Prior to cruising to Cozumel, we did alot of research on line regarding excusions. Two things quickly became apparent: 1) booking through the cruise ship will cost you triple than privately booked excursions and 2) booking a private day tour with Eduardo and one of his drivers is undoubtedly the safest and best way to see Cozumel.
Booking - booking could not be easier. You e-mail eduardo and within 24 hours, he emails you a confirmation. You have the choice of including requests for a specific driver (check these reviews for the best) and locations on the island. After booking, we had some additional questions and Eduardo was very responsive.
Getting Off Ship - We were early into port....by an hour. We called Eduardo and let him know and within 10 minutes a driver showed up. It was not the driver we requested (he was off that day) however, it was Pino - another highly rated driver. Although it was busy in port, Pino immediately made us feel safe and comfortable. I have two children under 10, so thats important.
Pino - Request Pino be your driver. He is been driving for many years, loves what he does, is a family man and a life-long resident of the island. By the end of the trip, we were making plans to come back to Cozumel and hanging out with Pino - I am not joking.
1st Stop - We wanted to go to the chocolate factory, Kaokao. We had no idea of the name, we had no reservations for the tour. Pino called the owner and got us in within 15 minutes of us leaving port. The chocolate factory, a family owned business, was on one of the true highlights of the trip.
2nd Stop - Pino then took us on a guided tour of the western side of the island. He drove us through local neighborhoods, the islands only golf course (filled with wildlife), the presidential palace, and the various local monuments. Pino was very knowlegable and enthusiastic and he speaks close to perfect English.
3rd Stop - Mayan Ruins - The adults loved it, the kids not so much. If you're there, you should go, but bring lots of water to drink and under no circumstances should you wear sandals or flip-flops. Wear sneakers or hiking boots.
4th and last stop - Pino took us on a tour of half the eastern side of the island. Most of it is protected land and none of it has electricity. We stopped at a local restaurant right on the water. It was a little windy and the waves were cresting at about 7 or 8 feet. Spectacular views. Food was good. Margaritas were better. We even found a few local turantulas crawling around the steps to the beach. Relaxing and memorable lunch at what is a a family owned taco joint (Cafe Iguana's).
Drop Off - We were sad to go. Pino dropped us off at port with plently of time to spare before we set sail again. Total cost for the whole day $170USD (for all four of us). Please tip the friver as well.
Conclusion - Thank you Pino and Eduardo for making Cozumel a memorable one for me and my family.
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