8 Incredibly Fun Things to Do in Cozumel, Mexico

Monster jeep ride in Cozumel

Bienvenidos a Cozumel!

I came to Cozumel for the first time when I worked as shore excursion staff onboard a cruise ship, and instantly fell in love with it!

This gorgeous Caribbean island seduced me, and it wasn’t because of its beauty – it was because of its cheerful people, positive vibes, and friendly atmosphere you feel the moment you put your feet on the island’s soil.

In Cozumel, everything is about rhythms (the land of salsa) and music in every corner, movement, adventurous activities, and Caribbean vibes!

In this blog post, I share with you the 8 fun things to do in Cozumel. But, before that, let me share some facts about this beautiful island!

Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park - One of the fun things to do in Cozumel!
Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park

Where is Cozumel?

The island of Cozumel is part of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and is located along the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula. The island is the third-largest island in Mexico with the largest town of San Miguel of Cozumel, nestled along the island’s western coast.

Cozumel’s economy mainly relies on tourism – mostly on cruise ships coming to Cozumel as part of their cruise itinerary. The cruise ship terminals are located within a walking or a short driving distance from the downtown.

The island is separated from the mainland by the Cozumel channel, and to reach the mainland, there are daily ferry boat departures from the ferry dock situated in the center of San Miguel.

The ferry boat ride can be rough and lasts about 45 minutes (around 20 km from Cozumel to the mainland). The boats are very comfortable, so the ride can be quite enjoyable when the winds and the sea are not rough. I advise you to always bring seasickness pills though.

The main port the ferry boats dock on the mainland side is Playa del Carmen, a popular tourist resort. From there, you can start exploring Mayan ruins, or go have ultimate fun in one of Mexico’s spectacular adventure parks. The city of Cancun is located 70 km (a 1-hour drive) from Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen sign

8 Incredibly Fun Things To Do In Cozumel

1. Royal Dolphin Swim at Chankanaab

Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cozumel, located only a 15-minute drive from the cruise ship terminal and San Miguel downtown.

The adventure park is part of Cozumel’s National Reef Marine Park which is said to be the scuba divers’ and snorkeling paradise, home to the most impressive coral reefs in the Caribbean!

Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park entrance

The beach park itself boasts many amenities you can enjoy, from dolphin swimming and encounters programs, manatee interactions and sea lion shows, to eco-archaeological tours, Tequila Village tours, and many others.

The park includes two restaurants, a bar, a small beach equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, a pool area, a snorkeling area, a lot of greenery, and Mayan ruins replicas… In one word, heaven for families, couples, groups of friends and solo travelers!

Buffet-style lunch at Chankanaab

I had the opportunity to experience Dolphin Royal Swim and manatee interaction in their natural habitat, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!

The trainers in the park were absolutely great, very helpful and friendly, so even if you feel uncomfortable at first, they’ll quickly teach you how to swim with these adorable mammals.

Royal swim means that two dolphins push your feet to help you fly across the water’s surface – just like Superman, and although it might seem scary, it’s incredibly fun and entertaining!

And, that’s not all! You’ll grab the fins of the dolphins and they will pull you to the other side of the swimming area! You’ll enjoy a lot of contact with dolphins, they will kiss you, hug you and dance with you! In addition, you will learn so much about these friendly animals!

Dolphin at Chankanaab

Dolphin encounter at Chankanaab - Cozumel

Royal dolphins swim at Chankanaab Adventure Park, Cozumel

Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park offers different packages, depending on the activities and programs you want to join, whether you want to have lunch and drinks included or not, etc.

Cruise ships offer shore excursions to Chankanaab, so you also have the option to book with your cruise line or through an independent tour operator.

I recommend Chankanaab to everyone, and I can guarantee you’ll have a fun-filled day you’ll never forget!

2. ATV Ride Through the Mexican Jungle

If you want to get dirty and explore the depths of a Mexican jungle in a thrilling way, the off-road ATV ride is a must!

There are many Cozumel ATV tours offered by different tour operators. Some go to the Mayan ruins, secluded beaches, Punta Sur eco beach park, and I did the one going to the Jade Cavern – a hidden Mayan cenote!

My ATV tour lasted around 3 hours and included a ride to Jade Cavern, an underground cenote (a natural underground swimming hole) that used to be a sacred site of Mayan civilization in ancient times.

ATV ride through Mexican jungle

Jade Cavern cenote, Cozumel

You can typically choose between a single ATV or double ATV, you get all the necessary instructions and equipment, and once your ride starts – you’ll follow your instructor and group during the whole duration of the ride. The tour usually includes stops at several places, and the ride itself is a muddy and adrenaline-pumped experience!

I wouldn’t recommend this experience to people with back and chronic health issues and those who prefer to stay clean!

It is a must for those who seek fun, adrenaline, adventure, and a unique and memorable way to visit Cozumel!

3. Jose Cuervo Tequilla Tasting

You can join this amazing tequila tasting tour in Discover Mexico Park, located only a 10-minute drive from San Miguel downtown, and a 5-minute drive from a cruise terminal.

Discover Mexico Park offers an ultimate cultural immersion into Mexico’s rich cultural heritage. Here, you can make chocolate, create Mexican handcrafts, enjoy the specialties of the regional cuisine, learn about the history of Maya, enjoy live entertainment, and much more!

Jose Cuervo Tequila tasting at Discover Mexico Park

Discover Mexico Park, Cozumel

We did the Tequila tasting and it was one of the best tasting tours I’ve ever joined! The tour is educational, a Master Tequilier gives a lesson on tequila origins, the distillation process, and the correct way to savor it while you sample three different types of Jose Cuervo tequila: Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo.

