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(Get out - moved this section to eat)
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==Eat==
 
==Eat==
Local restaurants, most fairly good and fairly similar to each other, are plentiful in and around the city's "downtown" main square.  Typical tourist restaurants "Carlos 'n Charlies" and "Senor Frogs" are visible from the main street.  Farther south of town, Ernesto's fajita factory is a personal favorite. But if you truly want to enjoy good food and hospitality, Kelley's Restaurant and Bar is the place to go.
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Local restaurants, most fairly good and fairly similar to each other, are plentiful in and around the city's "downtown" main square.   
  
 
*'''La Choza''', Calle Adolfo Rosado Salas #198, at Avenue 10. Phone: 987-872-0958 [http://www.lachozarestaurant.com/index.html] Great homestyle, local Mexican food served in a relaxed atmosphere. Fish is excellent, tasty fajitas and guacamole. Only one Margarita needed here!
 
*'''La Choza''', Calle Adolfo Rosado Salas #198, at Avenue 10. Phone: 987-872-0958 [http://www.lachozarestaurant.com/index.html] Great homestyle, local Mexican food served in a relaxed atmosphere. Fish is excellent, tasty fajitas and guacamole. Only one Margarita needed here!
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*'''El Morrito III''', 6th Street North between Rafael E. Melgar Avenue and 5a North Avenue.  This tiny restaurant is located in a Mexican home off the beaten path.  If offers cheap (cheap for Cozumel, although expensive compared to the rest of Mexico) authentic Mexican food.  Tacos are ok (again, not as good as other places in Mexico), and cost about 1.25 apiece.  The atmosphere is unbeatable though!
 
*'''El Morrito III''', 6th Street North between Rafael E. Melgar Avenue and 5a North Avenue.  This tiny restaurant is located in a Mexican home off the beaten path.  If offers cheap (cheap for Cozumel, although expensive compared to the rest of Mexico) authentic Mexican food.  Tacos are ok (again, not as good as other places in Mexico), and cost about 1.25 apiece.  The atmosphere is unbeatable though!
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*'''Senor Frogs''', [http://www.senorfrogs.com/index.htm], Located right above Carlos'n Charlies, Senor Frogs is a hotspot for young people and tourists. A very laid back atmosphere with very little rules. There is a bar incorporated with tire swings; just to have fun while you drink. Also, they have a dance floor and a stage for the live music they sometimes provide. If there is not a band, there is always a DJ to keep the party going. Prices vary depending on the drink.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==

Revision as of 13:13, 15 April 2007

Cozumel [1] is a Caribbean island just off the Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico. It has great beaches and safe nice people, but is a little expensive. It was badly battered in 2005 by Hurricane Wilma, but has since been almost entirely repaired.

Contents

Get in

By plane

Cozumel has an international airport (Airport Code: CZM) which receives direct flights from Atlanta Cancun, Denver and Houston as well regional flights from Cancun and Mexico City.

By boat

There are hourly boat rides to and from Playa del Carmen, costing approximately 220 pesos. Cozumel is also a favorite cruise ship stop, and can at times have as many as 5 cruise ships docked (which have consequently damaged some of the reefs).

Get around

Walk, rent a car, or taxi; those are the only alternatives, there is no mass transit on Cozumel. The docks are saturated by pushy agencies trying to lure you into car rentals and activities. The younger travelers or anyone who has free time may want to take them up on their offer. Always check first so you are not getting scammed but it is usually just a timeshare offer. You pay about $20 for a jeep rental or a moped for the entire day and you get free breakfast at a five star resort. A regular day car rental is around $55, and scooters half that. Alternatively, taxis are always available and will take you to the west-shore beaches for $20 onwards, depending on distance and number of people. Taxis are fairly cheap and accept U.S. currency, but always give change in pesos.

See

Generally, everything good to see in Cozumel is underwater. Snorkeling options are fairly limited due to boat traffic, but scuba divers can explore beautiful reefs via boat or shore dives for a relatively small equipment rental fee. Great rental for a day is an open VW Beetle or a scooter. It fits the ambiance perfectly. They are cheap to rent & to run. A great day can be enjoyed by a cruise ship family with a beetle & the beautiful beaches. The main town and dive operations are on the west side of the island, but if you rent a Beetle or Scooter the east side of the island is the place to go. The east side of the island is mostly undeveloped, but there are beatiful beaches, big waves, and rocky outcrops over the ocean. If the waves are sufficent, and you look close you can also find a few small blowholes. You will also find a restaurant on the beach every half hour or so.

