Spring-breakers, cruise ship stop-overs, and beach bums are at the top of the list of those who visit the Mexican island of Cozumel. But, there’s so much more to do on this island than sipping margaritas or lounging in your bikini. Traditional beach activities like scuba diving, snorkeling and dolphin swimming are all available. But, you can also mix up your tropical vacation with a stop at some of these cultural and historical sites that make Cozumel a destination for all types of vacation seekers.
What could be better than seeing traditional Mayan chocolate making up close and personal? This family owned business celebrates this favorite treat. Cacao is sacred to the Mayan people and the owners of this establishment take quality seriously. Visitors can take a tour of the chocolate factory and enjoy the fruit of the labors. An onsite gift shop allows for a chocolate-y souvenir to make its way home with you.
Faro Celerain Ecological Reserve
While you’ll need a car or scooter to access this park it’s well worth the extra effort. A historic lighthouse is at the edge of the island and Mayan ruins dating back as far as the seventh century can be found inside the reserve. You can rent a catamaran inside the park to glide along the mangrove ecosystem that is also a sea turtle sanctuary during summer months.
There are 14 Mayan archeological sites on Cozumel but one of the best preserved is San Gervasio. It was a sacred site for Mayan women and includes a temple to the goddess Ix Chel (goddess of fertility and rain). The site was inhabited from 100 BC until the Spanish conquest of the island in the 16th century. The ruins here have not been restored aside from minor alterations to retain the structure. Aside from actually seeing the ruins there isn’t anything else to do at this site but for anyone interested in the history of the region it’s easy to reach and inexpensive (adults are $8). This is also the only archeological site on the island that is open to visitors.
Cozumel Cooking Class
If spending a few days on the island, taking a cooking class promises to be an experience you won’t forget. Josefina’s Cocina con Alma offers a three hour cooking class that includes a trip to the local market to purchase supplies, followed by preparing an authentic Mexican meal. Customized meals are available for those with allergies or food preferances. There’s no tex-mex here, it’s all authentic foods like handmade tortillas, tingas, and nopales.
If you are planning an upcoming cruise, be sure to download our free Cruise Scavenger Hunt Printable. Suitable for families, this easy to download printable provides entertainment for your entire family aboard their 1st day on a cruise ship. If you are interested in other printable, you can visit my friend Ashley for all your party printable needs. What a perfect way to familiarize yourself with with the cruise ship and entertain your little ones. For more information on my upcoming Brandcation: Seas the Day experience you can follow the hashtag: #SeastheDay on any social media networking site.
Are you planning an upcoming cruise? Have you experienced the cultural side of Cozumel, Mexico?