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Best non-Royal excursions for Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Belize City


bryresangel
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Greetings!

It does not seem like RCC is offering many excursions on our cruise in December. I am looking for the BEST non-Royal excursions for Costa Maya and Cozumel. We were hoping to book something to see ruins, so bonus for anyone that has a recommended ruins excursion at either of those locations.

Also, what is recommended for Belize City? I saw they have ruins tours, but I think there may be better excursions for Belize. Thanks for the help!

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Maya Chan in Costa Maya is popular choice (and I would agree!), though it's strictly a beach day excursion.
If you're visiting the ruins, like Chichen Itza, on the mainland via Cozumel, would 100% recommend going the RC route, even if it's more expensive. The upcharge for booking through RC is worth not having to stress about getting back to the ship on time with such a lengthy excursion. It really is an all-day tour, and we had maybe an hour between when we returned and the ship left the port.

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The Chacchoben ruins in Costa Maya are really cool, but I'd probably go with Royal for them as they were a ~45 minute bus ride away.

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/09/16/excursion-focus-chacchoben-ruins-costa-maya

In Cozumel I went to Nachi Cocom, an all-inclusive day pass, and that was really fun! You can book it on your own and take a taxi there once in Cozumel.

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We have Maya Chan in Costa Maya booked for November. They were sold out for our July stop when we tried to book last week. We bought the port pass the last time we were in Costa Maya and it was fun. The aviary is really cool.

We are going to Paradise Beach in July. We are looking at this Cozumel Jeep Tour for November. We've been to Playa Mia in Cozumel for a cooking class that we booked through RC pre-COVID, but it is still available if you book directly through the resort. The food was excellent, but their drinks were awful unless you drank beer. Had a blast anyway. Definitely recommend if you like to cook. 

We've only been to Belize City once and it wasn't good. Our original excursion (Rum factory tour & tasting) was cancelled due to lack of interest. The excursion desk suggested the city tour on the open air trolley, so we did it. We should have just stayed in the port to shop and eat and then gone back to the ship. 

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For Costa Maya as others have already mentioned it's Maya Chan as the safe bet.

However if that's filled I would also recommend Almaplena Beach Resort.  It's similar to Maya Chan with a nice beach and all you can eat and drink.  It's further down the beach, but accessible via the "highway" so the overall travel time is the same as Maya Chan.  It doesn't have any toys to play in the water but is a little more tranquil and secluded if that's what you're looking for.  I personally like it a little more than Maya Chan but I haven't been back since covid to see if anything has changed.

I've only been to Nachi Cocom in Cozumel, but like it enough I've never thought of trying another beach spot there yet.

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Also be careful of non-RC tours for Belize City as it is a tender port.  I learned the hard way a few years ago when the first tender I could get on boarded an hour after the tour I pre-booked was scheduled to leave (and it wasn't early, something like 2-3 hours after ship arrival).  I was even one of the first to get a tender ticket that morning, but there were so many RC excursions and I believe Diamond and up statuses at the time, over half the tickets were gone before I even had a chance to get one.

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4 hours ago, billdauterive said:

Also be careful of non-RC tours for Belize City as it is a tender port.  I learned the hard way a few years ago when the first tender I could get on boarded an hour after the tour I pre-booked was scheduled to leave (and it wasn't early, something like 2-3 hours after ship arrival).  I was even one of the first to get a tender ticket that morning, but there were so many RC excursions and I believe Diamond and up statuses at the time, over half the tickets were gone before I even had a chance to get one.

This is very good advice - The timing on some of the private tours in Belize can be a problem with the tendering.  Most of the snorkeling tours involve a second water taxi ride that really makes the timing tight.  It is one of the few places where I recommend using a ship tour.

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On 2/23/2022 at 11:14 AM, JennaRCB said:

The Chacchoben ruins in Costa Maya are really cool, but I'd probably go with Royal for them as they were a ~45 minute bus ride away.

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/09/16/excursion-focus-chacchoben-ruins-costa-maya

In Cozumel I went to Nachi Cocom, an all-inclusive day pass, and that was really fun! You can book it on your own and take a taxi there once in Cozumel.

We did Chacchoben ruins and really enjoyed it from Costa Maya.  The 45 minute or so bus ride allowed us to see something of the countryside which we really enjoy doing. 

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