Cozumel Custom Private Jeep Excursion

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
What if I told you there was a way to drive a jeep around Cozumel, creating a custom experience based on what you wanted to do, including lunch - for under $70 a person? This such thing exists and I am here to share our experience on a Cozumel Custom Private Jeep Excursion
One of the many reasons I love cruising is being able to visit multiple destinations during one trip and Cozumel is one of my favorite ports to stop at. It's gorgeous, the locals are friendly, the food is great and the Tequila is amazing. Plus it's an amazing port to take a good photo of your cruise ship! Quick back story on our history with Cozumel - around 5 years ago, my best friend Keri and I were on our annual girls cruise and had to do a last minute excursion switch due to heavy rain. We booked Salsa & Salsa, where we learned how to make authentic Mexican margaritas and guacamole. This began our love affair with margaritas and on the excursion I am writing about today, I will tell you how we were introduced to our new love, Extra Anejo Tequila.
In January we went on the Norwegian Pearl on our annual girls cruise. Our 5 night cruise stopped for a day in Cozumel Mexico. We wanted to do something different and heard good things about a Cozumel Private Jeep Tour. We booked through Shore Excursioneer being this tour wasn't available through NCL.
We met up with our tour guide when we got off the ship. He informed us that he would be sitting in the backseat and were given a variety of activities we could do throughout the day. This was our custom tailored tour, and we were able to go at our own pace. The variety was great and allowed us to see another side of Cozumel than we've been accustom to. Some of the things we could do were: Snorkeling
Tequila Factory & Tasting
Punta Sur Ecological Park & Lighthouse
Chocolate Factory
Beach Club
San Gervasio Mayan Ruins
Horseback Riding
In full transparency, I had wayyyy too much tequila the night before. There was no way possible I could drive a car - so Keri drove all day while I slept from location to location. I knew Keri really wanted to go to the Tequila factory and that had to be our fist stop due to it's location - so I pulled myself together (the best I could) for our first stop. Mind you, it was at 10am.
We learned about agave and how it is cropped, pulped, fermented and distilled. Extra Anejo tequila is aged a full 5 years - this particular factory uses retired Jack Daniel bourbon barrels for the aging process. The entire process from crop to bottle takes 12 years - and this my friends is why Extra Anejo is so expensive.
We were able to try some of the factories award winning tequila including their 12 year old Extra Anejo. The label is Regalo de Dios Tequila and it is not available for purchase in stores or online. We sipped on some Blanco, Repasado, Anejo and Extra Anejo. The Anejo's were the smoothest tequila we have ever tried. It didn't burn and you could easily drink it without lime juice. Knowing we couldn't find it anywhere else, we were sold. I agreed to split a half case of Extra Anejo tequila with Keri. This set us each back nearly $300 and I quickly had buyers remorse the rest of the cruise. I will say now - I wish we bought our own half case because when this stuff runs out, I will be a very sad person.
Back in our jeep, we decided not to go snorkeling. We live in FL and have snorkeled quite a few times in our lives. Plus the water was a bit choppy and I didn't want to feed the fish, if you know what I mean. We headed over to the opposite side of the island, an area of Cozumel we had not been introduced to yet. We stopped at a beach, grabbed a few pics and headed off to our next destination.
Our next stop was Punta Sur Ecological Park & Lighthouse. While this was an amazing experience, please take this subtle piece of advice - do not climb a lighthouse if you are hungover. Walking up these steps reminded me of being at mile 23 in a marathon. I wanted to quit. My legs hated me. I questioned life. However the views are amazing!
At this point in the trip, we could have continued on to one of the other experiences, but I was done with a capitol D. Lunch was included so we went ahead and took advantage of that. I ate one bite of my food and put my head down on the table and that's when the tears started flowing. I was very upset that I not only wasted and ruined my own day, but I impacted Keri's experience as well. Repeat after me - I will not take 5 shots of Patron in one night (on top of everything else).
We got back to the boat and unloaded our tequila. I took some medicine and forced myself to eat a granola bar. With a few hours left at port, we decided to head down to our favorite spot to have a margarita in Cozumel, Panchos Backyard, a restaurant and bar located within the port of Cozumel. Our server remembered us from our last trip. He excitedly said "I remember you girls, how many times have you been here?" we equally excitedly responded "Five". Next thing you know, we have a full mariachi entourage in front of us - singing, clapping, and a sign that shows off our number of visits. I was very happy I pulled myself together!

We will do this tour again, with me in the drivers seat next time! You can book this tour through Shore Excursioneer or check with your cruise line to see if they offer something similar. 

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