Photo by Visit Mexico
Cozumel has always been one of my favorite places to visit in the Caribbean. It was my second vacation as a young adult without much needed supervision. Fun Jet Vacations had a special back in about 1994, and I think the total cost was $215 for airfare and hotel. I do not remember the airline, but the name of the hotel is Cas Del Mar. It’s not an all inclusive resort, which I learned later is the way to go to Cozumel.
Photo courtesy of Casa Del Mar
My friends an I were on a really tight budget. I think I had $300 for the whole week. That’s not much for a vacation, or so I thought. We rented scooters for I think about $15 a day, and that was our transportation around the island. The lesson I learned there is do not rent them from “Avis” or other big name companies. They are about twice the cost. The same goes for a Jeep, which I highly recommend, the cost is about $50 at Ernesto’s Fajita Factory and Jeep rental vs. the big guys which cost about $110 a day. Ernesto’s also has pretty good fajitas too with a great ocean front view from your table.
You want your own transportation for sure, because the back side of the island is my favorite part of the whole trip. Explaining the freedom that you feel cannot be put into words. It really is an experience that I go back for time after time. There are about 8 restaurants and bars scattered from start to finish located on a 14 mile stretch of beach. This is also where the locals hangout on their days off. There is a lagoon created from the waves crashing over the rocks. It’s like having your own private spa. Take a backpack with your own snacks and drinks. Beer is only $1 at the stores, but $3 to $5 at the restaurants. That being said, trying a couple of the places on this side of the road are a must. Coconuts is the highest point in Cozumel, and it’s right on the beach. Mazcalitos is basically called “cheeseburger in paradise.” They have hammocks where your feet dangle in the water. It’s pretty spectacular. It’s also called “naked beach,” but I have yet to see anyone naked.
Eating in Cozumel is a different experience all together. Keep in mind the food there is a little different than American food. I’m not sure it has all the preservatives that we do, so I like to stick to fruits, juice, and seafood. I did however eat quacamole for about every meal. I’m not telling you not to eat the beef, chicken, or pork. I am just saying it just not the same as what we are normally use to. If you are having a tough time remember the all inclusive resorts have amazing food, and most you can stop in for a meal and pay.
In closing, Cozumel is more that a cruise ship stop and dive destination. It’s like having your own piece of paradise in a world of people in a big hurry. It’s a true authentic experience. If you are seeing high air fare to Cozumel, looking into flying to Cancun and taking the ferry boat over from Playa del Carmen. It’s a big money saver and an adventure all it’s own. If you are on the backside of the island, stop and get a Pina Colada made inside a fresh coconut. I do not remember the guys name, but he is located on the side of the road just past the curve. “$5, if you do not like then it is free.” So he says anyways. I liked it!
Any comment or questions, feel free to ask.