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westernmom

Excursions for western Caribbean

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I have booked the cave tubing in Belize, a Mayan tour in Costa Maya, and am thinking that we might want to spend the day shopping and go to Paradise Beach in Cozumel. And, was wondering about going to Atlantis and buying the tickets to go to The Digs for that day.

Any yea's, nay's, or opinions on my choices?

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Sounds good to me.

Costa Maya has a great beach excursion, one of the best we have ever been to. That's what we are planning to do on our return in March.

Trying to get my Brother and Sister in Law to go Cave tubing with us in Belize, but not on the ship's excursion, found a better one.

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We are going through cave-tubing.com as I have heard good things about them.

Our Chacchoben Mayan Ruins tour is with Ivan. I have a great interest in the Mayan ruins so am excited about this excursion. I even made Frank go with me to Apocalypco last week!

I have learned through the internet that we can book great excursions without going through the cruiseline. I booked our own for our last cruise and we were 100% satisfied and they cost us half of what the cruiseline would have charged us!

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One of my favorite stops, on Cozumel, is Chankanaab Park, just a short, ten-dollar (U.S.) taxi cab ride from the dock.

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The park was completely rebuilt in 1996, and has something for everyone. Admission is $10.00 (U.S.), for adults, and children are admitted free.

The beach is less than spectacular, but more than adequate. There are palapas, on the beach, if you want shade. It’s appeal lies in the fact that the reef is just a few hundred feet offshore, and you can rent snorkeling equipment ($6.00 - U.S.) and scuba gear ($20.00 - U.S.) right on the beach. The snorkeling and diving is truly spectacular, with visibility 250 feet, on a “bad day,†and “Unlimited†on a “Good†one!

Within Chankanaab Park is an Archeological Park, which used to be on another part of the island, and was moved to its present site during the 1996 renovation. A winding, jungle-like, trail winds through the Archeological Park, past replicas of Maya, Inca, Olmec, etc; structures and carvings, and leads to a recreated Mayan village.

The park, also, contains a beautiful Botanical Garden, with hundreds of species of plants, and a large population of Iguanas.

But, the centerpiece of the park is Chankanaab Lagoon, a gigantic sinkhole which connect to the sea through a number of underground tunnels. A large assortment of tropical reef fish also make their way into the lagoon, through the tunnels, and can be viewed from the path, and lookout points, which circle the lagoon.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, but really nice souvenir, or gift, check out Roberto’s Black Coral jewelry, in Sam Miguel, on 5th Street South. Go to the top of the main square, the Plaza del Sol, and turn right. Roberto’s is about three blocks south of the square, on the northeast corner.

His work is, truly, extraordinary and his prices are ridiculously low. By the way, it IS legal to bring black coral into the U.S., if it’s considered “artwork,†and Roberto’s work fits the description.

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The Mayan ruin at San Gervasio has not undergone the major restoration that the Mexican government had completed at many of the other sites, such as Chichen Itza, Tulum, Uxmal, etc; and is of interest only to those who are truly interested in Mayan history. It was an important site, historically, since it held the temple of the fertility goddess, Ixchel, but a relatively small one. Unless you’re a real pre-Columbian history buff, I don’t recommend this stop.

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We loved Passion Island in Cozumel.The beach is beautiful and the lunch is just great.They also have an open bar.They serve an orange drink that I think they called Passion Island Drink that is wonderful.I would love to know how to make that drink.I hope we can go back this fall and I am going to find out.It had a taste sort of like Tang.If anyone knows the ingredients please tell me.

Vicky

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Jeff,

Thanks for the information on this park. My dad has spent a lot of time in Guatamala and southern Mexico and he also agrees with you and thinks we should check this park out. I'm adding this info to my cruise file! Thanks again.

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One of the best kept secrets near Cozumel is the Mayan ruins of Coba (check it out on the internet). None of the typical cruise lines have excursions there making it MUCH less crowded than Tulum and the site is MUCH BETTER than Tulum. Coba has the second tallest pyramid in the Yucatan and you can still climb it. Plus, there are ball courts and palaces, etc. which are not roped off like in Tulum. My suggestion is to take the bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum (there is that stops in Coba, but not frequently) and then hire a taxi at the stand for Coba. Despite the posted price, you can get a cheaper deal if you ask. The first class public bus to Tulum takes about an hour, is airconditioned, comfortable, and there is even a movie to watch (if you know Spanish). The ticket to Tulum from Playa is only THREE DOLLARS! I'll be posting pics of Coba on the forum soon. I promise you'll have fun and an experience that most cruisers do not get. I do recommend reading my posting "The Ferry to Cozumel runs every two hours" for a few hints on how NOT to see Coba. Watch your time!

Have fun. :smile:

SMB

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