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“Close Encounter of the Manatee Kind”

Chankanaab Beach Adventure Park
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park is the most popular attraction in Cozumel. It is conveniently located just ten minute taxi ride from the cruise ship terminal. It´s a favorite for cruise ship passangers, day trippers, beach lovers. Enjoy the natural beauty of our beach and reef area,amaze yourself with our eco archaeological tour. All facilites included: restrooms, showers, huts, hammocks and beach chairs. Now your ticket includes: Sea Lion Show, Dolphin Presentation, Manatee Exhibition, Crocodile Exhibition and Eco Archaeological Tour. At Chankanaab Park you can also enjoy world class snorkel tour, scuba diving tour, snuba tour, seatrek tour, spa, temazcal, swim with dolphins and manatees tour for an additional cost. All fun in one place !
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage
Reviewed January 27, 2011

Our cruise ship stopped in cozumel and we taxied over to Chankanaab for about $12. We spent the day there at a cost of $59 per person which included 1/2 hour swim with Manatees and the Sea Lion show and the rest of the time was spent snorkeling. Worth every penny! There were only 4 of us in with the Manatees and we got an informational talk about them and then we got to play with them and feed them. We took some awesome photo's and they also took pics for you to purchase. It was the highlight of my trip.

4  Thank bigbrighteyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,581 - 3,585 of 4,436 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2011

Our cruise ship stopped in Cozumel and we chose to experience the Dolphin Discovery at Chankanaab National Park. I traveled with two of my sons. One is 25 yrs and the other 14 yrs. The older one had done a dolphin encounter many years ago but my youngest son had been too young at the time and he wanted the experience. There are two Dolphin Encounter type parks in Cozumel. I am glad we selected the one at Chankanaab. It was a fun full day excursion. The cost was about 99.00 per person and 42.00 if there was no dolphin encounter (but the latter did provide observation, and access to all other park attractions.) My son's both loved petting, holding, kissing and hugging, +,+ the dolphin. But they LOVED the part where the dolphin pulled them through the water on its belly while the boys held the flippers. And they also LOVED when they held a boogie board and the dolphin pushed them through the water by pushing their feet with its "nose". There was also an opportunity (a bit more $$) to have two dolphins push a swimmer's feet so that the swimmer actually stood up as they moved through the water. Very exciting. The experience also included going into the manatee pool and petting the manatee, feeding the manatee and learning a bit about manatees. The "dolphin experience' was probably about an hour and was not rushed. The dolphin area is very large, modern and provided a lot of room for the dolphins, the visitor and the activities with the dolphin. (vs some other dolphin encounter sites in Mexico that are small and old) The balance of the day was also fun, We took in a sea lion show. Then had lunch and sat on the beach. If you bring snorkels (rental of snorkels and dive equipment is also available) there is a considerable amount of snorkeling as well as diving located off shore and the Park has fun underwater "monuments" to view plus the fish , reefs etc . There is a rain forest walking area, some "Mayan ruins" etc but we did not have time or interest in that part of the park experience. A lovely day. The Park is a short distance(taxi ride) from the center of town. While I did not initially book through the ship, when I did locate the Dolphin Discovery reps , it was the same price as the ship, it was billed to the ship and it included the cab ride to and from the port. If I had taken a taxi to the Park it would have still cost 99.00 pp plus the taxi. So all in all I felt is was reasonable and convenient. *if you do look it up on line there is a discount available based on how far in advance you book your date. Great Day!

7  Thank BarbaraLouise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2010

I spent an enjoyable 5 hours at Chankanaab and would likely go back in the future. We parked our rental van in the free parking lot and arrived soon after opening, and ahead of the cruise ships which gave us first choice of the numerous thatch roof umbrellas which helped supply shade. For a long day here, these will help a lot with the sun.

We brought our own snorkels, but when purchasing our general admission tickets ($21 pp) they warned us we would need to wear a life jacket in the water... which I expected we could ignore. I was wrong, as sure enough as soon as we tried to enter the water a lifeguard made us go get an ID and get life jackets from the stand. We saw this repeated throughout the day as people tried to enter without, and the lifeguards repeatedly arguing with people to put them on. The life jackets are large, but thin, but when not inflated it was still possible to dive to the bottom of the water.

From getting in the water, I can understand why they were necessary. The current was quite strong, especially out near the buoys. While the life jackets make it harder for swimmers to swim against the current, I can see that they would be helpful for novice or beginning swimmers who panic in the deep (15' to 30') water. as an example, my father was fixing his snorkel mask and ended up quickly drifting out beyond the buoys. It took a little work to get him back, and he is a decent swimmer.

The snorkelling was beautiful. Deep, clear water with good sized fish. We saw a large 5' Eagle Ray, trigger fish and numerous other colorful and curious fish. I snorkel a lot and would say this was one of the best destinations I have ever visited for snorkelling in the world.

My only complaint was the restaurant guys on the beach competing with each other to sell food and drinks to the tourists. It took away from the experience to have them ask you if you want to eat/drink every three minutes.

Hope this helps!

15  Thank tptmonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2010

Overgrown kiddy park that exploits marine mammals. Mexican govt. won't let you snorkel on the park reefs unless you wear a floatation vest. You don't know this until you've already paid and are in the park or if you sit through a miriad of ads first on a screen outside the gate. The restriction is not posted in a prominent place where it is continuosly displayed outside the entrance.

I let them know we were unhappy. They said it's a federal reg but then, because I was steamed and they could sense it, they were going to let me and my wife break the rule. What gives?

In addition they offered to let us in free the next day if I and my wife returned. We'd already wasted the day and a lot pesos for collectivos and the ferry getting there from Xpu-ha. We were not ready to expend the travel costs twice to possibly find out they were kidding or have a Federale override them and bust us, fining us or putting wife and I in jail. Thanks for the Felice Navidad.

1  Thank kjwVictoria_BC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 23, 2010

My husband, 15 yr. old son, 12 yr. old daughter and myself visited Chankanaab Park in Nov. 2010. I had booked a dolphin experience for my daughter and a sea lion experience for myself and my son. Since it wasn't very busy, we ended up being the only people participating in both experiences so we ended up with so much more than we expected/paid for, which was a huge bonus! I feel that the staff was very friendly, accommodating and knowledgable. Both programs were an appropriate length and content as well as a good value for the money. The park was convient, well-maintained and the animals looked healthy. At the end of both of our experiences we were asked if we would like to have an additional encounter with a manatee and agreed with out hesitation. My second thought was that they were going to charge us for it afterwards which did not happen. We did have a rather expensive lunch but we expected it because there were limited options. The part I didn't like about the experience was that during both animal encounters there were pictures and videos taken but only one video was shown to us (we had to ask for the second one). So as we were discussing prices for the 2nd video and the pictures, the price went up when the 1st video was mentioned. We then asked about a cd with the pictures on it in order to make our own copies and the price continued to rise. There were no prices posted so it was all subject to negotiation which is excepted but very unsettling.

5  Thank caligirl1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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