My hubby and I and another couple are cruising in May and Cozumel is one of the ports. We are trying to decide between taking the Jeep Shore Excursion or renting a jeep for the day and trying to do the island on our own. We want to see some ruins, our friends want to snorkel, I want to parasail and of course some beach time would be nice. Would like to hear some opinions from cruisers who have tried one or the other or both for comparison.
How much time do you have? I don't know that you have enough time to do everything mentioned. But you could rent a vehicle and drive the loop aound the island. The ruins on Cozumel are interesting but less than remarkable. If you have your own snorkling gear, you could stop any where along the south and western side of the island, San Francisco beach has a reasonable reef and isn't too far from the International Pier. The eastern side of the island has rough surf, but some nice beaches, not really snorkling water. Cozumel is not really 4x4 country, you could rent a cheaper vehicle, like a VW and drive to Chankanaab Lagoon on the south end of the island.
I guess what I am suggestting is that you figure out what you would most like to do and plan from there. You'll need to split up if you're going to try and do everything on the list.
Thanks for the info.........I hate that we won't have enough time to do everything, but I appreciate the honesty. Guess we will have to sit down and decide what is highest priority on our list. Our itenirary (sp.?) is 7am to 6pm.
If you are going to rent a jeep -- understand what the insurance provides. Your insurance from home does NOT cover you in Mexico. In addition, rental cars outside of the US are not like the ones here. What happens if you break down?
Do you know the roads well enough? How will you avoid getting lost? Outside of the main tourist areas there are parts of Mexico where you could be setting yourself up to be robbed, car jacked or worse.
Yes, I know some of those risks are everywhere, but please for safety's sake, plan for them so you can avoid them.
We rented a jeep in cozumel last year and had a great time. Trish may be right, but I would disagree. I don't think there are carjackers, etc., in Cozumel. Insurance is different, but we decided to chance it. People drive fast in the downtown area and maybe near Chakanaab, but otherwise, the roads were almost deserted.
We drove first to San Gervasio ruins and spent some time there. We hired a guide -- I would recommend not doing that -- it will take you too long and we couldn't understand him. I'm glad we stopped, but would not hire a guide again. I was glad to see the ruins, but we took too long there.
Continued on that road to the other side of the island and drove the whole length (not that far) stopping at a few places along the way. Again, not much traffic. That ride was very enjoyable.
We came around the island and snorkeled at Dzul Ha. It was okay, happened to be a lot of jellyfish the time we were there. We also had a drink and some lunch there. This year we're going to stop at one of the other places, Mr. Sanchos, Nocci cocoum (Sp?) or someplace like htat.
We were a little rushed turning the jeep in because our ship left a little earlier and our girls wanted to spend some time downtown. So some of your decision may depend on how long your ship is in port, too, on how much use you will get out of it.
Check out cozumel websites, there's lots of good info, like, there are only 2 gas stations on the island, etc. We waited to rent until we got there. It was not as easy to find rentals as I had imagined and we ended up renting from Hertz which was okay and probably about same price as others. This time I think I'm going to reserve in advance and we may do a VW convertible, just a tad cheaper.
If you go the route of renting a jeep I think you'll be happy and have no problem.
Ok, i've rambled long enough - have fun whatever you do.
Thanks for all the information (pro and con). We will be weighing our options and taking everything into consideration. I had not looked into the insurance issue, but will do that before going. I was just thinking that if we traveled on our own, we could budget our time the way we want. I also need to research the Jeep 4x4 excursion to see what all it offers. Again, thanks for the info. Love these boards!!
Cozumel is so small that if you get lost and can't find your way, you probably shouldn't leave home. I've been there 2X and will be returning in January 05. I've alway felt perfectly safe. Rent a vehicle, buy insurance from the rental office, get a map and have fun.