Escape like a local

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Adventures & tours

If you want to escape the cruise-ship crowds and city traffic, go where the locals go - get on a boat and head to the shallow coastal lagoons along Cozumel's northern coastline.

Thousands of years ago, the Mayans travelled these remote waterways surrounded by mangrove jungles in cayucos, a style of dugout canoe. Today, local tour guides will teach you about the need to preserve the wetlands and surrounding ecosystems on customized eco-excursions, like those offered by Mexico Silvestre Cozumel Wilderness Tours.

Like the Mayans, you'll paddle across the bay and into the protected channel ways using shallow-water canoes. Trips range from three hours to multi-day camping expeditions, which include gear, refreshments and locally-made snacks and meals.

You'll learn about - and are encouraged to identify - the diverse species of coastal birds that return each winter to mate and nest in the protected environment.

You'll paddle along the intricate maze of channels - home to what scientists refer to as coral reef nurseries. These mangrove jungles and waterways are ideal hangouts for predators like ospreys and crocodiles. Ancient Mayan structures not accessible through most other tours on the island can also be seen this way.