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#5151
Cozumel - Things to do when not diving ???
RenegadeRanch - 3/12/2009 9:48 PM
Category: General
Replies: 21



OK, the husband and I are heading to Cozumel this September.


This is my first "true" dive trip, other then a weekend away.


I will be gone 8 days/7 nights with 5 days of diving. I am staying at the Casa Del Mar resort (all incusive package).

Has anyone been there before and can you give me some ideas of things to do when I am not diving? Or even in the afternoon after diving.


I am thinking of heading down a day or two early just to sight see and do tourist stuff.


Thanks so much for everyone’s time and input.


Christina
#5802
csemenko - 3/12/2009 11:21 PM
Hi, my wife and I have been twice, our dive shop goes once every few months.

We went on a guided trip to Chetchen Itza (if you are into the Mayan Ruins). We took a shuttle boat to Playa Del Carmen (the main land/Yucatan peninsula) and met our bus there. I think there are some smaller ruins on Cozumel and horse back rides to them.

In Cozumel itself there is the typical shopping, eating, and nightlife (if you are into bars and clubs). There is a Dolphin swimming place which allows you to swim with Dolphins in their pool.

The shuttle boats are cheap and fast. You can catch tour buses in Playa del Carmen at or near the dock and travel to various destinations of interest. I think the last shuttle boat returned to Cozumel at 9 or 10pm.

Everything on the island "tourist end" is very walkable and easy to get to. The other end of the island has more beaches and college party houses.

I recommend doing some on line research for trips and compare prices. We bought our tickets ahead of time (I can’t remember who we went through). The Shuttle Boat tickets we bought at the window and got on the first thing going in the morning...be early it fills up quick.

Good luck and enjoy
#4846
Eve - 3/13/2009 5:24 AM


We stayed there a few years back, I think the place we loved the most was called tshell ha, I know I spelled it wrong, we took the hotel bus to this place to go snorkeling and tubing, it was the best time of our week there. I am also sure you know that the resort youare staying at is clothing optional at the beach and or pool. Everything was very classy, nothing lude or rude.


Eve
#51857
Greg - 3/13/2009 10:37 AM
Either "Senior Frogs" or "Carlos and Charlies" are always nights you’ll never remember again :)

Who are you diving with while you’re there?
#509
Skip - 3/13/2009 10:58 AM


Rent a jeep and drive around the island. There are some really cool places to see and things to do.


My wife and I will be there in April and we have been going there since 2000.
#7370
UWnewbee - 3/13/2009 12:37 PM


 Dont Drink the Water!
#156
Navy81 - 3/13/2009 3:33 PM


Great choice for your first real dive trip. I love diving in Mexico because the dive boat sets up all your gear for each dive. All you do is let them suit you up and jump in the water.


I stayed right next door to DelMar when I went to Cozumel last November, 2008. My favorite dive master was free lancing with Del Mar. His name is Mateo. You will love him. The best safest dive master I have ever had. He also can tell you all the neat places to go when your not diving.


I rented a moped, but you need to feel comfortable on them because they can be dangerous if you are not careful. Cozumel Town Square is 2-3 miles from Del Mar. It is a $8 taxi ride, 10 minute ride or 45-60 minute walk.


The Town Square has all the shops and authentic Mexican restaurants. There is one restaurant that serves a 3 course meal for $7 -$10 depending on what you get. I will have to send you the name later when I remember.


Playa del Carmen is a must. Just take the ferry from the Town Square, Carmen has hundreds of shops, restaurants and beach clubs to keep you busy all day.


Del Mar has it’s own beach club. This is where you get on the dive boat. If not diving, you can snorkel at the Del Mar beach club.


There are Mayan ruins on Cozumel. Well worth the visit. 5-10 miles east of the Town Square


Del Mar resort will keep you entertained all week. There is a night club that has free salsa lessons followed by dancing. It is walking distance from Del Mar (walk north towards town). There is a sign outside that says dancing on Friday. I think it is called Palpatio (Ask Mateo)


The only other place I think worth checking out on the mainland besides del Carmen, is the Cenotes (saa-noo-teys). Cenotes are spring water caves for diving. You do not have to be cave certified. You can only dive the Cenotes with a certified Cenotes dive master. Again, Mateo is the man. If Mateo can’t take you, he will make sure you have the next best person. Cenotes are huge underwater caverns with crystal clear spring water. Not much marine live, but the stalagmites are beautiful. The Cenotes I went to had guide ropes along the entire route and I don’t remember it ever being so dark that I had to depend on my flashlight, i.e., you can always see where you are.


Send me a note if I forget to send you the name of the restaurant. It is the best deal in town. They have a sister restaurant that is in an old
#6588
WCReefers - 3/13/2009 5:15 PM


My wife and I been to Cozumel 3 times and loved it, Senior Frogs is great. We took a flight to Chetchen Itza, about 45 minute rather than the boat and bus, well worth doing. I would rent a jeep, you can circle the Island in 45 minutes.


