Chankanaab Park in Cozumel

Cozumel island in Mexico was the third and the last stop of our cruise in the Western Caribbean. You can read about the first and the secon...

Cozumel island in Mexico was the third and the last stop of our cruise in the Western Caribbean. You can read about the first and the second stops here - Key West and Cayman Islands. Cozumel is an amazingly beautiful place, however we didn't fully enjoy it due to overcast clouds, drizzling rain and strong cold wind gusts.

Cozumel is a big island in the Caribbean Sea located 12 miles (19 km) offshore from Yukatan Peninsula. 
A presence of the international airport and the port for cruise ships almost guarantees that tourists keep coming here year around. 
There is no public transport on the island, so you're basically left with only two options - hire a taxi or rent a car. Renting a car is not a terrible idea considering that daily rates start from only seven dollars. In the US, I would not have even thought twice to rent a car, however Mexico was a new territory for me, so I decided to stick with a taxi. And, besides, we only had about 4-5 hours, so it would not have been a wise idea to rent a car anyway given the time needed to pick up and drop off a car as well as to pump a gas.
We saw four more cruise ships in Cozumel including the biggest one in the world - Allure of the Seas (as of May 2015). 
We liked Mexico from the beginning. Even vendors appeared friendly and easy going, and didn't annoy us with selling their merchandise. Although, it's a tourist place. 
There are tons of ways to spend half a day on the island. We chose to visit the Chankanaab Park which some Internet sources call 'national'. 
However, this park looked more like an amusement park as opposed to a 'national' park (at least based on what national parks look like in the US and Canada). But what makes this place so special?
Apparently, it's a beautiful lagoon which is connected to the sea through the underground tunnel.
Swimming and diving are prohibited in the lagoon. As a result, you can see lots of beautiful tropical fish.
Chankanaab from Maya language is a 'little sea'
The colors are surreal!
Not the best day for beaching.
Cozumel is a dream destination for those who love diving and snorkeling. I think there are no natural sand beaches here, but you can dive or snorkel right from the shore.
For those wanting to stretch their legs, there is a little jungle park with a few short hiking trails and...
... crocodiles.
By the way, these huge reptiles are native to Cozumel and live at the southern tip of the island.
Spa in the national park. Why not?
If you have even wanted to see Maya ruins and take a selfie with them, don't miss this small part of the park with fake artifacts. Some of them are pretty old and even look real.
This is how a Maya village may have looked like.
This lady cooked a corn bread. Yummy!
Not sure if Maya knew about concrete, but this is how Maya oven may have looked like.
Some more fake artifacts. 
Not bad.
For sure a great place to hide from the mid-day heat.
Tequila tasting bar.
I have to admit that Mexicans have a great taste when it comes to decorating their restaurants, bars, stores, etc. Look at this one - isn't it amazing?
Sea lions.
Dolphins and manatees also live here. You can take a short (20 min) free tour to find out more about these interesting animals.

My other posts about the Caribbean Cruise:

Cruising the Caribbean Sea
Key West - Home of the Sunset
Cayman Islands - Financial Offshore With White-Sand Beaches

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