Sightseeing & Tours
Parks, Museum, Historical Sites
There are many sightseeing opportunities on Cozumel. We recommend you rent a car and explore the island. Below are some of the highlights.
Sunday Fiesta in the Plaza
It's a Sunday tradition in Cozumel for locals to gather in one of the central plazas for live music, food and fun. Locals, dressed in the best, converge on the plaza for an evening of dancing and socializing. Gringos are welcome, too! If you're lucky, you can catch of one the special performances when local dancers in colorful costumes perform festive Mexican dances in the plaza.
Live music is the typical entertainment. Join in the fun and kick up your heels. Sometimes other entertainment is featured as well. During the holidays there may be Christmas pagaents or Easter programs.
Local churches and organizations sell tasty treats including typical Mexican foods. Join the fun!
San Gervasio Mayan Ruins
San Gervasio is located on the cross island road between San Miguel and the east coast of Cozumel. There is an entrance fee and English-speaking guides are available at an extra charge. It is worthwhile to have a guide so you can learn about the history of this area. The Mayan ruins covers an area of approximately 10 acres in the jungle.
You can visit San Gervasio on your own via taxi or rental car. Entrance fee is about 50 pesos ($5) per person. English speaking guides are available for an additional fee ($15 for groups of up to 5 people). It is worthwhile to have a guide so you can learn about the history of this area. The Mayan ruins cover an area of approximately 10 acres in the jungle. While there are no skyscraping pyramids or large structures, you'll find the history interesting. Located on the cross-island road.
Chankanaab Park & Swimming with Dolphins
Chankanaab is Cozumel's greatest natural landmark. In 1980 Chankanaab was declared a national park and refuge area for protecting marine flora and fauna on the west coast of Cozumel.
One of the main attractions at the park is the natural lagoon. In the Mayan language, Chankanaab means small sea. Hard coralas and limestone formations worn away through centuries have shaped Chankanaab making it a worldwide renowned ecosystem. Ocean flood streams allowed the growth of corals as well as the development of large communities of fishes, mollusks, crustaceans and marine gardens. Its survival depends on the sea that flows in through two underwater caves.
There are 60 different types of palms, a garden of orchids and water lilies and bamboo in the botanical garden. Replicans of 60 famous Maya, Toltec and Aztec cultures are scattered throughout the park.
Snorkeling is great in the lagoon and a statute of Christ and a virgin are submersed in the sea and said to be the protectors of Chankanaab.
Enjoy lunch, drinks, shopping in the sourviner stores, snorkel, scuba or snuba dive at Chankanaab. Chairs, palapas, lockers and restrooms are available.
Swimming with the dolphins at Chankanaab is an incredible experience of a lifetime. Dolphin Discovery program of Cozumel offers a one hour program available to anyone who can swim (8 years minimum age). Prior to swimming with the dolphins, you will have a 30-minute swim with dolphinseducational briefing instructions for swimming with these magnificent creatures. Then experience 30 minutes in the water with the dolphins. You'll have the opportunity of interacting with these naturally playful sea creatures as they pull you through the water, push you by your feet or leap over you. Don your snorkeling gear and complete your adventure during the freestyle portion of your swim. Race the dolphins across the water's surface or dive to the sandy bottom to enjoy their playful antics. Optional video is available to capture these magical moments.
To make a reservation, go to dolphindiscovery.com
We recommend that you pay a visit to the island museum early in you stay. It is a good way to get a quick orientation to the island. The museum is not large, but you'll find interesting displays that will give you basic background on history, ecosystem and geography of the island, a typical Mayan dwelling and diving artifacts. The museum–Museo de la Isla de Cozumel–is located on the waterfront between 4th and 6th Streets North. Admission charge; hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Restaurant on the second floor is a delightful spot for breakfast or lunch with spectacular views of the ocean; you do not need to pay an entrance fee if you are going to the restaurant, but you won't be able to enter the display areas of the museum unless you pay the entry fee. For information, call 872-1434 or 872-1475.
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Punta Sur Park (south lighthouse)
Parque Punta Sur, Celarain Lighthouse or southern lighthouse. We remember this place before it had so many names and you could drive down the dirt road along the beach. A local family lived in the lighthouse and you paid them a few pesos before you climbed to the top, then bought a few cold beers from them on your way down.
Today, they've improved the road, put up a gate, declared it an ecotourist project and charge $15 per person (under 12, free). Of course, other amenities and services have been added. The park offers restrooms, restaurant, bicycle rental, small shops, an archaelogical site, bar, beach, showers, snorkeling, beach activities, swallow zone, crododile area, lagoons and flora.
El Cedral Island Village
This charming village is located inland off of the coast highway. Look for the large arched gate on the lefthand side of the highway as you head south. Located about 10 miles south of town is this pristine community of colorful cottages with thatched roofs and seldom-used narrow dirt roads.
A visit to this off-the-bean track little village is like stepping back in time. The bungalows are picture perfect with delightful gardens with the flowers in brilliant shades.
Stop in for a visit and stroll the paths. A small store sells cold drinks and a few basics and you'll find a number of souvenir shops. If you happen to be here April 28-May 3 when the the annual Festival of Cedral takes place, you'll find that the atmosphere changes dramatically when sleepy Cedral transforms into a Mexican version of the state fair. Beer gardens, carnival rides and games, horse races, bull riding, folk dancing and music take over the village. For more information on the Festival of Cedral, click here.