Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cozumel Highlights and Mayan Ruins



Do you enjoy learning about ancient cultures and visiting exotic beaches?  How about drinking tequila?  If so, the Cozumel Highlights and Mayan Ruins excursion with the Disney Cruise Line may be right up your alley!

Ruins at San Gervasio
The excursion begins with a 10-minute walk from the ship to an air-conditioned motor coach.  This short walk to the motor coach is also the first glimpse of the vendors in Cozumel, as you have to walk through a shopping center to get there.  The first stop on the tour is the San Gervasio Ruins, which is about a 35-minute drive inland.  I was very excited for this part of the excursion because I am fascinated by ruins of any kind and find the Mayan culture especially fascinating. 

Very large iguana
Our tour guide David led us through the excavated ruins and told us the history of San Gervasio and the Mayan people who lived there.  David was a very funny tour guide and kept us entertained with his story telling abilities.  After a guided tour of the ruins, we were given 20 minutes to tour the ruins and shops on our own before moving on to our next location.  If iguanas frighten you, this excursion is not for you.  We saw very large iguanas all over Cozumel so if you are scared of them, you may want to stay on the ship!

Tequila at Cava Antigua
Next stop on the excursion is the Cava Antigua tequila factory.  My husband was very much looking forward to this part of the excursion!  Upon arrival you learn about the process of making tequila and then the tasting begins.  All adults of legal drinking age are given tiny cups to taste all of the different flavors of tequila that they make at the Cava Antigua distillery.  Even though they only give you a very small sample, I could only try a few samples before I had to put down the cups.  The flavors include Añejo, coffee, orange, cherry, and more.  I never knew there were so many flavors of tequila!  If you go on this excursion with children, have no fear.  The tequila factory has a piñata party for the kids to entertain them while the parents enjoy tequila.


Breathtaking view at El Mirador

After the tequila tasting, the next stop is the beachside, sightseeing spot known as El Mirador.  You are given 15 minutes to gaze out at the beautiful turquoise waters and rock formations created from the waves crashing against the shore.  This quick stop is a great time to snag some photos and yet another opportunity to do some shopping at a small souvenir shop on the beach.

El Cedral, a Mayan Village


The last stop on the tour is the Mayan village called El Cedral.  It was once the center of Mayan life and contains the oldest structure and the ruins of a cinderblock church.  There isn’t much to explore at El Cedral but there are more shops and vendors.  There are also some people there with animals, such as iguanas, that you can have your picture taken with.  You can take your picture with them on your camera for free but the people do expect tips.  This is one stop on the excursion that I could have done without. 

The excursion lasts about 4 to 4.5 hours and is available to all ages.  If you are looking to get a break from the kiddos, you will be happy to know that an adult only version of this excursion is available. Overall, I really enjoyed the excursion but one thing that I was not thrilled about was the amount of vendors at every stop.  If you enjoy shopping and haggling down prices, then it won’t be an issue for you but if you are like me, you may want to mentally prepare yourself.

Ashley

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