Do

  • SCUBA diving — Cozumel is one of the premier scuba diving destinations in the Western Hemisphere. The island abounds with dive shops, most willing to give you a pseudo-resort certification and take you out, but for an added price. A certified dive (two tanks) will set you back around $60. Most dive locations are located well south of the city proper, as are a number of dive shops if you want a short boat ride.
  • Dive Paradise [2] — training, certification and two types of daily dive trips (fast or slow boat). Night dives. Numerous dive / hotel packages. Several dive shops. Rental equipment. In Cozumel since 1984.
  • Aqua Safari [3] — training, certification and two types of daily dive trips (fast or slow boat). Good company but they tend to pack more people on a dive trip (up to 16 on a slow boat).
  • Aldora Divers [4] — training, certification and fast 6 person boats with high capacity steel tanks and long surface intervals, usually at Palancar Beach Club. Rental equipment. Night Dives. Nitrox available. Villa Aldora room and suite rentals.
  • Deep Blue [5] — training, certification, nitrox, technical and known for fast boats. At most 8 divers with 2 divemaster or as few as 4 divers with 1 dive master. Rental equipment. Night Dives. Hotel and dive package is available through numerous hotels. Dive shop is located in town across the street from La Choza. Divers are usually called the day before diving to arrange dive location and possible divemaster.
  • Snorkeling — logically enough, is the second most popular activity. Many beach-side dive shops rent equipment for $7-10. Even though all beaches in Mexico are public some require fees to enter and use the facilities. Beaches with a rocky limestone shoreline on the west coast are the best forsnorkeling or shore dives since less sand is disturbed so visibility and coral growth are better. Sandy surf and large waves alternating with rocky limestone coastlines on the east or windward side of the island are beautiful but can be dangerous. The roaring surf creates strong breakers and undertows. Never enter the water alone. Swimming is not recommended on most of the east side beaches. There are now many areas where flags are displayed showing the level of safety for a particular area. Despite the dangerous swimming conditions, these beaches are stunning and serene for enjoying sunbathing, long walks or playing in the water very close to shore.
  • Glass Botton Boat Tour [6] — a twist to snorkeling. You visit about two or three reefs, which are small parts of the second largest coral reef in the world. It costs at the most about $40 a couple but you can get it a little cheaper depending on where you buy your tickets. While heading to the snorkeling sites you have the privilage of looking through the glass bottom of the boat to see all the sea-life you pass on your way. Very fun to do as a couple or a family.


  • Beach lounging — most of Cozumel has rough rocky beaches not suitable for swimming or sun bathing. The areas that are suitable have been turned into small parks. Entrance fees are small, around $10 / couple, which includes a beach chair and umbrella as well as access to the washroom and shower facilities. Playa San Francisco is located 20 minutes by taxi south of town and has a restaurant on site.

Buy

Silver is cheaper here than in the U.S. but be sure to look for the .925 stamp as some places do sell fake silver jewelry.

Eat

Local restaurants, most fairly good and fairly similar to each other, are plentiful in and around the city's "downtown" main square.

  • La Choza, Calle Adolfo Rosado Salas #198, at Avenue 10. Phone: 987-872-0958 [7] Great homestyle, local Mexican food served in a relaxed atmosphere. Fish is excellent, tasty fajitas and guacamole. Only one Margarita needed here!
  • El Capi Navigante, Avienda 10 between Calles and 5 Sur. One of the oldest seafood restaurants on the island and still going strong by reputation! Nothing bad to be had here. Get them to finish off your meal with one of their flaming desserts!
  • Prima Trattoria, Adolfo Rosado Salas between Avenidas 5 and 10. Northern Italian style cuisine offered along with wonderful salads ~ try the blue cheese salad! Excellent pasta and seafood, they know how to prepare it properly and it’s super super fresh. Try the surf and turf for a mix or the seafood liguine combo, both will suit you!
  • Casa Mission, Corner of Avenidas Benito Juarez and 55. Casa Mission offers superb food, however the real attraction here is not the food, but the setting. Located off the beaten path, the restaurant is the veranda area of a large hacienda style Mexican home. It is surrounded on all sides by an extensive garden that combines perfectly with the colonial hacienda ambiance. Then there is the unusual addition of a miniature zoo with lions and monkeys hidden amongst the tropical foliage of the gardens. One of the most romantic spots on the island for cocktails or dinner.
  • El Morrito III, 6th Street North between Rafael E. Melgar Avenue and 5a North Avenue. This tiny restaurant is located in a Mexican home off the beaten path. If offers cheap (cheap for Cozumel, although expensive compared to the rest of Mexico) authentic Mexican food. Tacos are ok (again, not as good as other places in Mexico), and cost about 1.25 apiece. The atmosphere is unbeatable though!
  • Senor Frogs, [8], Located right above Carlos'n Charlies, Senor Frogs is a hotspot for young people and tourists. A very laid back atmosphere with very little rules. There is a bar incorporated with tire swings; just to have fun while you drink. Also, they have a dance floor and a stage for the live music they sometimes provide. If there is not a band, there is always a DJ to keep the party going. Prices vary depending on the drink.

Drink

Cozumel, being in Mexico, is rife with alcohol. Prices seldom vary, though there is a varied dropoff the farther you get from the center of the city.

Don Julio Tequila runs $45-50 at the tourist shops, but if you have time find a local grocery and get it at half price. Kahlua runs $10.

Sleep

  • DelMar Aquatics has two reasonably priced and convenient hotels and diveshops located near all of the major dive locations. The Casa Del Mar [9] is generally less expensive than La Ceiba [10].
  • Villa Anna Maria, [11]. an amazing bed and breakfast place run by a Scotsman and a Mexican. 65 bis Av. #171 entre 1 y Rosado Salas, Cozumel Island México. Email: info@mayaroute.org. Phone +52 (987) 869-1925.
  • The Summer Place Inn, [12]. Conveniently located downtown in Cozumel, the Summer Place Inn offers private units and a charming condo. Competitively priced, the accommodations can be booked nightly, weekly or monthly. Av. 10 entre 17 y 19, Cozumel Island México. Email: info@cozumelinn.com. Phone +52 (987) 872-6300.
  • Occidentel Allegro Resort, [13], A five star resort located right on the beach! It is a resort that offers an all inclusive package for cost savy tourists. It is not very expensive and receive the best services a hotel has to offer. You get all meals and drinks included. They have 3 on-site restaurants, still included in your stay, a snack bar equipped with a buffet for lunch and late-night snacks. They also have a swim-up bar, direct access to the beach and docks for any snorkeling or scuba diving in your plans and much much more for you to enjoy.

Get out

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