Great diving you’ll have awonderful time. They do siesta from 2pm to 4pm not much going on in town at that time.
#2636
rxatrix - 3/13/2009 5:44 PM


Casa Del Mar. By far, the finest dive resort on the Island. I’ve stayed there so many times I think they named a wing after me. I remember when it was a Howard Johnson’s. No kidding. Hospitality is first class as is the diving with Del Mar Aquatics. Don’t worry about the drinking water, it’s so pure they bottle it and sell it down town. Every where is clothing optional, so get used to it.


Plenty of night life everywhere you look...downtown, uptown and the Casa it’s self. I’ve always said my "claim to fame" has been being tosed out of every famous trouist bar in the world and Carlos and Charlie’s is no exception. Be carefull going up and down the steeps. You’ll figure it out when you see the place.


Take a day off from diving mid-week and visit the mainland. Ferry from downtown Cozumel to Playa del Carman runs hourly till (I think) 10pm. Chetchen Itza is nice but for me the view from the ruins of Tulum over looking the Crib is breathtaking.


The long and the short of it is you can’t do Cozumel wrong and each time you go back there’s something new. That’s why I keep going.


 


 
#156
Navy81 - 3/13/2009 7:26 PM


I wanted to get the name of the restaurants before I forgot. I don’t get on Dive Buddy that much. Anyway, it seems the guy that owns the two restaurants I told you about also owns the great Mexican type breakfast restaurant that I enjoyed also. After some internet surfing, I found out he owns some more restaurants in Playa del Carmen and Cancun also. Here is the info with web pages to print off directions before you leave. When you open the web sites, click on the US flag to read in English




Cozumel La Mission : Alberto owns three restaurants: La Mission, Casa Mission & Parrilla Mission. The problem is that they are all sometimes referred to as "La Mission." Each one has his own personality and style.


1) Casa Mission: A Mexican veranda with garden. more info www.missioncoz.com
(15-20 block west of Town Square ; very romantic spot; worth the trip)


2) La Mission : A Mexican tropical style restaurant near waterfront. more info www.lamissioncozumel.com
(Located on South block of the Town Square - service is slow, but food & ambience are great)


3) Parrilla Mission: A local restaurant where you can eat tacos. more info www.parrillamission.com
(Great for traditional Mexican breakfast; 1-2 blocks east of Town Square )


Have fun,


-Paul


 
#5151
Subscribed
RenegadeRanch - 3/14/2009 2:54 AM


Wow, what a response. I just wanted to thank everyone for your advise.


Looks like I need to start booking my 2010 trip to get it all in, LOL.


I am definatley going 2 days early, in hope to get some tourist stuff done and will take a mid-week break as well.


The ruins sound amazing, I would LOVE to see them not only mid day (full sunlight) but, at sunset. I can only imagine how amazine the view is.


The zipline and dolphin swin sounds fun too.


With the clothing optional thing, I guess this leaves me with a few months to start working out and get ready, LOL.


Another question, how much different / harder is drift diving?
#2636
rxatrix - 3/14/2009 1:35 PM
I think efortlesstly would be a better word to discribe the drift diving in Cozumel. You’ll find that finning will be used more for navagation than propulsion. All dives are dive master escorted and the boat follows your bubbles. When you surface, you’ll find the boat waiting and to assist you in getting out of the water. Piece of cake.
#1917
DiveGirl55 - 3/14/2009 3:19 PM
Please read my blog on COZUMEL: Cozumel, Mayan Riviera May 2008
Posted on 2/1/2009 6:23:09 PM
Valentina Trip Report Newsletter Place: Cozumel, Mexico (Mayan Caribbean) Trip dates: May 18-28, 2008 Purpose: To shoot new TV show I am hosting Average temp: 89 degrees Fahrenheit Water temp: 82 degrees Fahrenheit May 18, 2008 Sunday LAX: Flew from LAX into Cozumel via Mexicana Airlines: Don’t use them EVER! Had to pay $100 at LAX f...
#30
scoobado - 3/14/2009 8:10 PM


I was there about a year ago and loved the diving.


