Chankanaab: Cozumel Mexico Website --->
After making it out of the port it was time to find a taxi. We walked out to the street and a lady waved at me and said she'd take us to our location. She told us the cost would be $20. I was honestly not sure that this price seemed right but we were ready to get the day started!
We are going back to CHANKANAAB! We fell in love with this place back in 2011 and again in 2012. We've always wanted to return but have been out experiencing other places. When we went to Cozumel on our land vacation in 2021, I swore we would go back...but ran out of time.
We have arrived
Now we had decided to book a Snuba Dive here so according to the site we booked with, the price of admission did NOT include the admission to the park. So with this experience, we had to wait outside for someone to come get us with wristbands for our snuba excursion to get in. Otherwise, you would go up to the counter to purchase your tickets to get in. It now cost $26/pp to get in but you can find a $2 discount coupon to print off and give to them located here
This is the "family" area beach, which is an easy entrance beach to a cove like swimming area.
We decided to go on a little self-guided tour toward the replica ruins.
This guy was sweeping with a palm tree branch. I thought it was interesting.
We circled around and over toward the dolphin swim area. In this area you can do various swims with the dolphins or manatees.
Here is the pool area.
Here's some more of the family beach area:
On the side of the family beach is where you'll find the SeaTrek and Snuba desk.
If you are doing the Snuba Dive, you do get a discount on the entrance fee. They had us pay an additional amount of $14 per person I believe. They said it's a lot cheaper than having to pay the full price of the entrance without the swim and they offer it for a reduced price.
Once we were back from our snuba, we gathered our things and headed toward the pool area. We were approached by a guy before we made it there asking if we wanted to buy a "pass" of some sort. I don't know what pass he was selling but I wasn't interested in spending more money on a place I already paid for.
We walked around the pool area and all the chairs were taken. So, we put our beach bag and things down by the wall and over came a guy saying "You have to pay to swim!" Say what??? They make you pay? Seriously? This place cost $26.00/pp and they want to charge even more to use the pool? Ridiculous! Nope!
We picked up our things and headed for a spot on the beach instead where it was free.
Along the way we found a dinosaur and a pterodactyl.
They have some hammocks in the area
The grounds are just gorgeous at Chankanaab and it's really huge there. Plenty of room, plenty of chairs. Yes, there are a lot of palapa's to sit under too. No they do not cost.
I, of course, knew that I had to go snorkeling. Something had to make up for the little adventure we just took.
I gathered my snorkeling gear and I went toward the steps and in I went. These are the steps you will encounter getting into the water. They can be really slippery, so be careful. There are several in different areas along the coast.
Also know that there are drop offs in the water too. When the last step ends, it ends and drops. There's also ledge's and holes.
One of the ledges
The best thing I've seen all day...A Triggerfish
I remember the first time we came here with Sakari. She went snorkeling with us and there were so many Bermuda Chubbs here and I caught the most awesome picture of one coming up and looking at her in the eyes.
I swam out and managed to find a statue. This isn't one that I had seen before. I don't know why I have such a hard time finding these statues. I've looked at maps and I can't never find all 3 of them (I think there's three).
There were a lot of pretty sea fans.
I spy with my little eye....Oh Em Gee! I found a flamingo tongue snail! And not just one but a few! Chankanaab was the very first place I had ever seen one of these snails and I wouldn't see another for years. This is where it all started. They are so beautiful.
Well about now, my camera dies. Just my luck. I should have thought about changing the battery before I went out.
So, I headed back to our chairs to change them out.
The hubby had managed to order some Nacho's and pico de gallo. "Hmmm, are you cheating? You're really having some nacho's?" I would now have the chance to hold this over his head from now on. Gotcha!
Sakari ordered nacho's and cheese. I wasn't really hungry still. I was afraid to eat anything and have my stomach in knots again. I wasn't going to chance it yet.
Here are the menu's and pricing for those that want to know.
This time, Sakari decided she would go with me. We headed down toward the opposite end and went in, hoping to snorkel drift on the way back. Sakari was in shock at how cold it felt.
We seen another Bermuda Chub but this time it had a Remora on it. How cool.
Sakari was off exploring in her usual style...diving down.
Meanwhile off in the distance...
Sakari was off using the Gopro. She's good at diving down and getting close ups, so I'll let her be responsible for that. I just instantly float back up to the top as soon as I dive down.
