There are one or two Mayan sites on Cozumel but nothing major at all. If you want to see a well preserved and major site, you will need to take the tour that goes to Tulum on the mainland. It is well worth a visit if you are into Mayan history, etc.
Chichen-Itza would not be practical ( for a one day ships stop ) simply because of the time and distance involved in gettting there and back before the ship sailed.
Tulum is located on the coast, has a small but nice beach and there are numerous shops outside the site.
I agree with the other appends here. From Cozumel, there are no stunning ruins. The best is Tulum, but that doesn't compare to Citchen Itza. If you've never seen ruins, or are into ruins, then Tulum is worth a visit. Otherwise, I'd choose a different excursion. The ruins there aren't terribly impressive, it mainly is their position on a coastal cliff.
i agree with the others - practicality would suggest the ruins at Tulum. If you are into or want to try snorkeling. Cozumel is a great place - many reefs to choose from - we snorkled Palecaar and had an awesome time.
If you are offered a tour called "Pleasure Island" I have to tell you it has a beautiful, unspoiled beach. We took that tour from Carnival's Holiday last August and it was so peaceful there. They pick you up, drive you to the other end of Cozumel, take you across to Pleasure Island on a pontoon boat and the water is so clear you can see the fish in the water. They feed you a hot meal and there are drinks available, hammocks under the trees, a bath house, an outdoor shower, lounges on the beach. It was a last minute decision that paid off for us. We are going back to Cozumel on March 18, for my 60th birthday and we plan to go to another beach, not sure which one. Cozumel shopping is on the pier or take a taxi downtown, too far to walk. Lots of jewelry stores on the island, if you like to shop they are lined up on the beach road. Have a great day whatever you do in Cozumel. Lynda
If you decide to do the Mayan Ruins tour be sure to take your bathing suit etc. From what I've been told the ruins don't take that long to see and they have a beautiful beach that you can use.
We went to a beach called Nachi-Cocom that was absolutely beautiful. They had a pool and jacuzzi, bar and restaurant, watersports, lounge chairs, beach service, showers, restrooms and an unbelievable view of the caribbean. The best part was there was no admission charge (most of the beaches charge you to go on them).
If you want more info I have a copy of the brochure and some pics we took there that I could email you. E mail me if you want them.
On the island there are some ruins called Saint Grevaso(spelling is wrong) that I found to be intresting. It is a small site but it does remind me of the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, with its jungle setting. it may not be on a shore trip sold from the ship. Tulum is worth the money and tours are sold on the ships.
If you visit Tulum be sure to take your swim suit . The beach is very nice and not crowded. Be prepared, it is still a long bus ride to and from Cozumel. I found the ruins to be disappointing, I thought we would be able to explore, not just look. ( the ruins were roped off )It does not take long to get through them and there are a few shops set up. It's been a while since I've been there, (8 years)so I don't know if anything has changed. We will be sailing back to Cozumel with a group in 2004 and we don't plan on going back to the ruins.
I READ YOUR POST ON CRUISE-MATES AND I AM INTERESTED IN NACHI COCOM BEACH, IT APPEARS JUST WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR. THIS IS OUR FIRST CRUISE ON THE CELEBRATION, LEAVING MAY 5, 2003. ANY INFORMATION WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
I've only been to Tulum, but both my husband and myself count it as a memory that will last a lifetime! The history there is so wonderful, and standing on the precipice of that semi-cliff and looking out into the ocean is a spiritual experience!
Sorry if I waxed poetic for a minute, but the experience in Tulum has marked my brain for the rest of my life.