Cozumel Mexico is a popular vacation spot and Caribbean cruise port. You’ll be able to find many things to do in Cozumel Mexico!
Did you know Cozumel Mexico is an island? It’s located on the east coast of Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo.
Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean and the area’s most popular cruise port. Cozumel is full of beach activities, restaurants, shopping, and is in close to amazing Mayan ruins.
Our second and final port on November’s cruise was to Cozumel Mexico (our first port was Costa Maya!). Most folks visit Cozumel for the beaches or Mayan ruins, but Sally and I have both been to Cozumel several times, so we decided to do something a little different.
We opted for a tequila tasting at Jose Cuervo, just a few minutes away from the port, followed by souvenir shopping. I really enjoy shopping in Cozumel because the vendors aren’t pushy like some other ports tend to be.
I have to admit that outside of margaritas (mmmm, margaritas), I’m not a fan of tequila. But since we’d already done a wine tasting on the ship and Sally is a fan of tequila, we went for it!
It turns out tequila’s actually pretty tasty. The expensive stuff anyway, hah!
I am so happy to work with and have been hosted by Princess Cruises (thank you, Princess!) – Love the Caribbean. Support the Caribbean. Cruise the Caribbean.
Tequila Tasting in Cozumel
The tequila tasting was so much more than we anticipated. Rather than just a trying a few types of tequila, we enjoyed a sample of margaritas and then enjoyed learning about the origins of tequila and how it’s made.
Tequila is made from the agave plant. The agave plant looks a lot like a giant pineapple that’s been buried in the ground.
Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave or tequila agave, is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila.
Did you know tequila is like champagne in that it comes only from a specific region? The state of Jalisco is in charge of the enforcement of the laws, the verification and certification of the quality of tequila.
Tequila isn’t made in Cozumel Mexico at all!
This board supervises every aspect of the production, from the culture of agaves to the bottling and labeling to insure the authenticity of the product.
After the lecture we were brought to a tasting room with different types of tequila and a plate of foods meant to bring out the flavors in the tequilas.
We had a very young, very enthusiastic, and very entertaining tasting guide. And I actually really enjoyed the dark, long aged tequila. Also the chocolate. I definitely enjoyed the chocolate.
Then we had some time to look for souvenirs at the on-grounds gift shop. We assumed the tour was over, but then were pleasantly surprised at being led through a small museum!
All the way through, to a bar! Were we were served delicious mango margaritas!
After the margaritas, we figured it was time to go back to the port. But no! There was lunch! An authentic (and super delicious!) lunch (almuerzo) of pork and chicken tacos with sides of carrots, onions, beans, rice, corn, and peppers. And beer!
There were more shops on site to peruse after lunch and I was able to find a cute bracelet for Josie. Josie was very adamant that she only wanted jewelry from Mexico. Check, done.
Again, we thought the tour was over. But it still wasn’t! We were able to enjoy an incredible performance by Los Voladores de Papantla.
The Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), or Palo Volador (flying pole), is an ancient Mesoamerican ceremony/ritual still performed today in some areas of Mexico.
According to myth, at least 450 years ago there was a severe drought that brought hunger to the people. The gods were withholding the rain because the people had neglected them. The ceremony was created, to appease the gods and bring back the rains. (Wikipedia)
The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 30-meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. There are no harnesses or nets used, just the ropes around the dancers ankles!
The fifth remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum.
It’s really spectacular, and also a little terrifying. If you scroll down toward the end of this post you can see a video of the show we watched.
After that we got a ride back to the port area and did some more shopping. I know I said it before, but the shopping really is enjoyable in Cozumel Mexico.
The vendors are helpful and kind without being pushy, and everything is bright and fun.
What does Cozumel mean?
I love learning how places were named. Did you know Florida (where I live!) means full of flowers and was named by Ponce de Leon?
The name Cozumel was derived from the Mayan “Cuzamil” or “Ah Cuzamil Peten”, which means the island of swallows, or Isla de las Golondrinas.
Is Cozumel Mexico safe to travel to?
