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Tours and other things in Cozumel? (2 Viewers)

Tired

Well-known member
United States
I'm going with my family to Cozumel at the end of April, and I'm looking for a few different suggestions for places to go.

First off, I'm trying to find a tour that my whole family would like. My mother has problems with her joints where she can't walk on uneven ground, can't walk especially far in general, and shouldn't be in vehicles on particularly bumpy roads. Can anyone suggest a tour, maybe an hour or so, that would involve minimal walking (maybe a driving tour) and would have a good shot at seeing a lot of generally interesting wildlife? Colorful birds, iguanas, and the like.

Cozumel Butterflies Anyone been to this place? I'd like to see butterflies, and I'm hoping to spot at least one Cozumel Emerald. I figure a butterfly sanctuary would probably be good for butterflies and hummingbirds, and it seems like a nice place to wander around looking at things. What's the path situation like?

I am, of course, looking for at least one tour for me. I'm up for some walking, though I'd prefer not to walk more than a mile or two. I want to focus on wildlife endemic to Cozumel/Cancun. I prefer birds, but other animals are definitely a bonus, particularly as I see they have coatis there. And, of course, all sorts of interesting tropical insects and reptiles.
I'm not sure how to put this politely, so I'll just say it: I have an auditory processing disorder, which, among other things, means I have trouble understanding people who have heavy accents. My ears are fine, but my brain doesn't always register what was said. So I either need a guide who doesn't have a heavy accent, or a guide who won't mind me probably having to ask them to repeat whatever they said a lot.

Does anyone have any suggestions for species I should try to see? Anything, plant or animal, not just birds. I like weird-looking animals in particular, and I'd like to focus to some extent on the sorts of brilliantly colored animals you generally only see in the tropics, but I'm up for anything I can't find in Texas.

Last, anyone have any spots, terrestrial or snorkeling, that I can't miss? I'll be snorkeling too, and we've scheduled a submarine tour that I'm very excited for. I have to figure out how to manage my time and my energy level, but I figure the starting point for that is to learn what my options are.
 

Butty

Well-known member
Can anyone suggest a tour, maybe an hour or so . . .
Note that, if you're talking about activities off the island, just transit time of the ferry + queuing/pratting/etc takes at least half-an-hour each way. So that's your hour gone, just in getting off/on the island.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Cozumel has a very simple geography. The main town is San Miguel according to the map. There is one road that when I visited was decent that goes from there to the east coast, bends around the south and and back to San Miguel. This is about as much of a tour you probably can take your mother on, or maybe if she is interested, a tour to the Mayan ruins.

For yourself, there a few other places. One is the golf course at first light in the morning - I do not know if it is possible to gain entry generally or if it was because we were in company with a local guide that we got in. That was where I saw the emerald, and generally, the best birding we had on the island. Next, there is the Mayan ruin area (Zona Arqueológica San Gervasio). I didn't actually visit the ruins but parked in their parking lot and walked some forest roads in the area. The northwest of the island you can get to some forest roads early evening or better before dawn and look for Pauraque and possibly other nightjars such as Yucatan N.

Cozumel has a few endemics, both species and subspecies, and there is a proposal that might make the local House Wren the next endemic species.

Niels
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
If you have time, the small community of El Cedral in the south of the island is very good for birds and is easy to do if you have a vehicle. You could drive around and stop occasionally to look for birds. It's a particularly good area for the Emerald, which is easy to see in the flowery gardens. The other endemic species and sub-species should also be possible there.
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
If you're based in the main town, the road which runs north out of town following the west coast of the island quickly becomes very birdy, and is good for most of the bird specialities, including Ruddy Crake if you get as far as the swampy bit at the end (only a few km). It's bumpy though, so not a track you want to take your mum on.
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
If you're based in the main town, the road which runs north out of town following the west coast of the island quickly becomes very birdy, and is good for most of the bird specialities, including Ruddy Crake if you get as far as the swampy bit at the end (only a few km). It's bumpy though, so not a track you want to take your mum on.
I suspect that road may have been improved in recent years. It was a good surfaced road all the way to the water treatment works when I visited in January, but is very bumpy from there down to the coast.
 

Tired

Well-known member
United States
Note that, if you're talking about activities off the island, just transit time of the ferry + queuing/pratting/etc takes at least half-an-hour each way. So that's your hour gone, just in getting off/on the island.
Oh, some travel time is fine. I should have been clearer; I just don't think the majority of my family would be too interested in spending over an hour actively looking at wildlife. My dad and brothers have about an average interest in wildlife, maybe a little above average? Mostly cooler things like the big iguanas. My mom likes birds to some extent, but not as much as me.

We'll definitely have to check out the ruins. Should entertain the whole family, and seems like an opportunity to get some photos with particularly nice scenery and backgrounds.

Good to know about the road, and El Cedral. We have a few days, so I may take one day to just drive around to likely spots, trying for a variety of things.

Can anyone recommend a good guide for a birding tour on Cozumel? I'm seeing a few options online, but I'm not entirely sure what to look for, and I'd like to hear some opinions from people who I can be reasonably sure haven't been paid to write a nice review.
 

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