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Cozumel Excursions

Island Charm Beyond the Beach

The enormous variety of Cozumel excursions available to tourists offer everything imaginable: from Jeep tours to sunset catamaran cruises, from hacienda tours to day trips to nearby Mayan ruins.

Here's our list of some of Cozumel's most popular activities:

We've also included a list of travel agencies on the island that can help you book your reservations.

History and Culture

Cozumel has a fascinating history. From the time of the conquest until 1961, the island of Cozumel appeared and faded throughout the historical narrative of the Yucatan region. When Juan de Grijalva landed in 1518 and Cortez a year later, the island was a Mayan outpost, a ceremonial center and fishing and farming community.

Since then, its fortunes followed the mercurial adventures of pirates, slave traders and politicians, the rise and fall of the hennequen trade, until in the 1930s it fell into a long period of decline as a result of the Great Depression.

Then, in 1961, undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, drawn by tales of the beauty of Cozumel's coral reefs, featured the island on his popular TV series. From that point on, the island's has become known as a diver's paradise, a favorite stop for cruise ships and a favorite destination for tourists form all over the world.

There are plenty of Cozumel excursions that focus on history and culture. Here are a few examples:

Hacienda Antigua Tequila Tour. Visit actual former hacienda and learn how this unlikely spirit is concocted from the agave plant (actually not a cactus but a member of the lotus family). The tour is $14.

Chankanaab/Discover Mexico Combination Tour. The Chankanaab National Park contains the San Gervasio Mayan Site, once the most important ceremonial center on the island, Cozumel's Island Museum and the Faro Celarain Eco Park.

The combo package includes Discover Mexico, a 90 minute four-screen movie that provides a Cliff Notes version of Mexican history, including an overview of the arts and culture. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the eco-park and beautiful lagoon. The cost is $34.

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Self-Guided and Guided Tours

Self Guided Exploration.  Renting a car in Cozumel is easy. Avis and Dollar have agencies at the airport. Driving on the island is easy too. How lost can you get? It is an island, after all, and renting a car is a great way to take of on your own private Cozumel excursions.  Drive south out of the centro to spend the day at one of the great west coast beaches, then tour the island's archaeological sites and eco-parks. It's all within easy reach, and, since the island is only 27 miles, you can even return to your hotel for an afternoon siesta and then head out again for the afternoon and evening.

Guided Tours.  If you want to completely relax and let someone else do the driving, take a guided tour. Tour companies offer both pre-planned and customized excursions. A typical pre-planned itinerary includes a visit to San Gervasio, a drive along the beaches and a visit to Chankanaab National park to see the botanical gardens, watch a dolphin and sea lion show and a light meal on the beach. A guided tour usually runs around $30.00

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SCUBA and Marine Life

SCUBA.  As you would expect from the island made famous by Jacques Cousteau, the most popular of all Cozumel excurions include opportunities to explore the island's amazing marine life. For those with their SCUBA credentials, there are plenty of accompanied dives. If you'd rather stay topside, here are few alternatives.

Glass Bottom Boat Tours.  Let a trained naturalist introduce you to the wonders of the ocean floor from the comfort of an air conditioned glass bottom boat. Tours run about $40.00. Glass Bottom Boat tour - $40

Submarine Tour.  For an even closer look at some of Cozumel's most popular dive sites climb aboard a 48 person Atlantis submarine and drop to depths of 100 feet or more. Tours are under $90 per person.

Dolphin Discovery.  Includes a 45 minute “Dolphin Encounter,” and sea lion show. There is also a re-created Mayan village with accompanying educational program, botanical gardens and forest trails.

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Jungle, Jeep and Horseback Tours


Jeep Jungle Tour.
  This tour travels through jungle areas and along seculded beaches on the Caribbean side of the island with side trips to Mayan ruins and, if you'd like, snorkeling at the “micro atolls” which feature unusual coral formations.

Jungle Horseback Riding.  As with the jeep tours, these horseback excursions lead inland into forest and jungle areas. $70

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Fishing, Sailing and Cruising

Cozumel Fishing Charters.  Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Shark, Snapper, Wahoo, Barracuda, and Amberjack. Best fishing season is from February to July. Bonefishing charters also available. Charters run from $350.00

Sailing and Cruises Sail Charters.  47' single hull yacht takes passengers on snorkel and sunset cruises without the racket of a noisy motor. from $40

Catamaran Sunset Sail and Snorkel.  This 65' cat visits Palancar and Colombia Reefs. End the day with free cocktails and a Caribbean sunset. - $45

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Off Island Activities

Tulum and Xel-Ha day trip.  Cozumel excursions also include day long trips to the mainland to visit Tulum's impressive archaeological site and Xel-Ha, a sort of natural and historical theme park. There's more to do at Xel-Ha than you would probably want to take in on a single visit. But that's all right; it's also a great place to lie in a hammock and do nothing. $161

Xcaret day trip.  Another theme-park like attraction similar to Xel-Ha, but with a terrific folkloric espectaculo: a gala presentation that covers the Spanish Conquest before intermission, then celebrates the music of Mexico's many regions. I will never forget how nearly everyone in the enormous amphitheater seemed to know all the words to all the songs: an impressive and moving display of Mexican's pride in their country. $159

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TRAVEL AGENCIES...to help you plan your own Cozumel Excursions

Fiesta Holidays
872-0433
www.fiestaholidays.com.mx

Ferinco Travel
872-1781
www.travel.ferinco.com

InterMar Caribe
872-1535
www.travel2mexico.com

Lomas Travel
872-3609
www.lomas-travel.com

Olympus Tours
872-2454
www.olympus-tours.com

Come to Cozumel
872-2041
www.cometocozumel.com

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