Every Western Caribbean cruise will have Cozumel as a port of call. The little island has made catering to cruisers its number one priority. I have yet to tire of this wonderful place, and this stop was one of the most memorable to date. This visit we spent the day at the very beautiful, and very large, beach club called Chankanaab. Our decision was based solely on one factor...three of us wanted to swim with a dolphin.
Choosing to participate in a dolphin swim was a difficult decision for me. I am honestly uncomfortable with dolphins being kept in captivity for human enjoyment. When I was a teen my dream was to be a Marine Biologist. I owned a collection of Jacque Cousteau books and dreamed of working with marine animals. Veterinary medicine ran a close second.
My dreams were shattered by a particularly poor biology teacher in high school. I did not take another science class until I returned to college at the age of 25. Imagine my shock to find I still loved science and that it was very easy for me as well. By then I was married with children and nursing seemed a better fit. I will admit that after 20 years of nursing, my heart still belongs to the animals. So, the dolphin swim was a purely selfish endeavor...and one I will never forget.
While DD, DSIL, and myself, frolicked in the water with DH watching, DS and DDIL found a comfy beach spot and began working on their tan. The beach is very nice at Chankanaab, and especially popular with snorkelers. What it does not have is the nice sloping sand beach entrance into the water. It makes up for this in size and beautiful grounds, but for me it is a one time visit kind of place.
There is a fee to enter the facility, unlike Mr. Sancho's, our go to beach in Cozumel. It does have a reproduction of Mayan ruins, a lagoon, and gardens that are lovely and very enjoyable to walk through. We saw some pretty impressive Iguana's up close and personal there.
I actually did not snorkel at Chankanaab. There are stairs to enter the water and they were ridiculously crowded. Once past the stairs a snorkeling class/group were flailing around in the water. I gave up and decided laying on the beach with food and drink was a preferable way to spend the rest of my day.
My daughter and I were talked out of some money for a picture with an Iguana and a Parrot...but the pictures were so worth it! And yes, the Iguana is perched on my head.
The dolphin swim was worth any residual guilt...though I will not do it again. Big tip...do not book the swim through your cruise line!! We saved almost half by booking it directly through Chankanaab. They even send you a voucher for your cab fare. And it includes your entrance into the park. It is also refundable if bad weather causes your swim to be cancelled. Save yourself some money and book direct.
All in all we enjoyed a relaxing day at the beach...even my DH, who stayed fully dressed right down to his shoes and socks! Enjoy the pictures...and...
Bon Voyage ~Marla