smoother than that first margarita
Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park is one of the most popular cruise excursion destinations in Cozumel, Mexico. And for good reason! It’s nearby your Cozumel Cruise Port and offers a variety of shore tour options inspired by Mexico’s beauty and culture. Whether you want to lounge on the beach, swim with dolphins, zipline over the jungle, or taste that famous Mexican tequila everyone is slurring about, you’ll find it at Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park.
The park is divided into six different sections. Each offers an array of attractions and shore tours. Some have an additional cost, while others are included in the price of your entrance to Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park.
Below we’ll break down the park to show you the separate sections and the main attractions found in each.
The Beach Area lines the coast of Chankanaab Park and is perfect for lounging and enjoying the Mexican sun. You’ll have access to plenty of beach chairs, umbrellas, and beautiful white sand. Cool off in the shaded under the palapas or take a stroll up to the inlet on the northern side of the resort.
Enjoy a dip in the relatively calm waters off Cozumel’s eastern coast. The island is just off Mexico’s coast; Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park faces Mexico’s mainland. As such, the waves are fewer and much smaller than on Cozumel’s western side.
Beach vendors and nearby cafes provide access to snacks or larger meals. Drinks are readily available with accompanying tequila, if that’s your fancy.
Here are some of the attractions found in the beach section of Chankanaab Park.
You’ll find plenty of room on the beach and won’t have any issues finding available beach chairs or umbrellas. These are included in your price of admission, so no haggling necessary either.
Here’s what one beach visitor remarked.
“This was our second visit to Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. This time we did not go through the cruise line and saved $$$! Beautiful park and beach resort – I had a fabulous, relaxing massage on the beach with Danielle for a great price! The boys all zip lined and went snorkeling everyone had a blast! Lot’s to do great way to spend your day in Cozumel! Fun and Relaxing! We will be back!”
The national park is actually named after the “Chankanaab Lagoon” located in this section of the resort. The Mayan translation is “little sea” and refers to this little body of water located in this section of Chankanaab Beach Adventure park. The beautiful, crystal-clear pool is fed by caves stretching underground to the gulf floor. Within the lagoon is a colorful array of fish seen from multiple platforms surrounding the waters.
The Zipline ride is one of the more exciting attractions Chankanaab BEach Adventure Park has to offer. You’ll take a total of six rides and the entire experience lasts roughly 30 minutes. Expect spectacular views of the park and surround forest areas. You’ll even sail over crocodiles licking their chops from the waters below.
“Explore the many pathways through lush gardens to learn of the Mayan gods and goddess’ then have a little visit with the resident crocodiles before heading oceanside and the stunning Blue Lagoon.”
– Belinda W
Many visitors to Cozumel know of the area’s rich Mayan heritage. You’ll find a number of cruise excursions to visit the Mayan Ruins. These sites are over an hour away from your cruise port. We’re not advising not to see the actual ruins… but, the next best thing is found here at Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park.
The resort does an excellent job capturing the story of the Mayans and putting it onto display through their intricate recreation. Don’t miss the show at noon including authentically dressed Mayan dancers.
You’ll find the following attractions scattered among this section of the park.
“There is so much to do in this park. Learn all about the Maya, eat freshly cooked tortilla’s with an amazing sauce made from a local tree nuts, tomato and chili then head over to the sweat lodge to get blessed by a shaman who will tell you your future.”
– Belinda W
The Botanical Gardens provide a great chance to get out of the sun and explore the Caribbean eco-culture. Not only will you find Mexican flora and fauna, but also some friendly little creatures scurrying around. Like iguanas. And speaking of iguanas – don’t miss the massive iguana statue just outside the gardens. It makes for a great photo-op.
This section is great for family tours. Here you’ll find the following.
“A botanical garden with over 350 species of tropical plants was a wonderful place to walk through. The fauna and flora here was one of the reasons this became a national park and an environmental conservation zone.”