After enjoying the premium quality tequila, you’ll have a delicious Mexican taco buffet waiting for you on the other side of the park. The tour I joined also included margarita tasting, so you can imagine how perfectly my day ended!

4. Sea Trek Helmet Diving

Imagine going for a walk, but this time on the bottom of the ocean! Helmet diving is another exciting activity you can try in Cozumel! You get equipped with an astronaut-style helmet that keeps your head and shoulders dry during the whole time you are underwater, by providing a constant air supply.

Sea Trek Helmet Diving, Cozumel

It is suitable for beginners and people who don’t have experience in underwater activities. You might feel edgy in the beginning, but Sea Trek instructors are very professional and caring, and you’ll feel safe and comfortable during the entire diving activity.

The helmet is a bit heavy, but you’ll quickly get used to it and by the time you reach the ocean bottom (you’ll use a ladder to get down to a maximum of 20 feet/6 meters depth), you’ll forget you have it on your head!

Once you start your underwater walk, you’ll discover a whole new world and forget about the time! Professional divers will be around you all the time, ensuring you are safe and taking your pictures! As I said, I lost track of the time while I was underwater, but I would say we were underwater for about half an hour.

Helmet diving,, Cozumel
Mayan ruins replicas on the bottom of the ocean

After the helmet dive, you can stay at Sea Trek place and go snorkeling (they will give you the equipment) or just relax on sunbeds and try Mexican delicious food in their restaurant.

The photos are for an additional charge (they are not included in the package).

I recommend helmet diving for everyone who enjoys water activities and would like to try something different! It’s particularly fun when you are with a group of friends or family, so you can take some great, creative underwater photographs!


5. Monster Jeep Ride to a Secluded Beach and Mayan Ruins

Jeep tours are also a popular way to explore the unknown, hidden trails of Cozumel. The tour I joined was organized by the cruise ship and it included a jeep ride through a rugged, off-road terrain overlooking the ocean, followed by a stop at a deserted Mayan ruin and a typical Mexican lunch at a remote beach.

Cozumel jeep ride

A hidden Mayan ruin in Cozumel

Mexican lunch at a secluded beach in Cozumel
Mexican lunch at a secluded beach in Cozumel

A secluded beach, Cozumel

6. Mexican Cooking Class at Playa Mia Beach Resort

For those of you who still look for fun, but want to have time to relax at the beach and drink margaritas as well, this might be the right place to go!

Playa Mia is a large beach resort offering all the amenities you need for a perfect beach day: an open-air buffet-style restaurant (they have a la carte menu as well), several bars, a long stretch of beach with cabanas, sunbeds, and umbrellas, watersports activities, pools, shops, etc.

They offer several tours and excursions, as well as some workshops, and I highly recommend signing up for a Mexican cooking class exclusively with a chef who will teach you how to make typical Mexican dishes! It is an incredibly fun activity where you get to learn about Mexican cuisine and savor the meal you make!

Playa Mia beach park
Playa Mia Beach Park
Mexican cooking class
Mexican cooking class – you’ll learn to make typical Mexican dishes!

7.  Mix Your Margarita

You can enjoy this unique experience at BLU by Dolphinaris Resort located in San Miguel downtown, and only a 10-minute drive from the cruise terminal.

This time, you get to mix up your margaritas and become an expert “Mexologist”! This is an interactive bartending lesson where you’ll learn the art of making margaritas and other Mexican cocktails.

The groups are small (not more than 10 people per group) and the class takes place at the bar overlooking the pool area and the sea, so the overall experience is above expectations!

Tequila mexology class at Dolphinaris, Cozumel

Tequila Mexology at BLU by Dolphinaris, Cozumel
In the end, you get to taste your margarita!

After margaritas, you’ll make guacamole that you get to savor with tortilla chips and light bites from the canteen kitchen.

You must be of legal age to consume alcohol, so this activity is not allowed for those under 18 years old.

BLU by Dolphinaris Resort is large and has many other things to offer, such as snorkeling activities and dolphin interactions. If you decide to come with kids, there are many other activities your kids can join, so you can all have a memorable day at one of Cozumel’s most popular resorts.

8. Dance Salsa at Margaritaville

Right in front of the International cruise terminal, there is a large open-air Margaritaville bar-restaurant, where you can have some unforgettable fun for the perfect end (or beginning!) of the day!

It doesn’t only offer a delicious (yet, pricey!) Mexican specialties, but there are also all kinds of activities organized in the bar, such as salsa dancing, Bingo and Mexican Loteria time, etc.

Margaritaville, Cozumel

Cruise guests adore it, and most of them prefer to end their day dancing in the bar before getting back to their cruise ship!

The dancing, crowd, great vibes, and lively atmosphere of Margaritaville attract all visitors and the perfect location of the place makes it easily accessible for both cruise ship guests and regular tourists! What else can I say – definitely a must-see place for all dance fans!

Viva Mexico! Stay Tuned!

I hope my article provided you with some fresh, creative ideas about what you can do in Cozumel! Whatever you choose to go for, I am sure you’ll have an amazing time!

If you want to read the detailed cruise port guide, check my article: Cozumel Cruise Port & Things to Do on a Cruise

As I said, Cozumel is all about smiling, friendly people, salsa beats, movement, and positive vibes! All you have to do is be positive yourself. Viva Mexico!

Visit also our cruise port guides to Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan, Aruba, Nassau, St Maarten, San Juan

You may also like our cruise port guides to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Western Europe, Baltic & Scandinavia, USA & Canada, Australia & New Zealand

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

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