Cozumel Choices; Cruise Ship Ports and Cruising Regions

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

Me gusta Cozumel. Me gusta Cozumel mucho.

Attractions Cozumel's reefs are federally protected as a Marine Park. The park authority enforces rules and regulations about water and underwater activities to protect the environment. There's plenty of water around, and if diving is your thing, this is the place for you.

Some of the most popular dive sites include Palancar Reef, the San Francisco Wall and Tormentos. While you're at it, try to see some of the Mayan ruins. You might have to choose one or the other, but either way, you're a winner.

Watersports There are many to choose from. Want to take a dive in a submarine? Consider an undersea adventure from Atlantis Submarines (www.atlantisadventures.com), at about $80 per person. Dive at Chankanaab Park, with its black coral trees and coral mounds called "Bolones." Visitors can also swim with captive dolphins there. Chankanaab is the island's natural landmark; in addition to dive and snorkeling, it offers a lagoon, a beach, a botanical garden and refreshments. Providers of diving and other water sports options include Aqua Safari (987 872 0101); Black Shark (email: info@blackshark.net); Blue Bubble Divers (www.bluebubble.com); Deep Blue (www.deepbluecozumel.com); or a range of other operators (www.thisiscozumel.com/diving).

Golf Cozumel Country Club has a championship 18-hole, par-72 golf course. Reservations are recommended. (www.cozumelcountryclub.com.mx).

Families To really experience the island, your best bet is to visit one of the ruins that make this area unique. Remember, it's a hot trip and little ones really won't enjoy the day. Plan accordingly. Teens are better suited to trekking through ruins and imagining past civilizations. Your best bet? Chichen Itza. Another good choice might be a day on the beach at Playa San Francisco with its clear waters, golden sand and refreshment stands. Ships supply towels. Chankanaab Park offers a variety of marine life, dive experiences and more, including a museum and gardens.

Horseback riding is another option, at Buena Vista Ranch (987-872-1537 or 987-872-4374, email: ranchobuenavista@hotmail.com). This is Cozumel also offers a range of tours including ATVs and catamarans (www.thisiscozumel.com/tours).

Honeymooners Find one of the less-populated beaches (maybe on the island's east side) and enjoy this Caribbean Riviera, or ask the shore excursion desk or the concierge for the name of one of the island's most posh hotels and have a long, romantic champagne lunch. Hint: Ask your travel agent for the name of a popular honeymoon hotel.

For more information: Cozumel Tourism Board (www.islacozumel.com.mx)

This article was contributed by the editor of the Cozumel Web site "This is Cozumel."

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