We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

Which Playa del Carmen hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
5 posts
31 reviews
Save Topic
Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

We had booked a trip to Cozumel from Playa del carmen for about $118 per person with this company. Have other people had similar experiences with other tour companies on this type of trip?

Partially because of the nature of the tour and partially because of the tour company it was a relatively unsatisfactory trip. There frankly isn't much to see on a day tour of Cozumel. In an open jeep like truck we went around half the island for snorkeling, beach lunch, ruin sightseeing, crocodile viewing and a visit to the town of Cozumel.

With so many things packed into a day it meant we didn't do anything properly. We had 45min for snorkeling, a lot of the time taken up just getting the equipment and getting the instructions on use. The snorkeling itself just off the beach was uninspiring. The ruins were small structures on the side of the road. The crocodiles were one. The beach lunch were a few tacos and tortilla chips with beer or soda. In the end we were just dropped off in Cozumel town to wander for about an hour before catching the ferry back to Playa.

What made the value of this trip worse was the total lack of information given out by our guide from the company. At most sites we were just dropped off and no guiding was given. For this trip we paid about $118 each. From that if you subtract the cost of ferry over (about $16) and 10% commission to tour seller and you leave about $90 for Explora Tours. Multiply this by 40 people on our tour bus/jeep and you have some pretty good coin after paying the driver and "guide". Knowing this and the total lack of added value from the guide, I was shocked that in the end she had the audacity to ask for tips claiming that she and her driver were not getting paid!

Level Contributor
1 post
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

Re: " Explora Caribe" tours to Cozumel ..... We had a similar experience and we felt the entire tour was mis-represented... The tour basically consisted of 1/2 an hour lining up for the ferry then an another hour on the ferry to Cozumel. Then another hour on the bus and dropped off on some remote beach for two and a half hours for so called snorkelling and a very poor quality lunch... Bus ride back for an hour ... hardly any time to even look around in Cozumel at best maybe half an hour before we had to line up for the ferry for 1/2 an hour and another hour back on the ferry...

1. There was little or no commentary at all at any point basically just got dropped off and away you go..

2. There was very little time to spend in Cozumel only about half an hour... Spending time in Cozumel was one of our primary goals so this was very disappointing..

3. Because we expected to wander around Cozumel we took our wallets and credit cards with us getting fully assured that it would be secure to do so. First of all leaving your bag on bus with no window and doors.... I think not !!!and then snorkelling and leaving your possessions on a beach with strangers everywhere.... again I think not !!!

4. Anyhow only one of us ended up snorkelling and the other one gaurded the possessions.. Snorkelling wasn't even worthwhile there was nothing to see and it consisted of 1/2 an hour of swimming into an extremely strong current an olympic swimmer would have had trouble swinning into.. It was the worst snorkelling experience we ever had.....

5.Paraphrasing your comments..... The snorkeling itself just off the beach was uninspiring. The ruins were small structures on the side of the road. The crocodiles were one. The beach lunch were a few tacos and tortilla chips with beer or soda.

6. The bus ride there and back... nothing to see... hardly any commentary probably the longest stretch of commentary being on why the tour guide and driver should be getting tipped. In any event it would have been impossible to see anything or hear anything anyway as the dilapidated old bus with open windows and doors driving to and from the beach with hurricane force winds blowing in through the bus made it impossible to hear and most times you could only lift up your head a little to peek once in a while as at all other times you had to keep your head low to protect yourself from the wind blowing through the bus...

7. Anyone else reading this or searching for information on tours to Cozumel.. Do Not go with Explora Caribe... You wil not "Experience Cozumel Island"

8. We have been on poor tours before but this was by far the the worst and most disappointing

São Paulo, Sao...
Level Contributor
2 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

Besideds this problem with their tour ...... We tried to rent a polaris in Cozumel with them..... They say they have whatever you want. You have to pay in advance and the day you get there, when you are in COZUMEL already they come up with something totally different from what you had rented saying.... I´m sorry, but we just have this available.... If you take it, great... if you don´t (like us!) forget all the smiles and be prepared to be bad treated to have your money back..... and the 52US$ of the Ferry to Cozumel (02 people round trip)..... bad for you.... your loss... your you can try swim to Cozumel not to have this loss. Police? forget... we spent more than 03 hours with them..... NO solution!!!!! PLEASE..........DO NOT BUY ANYTHING AT EXPLORA CARIBE - FERRY PIER - PLAYA DEL CARMEM - MEXICO!!!!!

St. Petersburg
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

We just returned from a cruise during which we booked a similar Dune Buggy and Snorkel excursion with Explora through Norwegian Cruise line. We enjoyed the open air drive to and through the preserve, but the sightseeing, lunch, and snorkel components of the tour were lame. Considering that the total cost for our family of 4 was $400 plus tip, we expected much better.

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
1 post
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

While other reviews about the Cozumel tour are not inaccurate, I guess it's what you were looking for. The tour met our expectations. We figured there was not a lot to do on Cozumel if you weren't looking for shopping, drinking, eating. We enjoyed our 1/2 hour snorkel stop. The water had been excessively rough all week, so snorkeling here was a treat. We did see fish. Lockers were provided at cost, so we had no problems leaving valuable possessions behind. We enjoyed the drive to the lighthouse along the beautiful beaches. Lunch was at a relaxing beach restaurant, and the food was excellent. We had fresh-prepared tortillas, chicken, an awesome fish, fresh fruit, a number of salads and beverages. The setting was petty. The drive that continued along the water until we turned back towards the town & ferry dock was gorgeous. The tequila factory stop was OK, but the tequila way too expensive for us to purchase. We had visited a similar family tequila factory in Puerta Vallarta where the tour was much better, the tequila much better, and the prices much better. We appreciated the pickup/dropoff service from our hotel in Playa Car. Isaac, our guide, was good. While this was not the most exciting tour in the world, it fit our expectations and wishes to see some of Cozumel besides the cruise-ship-packed store area.

