We arrived in port and were off the ship around 8am local time to beat the crowds on what we knew was going to be a very crowded day at Chankanaab. We quickly exited the International Pier Complex, grabbed an official taxi from the stand at the pier, and for $11USD the four of us were on the way to Chankanaab! It was $21USD per adult and was totally worth it. We made no reservations and just went for it. It saved us a lot of money going it on our own. While in the park we hopped on to a guided tour with an awesome guide Felipe, who explained all of the Mayan culture and history. The Tequila tasting was great. For $7USD you can get a very strong margarita served in a souvenir clay cup which was cool. The Sea Lion show was fun! We brought our own snorkels, and the snorkeling right from the beach was much better than I anticipated. Amazing day on a budget in Cozumel. Avoided feeling restricted to a ship excursion. Freedom in paradise!
Zachary Taylor State Park is a great semi private beach that is a great way to relax on a budget. It costs $2.50US to walk into the park. It's about a mile and half from the pier to the beach, and it is a beautiful, easy walk. There are changing rooms, Bar/restaurant, Hammocks, and the old fort is cool to poke around.