One of the questions asked the most about coming to Cozumel is what the #1 activity to do is? In my opinion, after scuba diving, it’s hands down a trip to El Cielo. El Cielo is located about 1/2 mile of the coast of Cozumel. I didn’t even know this place existed until about 12 years ago. It was one of the best-hidden secrets from the locals. That indeed isn’t the case today as it’s not unusual to have 15-30 boats out here at a time these days. The only way to get to El Cielo is by boat, and it usually takes about 6 hours of your day. It doesn’t really matter what type of boat you should rent other than the comfort of the boat for what you want. Boats can be from a tiny fishing boat with shade to a luxury yacht with all the amenities and comfort you desire. I do prefer the midsize catamaran, so there is a least a place to lay out, watch the horizon, and have a toilet on board. All the boats pretty much head straight to El Cielo to allow folks to sip a beer while floating in the water but some make pit-stops along the way for snorkeling. Most will cater to your needs and desires; you just have to ask up front. They are happy to accommodate any request within reason.
In my opinion, just about anyone can go to El Cielo, it just depends on the boat, whether there are stairs or a ladder to get back in the boat. The water is waist deep, and you don’t even need to know how to swim if you come here. The beauty of El Cielo is the water, the starfish, the occasional stingray that will go by you or one of the sea turtles. Other than that, it’s an excellent way to see the beauty of the island from the oceans’ eye view as you head out on tour.
The amount of time to get there will depend on what type of boat you are on. The smaller boats will zip you there in about 45 minutes, while the larger catamaran or sailboats will take a little while longer depending on the currents, winds, how many stops along the way, and weather.
Once there, most boats I have been on will serve up some fresh made guacamole and ceviche. Today, we also grabbed some extra snacks and some Lobster and Bacon Sandwiches from Le Chef to eat while we were basking in the sun. The price of the boat includes beer, sodas, water, and other mixed drinks. When booking your tour be sure to ask what all is included with the price of the trip so you are aware of all the items you should receive.
I can still remember the first time I was invited out on a friends boat to El Cielo. I remember just looking out at sea and seeing the many different colors just glistening off the surface. My friend, Collen and I, kept saying “wow” or “oh, my gawd, this is just gorgeous” of the beauty that was passing by us. Even to this day, I catch myself thinking just how amazing these colors are and still get mesmerized by the beauty of this place. It’s one of those things that you have to see it, to believe it. I usually get lost in the moment and find myself at peace and just lost in staring out in the horizon.
This trip we stopped at Columbia Shallows for a snorkel stop and on the way back at the area to see the Starfish, and another stop at the sunken naval ship from the Mexican Navy. The sunken boat was pretty nice; it had some coral growing on it. If you are a diver, this would be a cool place to check out. It didn’t seem to be too far from shore or just ask your diving company to stop here so you can view it from a closer place then we did from snorkeling.
Please just remember you are in a National Park, we are still not allowed to touch the Starfish or Conch Shells. Please DO NOT bring the Starfish to the surface for a picture. You can dive down to observe them and get a quick picture (without touching or picking them up) as it’s in maybe 20 feet deep area. Do not chase after the turtles or stingrays or make any contact with them either. Just view their beauty from afar and remember we are guests in their home and we have to honor that to keep them alive.
What to bring: Floaties, towel, sunscreen (preferably environment-friendly types ), lip balm, underwater camera or case for your phone, hat, not a care in the world, a laid-back attitude, and allow the beauty, the ocean take all your worries in the world away and let mother nature give you a fantastic day before you head back into your crazy life.
Here are some environment-friendly sunscreens you should purchase before coming here: 8 Reef-Safe Sunscreens That Protect You and the Environment
All Good SPF 50+ Sport Sunscreen Butter Stick – $16.
Stream2Sea Sun Protect Lip Balm SPF 13 – $7.
Manda Organic Sun Paste SPF 50 – $28.
Badger Healthy Body Care All-Natural Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 – $16.
Raw Elements Face + Body SPF 30 – $19.
Eir NYC Surf Mud Pro Stick SPF 50 – $34.
All Good Sport Spray SPF 30 – $22.
After a day like today, I come back energized, relaxed, with a mind full of new memories and bonds from my friends, and a reality check on just how amazing our world really is. We sometimes just have to let go, and let be.
We want to give a special thanks to Deluxe Private Boats for an exceptional day. Our Captain Jose and First-Mate Carlos were excellent, and we felt in good hands the entire time. Jimena was so easy to work with when booking our tour and we were happy with the outcome of our day.
If you find yourself in Cozumel and looking for an exceptional day and one of the “must do’s” in Cozumel. Please contact our friends at https://deluxeprivateboats.com.