Index of Activies Cozumel Accomodations Getting To Cozumel Cozumel Local News in English Cozumel Island Events History & Culture of Cozumel Return to the Homepage
Cozumel Transporation - Horse Drawn Carriages - See the City!
Enjoy a Carriage Ride Tour Through the City! While it is wildly unpopular on the island to mention them, there is another way to tour the city area of Cozumel and that is by horse drawn carriage. Since anyone passing along the beachfront street or in town during peak tourist times will see many horse drawn carriages waiting for passengers outside the pier areas or filled with tourists taking a city tour, it would be remiss not to mention them here or the controversy surrounding their existence on the island.

Horse drawn carriages are an island tradition and have been operating in Cozumel for decades just as they do all across Mexico. These carriages typically take passengers back and forth between hotels or the ship piers and the downtown area but they are also available for a city highlights tour as well. Each carriage carries up to 4 passengers comfortably and sports a collapsing shade top for comfort.

The carriages can provide a complete highlights tour or they can take passengers to their destination via "a scenic route" if time allows. Simply discuss desired timeframe and highlights with the horseman and step up into the carriage to enjoy one of Mexico's time honored traditions of horse drawn carriages.

Horse Drawn Carriage Controversy and Actions

Horse drawn carriages have been working for centuries around the globe and even today throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe there are cities where horse drawn carriages operate. In the U.S. probably the most famous horse drawn carriage ride is that of Central Park in Manhattan. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg continually reiterates his stance that the horses and buggies are iconic and historic. "It makes New York, New York," he insisted on his radio show, pointing out that tourists enjoy the rides. Of course Bloomberg's comments are not without controversy.

On the other hand, because of numerous accidents and the working conditions of the carriage horses, animal rights activists all over the planet have taken a stand against horse carriage operation resulting in bans of horse drawn carriages in many cities including Toronto, Bejing, Biloxi, Mississippi; Camden, New Jersey; Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Key West, and Treasure Island, Florida to name a few. The activist group PETA states "there is no way that cities, with their exhaust fumes, hard road surfaces and busy traffic patterns can provide a humane environment for a carriage horse."

In Cozumel, there is also a strong activist movement in place against the horse drawn carriages on the island and throughout the State of Quintana Roo and they have have an active petition drive where they point to recent State legislation that is not being enforced:

and Well-Being of Animals Act of the State of Quintanat Roo published in the Official Journal on March 30, 2010. Article 29 Section XI reads: IT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED, FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER: THE USE AND TRAFFIC OF ANIMAL POWERED VEHICLES ON PAVED ROADS AND FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN FARMING.

"Therefore it is clearly understood that the use of tourist carriages are forbidden within all Districts in the State of Quintana Roo, accordingly we feel there are enough grounds to cancel the concessions and/or permits and we request that it be done." states their petition. View the petition

Despite this law being enacted in 2010, horse drawn carriages still populate the streets of Cozumel giving tourists city tours and taking folks to and from their destinations. Clearly local politicians struggle with what to so since many families depend on the income from this niche market to support their families. And they point to dozens of cities throughout Mexico where horse drawn carriage services are still available as evidence they are not a dying or out-dated service.

Fortunately we here at Insider do not have to decide or take sides in this debate but rather merely inform travelers so they can make their own decisions. But it goes without saying that if people have strong negative associations with horse-drawn carriages and view it as both unscrupulous and hazardous, a natural boycott of the industry can and will easily emerge over time.

Support Our Site-Reserve a Car Here or with Ad Partners!!
Submit Feedback
 Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!
Tired of visiting the sights as part of the "herd?" Cannot find an excursion that exactly fits how you'd like to spend your day on the mainland? No problem! COZUMELINSIDER can custom design a mainland excursion just for you and your group!
From US$168
 BoneFish Car Rental Cozumel - Compact VW Jetta (5 Pax)
Compact Class VW Jetta (automatic) has a standard automatic transmission, A/C & Sunroof with MAX PAX: 5 People
From US $60 Daily (Max = 5 pax)
 BoneFish Car Rental Cozumel - Economy Chevy Astra (5 Pax)
Economy Class Chevrolet Astra (standard) has A/C with MAX PAX: 5 People
From US $49 Daily (Max = 5 pax)
 BoneFish Car Rental Cozumel - Jeep Wrangler (5 Pax)
Jeep Wranglers are manual transmission (a few are available with automatic transmission) with soft top that can be removed with MAX PAX: 5 People
From US $66 Daily (Max = 5 pax)
 Legalize US Vehicles in Mexico
Vehicle Legalization Services in Cozumel, Mexico
LEGALIZE Your Vehicle in Mexico TODAY!
 Thrifty Car Rental Cozumel - Chrysler Van (Standard) 7 Pax
Chrysler Town & Country Van rentals have 3 doors & standard transmission with MAX PAX: 7 People.
From US $130 Daily (Max = 7 pax)
 Thrifty Car Rental Cozumel - Compact Car (Standard) 5 Pax
Compact car rentals usually have 4 doors & standard transmission with MAX PAX: 5 People.
From US $72 Daily (Max = 5 pax)
 Thrifty Car Rental Cozumel - Economy Car (Standard) 5 Pax
Economy rentals usually have 4 doors & standard transmission with MAX PAX: 5 People.
From US $60 Daily (Max = 5 pax)
 Thrifty Car Rental Cozumel - Jeep Wrangler (Standard) 5 Pax
Jeep Wrangler rentals have 2 doors & standard transmission with MAX PAX: 5 People.
From US $89 Daily (Max = 5 pax)

Copyright 2000-2016 Sherri Davis, All Rights Reserved. All website content is the property of Cozumel Insider unless otherwise attributed and cannot be used, displayed or reproduced without express written permission from Cozumel Insider. Contributors retain the copyright to their work where applicable; please do not take art or words without permission. Other graphics and reference materials are used and attributed as per the Fair Use Provision of The Copyright Act and individual terms of use.