Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Playing in Cozumel
Playing in Cozumel
The best of the island’s and mainland’s play spots and attractions are featured in shore excursions on the following pages, which we recommend for most visitors. Many are day-long experiences. Serious divers may prefer to make their own arrangements.
The island does not produce much in the way of local crafts, but you can find a wide range of silver, carved wood and stone, and other Mexican specialties, imported from the mainland. Shops near the cruise pier will tend to be the most expensive. Know your prices, and be prepared to bargain. Silver items are typically sold by weight, and black coral cannot be brought back into the United States.
White, powder-soft sands and clear, turquoise waters make the island’s beaches very attractive. The strong undertow found on the east coast beaches, such as Playa Oriente, can be perilous for swimmers, but the big surf, dunes, stretches of rocky coastline, and small crowds are very tempting. Playa Oriente is at the far eastern end of the central, cross-island road, and others can be found by turning right and following the paved road southward. Several of these beaches offer restaurants and watersport rentals. The safe, gentle beaches on the sheltered west side of the island are generally built up, offering a wide variety of recreational and dining opportunities. Top picks (all south of San Miguel) include San Francisco Beach, Playa del Sol, Playa Francesa, and Playa Palancar.
Palancar Reef, at the island’s southwest corner, is probably at the top of most serious divers’ list, but dozens more dive sites dot the map. Visit http://www.scubadiving.com/tags/cozumel for a diverse mix of informative articles and promotional materials.
Chankanaab Park offers first-rate snorkel, nature, and wildlife encounter opportunities. • On the mainland, the Xcaret Eco-Archaeological Park offers many unusual opportunities (book an excursion for either of these). The island’s archaeological sites are quite minor, with the most developed at San Gervasio, near the island’s center. Archaeology buffs should book an excursion to Tulum Ruins, about 80 miles (128 km.) away on the mainland. Alas, famed Chichen Itza is a bit too far for a day trip.
Your schedule may allow for both lunch and dinner ashore. Carlos ‘n Charlie’s is a town fixture, conveniently located in Punta Langosta Mall. In the center of town, Casa Denis and La Choza offer regional specialties.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 53400) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
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