We chose not to take an excursion in this port. Probably should have. We thought we could take a walk off the ship but felt very unsafe. There is a port "strip mall" at the end of there peir with the :Diamond Internatnional" type shops. We walked from the Pier (at Coxen Hole) and immidiatly were jumped by self proclaimed tour guides and taxi drivers in unmarked cars that made up feel very uncomfortable. The poverty of the port was obvious and were felt compelled to buy stuff from the local shops that were very reasonably priced and we hope helped the locals. Once in the shops we found the locals very friendly, but getting to them was scary. There was a open air beach type bar where we enjoyed a local beer while watching a man rolling cigars accross the pier.
This was our second trip to Costa Maya and we decided to hang out in the rocky beach and shopping area just off the pier. We had a pretty good time shopping. I did get ripped off with the exchange rate when I charged a purchase from a local vender, but I learned a lesson. The beach off the peir could be nice, but if has very rough rocks. I assume it was made that way so you have to pay for an excursion to get to a sandy beach. We walked back to the ship for a quick lunch and came back to the beach chairs. There were penty in the afternoon and the kids ventured into the rocky surf and enjoyed hopping from rock to rock between the waves.
We took the long boat ride and bus trip to Talum. What a fantastic archaelogical site. Although it rained, we had a great time. Note, the boat ride from Cozamel to Playa Carmine is always rough. The ferrys are modern and handle the waives well. We've taken the ride twice now and have always seen people get sick so prepare for it. When you tour these sites keep in mind that there is no shade. Our family really enjoys seeing the ruins and trying to get a feel for these amazing societies. Just remember it's real and takes alot of walking and water stops. There is a great beach if you come prepared. Try the fish tacos at Mr. Chillys (i think it was called). Just remember the Myans don't play around with there salsa. It's really hot and really good. Another reason to bring lots of water. Our guide was the best ever. I wish I could recall her name. The bus also stops at a gift shop/bathroom break on the way to the site. Reasonably priced authentic gifts with no haggling. Next time we're in the area I think we'll check out Chankanaab National Park.
This tour was basicly to kill time before our flight and to take us to the airport. Not the best. As we left the port we saw that we could store the bags at the port and walked to the aquarium. I wished someone told us that was an option.