Talc-white beaches, reefs teeming with life, ruined temples in misty rainforests – the Riviera Maya offers a family or romantic beach holiday with a dash of Indian Jones adventure.
Travel bucket list idea:
Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park
Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico|cozumelparks.com
Visitors flock to this little park for one thing: swimming with dolphins. It’s highly touristy and often overwhelmed with cruise passengers (cruise boats docking at Cozumel sell the dolphin encounter onboard), but there’s no denying the pleasure of swimming with these endearing mammals – especially for children.
You can also swim with manatees and sea lions here, and the Chankanaab Reef, just offshore within the park, offers safe and accessible, if fairly mediocre snorkelling.
Getting there & doing it
You can fly into Cozumel International airport from Cancun, or take the ferry from Playa del Carmen (from 6am-10pm, about 30 minutes). Taxis are available at the airport to take you to the park (and to take you home again), or rent a car at the airport for the day.
You must book ahead https://www.dolphindiscovery.com/cozumel/ for the dolphin or manatee encounters, and can rent snorkel equipment there (but it’s cheaper to take your own). The admission price includes dolphin and sea lion shows as well as beach access, but the encounters cost extra.
When to do it
The park is open all year round, seven days a week.
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