The one thing I would be sure to do is know what the cost of the trip is in US $. The amount showing up on the Visa statement seemed higher than we thought we were paying. We booked via an Apple Vacations agent. The paperwork we were given needed to be turned in to our van driver. May be just poor memory.

Edited: 21 March 2013, 21:24
Save Reply
5. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

El día de hoy rente una moto en playa del Carmen en explora ,la verdad "según" la dejaban más barata $380, pero cuando llegamos a Cozumel, nos salieron que se necesitaba una tarjeta de crédito , dejar un depósito , y pagar el impuesto federal, la vdd fue una jalada porque desde un principio no te dicen nada de esto, después nos dieron una moto que ya tenía golpes, tuvimos una caída , y nos cobraron en dólares!! Los daños! Lo peor es que te cobran toda la pieza!! Cuando esta pieza ya estaba dañada también! No les recomiendo que renten ahí!! Es un engaño!

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

We just got back from a life threatening tour with Explora tours in Cozumel. We went on the Dune Buggy tour through Carnival Cruise Lines. The steering broke sending us into a tree. We were hurt but we could have been killed had this happened on the highway at 40 mph vs 10 mph. A couple was killed in a similar fashion in Nov of 2012 I have come to find out. This was the second, yes second, Dune Buggy that we had that day as the first one's steering completely failed in the parking lot as we were turning around to go onto the highway. The third buggy that we were put into after the crash lacked seat belts. The one we crashed in, had bad seat belts as well. These things are not maintained and you are putting your life on the line when you get in one.

Level Contributor
2,290 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

If I could, I have a better suggestion than doing the tour which may make your trip more enjoyable.

We do this every trip we take to Playa. Get a taxi to Playa. Take the ferry over to Cozumel. Grab a taxi and enjoy your day. Talk to the driver and negotiate a price so that he wil be waiting for you at each stop you make. Most of the drivers we have hired have been wonderful tour guides with suggestions of where to visit if you don't already have a plan.. It sure beats doing the tour thing!

Mexico City, Mexico
1 post
Save Reply
8. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

"Rentamos" un carro desde Playa del Carmen, para usarlo en Cozumel. Dejamos todo pagado, y nos dijeron que al llegar a Cozumel ya tendrían nuestro carro. Al llegar a Cozumel, resulta que jamás les dijeron, y no había ningún carro disponible, tuvimos que esperar como una hora, y al final nos dieron un auto mucho más pequeño por el precio del auto más caro. No nos quisieron dar un reembolso, pésimo servicio, muy groseros los trabajadores, el carro estaba SÚPER maltratado y golpeado, cierran súper temprano, y te engañan, sólo quieren ganar dinero. NUNCA usen éste servicio, es una estafa.

Edited: 16 July 2014, 05:00
Paris, France
Level Contributor
1 post
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

We booked a snorkelling excursion and jeep hire with Explora Caribe.

The agent sold us an all inclusive trip with full jeep insurance.

The snorkelling was ok, well at least after we had to change boats for some unexplained reason. The guide was pleasant and we felt relatively safe (or as much as you can on an old fishing boat)

The jeep hire was something else! When we got to the jeep hire place, they claimed that the agent was not permitted to sell full insurance so if we wanted it, we would have to pay another $20 and try and claim it back from the agent in Playa del Carmen (this was not going to happen as we were only returning late that night and flying home the following day, so $20 lost!)

Furthermore, the fully comprehensive insurance still left you liable for the 1st. $250 of any damage to a 3rd party vehicle and a maximum of. 10% of the value of the jeep for any damage to the jeep, however upon enquiry it would seem that we would have to pay 10% of the extraordinarily high 180,000 peso self valuation of the jeep, ie. 18,000 peso (£900) for any damage, irrespective of the cost to repair!

The vehicle was a death trap, engine management lights flashing and beeping for the duration driver seatbelt completely buggered, rear brake light non existent! It was shocking! Not even worth 18 pesos, never mind 180,000!

On taking the vehicle, the Caribe rep said we would need to refuel prior to returning it, fair enough, and suggested that it costs around $20 if we drove around the island which we did.

So we put $20 of gas back in, but this meant we retuned the vehicle with an extra 1/4 tank of fuel, what we used wouldn't even have been $10! A good con to get the punters to add an extra 1/4 tank every time you hire it out!

When I asked the rep for a refund of the additional fuel put it on his suggestion, he refused.

Very poor customer experience and I would be generous to give this company 1/10!

My advice is to steer well clear and find a more reputable firm in Cozumel!

Mark Hall

Lancashire, UK

Oakdale, Illinois
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Explora tours to Cozumel - your experiences?

I just returned yesterday and went on this exact tour. I agree with your assessment. We were rushed thru everything plus we were "upgraded" to the jeep tour. The jeeps are a big piece of junk, wouldn't start, roof leaked when it rained, and we ended up with grease all over I clothes. we also missed several stops because we didn't have time to stop. Big disorganized mess!