The beautiful island of Cozumel rests off the eastern shore of the Yucatán Peninsula. Surrounded by the pristine beaches and the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, there is always something fun to do on the shores of Cozumel. Cozumel thrives on tourism and the islanders know just what their guests want to do. There are also many adventures awaiting first time visitors all over the island. There is something for everyone visiting Cozumel. You can relax on the beach, explore the coral reefs, parasail, visit the ancient ruins, swim with the dolphins, take an ATV tour, and much more.
Here are 10 things to do in Cozumel for first time visitors.
1. Playa Mia Grand Beach Park
One great spot on Cozumel you won’t want to miss is Playa Mia Grand Beach Park. It’s a water park and so much more. The park features thrill rides including the 200 foot long Twin Twisters water slide, pools and other rides that the kids will love. Kids will enjoy time being a pirate at Buccaneer’s Beach. The fun doesn’t stop there. There is also a lot for adults to enjoy at Playa Mia Grand Beach Park. You can enjoy lounging by the pool or in the hot tub, spa treatments and authentic Mexican cuisine. There is a swim up pool bar and the beach where you can enjoy fun in the sand and water or lazing under a shady palm tree.
2. Swim with the Dolphins
Just inside the Chankanaab National Reef Park is the Dolphin Discovery Cozumel facility. The park was created to protect flora, fauna and the coral reefs. You don’t just watch the dolphins. You get to swim with these amazing gentle creatures of the sea. You’ll also get to see sea lions and manatees up close. The facility offers a variety of educational hands on programs for visitors to enjoy.
3. Tour Chichen Itza
The Chichen Itza ruins are one of the new seven wonders of the world and a protected World Heritage Site. The amazing ancient architectural site attracts millions of tourists each year so many tour companies will take you there. Try to take one of the five original tours of Chichen Itza for the best experience. These tours are conducted by tour guides accredited by the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History. The tours stay up to date on current site discoveries and offer a more personalized tour of the amazing ruins of Chichen Itza.
4. Pirate Cruise
The Jean Lafitte Pirate Dinner Cruise is a great adventure for first time visitors to Cozumel. Sail off into the sunset on an authentic Spanish Galleon. The cruise feature a reception, an open bar and a delicious dinner options of steak, chicken or surf & turf. Enjoy good music, dance and play games as you enjoy the beautiful views. The Pirate Cruise culminates in an epic pirate battle for your entertainment.
5. Sunset Catamaran Cruise
A trip to the Caribbean would never be complete without a sunset catamaran cruise. These cruises are both relaxing and fun. Set sail from the mainland in the late afternoon for a snorkeling adventure around the coral reefs of the Caribbean. You’ll witness the beautiful tropical fish up close. Back on board the boat, you can enjoy drinks and music as you float along the calm Caribbean Sea watching the dazzling colors of the sunset.
6. Snorkel and Scuba
If you prefer to skip the sunset cruise and focus on the snorkeling or scuba diving, there are plenty of opportunities off the beautiful Cozumel coast. The coral reefs attract multitudes of some of the most beautiful, exotic fish you will ever see. Cozumel is paradise for divers. Many tour companies will take you out to the sea where you can scuba dive and enjoy the beautiful underground scenery of the Caribbean Sea.
If you need a break from the beach and the sea, there are several museums to visit on Cozumel. To explore the island’s history and park archeology, don’t miss the Museo de la Isla de Cozumel or the Parque Arqueologica. If you like art, the Galo Art Studio has great local artwork. The Cha”an ka”an Planetario has a Planetarium and Observatory. Don’t miss the Mayan Cacao Company’s where you’ll find how the amazing chocolate is made and sample some.
8. ATV to Jade Caverns
For the more adventurous tourist, you can take an ATV tour to Jade Caverns. Ride the off road vehicle known as an AXT rail for an amazing Cozumel adventure through the jungle. You’ll visit Jade Caverns and learn their history. Float in the cavern’s jade waters with stalactites hanging over you. There is a 20 foot cliff that you can jump from if you want.
9. Faro Celerain Eco Park
Faro Celerain Eco Park is also known as Punta Sur Eco Beach Park. It is an ecological park that spans 2,500 acres along the southern tip of Cozumel. The park is home to a variety of species including sea turtles, exotic birds and crocodiles. You can also explore the El Caracol Mayan ruins. Don’t miss the Faro Celerain lighthouse which houses a maritime museum. You can also swim off Laguna Columbia. Faro Celerain Eco Park is a great place for the family to spend the day. You’ll learn about the protected wildlife and spend time at the beach.
10. Private Sightseeing
Cozumel has several companies that offer private tours. You can gather with your group in a comfortable, air conditioned car with your own personal guide and explore the island. Tours typically last 4 to 6 hours and you have the opportunity to design them yourself. It’s a great way to get a feel for all that Cozumel has to offer especially for the first time visitor to the island.