Relaxing in Cozumel (Cozumel, Mexico)

In November, I headed off for a week of relaxing in the sun with a friend.  She’d heard Cozumel was great from her daughter who had been there a year ago and I’d been there twice before but only as a cruise port.  Our intent was really just to enjoy the great weather, do some reading, maybe have a drink or two and do a little sightseeing.  Easy goals to accomplish.

But first we had to get there.  Not a big deal but I managed to hit every random security check at both the Toronto and Cozumel airports.  Then when we finally managed to get out of the Cozumel airport after having been diverted by a timeshare sales pitch, our shuttle couldn’t get to our hotel because the roads were all blocked off for a bicycle race.  We spent 20 minutes trying different routes before the driver just took us back to the airport.  10 minutes later we were back on the road to our hotel; 10 minutes after that we were in the lobby of the Melia Cozumel. And quickly after that we were in our ocean view room.

Quiet day at the Melia Cozumel

Our room was large with 2 comfy queen size beds, a balcony and a nice size bathroom.  Pretty much all you need for a vacation week.  The staff at the hotel were great.  Very accommodating and helpful.  Food ranged from just okay to excellent depending on the meal.  And, because it was off season, the hotel was very very quiet.  I think the most people I saw at the adult pool at any one time was a dozen.

Our little chat with the timeshare person at the airport did give us the idea to go to Playa del Carmen for a day.  I’ll tell you more about that side trip in my next post.

We made a couple trips into town to do a little shopping and to have a meal off the resort.  I was very disappointed in the shopping.  There is a lot of shopping but the quality of the items is generally poor and the shopkeepers are beyond persistent.  Los Cinco Soles was my favourite store — they have three locations in town and another one at the airport.  We did stop at Woody’s for drinks and at Casa Denis’ for an early dinner.  Both were good but didn’t live up to their reputations.

We did take one sight seeing tour and it was a jeep trip with Explora Tours.  I can’t say enough good things about our day.  We got picked up in the morning by our guide and then met up with a young couple who wanted to drive (we didn’t).

Our first stop was Punta Sur Eco-Park for the crocodile pond where we saw only one crocodile.  The guide explained that they used to feed the crocodiles but they no longer do that.  So it’s really the luck of the draw whether or not you see any crocodiles.

Next stop within the park was the lighthouse.  I don’t remember the exact number of steps but it was somewhere in the 160 to 170 step range.  I was surprised when I made it to the top that I then had to crawl through a small doorway to go outside.  But it was definitely worth it.  Great views!

Beach and Restaurant at Punta Sur Eco-Park
View from the Lighthouse

Next stop, still within the park, was our own private piece of beach and restaurant.  Only people from our tour company were there so we were good to leave our belongings while we went swimming.  Beautiful blue water and lovely white sand.  As a used-to-be natural redhead, I burn really easily so I had to limit my time in the water as it was mid-day but I enjoyed every second in the water.  After our refreshing swim, we had a great Mexican buffet lunch.

After lunch, we headed up the west shore of the island.  The west shore is relatively uninhabited since it apparently gets hit the hardest by storms and hurricanes.  It’s beautiful.  I wish we had time to explore the beaches and shoreline.

San Gervasio

Our next destination was the Mayan ruins of San Gervasio.  We had a guide from San Gervasio take us on a walking tour.  As I think I’ve admitted before, I’m not much of a history lover; but our guide made the tour very interesting and entertaining.

Last stop on our tour was for a tequila tasting.  We were given a very short explanation on how tequila is made and the differences between the large commercial brands and the smaller batch facilities.  The tequila we tasted was very good.  I particularly enjoyed a couple of the flavoured ones.

We really enjoyed the jeep tour and I would recommend it for anyone wanting to take an organized trip.  If I were to go back with Al, I would suggest that we just rent a jeep and do the tour ourselves.

We did accomplish our goals for the week — enjoy the great weather, do some reading, maybe have a drink or two and do a little sightseeing.

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