– Mary Solio
This is one of the most popular sections of Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. And the dolphins are the main event. As shown on the map, you can see the dolphins are contained in an area just off the shore. If desired, you can actually get right in there and swim around with them! The privilege will cost you extra and there’s limited availability. We’ve heard from a number of cruise passengers that missed their opportunity by waiting too long to book. You’ll find options below to reserve your spot.
While the dolphins tend to win the spotlight, we love a good sea cow! Within the same area, you’ll find manatees hanging out and doing whatever it is they do. Like the dolphins, it’ll cost extra to swim with these huge, underwater-potatoes.
The sea-lion show is one free options while in this section of Chankanaab Park. The incredibly smart sea-creatures put on an amazing show and will be a highlight of your day.
“…the Dolphin Adventure was the highlight of our cruise. First we were educated about dolphins. Then we swam with these remarkable animals, having a belly ride and also pushed while we were on a boogie board. We touched, kissed, talked to etc the dolphins. These animals are phenomenal and warm.”
– Stephen R
You’re only in Cozumel for a day, and snorkeling is a must. There’s no better place than Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. Not only is the water warm and clear, but the underwater scenery is spectacular. You can bring your own snorkeling gear or rent some for a reasonable price. You’ll find multiple sculptures sunken to the gulf’s floor and accessed only by holding your breath and taking the plunge.
If snorkeling isn’t your thing, try Snuba-ing or Seatrek-ing. Both provide a source of oxygen piped to you while underwater. And, neither require a scuba license! These are a paid upgrade. If interested, check out some excursion options displayed below.
There’s even an option to stay dry while viewing the underwater ecosystem. Rent a clear-bottom kayak and row up and down the coast peeping from above. Don’t be surprised if you see stingrays, barracudas, or sea-turtles!
No matter which option you choose, you’ll have access to the coral reef just meters from the coast of Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. It’s the second largest in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef). It’s a natural wonder and entirely worth the visit and price.
There are tons of excursions within this one section of the park. You could spend an entire day without leaving this area of Chankanaab Park.
Crystal clear waters, coral reefs (small) but plenty of aquatic life! Amazing experience. If you are adventurous enough you might want to look for the hidden statues underwater.
– Maxime B
As you can see, the park’s six areas contain something for everyone and makes for an amazing cruise excursion option while in Cozumel. If you’re sold on Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from ranging from the very basic park admittance to a private tour with concierge service.
We’ve researched every major excursion provider to offer you the best options and deals. Listed below are our handpicked list of shore tours from various vendors. We’ve laid these out to get you the best price based on whatever you’re after.
We’re here to make sure you have your dream day at Chankanaab. Below are all of your park options from various vendors. You’ll want to pay attention to the “what’s included” section. Some come with transportation while others don’t. With a few tours, you’ll be required to purchase your own food and others include a buffet or snack. And finally, snorkel equipment rentals may or may not need to be rented based on your choice below.
Chankanaab Park opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 4:00 PM.
This is your “bare bones” ticket to exploring Chankanaab Park. Your admittance pass will get you into the park and access to most attractions shown above. Explore the beach, lagoon, crocodiles, gardens, pool, sea lion show, and more. To snorkel, you’ll need to rent your own equipment or bring some with you from the ship. You’ll also be responsible for your own transportation. Cab fare to and from the park will cost roughly $15 each way.
As noted above, this $21 ticket does not include food. At typical resort prices, meals are a bit pricey. One upgraded option includes a buffet lunch. Offered from Shore Excursions Group, this $49 shore tour includes your admittance into the resort along with a buffet lunch.
Click to Check Availability: $65 Ticket to Swim with Manatees (from Shore Excursions Group)
Manatees are very unique creatures. Picture a 1,300 pound potato with fins, tail, and cute little face. Very rarely will we get to interact with these graceful blobs. This is one of those rare opportunities.
You’ll get up close and personal with the manatees at Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park. From your submerged platform, you can interact with (and even hug and kiss) your new sea-cow buddies. You might just fall in love. But, don’t try and take one home with you. We tried. The logistics don’t work.
