Home to beautiful beaches and some of the best diving in the Western hemisphere, the island of Cozumel has plenty to offer to those looking for relaxation, adventure, or romance. Mexico‘s third biggest island is also one of the country’s most important touristic destinations. If you’re traveling to this little piece of paradise, these are the top things to do in Cozumel.
Diving is one of Cozumel’s main attractions. Divers from all over the world visit the island to explore the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere. Formed by different types of coral, the reef is home to some 250 species of tropical fish. If you can’t dive, don’t fret. The island offers plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, too.
If you want to experience more of Mexico’s history and culture, this is the place for you. The Discover Mexico Park takes visitors on a journey that covers the evolution of Mexico’s great civilizations, the Spanish conquest, and its modern arts and culture scene. Plus, you can combine your visit to the park with a Tequila seminar and dinner.
Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park
Chankanaab means “Little Sea” in the Mayan language. The main feature of the park is the Chankanaab Lagoon, a salt water lagoon home to several species of marine turtles. The park also includes an archeological park, a botanical garden, a crocodile exhibit, and a pre-Hispanic tour, just to name a few of the attractions. And if you have time, combine your visit to the park with a tour of Discover Mexico (see above).
The Mayan Cacao Company
Learn everything about the origins of chocolate and its significance in the Mayan culture at the Mayan Cacao Company. You can also see how the Mayans made chocolate with traditional methods and taste some samples of different chocolate combinations. A must for any chocolate lover!
Located just 20 minutes south of San Miguel, Playa Palancar is great for diving and has some fine spots for snorkeling, as well. This quiet, white-sanded beach is also a nice place to relax on a hammock under palm trees. And there is a bar and a restaurant as well.
Playa El Cielo
Just as its name implies, this heavenly beach is a little piece of paradise. Only accessible by boat, Playa El Cielo is known for its shallow crystal clear water, which make this an idyllic spot for snorkeling. The best part are all the starfish and stingrays around.
Punta Sur Eco Beach Park
A protected habitat for many species of birds and animals, the Punta Sur Eco Beach Park is a great place for bird watching. There are several observation towers throughout the park where you can see migratory birds and crocodiles, if you are lucky. On Cozumel’s southernmost point, the park features a lighthouse turned into a navigation museum, the Faro de Celarain. From the top, you get some of the best views on the island.
San Gervasio Ruins
Cozumel’s largest Mayan site, San Gervasio was the island’s capital and remained inhabited from A.D. 300 to 1500. The site was also a ceremonial center dedicated to Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility. Mayan women were required to visit the sanctuary once in their lifetime. To fully appreciate the site, it is recommended to hire a guide.
Go to Isla Pasion
A private island located on the northern part of Cozumel, Isla Pasion (Passion Island) has one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Its perfect powdery white sand and crystal clear sea waters attract lots of visitors looking for the perfect Caribbean getaway. Fortunately, the beach is almost 2.5 miles long, so you can easily avoid the crowds.
Cozumel Pearl Farm
The Cozumel Pearl Farm offers a truly unique experience. Only accessible by private boat, the farm only caters to small groups at a time; so you can enjoy the place without large crowds. Here you will learn about pearl farming from this family’s perspective. You can also snorkel and enjoy a tasty meal as part of the experience.
Punta Molas Lighthouse
Now, if you want to go further on your adventure off the beaten path, head to to the north part of Cozumel and check the Punta Molas Lighthouse. This is one of the most remote parts of the island and it’s not easy to reach. However, you’ll get to explore this awesome lighthouse, enjoy the pristine views, and have the place pretty much to yourself.
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Have you been to Cozumel? Are there any other things to do in Cozumel that you would like to recommend? Leave a comment and let us know!