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Isla Mujeres

Isla is so close that you can plan your own trip to the island. All you have to do is catch the ferries to Isla Mujeres that leave every 20 minutes from Puerto Juárez or Punta Sam. There are also water taxis and shuttles leaving from the Hotel Zone but they are more expensive.

If you want someone else to do the planning and don’t mind spending the money there are a number of excellent tours offered that include a boat ride, snorkeling, shopping in downtown Isla, open-bar buffet lunches, and listening to music or lounging at Playa Norte. To go to Isla Mujeres costs $13.50 US for the round-trip, and you can find coupons for a 10% discount. The water-taxi leaves from the marina near the "Fat Tuesday" bar in the hotel zone.

Cozumel

Cozumel can be explored on your own but does take some planning; day trips are harder since the Island is farther away and there is a lot to explore. To get to Cozumel on your own you must first go to Playa del Carmen and then take the ferry across to Cozumel. It takes about 40 minutes for the bus trip to Playa and another 45 minutes for the ferry ride over to Cozumel. The ferry stops running early in the evening. For quick days trips you may want to consider Aquaworld’s trip to Cozumel abroad the deluxe Ocean Princess. The tour includes guided shopping and sightseeing, a beach buffet with food and drinks and a chance to snorkel, dive or just explore the island.

To go to Cozumel, you must leave early from the bus terminal downtown for Playa del Carmen on the coast. Once there, you take a ferry to Cozumel. The reason for leaving early is that the bus ride takes a couple of hours, the ferry stops running relatively early in the evening, and the ferry can be busy so you may wait a while to go over.

Jungle Tours

There are a variety of tours through the mangroves of Laguna Nichupté that end with a snorkeling trip out to the coral reef. You can either pilot your own jet ski or cruise on a boat.

Those new to snorkeling or traveling with young children may prefer a boat tour like the one AquaWorld offers to its private island, "Isla Paraiso". After going through the jungle by boat, you spend the rest of the day on a man-made island with change rooms, a restaurant and rest area. Food and drinks along with snorkeling equipment and a guided tour to the reed is included in the price. Aquaworld also offers a jungle tour where you drive your own speedboat through the mangrove jungle, stopping off at the ocean to snorkel the reef. The 2.5-hour trip includes use of a two-person speedboat, snorkeling gear, soft drinks and lockers at the marina.

Snorkeling Tours

There are snorkeling tours that go to Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, both islands near Cancun. You can go to both of these places by yourself for much less money, and if you are a sightseer rather than a serious snorkeler, or if you are already going on several other tours, you might just want to go on your own.

Tips

There are a variety of tours through the jungle (really a swamp with jungle vegetation) surrounding the Cancun lagoon. You can either pilot your own jet-ski, or cruise on a boat. You sail through the twisty passages in the swamp until you reach a spot where you can snorkel the rest of the afternoon.

Experienced snorkelers will probably prefer the jungle tour where you ride the jet-ski. Beginning snorkelers or those travelling with their families might prefer a boat tour like the one AquaWorld offers to its private island, "Isla Paraiso". After going through the jungle by boat, you spend the rest of the day on a man-made island with change rooms, a restaurant, and free food, drinks, and snorkeling equipment. You can snorkel by yourself or go on a guided tour of the reef.

Warning: Don't apply any suntan lotion before snorkeling as you are not allowed to swim with it on it's toxic to the coral reef.

 
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