We felt very safe in Cozumel, and according to authorities, resort areas like Cozumel are generally safe so long as tourists follow basic safety tips.
Keep your head about you and don’t do anything foolish. Just basic good sense.
What body of water is Cozumel Mexico on?
Cozumel is located in the western Caribbean sea off the coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula, south of Cancun.
It is Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, largest permanently inhabited island, and Mexico’s third-largest island!
Do you have to have a passport to go to Cozumel Mexico?
It depends on how you arrive to Cozumel whether you’ll need a passport to enter. You must have a passport if you arrive by air, car and sometimes cruise ship.
That said, there is an exception for those traveling on a closed-loop cruise. Meaning the cruise begins and ends in the same United States port.
Points of Interest in Cozumel Mexico
- Mayan Ruins Mayan Ruins
Extensive ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization are scattered across the region, including Coba and the renowned coastal site of Tulum on mainland Mexico.
- Beaches Beaches
Dig your toes into the white sands of Cozumel’s coast, where aquamarine waters beckon you to the breathtaking shores of Playa Mia Grand Beach Park and secluded Passion Island Beach.
- X-Caret X-Caret
The ecological/archeological theme park of X-Caret is one of the most popular attractions on the Yucatan Peninsula. Among its great treasures are underground rivers, a replica of a Mayan village, and a Mexican cultural show.
- Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen
Alabaster-white beaches, gentle surf, coral reefs and a slow lifestyle make Playa del Carmen the place for backpackers, archeological buffs and New Age sun worshippers.
- Chankanaab National Park Chankanaab National Park
This park is home to a world-renowned ecosystem and natural aquarium with more than 60 species of tropical fish, crustaceans and corals and the only botanical garden on the island.
- Snorkeling & Diving Snorkeling & Diving
It is no secret that Cozumel excels with clear waters and spectacular reefs.
- Cozumel Museum & El Cedral Cozumel Museum & El Cedral
The museum houses two floors of exhibits. El Cedral is a small century-old ruin, the island’s first settlement founded by Spanish explorers in 1518.
- Boating Adventure Boating Adventure
Refresh your spirit and enjoy sailing, fishing, and other water sports.
Where we’ve cruised
Caribbean, Central, and South America
Alaska and Canada
Must-read cruising tips
Recipes inspired by our tropical travel
- Mango Pineapple Salsa – You’ll want to put this mango salsa on everything from fish tacos, to pork burgers, and of course chips!
- Whole Fruit Popsicles – Also inspired by those life changing pineapples, these delicious whole fruit popsicles are light, refreshing, and have no added sugar!
- Vanilla Mango Tropical Smoothie – This is such a treat after a hot afternoon bike ride or if you want a quick breakfast substitute. Mango and orange with the smoothness of vanilla is the perfect combo.
- Cilantro Garlic Sauce – Ohhhhh, cilantro garlic sauce is about to be your new obsession. We started by putting it on tacos, but now I like it on everything from fries to salads!
- Easy Pickled Red Onions – Last week in Cozumel I was reminded how much I love pickled red onions on pork, so of course I came home and made some right away.
- Pico de Gallo – Fresh tomatoes, onion, lime, ahhhhhhh. I could just eat this with a spoon!
- Dramamine ginger pills – These are a life saver! Just the right amount of ginger to quell seasickness, and they don’t make you drowsy. I swear by these when the ocean gets a little rough.
- Floppy straw hat – This won’t be much use on the deck, it’s windy up there! But a big floppy hat is perfect for protecting your skin during beach days at shore.
- Waterproof cell phone bag – We love these cellphone bags! Wear them around your neck and you can use them to carry your phone, cruise card, and cash too!
- Anti-chafing balm – In a pinch, a stick of deodorant will work, but if you’ve got power thighs like me, this anti-chafing stick will keep you from starting a friction fire. I never wear shorts without it!
- Lightweight backpack – This backpack is awesome! It’s super lightweight, and folds into itself so it doesn’t take almost any room in your luggage. We use it to take on excursions, so convenient!