Your “Swim with Manatees” ticket includes general admission to the park. Explore the beach, lagoon, crocodiles, gardens, pool, sea lion show, and more. Here’s more info on what’s included and not.
If you take part in this excursion, please tell “George the Manatee” that we miss him.
$99 Dolphin Encounter at Chankanaab Park (click for details from Shore Excursions Group)
The “Encounter” excursion includes a 15-minute interaction with dolphins in waste-deep water. You’ll touch, play and kiss (not required for those saving themselves) the dolphins.
$135 Dolphin Swim at Chankanaab Park (click for details from Shore Excursions Group)
The “Swim” excursion will have you snorkeling (gear included) with your new friends for 30 minutes! You’ll interact with the dolphins as they play and perform for you. This is the most popular dolphin excursion option in Cozumel.
$189 Scuba with Dolphins at Chankanaab Park (click for details from Shore Excursions Group)
Don’t waste precious dolphin-time coming up for air. The Scuba with Dolphins excursion maximizes your one-on-one time with your new sea-buddies. On your tour, you’ll be 25 feet below the surface hanging out with the dolphins in their natural habitat. We’d invite them to do the same, but… new couch and all.
The “Swim with Dolphins” tour is the park’s most popular. Flipper’s distant relatives are located within a contained area of the Gulf of Mexico, right off the park’s shore. You’ll have various cruise excursion options to get involved. Depending on your level of comfort (and depth of pockets), you can keep your distance and pet these dolphins from a waste-deep platform… or get fully submerged and scuba dive with the friendly sea-mammals.
Click to Check Availability: $70 Zipline at Chankanaab Park (click for details from Shore Excursions Group)
This is one of the best-priced zipline excursions we’ve seen. Considering access to the park is $21, you’re actually only paying $49 to zip around. If you’ve never ziplined, this is the perfect chance! We’ve heard of the zipline filling up, so make sure to reserve a spot if this is something you’re interested in.
For our thrill seekers out there, you won’t want to miss the zipline at Chankanaab Park. You’ll soar over the crocodile pits and jungles of Cozumel. You’ll have the best possible views of the island through the eyes of a seagull (or pick your favorite bird).
We recommend ziplining before exploring the rest of the park, as you can scope it out from overhead and get excited for the rest of your day.
Click to Check Availability: $65 Combo Discover Mexico & Chankanaab Park (click for details from Viator)
Admission to Discover Mexico separately would cost $26 and for Chankanaab $21. So, for an additional $18 you’re getting a ride between the two parks as well as a buffet lunch. Also, you have the assurance of an amazing day planned.
While there’s more than enough to do in Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park for the day, you have the option of combining it with another of Cozumel’s popular attractions, Discover Mexico Park. There you’ll learn all about the traditions, history, and culture of Mexico. View the Art Museum, Video Experience Room, or take the 1.5 hour guided tour of the park.
Click to Check Availability: $85 Dune Buggy & Chankanaab Park (with Snorkel) (click for details from Viator)
This might be the best deal of all Chankanaab cruise excursions. Considering it comes with transportation, buffet lunch, AND snorkeling gear. Those three alone would cost roughly $60.
This is a great cruise excursion option to combine Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park with some extra excitement and exposure to more Cozumel Port attractions. Your guided dune buggy tour will take you to Mayan sculptures,World War II airplanes, and the Tequila Museum before heading to the park. You’ll actually be driving the buggy (up to 4 people per dune buggy) so maybe wait on the tequila.
With any shore excursion that you pick, make sure to check whether your transfer is included in the cost. If not, you can use our Cozumel Cruise Port Taxi Rates post to figure out the cost to and from your tour.
Cozumel Cruise Port is one of our favorites. You have the rich history and amazing culture set on a beautiful Caribbean backdrop. Oh, and the tequila to boot. Chankanaab cruise excursions combine as many of these elements as possible into the options seen above. We hope that you’ve found your perfect day in Mexico!
If the above options don’t excite you, click to check out your many other Cozumel Cruise Excursion options!