Cozumel Mexico Directory
Cozumel Mexico Overview
Cozumel, Mexico's largest inhabited island, is also one of the country's biggest paradoxes. Serene, laid-back and somewhat undiscovered by Mexico's 20 million annual visitors, Cozumel rivals many Caribbean island destinations when it comes to visitor facilities, activities, and stunning beauty.
Yet until recently, the island has been best known as a cruise ship port-of-call and mecca for hard-core scuba divers. Cozumel is now shedding some of its "divers only" reputation and making strides in attracting more mainstream international guests. The majority of the island's visitors are now families, ecotourists, honeymooners, and Yucatan-bound visitors that find nearby Cancun a bit overwhelming. For non-divers, it has the beautiful water of the Caribbean with all the accompanying water sports and seaside activities. What's more, Cozumel has the feel of a small island, short roads that don't go very far, lots of mopeds, few buses and trucks, and a sense of isolation.
In a comparatively compact area, Cozumel offers a selection of more than 90 restaurants and cafes. These serve a range of cuisines, including Mexican, Caribbean, International, Mediterranean, Italian and Tex-Mex. Seafood is abundant--much of it caught fresh daily in the waters off Cozumel.
A favorite spot to unwind after a busy day is at one of the outdoor cafes that line the zocalo. These stay open late into the evening--they are also popular spots in which to have a nightcap before beginning another active, sports-filled day on Cozumel. Cozumel is not known as a "party" place but it does have it's known spots where you can enjoy live music, friends, drinks and great atmosphere. There is always something for everyone. For late nighters, the "club" seen starts late at about 1am.
Cozumel's appeal lies with its combination of the best of Mexico (friendly people, affordable prices, great dining/shopping, interesting cultural sightseeing) with the allure of vacationing on a Caribbean island. This mix makes Cozumel one of Mexico's most unique destinations, offering a hard-to-find vacation duality.
The jewel-shaped, flat-as-a-pancake island lies just 19 kms. off the Yucatan Coast, and measures 48 kms. long and 16 kms. wide. Its jungle-clad interior and ivory white beaches are girdled by one of the most spectacular ensembles of coral reefs in this hemisphere. The island's limestone shore is surrounded by temperate, crystal clear waters which range from stunning turquoise to deep indigo.
San Miguel de Cozumel has it all, and still retains the quaint atmosphere of a scenic getaway. Cozumel is known for its fabulous scuba diving, its coral reef and beautiful tropical fish, however it has maintained a charming personality thats hard to match. Cozumel is only a 30 minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. There are 14 block of interesting shopping, and lovely plaza, trinket shops, banks, dive shops and restaurants. There are accommodations for all budget ranges, all-inclusive hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Shopping in Cozumel
Regarded as the "St. Thomas of the Western Caribbean," Cozumel has become one of the world's best duty-free shopping ports. This has been great for the local economy, but some old Cozumel travelers liked it better when it was a sleepy little dive spot. Cozumel "can" offer fantastic prices on diamonds, colored gemstones, jewelry, watches, gold, sterling silver, and even Oriental rugs as well as Mexican housewares and handicrafts. You can find designer jewelry pieces and watches from C2K, Caribbean Hook, Honora, House of Tanzanite, John Hardy, Kabana, La Nouvelle Bague, Starnight, White Diamonds, Cartier, Concord, Maurice Lacroix, Michele, Movado and more. When shopping for high end items make sure you are dealing with a reputable company! Though fraud is rare it does happen.
Cozumel has a very exciting history. The name Cozumel, :Land of the Swallows" in Mayan, sounds exotic. It was once a pirate hangout for the likes of Jean Lafitte.
Chankanaab Park is a beachfront park was completely rebuilt in 1996 and is picturesque to say the least. It has a palapa studded beach perfect for sunbathers. A crystal clear lagoon for excellent, safe snorkeling for the whole family. Nearby are rentals for snorkeling and diving. Just off the beach is an archeological park that has winding trails that go through the jungle. Tours are available. There is even a botanical garden with hundreds of species of plant life. As everywhere there is a food and drink available.
Parque Punta Sur
This 247-acre preserve, located at the southernmost tip of Cozumel, is home to numerous birds and animals. No cars are allowed. Visitors must use park transportation (bicycles, small carts, or public buses). At the southernmost point of the park is the Punta Celerain Faro, a lighthouse with a navigational museum. The beaches here are deserted and wide, and there's great snorkeling offshore. There's a snack bar, a restaurant, an information center, a souvenir shop, and rest rooms.
The Palancar Underwater National Park
This submarine park consists of a barrier reef that stretches along the length of the west coast of the island of Cozumel. It is home to a vast number of marine species such as snails, globefish, sponges, crabs, lobsters, jellyfish, stingrays, moray eels, and thousands of colorful tropical fish.
|Cozumel Mexico Facts|
Direct flights are available from Houston and Miami.
You can also fly into Cancun if you would like to split a stay between the mainland and Cozumel. Island hopper flightsare available from the Cancun airport or you can travel by air conditioned bus from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and ride the water jet over to the island.
Average of 80F.
Flora and Fauna
With majority of the island undeveloped and covered primarily with scrub and dense jungle, Cozumel Island has a diverse population of tropical birds, lizards, coati, deer and other wildlife. Bird watchers will not be disappointed with the flocks of multicolored parrots, blue warblers , white egrets and macas.
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Cozumel Mexico Accommodations