, fairly well-maintained roads and light traffic.

If you don't feel like driving, however, you can still go it solo. Taxis are everywhere. They provide reliable, economical transportation. provided you plan an itinerary that focuses on the mid-south snorkeling beaches and Chankannab Park with, perhaps, an afternoon trip to town thrown in for shopping, people-watching and lunch.

Figure around $16 RT taxi fare from the cruiseship pier to the national park or other good snorkeling beachs and $14 RT for a trip into town and back from the International or Puerta Maya piers. If your ship docks at Punta Langosta, you 're already right downtown.

Below are some suggested itineraries for exploring Cozumel on your own. We've divided these up into two sections. One for folks who don't want to rent a car and another for people who do.

Best Options if You Don't Want to Rent a Car

Part 1, The Beaches

Chankannab Park -- If your ship arrives early enough to beat the crowds, whip out to the taxi stand and head for this beautiful park. Admission is $10/person but we think it's worth it--a lovely way to spend the day. Restaurants, snorkel rentals, gardens and a little musuem.

There's a protected lagoon that's perfect for young children. The snorkeling is usually not as good here as at some nearby spots. But it's still worth it for the view, the ambience and the nice facilities.

Tip: Get to Chankannab National Park as early as possible. There are plenty of shaded lounge shares on the long beach but this is a popular attraction and all the good spots will be taken by 11ish -- particularly in high season

Free Snorkeling Beaches -- If you're looking for the best shore snorkeling the island has to offer, we'd suggest you give Chankannab a miss this trip and head for one of two cute, close-in beach clubs we like. Both Dzul Ha (Zool Ha) and Corona beach club perch on a section of rocky iron shore that provides some of the best shore snorkeling on the island. And both can be reached via taxi for less than the cost of renting a car for the day. For more info see Beaches.

ABOVE, Dzul Ha Beach Club, a good spot for snorkeling on your own.
Dzul Ha and Corona beach club (pictured at left) are free but you are expected to purchase beverages and/or food while you're using the facilities. You may want to spend the whole day here. But if you get your fill of the snorkeling and staring at the beautiful caribbean, hop another cab into town.

Note: If you can't get to these beaches by 11 AM, we suggest you head into town first for a few hours and then come back to these clubs around 3-3:30 PM. That way you'll miss the high season crowds you may run into from around 11 to 3.

Part 2, Fun Things to Do in Downtown San Miguel in Half a Day or Less

When you've had enough snorkeling and sun for the day it's time to hop a cab or jump in your rental car and head for downtown San Miguel, a shopper's paradise if you know where to look and a very friendly place to stroll around taking in the local culture.

You'll be treated with politeness no matter how you act, but if you want to make friends and be an Ambassador of Good Will for your country, you might want to check out our essay on How to Be More Than Just Another Tourist.

Fun Things to Do Downtown in half a day or less (Click any link below to head for more information on this topic.)
Sampling Yucatecan Cuisine
A Walking Tour of San Miguel

Click Here to Read About Touring Cozumel on Your Own with a Rental Car

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