Four Days in Cozumel

We just took a mini-vacation in Cozumel. Since we live in Cancun it was an easy matter to bring along all the comforts of home. We took our car, our bicycles, our cooler, our beach chairs and the beach umbrella. We called ahead and determined that there was plenty of room in the downtown hotels, so we decided to go without a reservation.

We took the car ferry over to Cozumel from the port of Calica, just south of Playa del Carmen. When we arrived in Cozumel we decided we would drive around the island looking for a nice picnic spot. We found a spot just north of Punta Sur, on the east side and we settled down to eat and enjoy the beach, for the first time in a long time. We were there a couple of hours and thoroughly enjoyed the sand, the surf and were especially amused by the fact that the only cars that went by were bright red rented Jeeps full of gringos. After our Jeep counting venture we continued up the coast, and over on the cross-island road to San Miguel.

Once in San Miguel we dropped in on some of the hotels we’d talked to ahead of time. The people at the Caribo B&B were downright weird. They had a room available but didn’t feel like cleaning it, and so we couldn’t stay there. We went on to Hotel Tamarindo, which looked pleasant enough except that the only room she had free was one with no a/c. So we kept on looking.

Eventually we made our way over to Suite’s Vima [sic]. My husband had stayed there once before and knew it was clean if not terribly well decorated or properly named. By the time we got there I was tired and needed to take a leak, so I wasn’t thinking much. We looked at a room but I didn’t realize that all the lighting was flourescent. UG! So we paid for 3 nights and then discovered the room had ugly lighting. I ended up using my flashlight when I wanted to read, just to avoid having those awful lights on.

Suite’s Vima is almost decent. And I can almost recommend it. If they would just paint the rooms something other than white, and, perhaps, hang the tv so it’s NOT crooked on the wall and change the frigging light bulbs I would be happy. Oh and if there was more than one shower’s worth of hot water at a time that would be good too. Anyway there was a fridge, and it worked, and the room was quiet and HUGE, I think that room was half the size of my house.

Once we settled in and napped and recovered from our journey we ventured out on our bikes. We rode north of town along the coastal road just as the sun was starting to set. Unlike Cancun it is actually pleasant to ride a bike in Cozumel. The coastal road is wide and doesn’t have potholes or even too much traffic. But hunger ruled and so we cut our riding short and went back to town to find some grub.

We wandered aimlessly for a while before finding ourselves at the Restaurant Casa Mission which is right downtown. We had a lovely meal and enjoyed everything about the place, the food, the service, the ambience. The only thing that was weird for us was that the place was packed full of gringos. We almost never eat anywhere that’s full of gringos.

The next morning we were up and riding our bikes again. This time we kept going north until the road ended in the Isla de la Pasíon pier. The riding was pleasant, though sunny, except for one moment when 3 rented Jeeps full of gringos (2 of which were red) came roaring up the road. We passed them just as the road turned to dirt and you’d think these folks had never been on a dirt road before. They were all yelling and when they hit the dirt road they floored their Jeeps and spewed rocks and dust all over us. No wonder people hate Americans, they really can be obnoxious turds.

After riding we took a long siesta in our room and then ventured out for lunch in the mercado. And later on my husband went to play squash with the owner of Squash Time Cozumel. After this we were starving and went to get very good tacos at Los Otates on Avenida 15. There was not a gringo in the place. But the food was great, the service was good, the place was clean and the bill was low.

The next day we went on a snorkeling trip with Manta Sports. The catamaran stopped at 3 different places so the crowd could go in and snorkel. The crew of the boat was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed ourselves. Though I did start getting cold by the end, I guess that warm Caribbean water isn’t that warm when you live here.

Later in the day we ate at La Candela which is on 5th Ave and 6th Street North. The place is really pleasant and we thoroughly enjoyed being there. The service was very good and the fish was great.

The next day, our final day, we woke up early and went over to the east side of the island to ride our bikes. We tried riding north from the corner of the cross-island road along the coast. But the road was so sandy that riding was just not fun. I managed to crash and give myself a major bruise and ended up using all the Spanish swear words I know. Finally my husband caved and we turned around and rode south on the main road. We rode for a few miles and really enjoyed the view of the beach and also the nearly deserted road. We passed a few other riders, a bulldozer busy destroying paradise, a garbage truck cleaning up paradise and a couple of cars full of families heading to the beach.

After our riding we stopped by the Mayan ruins at San Gevasio. The ruins aren’t big but they have that “Mayan ruin feel”. There’s something I always feel when I visit Mayan ruins, maybe it’s all that history leaking forward, or maybe it’s the wide open space with no garbage, whatever it is I felt it there at San Gervasio.

Once we finished our morning adventure we returned to our hotel and cleared out of it. Then we went in search of a good place to watch the World Cup final. We wandered a bit and finally ended up at Kelley’s Sports Bar. Kelley’s is owned by a guy from my home state and the bar was populated by gringos, a token Canadian and a Mexican who is married to an American. We enjoyed hanging out and watching the game, even though France lost when they should have won. We meant to go find some seafood after the game but the conversation was so good that we stayed on until we were out of business cards and had collected a little pile of email addresses.

Eventually we made our way to the ferry dock for the ride home. We got there a cautious 90 minutes early but there were already a lot of cars ahead of us. And then the ferry arrived late and left even later. It got stupid at some point but eventually we all boarded the ferry and started the journey back. Unfortunately the sea had these big rollers and lots of folks on the ferry were nervous about how much the boat was rocking. And on top of that there was no where to sit because it was packed. So we stood the whole way back, but at least the rollers kept us awake. We lucked out and our car was the 2nd one off the boat which was nice since we still had an hour’s drive home to Cancun.

We got home at midnight to 9 overfed cats. Our petsitter took her job very seriously I guess.

Check out my Cozumel Photo Album


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2 Responses to “Four Days in Cozumel”

  1. JoyceJ
    July 12th, 2006 07:17

    Awesome trip report! Cozumel sounds very cool (minus the often obnoxious gringos). You two really know how to pull off bike shorts and straw hats. Your random off-hand comments crack me up because I can hear you say them! And I know why you feel all ruin-y when you visit ruins… Thanks for sending me the link for this morning.

  2. RiverGirl
    July 12th, 2006 09:20

    Hey thanks! It was fun to go and fun to write about. I think you will really enjoy it when you finally get over there.

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