We booked the Coba and Monkey Sanctuary (Sac-be) tour through cozumel-tours.com. I can't really put into words what a special day this was. I only have room here for the highlights.
It was a small group - six passengers plus Steven our host/guide and Omar our driver. It was an interesting drive to the Punta Laguna Nature Reserve, through little Mayan villages of stick huts. Punta Laguna was very wild. We hiked through the jungle and eventually found a whole troop of spider monkeys. Awesome. We continued on to a lagoon, where we put on safety gear, boarded canoes, and paddled a short distance across the lagoon. I’d never done zip lining, but it was fun (while kind of scary)! The next activity was rapelling into an underground cenoté. Because we were descending into the “underworld,” a Mayan shaman performed a ceremony – blessing each of us. Then we donned life jackets (I’m a strong swimmer but glad I had it) and one by one descended through the small opening into the cenoté. The water was cold, but it was so peaceful paddling around and watching the bats passing over our heads. Amazing. The only part of the entire journey I didn't like was climbing the slippery rope and stick ladder out of the cenoté. But I made it with a little help from the Mayan men holding my line.
Then it was a bus trip to the Mayan restaurant. I thought it would be a little shack with a meal prepared just for us, but it was a big open-air restaurant with more than a hundred people enjoying the little buffet of Mayan food. The pollo en pibil (chicken steamed in banana leaves) was especially good.
Our final stop was the Coba archeological site. We stopped at one pyramid, and then rode bicycles to the great pyramid. I definitely recommend the bikes - it would have been a long walk. Then we set to climbing its 120 steps (138 feet). At the top was the most amazing view of jungle and semi-hidden structures. Even with all the people, it was spiritual experience. On the bike ride back toward the entrance, we stopped at a few other structures. Steven seemed truly excited about showing us everything and explaining the history to us. I never felt like we were on a timed tour. He was willing to give us all the time we wanted. Steven and Omar were great hosts all day, even dropping us off at our requested location in Playa after the tour.
What a day!!! It was $118 per person plus $10 pickup charge (and voluntary tips for Steven and Omar) but was the best money I’ve spent in a LONG time.
Tip: This tour is far too long to do on a cruise. It lasted close to 12 hours. Also, bring beverages and snacks if you want more than bottled water and cookies during the tour (other than lunch).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.