We are planning to rent a jeep while in Cozumel on April 29th for one day. We would like to see both side of the island and have a chance to enjoy some of the natural beauty on the uninhabited side. We have 2 children ages 15 and 10 who are not strong swimmers and have been warned about the strong tides on the west side. Has anyone done a self tour that could recommend key points for us to make stops at. We would also like to visit Chankanaab Park and are considering San Gervasio but do not know how much we can do in 8 hours. We appreciate everything we learn from this board.
The Miller Family
We were in Cozumel last may w/our kids, son 19 and daughter 21. We rented 2 mopeds and started south from the dock. The beaches are marked, and the best swimming is on the west side. We have not been to Chankanaab, but everyone says it is gorgeous. Follow the main road south, there is only one road so you can't get lost. Turn to the left and it will take you around the bottom of the island, and when you come upon the west coast, there is a little shop. Stop in to look around. Then continue driving north along the east coast. The scenery is beautiful, you will be glad you drove it. You drive right along the coast line. It is rocky in spots, and there are several stops to make. As you drive north, the road will turn left to go across the center of cozumel island. Be sure to stop in the restaurant/bar, it is full of signs, really cute, and small beach w/little palm trees and hammocks. Then you will drive across the poverty of cozumel, making us glad we live in the United States. My son wanted to visit San Gervasio ruins, so i stayed w/him but didn't go through them. He said they were interesting and he enjoyed them. First time he was out of the USA. Then we continued back to San Miguel. You can visit a couple web sites to get information on Cozumel. They are www.cozumelinsider.com and www.cozumel.net. They are filled w/maps ad info on cozumel. We are leaving in 6 days on the Carnival Holiday and stopping in Cozumel. We are renting a jeep to see things we missed last time.
NCL Dawn (Repo 14 nite) 11-1-09
RCCL Mariner of the Sea (Mexican Riviera) 4-18-10
debshomespun above is right on. My husband and I were in Coz last September and rented a little red VW bug convertible for the day. ($32.00) They gave us a map and you really can't get lost - it is one big circle. We did not go to Chankanaab Park, but I understand it is beautiful. (I believe it is $10pp to get in.) We went to Mr. Sancho's, which is a free beach, and had a great time. Great margarita's and food too. Go take a look at their website mrsanchos.com. We stayed there for about 4 hours, showered (free) and got back in the bug and drove the rest of the way around. A beautiful drive with lots of little shops and restaurant/bars to stop and shop. Just before you get back to the ship area you will drive through "downtown" and you can park and look around there too if you like shopping. It was a great fun day.
PS - You can rent jeeps too which would be good for a family of 4.
9/00 Honeymoon on NCL Sea
9/03 Anniversary on Carnival Holiday
9/04 Anniversary on ?
WE rented a tracker at the Budget Car rental...I think you can even make reservations w/them to secure a good price. They are located in the mall right off the pier. They will give you a map and there truly is only 1 major road around the entire island. The web sites someone else mentioned are good for maps also. We stopped at Nachi Cocum (no charge) and swam, snorkeled and relaxed for a bit...all the beach clubs are along the same stretch of road (Santos, Paradise etc) so you could try out several if you wanted to. We hit the road again after about 1.5 hrs and stopped first at El Cedral...left off main road...it's the church where Catholic mass was first held in Mexico. Stopped then at Punta Sur (tip of the western side) and for about $6 per person had a guided tour of the park...a few Mayan ruins, a Mayan lighthouse (great views from the top). Headed then along the East coast...ruggedly beautiful...tough current to swim in, but plenty of secluded places to sit on the beach. We stopped at Bite on the Beach for an unforgettable lunch...great views (it's on a bluff)...outdoor seating, authentic Mexican food w/great prices, great margaritas, great music, fun staff etc. After lunch we continued on to San Gervasio....spent about 1.5 hrs here...these are the best ruins on the island. Afterwards we headed back to San Miguel and returned the car, went back to the ship to clean up and change. Back to San Miguel for an hour of shopping...tons of shops and we could have shopped all day, but most of the stores have similar items so an hour was plenty as we knew what we were looking for.
In hindsight, I might omit Punta Sur...it was nice, but nothing extra special and you have to do the tour (you can't wander on your own). I might also skip El Cedral, though I can appreciate it's historical significance.
Mr Sanchos is a can't miss, there are a lot of things to do right there and the current is not strong there. Our children were 6 and 7 when we were there and they loved it. You can even go horseback riding on the beach for what I felt was a great deal!! When you leave the port take a right and follow it a few miles and you will start to see signs that it's coming up. Have a great time while your there we can't wait to go back!
Thankyou to everyone who provided us with such helpful information! We are leaving for our cruise this coming Monday the 26th and I feel confident that we have enough information to help us make some good choices on our vacation. Without insider tips we would not have been able to comparison shop for our shore excursions. I hope we can be as much help to others when we return.
The Miller Family