When we finally arrived we first walked through a neat cave. The cave was really neat a beautiful. Next we were fitted for equipment and then walked up to the first zip area where they showed how to use the equipment.
The tour was composed of 7? lines and 2 rappels. It felt amazing to sip across the jungle, seeing the trees below. I did however feel that it was too rushed to take pictures for the most part. The course was very safe, and the staff very kind. It was a neat experience.
My SO does rock climbing and I have tried it a few times...I suppose we thought it would be a little more hands on than what it was, but for safety reasons I can see why it wasn't. You pretty much just wait to be clipped in, hold on to the rope and sit. We were hoping to see or hear some jungle animals but unfortunately only saw insects... Had the tour not been such a large group of people (a school bus at full capacity) and the travel time not been so long I think we would have enjoyed it more and it would have received a higher rating.
Belize is very poor and at times outside of the port area it looked a little scary. (While on the bus we had pick up truck pass us with a man in the bed of the truck handcuffed...that was a little freaky) There are basically no road laws so I would not suggest driving there unless you are prepared for anything. Unless you have a tour planned outside the port then stay within the port walls. Some other people from our cruise said they had a good time cave tubing and snorkeling/diving.
After some time on the beach we took a taxi back to the port area $2pp and they dropped us off about a block outside the port entrance. Went into the little store/souvenir shop and got a few things. In the port we went to a pool swim up bar $4 beer. We then walked into a few of the little shops and grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant attached to the swim up bar (on the opposite side. We had chips and salsa, quesadillas and hot wings which were very good. I would visit this place again.
The tour was $50 per person. We had a group of 6...Pepe was our tour guide for the day and was soo informative. The tour is composed of 5 stops (4 along the east side) Before starting the tour we were told that the last stop (on the west?) was not very good that day (weather or seagrass or something) so as a group we opted to spend extra time at the other stops instead. At each stop you get a free shot (all of which were very tasty) Our group meshed real well and we had a blast!
***Here is how each stop went (as well as I can remember...some parts might be a little hazy haha )
PUNTA MORENA -Here we started...this place was very pretty, the waves were quite rough so we didn't really go into the water but there was areas of both sandy beach and rocky coral. It was beautiful to see the waves crash against the rocks. A few people were swimming on down the beach, but we mainly just strolled. Here we got our shot upon arrival and bought a beer $2 and laid in the hammocks and took a stroll alongside the beach. We saw a few live iguanas and they had massages on the beach as well.Very nice place, not crowded at all...plenty of hammocks, and grass umbrellas (they have a name)
COCONUTS -This is the highest point on the island...and overlooks the ocean. Very beautiful. Here they had plenty of birds, lizards, and a crocodile on display, beautiful trees, and breathtaking views. The bar itself is very interesting and has a lot of personality..the people friendly. I would come back here in a heartbeat. Upon arrival we received our complementary shots, and each decided to get a margarita....$5 for a LARGE glass on the rocks......you won't be drinking two of these!!! Tasted wonderful but must have been strong as can be! About half way through our drinks everyone in our party started to fell the margaritas kicking in...haha. Needless to say were were having a great time! This is a place I'll miss!
PLAYA BONITA -Here we went to the beach and got in the water. Upon arrival we received our complementary shot. Some in our group decided to get a drink (at that point I think everyone played it safe with a beer) I decided to take a time out after that margarita at Coconuts, haha. They had complementary chips and salsa and live music. We went down to the beach where there were plenty of grass umbrellas and lounge chairs. The water was nice, but if you went out very far the coral hurt your feet some, but it was a good place to take a dip in the ocean.
RASTAS -Here we had a late lunch. I had chicken tacos with rice and beans, chips and salsa, which were the best I'd ever had! SO had shrimp cocktail which he said was amazing as well. After eating some of the people in our group went to get back in the ocean while others of us just lounged around in the shade.
