Within Walking Distance
The only town on Cozumel, Mexico, is seaside San Miguel, which is easy to explore by foot. Avenida Rafael Melgar, the waterfront street, is lined with shops selling fine Mexican silver jewelry and hand-painted pottery. Pop into the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel for a quick overview of Cozumel’s history, from the Maya settlements and the arrival of the Spanish to the present day. The rooftop Restaurant del Museo is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Enjoy a delicious Mexican lunch of smothered enchiladas, stuffed quesadillas and fresh guacamole. The views of the blue Caribbean beyond are a bonus.
Beyond the Port Area
Carnival cruises to Cozumel, Mexico dock near Chankanaab National Park, a seaside playground with a cove for snorkeling among soft corals and palapa huts for lounging on the beach. The park offers the chance to swim with and learn about dolphins, some of the smartest creatures in the sea. Make sure that you don’t leave your Cozumel cruise without getting a dolphin kiss.
Protected from the open ocean by the coral reef, Cozumel’s western beaches have shallow water and gentle waves—which makes them perfect for snorkeling and swimming. Several palm-shaded beach clubs here have simple restaurants serving up fresh fish tacos.
On the Passion Island by Power Catamaran excursion, you’ll travel by motorized catamaran along the Cozumel coast to Isla Pasion, a beautiful picture perfect private island where white sandy beaches are surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters. Passion Island in Cozumel is the stuff of fantasies, with palm-fringed white sands, sparkling turquoise seas, and thatch-roofed palapas. Add beach toys for young and old, zesty Mexican dishes, and potent rum cocktails, and your Passion Island by Power Catamaran shore excursion just may be the ultimate beach day in paradise. Gently sway in a hammock and keep your eyes peeled for dazzling flamingoes, soaring sea hawks and midget raccoons. Take a romantic beachfront stroll to the lagoon hideaway or dip your toes in the warm Caribbean waters. Book an aromatherapy treatment right on the beach. If it’s action you’re after, Passion Island has loads of fun-filled diversions. Challenge fellow Carnival cruisers to a game of beach volleyball, or go kayaking or pedal-boating. Kids have a blast flying kites or bouncing on one of three trampolines.
If all that activity works up an appetite, help yourself to the delicious dishes on the Mexican buffet, open all day long. Sample barbecued Mayan chicken, grilled mahi-mahi fish, Mexican sweet bread, and fresh fruit. Sip a complimentary rum punch or cold beer under a shady palapa.
Before your dreamy afternoon is over, feel free to stop in at the Passion Island boutique to shop for T-shirts and other souvenirs. Then hop aboard the catamaran to return to your Carnival cruise ship.
Diving in Cozumel
Whether you’re a novice or advanced diver, Cozumel has some of the world’s finest scuba diving sites. Take the plunge during your Cozumel, Mexico cruise and scuba dive 20 miles of coral mountain range along the Great Mesoamerican Reef. You’ll drift past sea turtles, moray eels, eagle rays, barracuda, hammerhead sharks, and tropical fish of every color in the neon rainbow. Dive masters can take you through passages in Palancar Reef and to the Santa Rosa rock wall, covered in soft corals and sea sponges.
The Mainland in Cozumel
Ferries to Playa del Carmen dock right off La Quinta, the town’s bustling promenade. You’ll have 20 beautiful blocks of curio shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and restaurants to enjoy. When the retail therapy wears off, you’re just one block from the popular central beach, lined with cafes in the sand. Playa’s northern beaches have white sands and serene turquoise waves.
Perched on a bluff above the Caribbean Sea, the Maya fortress at Tulum is an hour’s drive from Playa. It’s little wonder why the Maya used this dramatic site as a lookout point. Take a dip in the waters below for a unique perspective of the sun-bleached fort on the cliff above.
While on the Coba Mayan Ruins excursion, you’ll explore the once thriving center of the Mayan Commercial empire and one of the largest Mayan cities on Yucatan Peninsula.