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The Top 5 Things to Do During a Cruise to Cozumel

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Cozumel is a small island off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula that encompasses a mere 184 square miles. Despite its small size, it is packed with pristine beaches, lush jungle, and rich history for tourists to explore during a visit here. This is likely why it is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean. If you take a cruise to Cozumel, you will likely only have a day to explore, leaving you with the difficult decision of what to do while your cruise ship is docked here. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve got our picks for the 5 best things to do during a cruise to Cozumel

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

A scuba diver approaches a sting ray

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The island of Cuzumel is surrounded not only by pristine beaches, but also gorgeous reefs just below the surface. This makes it a favorite for both scuba divers as well as snorkelers. Fortunately for those of us who are not seasoned divers, much of the beauty is very close to the surface, so a snorkeling excursion is more than sufficient to experience the underwater beauty. For a good place to see the reefs, head to Playa Palancar where an enormous reef provides a home for more than 150 animal species. Alternatively, you could dive in the waters of El Cielo to see the countless starfish peppered across the ocean floor. Or if you want to explore the rivers of Cozumel, check out Xcaret Natural Adventure Park, where rivers fed by natural aquifers pass through jungles and caves. 

Explore the Mayan Ruins

Ancient ruins of a Mayan pyramid

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Near the center of the island is the San Gervasio archaeological site, where you can see the amazing pyramids and other structures that were built by the Mayans who once inhabited the island. This site was an important religious site for the Mayans and was dedicated to the goddess Ixchel, who represented fertility, medicine, and the moon. In ancient times, pilgrims would travel from the mainland to visit and pay their respects. Today, it is a popular tourist destination for cruisers visiting the island. While you are able to visit the site on your own, it is a good idea to take a guided tour, as your tour guide will be able to share with you the cultural and historical significance of the area. Check with your cruise line to see what shore excursions are available.

Visit San Miguel for Dining and Shopping

Shopping stalls on the streest of San Miguel

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One of the best reasons to travel to an exotic destination is to get a taste of what life is like in another part of the world, both literally and figuratively! The markets of San Miguel are a great place to shop for local crafts and goods, giving you a sense of the culture while also letting you take a piece of it home as a souvenir. You can also sample the local cuisine, which will include fresh-caught Mexican seafood like you won’t be able to get anywhere else. Classic dishes like ceviche, pescado frito, and chilaquiles can be found at restaurants all over town and you really can’t go wrong. To get the full experience while you are here, make sure to try the Yucatan favorite Cochinita Pibil, which is slow roasted pork that is served in tacos or tortas.

Cozumel Tequila Tasting

Glasses of tequila ready to be tasted

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Mexico is well known for its love and production of tequila, and Cozumel is no different. A cruise to Cozumel is the perfect opportunity to tour a tequila distillery and sample a bit of the most authentic tequila in the world. These are several establishments on the island that offer tours and tastings, and you may even be able to book one through your cruise line. Tequila has a lot of cultural significance in Mexico, so this is more than just an excuse to spend the day sampling alcoholic drinks; it is a chance to learn more about the culture and community that you are visiting. And if you aren’t the biggest fan of tequila, this might just be the chance you need to be converted!

Take a Submarine Adventure Tour

Windows of a tour sub with fish on the outside

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One of the most unique and exciting tours you can take is onboard the Atlantis Submarine. This submarine adventure will take you 100 feet below the surface for nearly an hour to get up close and personal with the wildlife and undersea wonders that surround the island. Through plastic windows, you will be able to admire and photograph coral reefs and exotic sea life while your captain offers expert narration and information the whole way. This is a great way to get beneath the waves for anyone who doesn’t feel up to the task of diving under the water themselves, but it can also be a fun group event, as you will still be able to talk to each other while you are exploring the seafloor!

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