Overall I loved seeing the east side of Cozumel! The small little places are nice to see and not very crowded at all. Its very peaceful and there is plenty to do and see. Alot of the east is fairly untouched since hurricane Wilma? and the few places along the east coast are run from solar power and/or generators. Whether you are someone who loves to party or someone just wanting to see the east side of the island this was a great tour for all who are of age to go. Our guide Pepe was so kind and informative. Food was great. Drinks were good. Views were breathtaking, and I thought it was fairly inexpensive. $50 pp (5 shots inc., great great tour guide, 5 hours, 4-5 locations, transportation, etc) I think overall for the two of us we spent around $160 (tour, food, drinks, tips)
The ship was not able to port in Mahogany Bay...after getting off the ship we went to get a taxi (our original plan was to take the minibus to West End, spend some time there, and then take a water taxi to West Bay to snorkel on the beach. When we got to the taxi area we didn't see any signs for a minibus to West End...so we walked up to the taxi area and asked to get a taxi to West End...he pointed us to a booth that told us would take us to West End round trip for $20pp. They put us together in a van with 4 other people who were going to West Bay and then told us that we needed (as a group)to decide on a time for the van to come pick us back up. At this point we decided to just skip West End and stay the day at West Bay. The others in our van wanted to leave at 2:00 and we wanted to leave at 4:00 (ship time),ship time is Eastern time and Roatan is Mountain time 2 hrs diff, so we met in the middle at 3:00. Our cab driver knew very little English...
When we arrived to the beach we first stayed in the area that he dropped us off at which had very clear water, palms to provide shade, etc. It was beautiful...much like a postcard. After an hour or so we went on down the beach where we heard the snorkeling was much better...it was AMAZING!!! I had previously done a shipwreck/reef boat snorkel tour in Grand Cayman and thought that the snorkeling off the beach in Roatan was much better. We probably saw a dozen or more different types of fish swimming among the coral. There are no significant waves so swimming is as easy as swimming in a pool. We were able to swim out pretty far to a rock (big chunk of dead coral sticking up out of the water) and a little past that. I would say we snorkeled for over two hours nonstop with no problems at all. We saw a few people who went on boat tours to the same location but the swimming was very easy to get to the same location. If you are in West Bay when looking at the ocean if you go to the far left (over by the rock wall) was the best snorkeling we found....AND FREE!!!
After snorkeling we decided to grab a bite to eat...we ate at a little restaurant along the beach (I forget the name). We ordered quesadillas (I didn't think they were so great...they were suppose to be chicken but I couldn't recognize the meat) The place did have a good atmosphere though!
Carnival offered many excursions to places along west bay (Tabyanna)for $70+pp. Some all inclusive, others not. We got to the same area for $20pp and although we didn't have a lounger and umbrella (we were usually in the water so we didn't really need or try to get one) I would say that you can do this beach for much less than $70pp. It's worth doing some research on if you are on a budget...we probably spent less than $70 for the two of us in transportation, food, drinks, tips.
We then headed back to where we were dropped off by our taxi-van for pick up. Our taxi arrived around 3:15 (we said anytime between 3:00 and 3:30 would be fine)but the rest of our party was no where to be found in the area. We waited around until 4:00 (it was a 20 min drive to the port and the ship we needed to be onboard by 5:30) At 4:00 our driver called the company to inform them that the rest of our party did not show up (we suppose they wanted to leave early and decided to go ahead and take a taxi back) This actually ended up working out quite well because there was another group of people (3) whose driver did not show up...so we picked up the extra passengers and headed back to port. I'm not sure if there is another way to get a taxi to west end but although the taxi worked alright for us, it was very confusing, and needs improvement. Communication between company/driver/customers is very vague and with most of the drivers knowing very limited english this makes everything that much more difficult when problems occur.
Had it not been for the poor form of transportation (I don't like the idea of prepaying roundtrip for taxi...and having to decide on a pick up time among strangers) then my rating would be a 5 for Roatan...the transportation area at the port is confusing as well as the taxi company.
Snorkeling from the beach is a MUST DO!