The biggest thing there is shopping. Just make sure that you talk them down. You can get things for about half of the asking price.
#144
PaulMila - 3/15/2009 1:54 AM
Hi Christina, Here some recommendations:
1. Taxis; car rental: There are no buses on Cozumel. The "taxi-mafia" won’t allow buses. Taxis are plentiful and easy to get no matter where you are.
I recommend renting a car. The island is very easy to navigate. The best car rental is THRIFTY. They are less expensive than car rentals like Avis in the airport. They are located just across a field just outside the airport, about 100 yards. But they will meet you in the airport. Book with them online at their site, www.thrifty.com on their site, enter CZM, the airport code for Cozumel. You can get an automatic with air for about $150 for the week. Insurance brings it up to over $200 but it’s still a good deal. Then you can explore the other side of the island, etc. The other car rentals charge about double that.
2. Attractions: If you drive to the wild (east) side of the island, visit Coconuts for lunch. High up on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean, a great view. The food is good, inexpensive and it’s a real "character" place. On the way back(you just drive a loop) you can stop at the ruins of San Gervasio.
You can also visit the marine park at Chankanaab, a five minute drive down the road from the condo, for good snorkeling and the offer swimming with dolphins for about $100. It costs about $12 to get in the park. They have some faux-ruins, a lagoon, and a nice beach. They also offer a beach-dive through some cave-like formations.
From town you can hop the ferry to Playa del Carmen, on the mainland. It’s a nice town to walk around. There you can take a motor coach bus to the ruins at Tulum, or the beachpark at Xel Ha (pronounced shell-ha). Interesting snorkeling, more dolphin diving, but a bit more touristy since they draw people from Cancun.
3. Food: There are a lot of nice restaurants in the town of San Miguel: Pancho’s Backyard, Guidos, Lobsteria, Pepes, Primas, and Winston. Check out town square on Sunday night for dancing,etc.
FINALLY, if you need a good beach-read or airplane book, I highly recommend ordering one of my dive adventure novels, set in Cozumel of course. You can check them out at www.milabooks.com
#325
divestop - 3/15/2009 10:26 AM
Been there several times, Nice place. If your diving with them, then its justa walk across the street,
#77
Offshore454 - 3/16/2009 5:46 AM
You’ll love it there. Like someone else said earlier, rent a jeep or better yet a crappy old convertible VW bug and go to the east side of the island for some great margaritas and fajitas at Mezcalito’s or Coconuts! It’s a great way to waste an afternoon! Casa Del Mar is far from the biggest or fanciest place there, but it’s clean and nice with good shore diving right accross the street. Before Hurricane Wilma messed it up, the shore diving for several blocks North and South of Casa Del Mar was really great. It was hurt quite a bit but has had three years to recover so it’s definitely still worth doing. If you haven’t already selected a dive operator, I would suggest Deep Blue or Blue XTSea. Both will give you personal service with smaller dive groups unlike the big cattle boat operators. There are plenty of other shops that are worth going with as well. As for ruins, rather than treking all the way to Chichen Itza, you might just check out Tulum or Coba. They are much closer to Playa. We took an early ferry accross, rented a car and went to both in one day and still had enough time to get wet in a cenote. Like others have said, you’ll have so much fun you’ll want to keep going back. I’m making trip number 7 this summer. Have a great trip!
#121
iamfreedom - 3/16/2009 5:21 PM
Rock Climbing. ;)

Actually this is my first post and was hoping some one could help me. I’m looking for help to head in the right direction. I want to do underwater video-graphy, so how does one person go about doing videos underwater? is there a specialized school????
#15
terrylowe - 3/16/2009 7:33 PM
Just got onto this forum and this was the first thread I happened to click on. Just just today returned home from a Carnival cruise to Cozumel. Only dove one day, but it was a lazy drift dive. They set up the tanks for you...the water was 78 degrees. There is still a good bit of sand washed over the coral in places, but it looks like the reef is making a good comeback.

When shopping....tell the store people that you want to look around for the best deal and if their’s is truly the best...you’ll be back. Amazing how low their prices can drop!!
#105
midakota - 3/16/2009 10:49 PM
make sure on sunday evening you get down town. They have a family get together and it’s a lot of fun. Also while your in the location, get over to Tulum and see the mayan ruins. Midakota
#68
steph1us - 3/17/2009 8:59 PM


hey there,


if you would like any type of info on cozumel i would be more than happy to help you out. i lived in cozumel for 4 years 2000-2004. just drop me a line and tell me what you are interest in, what type of diving and things you would like to do. ie: do you want to do things like the locals eat the local foods etc., beach clubs etc.


steph1us
#20614
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/19/2009 1:31 PM
From PaulMila: Hi Christina, Here some recommendations:
1. Taxis; car rental:There are no buses on Cozumel. The "taxi-mafia" won’t allow buses. Taxis are plentiful and easy to get no matter where you are.
I recommend renting a car. The island is very easy to navigate. The best car rental is THRIFTY. They are less expensive than car rentals like Avis in the airport. They are located just across a field just outside the airport, about 100 yards. But they will meet you in the airport. Book with them online at their site, www.thrifty.com on their site, enter CZM, the airport code for Cozumel. You can get an automatic with air for about $150 for the week. Insurance brings it up to over $200 but it’s still a good deal. Then you can explore the other side of the island, etc. The other car rentals charge about double that.
2. Attractions: If you drive to the wild (east) side of the island, visit Coconuts for lunch. High up on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean, a great view. The food is good, inexpensive and it’s a real "character" place. On the way back(you just drive a loop) you can stop at the ruins of San Gervasio.
. Check out town square on Sunday night for dancing,etc.
 

If you want to live like a local there is a car rental on the beach side of the main drag about a block or two toward Scuba Club from the ferry dock. We rented a VW Thing replica that wouldn’t pass inspection anywhere for about $60 for the week, that was car, insurance and gas. It pops out of gear and you’ll get soaked when it rains but it’s a blast to drive around the island.
If you are buying stuff to take home wait until that drive, about 1/2 way accross the island the merchants are hungrier, don’t see the pod people from the cruise ships and you’ll get better prices. Stop at coconuts and the Mayan ruins.
If you are going out to dance remember that the locals took a nap and won’t show up until midnight.