Archive for April, 2010

All-Inclusive Cozumel

April 15, 2010

Cozumel has been one of those places I have only experienced as a day tripper, either from a cruise ship, or off the ferry from Playa del Carmen. And while it seems to be most popular with those brief visitors, I decided it would be worth it to spend a week there, to get a better feel for the place and what it offers. We opted for all-inclusive resorts, as it was an unbeatable value, and we always loved the convenience of having our meals and drinks available and unlimited at  the resort.  We spent the first few nights at Cozumel Palace, a luxury resort close to downtown. The accommodations, dining, and service here were top- notch, with marble everywhere, and a highly attentive staff, it felt like 5 star quality. A Jacuzzi in every room and stunning ocean views made for a romantic setting. While the resort lacks a beach, it does offer decent snorkeling with easy ocean entry just off the vast pool deck. Here we were walking distance to the downtown plaza, and had easy access to all of the nightlife that town offers. The most popular places for the younger set were Carlos & Charlie’s and Senor Frog’s, as well as a few Latin style clubs offering live music, where we gravitated.

Cozumel is known as a scuba diving Mecca, but there are still enough things to keep non-divers entertained for a week. We love to snorkel, so we did a little research and got a taxi to nearby Dzul-Ha beach or the ‘Money Bar‘, as the beach’s restaurant/ bar establishment is known. The snorkeling was fine here, and within swimming just 50-100 feet offshore we were surrounded by a multitude of tropical fish, and some small but interesting coral formations. We found out that this is the first stop on the “3 reef tours” being booked from the ferry dock. This just whetted our appetite for more and we were eager to see what lied below in deeper waters. For a new experience, we booked a trip on Atlantis Submarines, an actual submarine that submerges to cruise over 100 feet deep along the ocean floor. Atlantis runs these trips throughout many islands in the Caribbean and Hawaii, and I had always been intrigued. The tour was fun and quite memorable, as we got to see reefs and marine life at depths usually reserved for advanced scuba divers, and stayed dry the entire time! Definitely one of those once in a lifetime experiences but well worth the trip. We spent the remainder of the week at the Allegro Cozumel, about 15 minutes down the coast on the famed Playa San Francisco. The setting here was much more rustic than the Palace, but it did have one thing that the Palace lacked: an amazing white sand beach with safe swimming and snorkeling. Water sports included kayaks, Hobie cats and wind surfing, also complimentary. The resort paled in comparison to the luxury of Cozumel Palace, but the location made up for it, on Cozumel’s best beach. While the shoreline snorkeling is okay, the only real way to see what Cozumel has to offer for divers and snorkelers is to book one of the many boat tours offered everywhere. We went for a tour to the 2 most popular and legendary reefs, Columbia and Palancar. Here we drifted effortlessly over the reefs while viewing amazing coral formations, and a variety of marine life, including a few sea turtles, barracudas, and a spotted eagle ray. The reef snorkel trip was definitely one of the highlights, along with relaxing for a week on beautiful beach resorts, in what is one of the most laid back resort destinations in Mexico.  Sharing Mexican hospitality with the best of Caribbean waters, Cozumel is a great choice of destination for divers and non- divers alike, and far from the hustle and bustle of Cancun.  For more information in booking your next trip to Cozumel, please contact me, or visit http://www.singles-getaways.com/mexico/

Frank Lazzaro

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