I found a few unique experience for us to checkout while in lively Cozumel, Mexico.
And they did not disappoint!
Prior to cruising, I am always really good about checking out tripadvisor.com and the forums on Carnival's website for recommendations and reviews on what to do at each port. I like to look for a mix of different/off the beaten path experiences and less expensive options. And I try to find places and things to do unique to the location we are in because, why do something I can easily do at home?
I planned a visit to a chocolate factory and fish spa for our day in Cozumel.
Both places were definitely off the beaten path.
Our first stop was to Chocolates Koakao which consisted of a 1 hour interactive tour experience - I had pre-paid $23.20 total (plus tip) for 9AM.
We took a $10 taxi (plus tip) from the pier to here. We arrived early and they allowed us to come in and watch a video about the history and presence of chocolate in Mexico until 9 AM. Promptly at 9AM, our tour guide, Ruby, came and got us for the tour.
And guess what?
We were the only 2 people on the tour. How awesome! This made our tour completely personable and a wonderful experience!
Gotta love the off the beaten path experiences!
Inside the gates
That's our tour guide in the picture
Front of the building before entering gates
The beginning of the tour consisted of about 15 minutes of her telling us what products are in there chocolate and how it is made. We both found this very interesting.
Our next stop was to wash our hands with CHOCOLATE soap. It smelt so yummy! I wanted to eat it!
Notice the conch shell - the water came out of it!
We then went and made chocolate...
The cocoa is grinded once by hand, then again. Something liquid (I cannot remember what for the life of me) was added and then we grinded again. Each time we grinded, she tightened the bolts more and more.
After we had a runny consistency, she added sugar and (I think) something else which I mixed by hand. The chocolate was then flatted onto a wooden surface to be scoured. We then both tried a small taste. It was a bit bitter. She told us this bar is what is used to make hot chocolate. Which we had already learned has a lot of meaning to the Mexican culture in regards to dead.
The finished products are in the large triangular shaped box
After we made and boxed up our chocolate, we went to a tasting and gift shop room where we sampled many different flavors of chocolate. Our favorites were the milk chocolate, white chocolate with coconut and dark chocolate with almond. They even had samples of there chocolate made with Splenda and another made with Steva.
Once we were done here, our tour guide called us a taxi as promised on there website. We took our taxi ($20 plus tip) to our next stop - Islander Fish Spa at Mr. Sancho's.
Prior to coming here, I made a noon reservation. We got here around 11AM and had no issues getting in but I do want to give you a little more information if you decide to ever come here.
I knew Mr. Sancho's is a paid beach area/club but the section the spa was located at was suppose to be free. Well, when we pulled up and walked to the entrance of the beach, we were asked what we were wanting to do while here. I told the guy we were here to go to the Fish Spa and he proceeded to ask if we had an appointment. Honestly, I don't know why this mattered to him. I can only assume he was going to charge me admission into the area if I didn't. And technically, we did have an appointment so I told him yes. He let us in and told us where to go.
From there, we had no issues finding the place.
They didn't even have a line when we got there. A guy showed us a short 30 second clip of what to expect and then asked us if we were interested in having it done.
Obviously I already knew the answer to this question. We had also already discussed which options we were choosing. We both chose 30 minutes for $30 each (plus tip). I wanted the larger fish and Matt wanted the smaller fish. I had read bigger fish = more tickles and smaller fish = only tingles.
This worked out since they had 2 of these tanks together.
The owner, very nice lady from Texas, took these first 2 pictures of our feet already submerged -
I took this picture looking down prior to placing my feet in the tank.
And this is the view of the fish on my feet.
While having this experience, I mostly talked to the owner and Matt looked at the Internet through the free Wi-Fi which he says was slow.
After the 30 minutes were up, (they keep track with a digital timer) my feet were rubbed with some lotion. Matt skipped this part. can;t say I blame him since it would have been a young teenager boy rubbing him.
Overall, I loved the feeling of the fish on my feet. I liked the tickles. I think even Matt had an enjoyable experience. He thinks 15 minutes for $20 would have been better though.
This is definitely at least a one time must experience.
I was a little disappointed my feet
were are still crusty looking though. I wish they would have 'sanded' them down once we were done.
FYI - return taxi to pier was $17 plus tip.
We went on the ship for lunch and then walked around the area by the ship. Found a grocery store where we bought a few drinks and snacks prior to heading back to the ship.
Very enjoyable day!