Three Butterfly fish
More Flamingo Tongue Snails. This place just had so many.
And this is where they were at. Can you spot them on the sea fan?
We headed out to one of the pads they had floating in the water. I hung out on the side of it and Sakari climbed up on it. She had fun trying to stand on it and not be thrown off. Between the waves and the boats going by, it was rocking back and forth a lot.
A Trunkfish and Parrot fish
It looks like they are trying to grow some coral here
They also had some round ones down there too.
We headed back and I took another picture of the stairs.
Both Sakari and I started rubbing our arm pits and arms and holy moly....we were stinging like crazy. Hanging onto the floating platform out there, there were "things" on it and they obviously had been stinging us.
People were jumping off the side rocks into the water.
Sakari and I decided to take a walk and take pictures and explore around the Lagoon area. It was so beautiful around there.
We made it to an area I had never seen before. I started thinking it my be the crocodile area that I had read about. It wasn't there when we were there last in 2012. I seen someone inside of it cleaning it. We ask about it. It was indeed the crocodile area, but there were none. He said when COVID hit, they had to get rid of them. Rid of them where is my question. I have seen quite a few post over the last couple of years on facebook Cozumel that showed a crocodile coming down the beach and into the ocean...right beside people. Yikes! Maybe they released them there? Hopefully they took them to the Punta Sur reserve.
We also noticed that the zipline wasn't going over top of the croc pens either (as I had read in the past). He would also tell us they removed those too. I don't understand why they would actually remove them due to COVID. I mean it made no sense. But people have asked if they had opened them back up again and my reply is...doesn't seem like they will be opening up again or anytime soon IMO.
We seen a bird up in the tree. Not sure what kind it was.
There were also iguana's all around the lagoon too.
So we got back to our palapa and Sakari says "I want to go snorkeling again...but this time I want to go snorkel over by the dolphins!" Wait what? She said "It'll be ok. I want to see them again". So I guess we are doing this.
We headed over to the family beach and in we went. I was really unsure about this and wasn't even sure we were actually allowed over there. Then I seen some other snorkelers and felt a little better. I mean what would they do other than tell us to leave right?
In we went and up and over the rock and out into the ocean.
We headed over to the dolphin area and immediately the curious dolphins came over to see us.
Then one of the dolphins came over and put its body against the fence and let her pet it. It was rubbing against the fence like a cat rubs against a humans legs. She was absolutely loving it! It stayed for quite some time. I'm catching it all on video...or was I? OF COURSE NOT! I thought it was on and it wasn't. Darnit!!! I always seem to screw up the most important parts.
I did manage to get some video's of these really huge fish that were hanging out under the bridge and also in the dolphin pen.
There was a point when another dolphin came over and Sakari was petting it and then it opened its mouth. She got scared because it caught her off guard. I told her to keep her fingers out of there because they are wild animals and you never know what they can do and you are not their trainer nor do you have any treats. They might mistake your fingers for food. I told her we needed to head back and off we went.
We got back to our palapa's and Sakari told her dad about her experience and she was so excited and described what they felt like and how they rubbed up against the fence to be petted. A day she would never forget for sure.
We paid our bill of $45 then decided it was time to head back to the ship.
On the way out a few more pictures of course.
We stopped by the gift shop on the way out and and I managed to find a pair of aqua socks that I just had to have. I managed to misplace the ones I've had for years. I've looked at some online but I really hate buying anything you wear without being able to try it on and aqua socks are no exception. These fit great and I was getting them!
A short video of a tour of the park, including the ruins, beach, pool and dolphin area.
We went out the exit and they immediately signaled for a taxi to come over to pick us up. They told us $15 to the port. That sounded more like the right price than what the taxi driver charged us on the way there.
If you are interested in our Snuba experience while there go here to see that portion of the review
We love Chankanaab. It's such a big park and very beautiful. There's so much to do there. The snorkeling is pretty good and we love that we always manage to see the Flamingo Tongue Snails. The snorkeling area is so big, with several places to go in, that it never seems crowded. The beach area has plenty of seating and it is shaded seating without an additional cost. The price of admission is a little costly however and this can become quite expensive if you have a family. It was sad to see the zip lines are closed and the crocodile area closed since covid. You can also do swims there and there's a sea lion show as well. Activities such as Snuba and Sea Trek are there for an additional cost. Then the replica ruins is a neat area to spend a little time in too. Just so much to see and do.