Top 10 Attractions in Cozumel / Playa del Carmen
If you will be vacationing in the Yucatan Peninsula either at a resort or via a cruise, you’ll want to use this guide. It will help you make the most of your vacation time. Use the listings for the top 10 attractions of to do’s and must sees while on the island of Cozumel or over on the mainland in nearby Playa del Carmen.
Gay at the Mayan Ruins at Tulum, Mexico
1. Mayan Ruins:
- Tulum – This site is not very large, especially when compared to the numerous remaining structures at Chichen Itza; but it’s very close to the cruise ship docks and Cozumel. Also, the close proximity to the sea helped make this a thriving Mayan city between 1250 and 1550 AD. And the warm, crystal-blue Caribbean waters with the iconic 60 feet cliffs hovering above the beach make it a popular spot for cooling off in the summer heat.
- Coba – Located on the mainland near Playa del Carmen, this large site covers more than 30 miles. The main temple is nearly 140 feet high with 120 crumbling steps you can ascend carefully for amazing views. You can combine this tour with the Coba Mayan Encounter where the more adventurous can engage in swimming in a cenote or sink hole, go zip lining and rappelling.
San Gervasio Arch
San Gervasio – Located on the island of Cozumel, San Gervasio has great significance to the Mayan culture. Women were encouraged to make a pilgrimage here in order to worship Ix Chel, the Mayan goddess of fertility, rain, moon and weaving. Many of the structures have been lost to time but you can still get a good glimpse into the Mayan way of life.
Turtle off coast of Cozumel
2. Akumal – Located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Akumal is the perfect place to snorkel with the turtles in aqua-marine waters. You may look but please do not touch. In the Mayan language, Akumal translates to “the place of the turtle.”
3. Rio Secreto Natural Reserve – In this subterranean world, you’ll get to walk and wade throughout the caverns underneath the Yucatan jungle. This “Secret River” is home to a cenote for swimming while surrounded by the beauty of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites. This is a special adventure for true nature lovers.
4. Xcaret Eco-Archaelolgical Park – Listed as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site, visitors can get to know more about Mexican customs and traditions.There are more than 40 attractions including the Voladores ceremony. Witness the Voladores de Papantla dancers launch themselves from a platform like birds in flight. There’s also snorkeling, and an underground river, as well as Mayan cultural performances.
Sample Tequila while in Mexico
5. Tequila Factory – Jose Cuervo, Mexico’s oldest tequila brand has a tasting seminar held daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. You get to sample three of the five tequila styles, as well as enjoy a taco bar with hand-made tortillas. The tour also includes a margarita class and participants are given a Tequila Connoisseur Certificate at the end of the seminar.
6. Chankanaab Park – Declared a National Park in 1980, it has grown in popularity as the place to swim with the dolphins. It also is a safe location for beginners and children to snorkel. More experienced water lovers can choose to dive and land lovers can hike along the nature trails. There’s some activity for everyone in your group, regardless of age and physical ability, including wheel-chair access.
Deep-sea Fishing for Blue Marlin
7. Deep-sea Fishing – The offshore waters off of Cozumel are considered to be some of the best game fishing in the world, particularly when fishing for Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Amberjack and Barracuda. Many companies offer trips of varying lengths out to fishing spots.
8. Atlantis Submarine – You’ll marvel as you explore the deep sea down to 100 feet and you won’t even have to get wet. This tourist-friendly submarine will give you unbridled access to the world’s second largest barrier reef from the comfort and safety of an underwater vehicle. Travelers young and old are provided unparallelled, up-close viewing of marine life usually only witnessed by divers. I’m claustrophobic and sometimes “wig out”inside elevators but the vehicle didn’t cause me to think twice. Typically, each passenger/couple has a window directly in front of them with unobstructed views of the sea, making the space seem open and much larger than it is.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
9. Horseback Riding on the Beach – With urban sprawl, many people do not get to see rural areas in their day-to-day lives. That makes this adventure even better. Galloping horseback along the beach gives you an exhilarating feeling of freedom.
Tasty Assorted Chocolates Samples
10. Chocolate Factory – Discover the process used in making delicious chocolate, starting with the beans and ending with the bars. Find out how milk and dark chocolate are produced and why the term “white chocolate’ is a misnomer. You’ll learn why chocolate was important to the Mayan history and culture. And of course, the tour concludes with delicious samples!
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