Adventure Cozumel



Description:

This island is paradise for those who want to relax, but is even better if you're willing to make the most of Cozumel's possibilities for adventure. Covered with tropical forest and surrounded by beaches and reefs, there's so much to do that you won't be bored for a single second. Get scuba certified ahead of time to make sure you'll be able to explore the most incredible of Cozumel's reef system.

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Author: JennyMM


Day 1 - Cozumel


After you get settled in at the hotel, journey on foot to Asadero el Pollo for a delectable lunch of grilled chicken. It's all they serve, and they do it so well. There's no seating, so take it back to Villas Las Anclas to enjoy in the quiet courtyard. You'll need the fuel for your afternoon with Fly High Adventures. Hop in a cab to the Fly High ecopark just outside the city, and strap up for an exhilarating aerial view of Isla Cozumel. Newly built, the facilities here are top notch, and this is a perfect introduction to the island. If you have some time in the afternoon when you get back to San Miguel, take a walk along the boardwalk, and check out some of the signs and sculptures depicting the island's history. You may also want to lounge a bit on the beaches, of course. One of Cozumel's best dinner restaurants is also one of its smallest and most homey: El Abuelo Gerardo. Family owned and run, you can get incredible local cuisine here in the middle of the restaurant's gardens. Take a slow walk through San Miguel on your way back to the hotel. This is one of the safest parts of Mexico, and there's usually some lively nightlife along the beachfront if you're up for it. Villas Las Anclas is truly one of Cozumel's hidden treasures. It's just blocks away from the Plaza Central and the shore, but feels like your private haven, with a lush tropical garden that fills the central courtyard and personal service from the owners. For a downtown stay that avoids the all-inclusive resort setting, this is the place to be.


1

Asadero el Pollo

Location:

Calles Morelos and Calle 5 Sur
San Miguel
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


2

Fly High Adventures

Location:

Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 987 857 2975


3

El Abuelo Gerardo

Location:

10th Avenida 21 Juárez and 2 Norte
San Miguel
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 978 872 1012
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4

Villas Las Anclas

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Location:

Ave 5A Sur #325 between Calle 3 & 5 Sur
San Miguel
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 987 872 1403
fax: +52 987 25 476
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Day 2 - Cozumel


First day of diving! It's definitely a good idea to get open-water SCUBA certified before your vacation, or you'll have to spend your first three days taking courses and may miss out on visiting some of the best diving spots. Nearly the entire western shore of the island is paralleled by a massive reef system, one of the world's largest and most impressive. Try some of the easier dives today, and definitely bring your underwater camera. Yucab is one of the more popular sites, which is deserved. There are huge coral overhangs here, which provide shelter for divers from the current and also for lots of large fish. The Felipe Xicotencatl is an artificial wreck, but is still worth a visit for its corals and eel population. The Palancar Gardens are also popular, due to the huge sponges and large numbers of colorful groups of fish. San Francisco is another colorful one with large fish populations. Any of these spots would be a good introduction to the teeming sealife off of Cozumel's shores. There are a number of wonderful dive shops in Cozumel, including Aqua Safari, well-run by seasoned divers and definitely willing to avoid the more crowded spots in order to give you the best experience. Scuba Mau is great, too. A morning dive is a good way to go to avoid the crowds, and then you have the rest of the day to enjoy the sunshine. Grab some traditional Mayan grub at Taqueria El Amigo Mario, and then get on the shuttle to Rancho Buenavista for an afternoon horseback ride. There's lots of evidence of the Mayan culture along the ride, and guides that are highly knowledgeable about the local history and ecosystem, which is just icing on the cake during this beautiful journey through the tropical forest. You'll probably be hungry (but hopefully not sore) afterwards, and El Guacamayo's peaceful outdoor setting is an ideal dinner spot for sitting back and tucking into some incredibly fresh seafood -- the crab legs here are pretty much legendary.


1

Parque Marino de Cozumel

Location:

Costera Sur Highway
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:



2

Aqua Safari

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Location:

Av Rafael Melgar No.429 between 5 & 7 Sur
San Miguel
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 987 2 0101
fax: +52 987 2 0661
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3

Yucab Reef

Location:

Parque Marino de Cozumel
Playa San Francisco Km 3.5
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


4

Felipe Xicotencatl Shipwreck

user rating

Location:

Parque Marino de Cozumel
Costera Sur Highway
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


5

Palancar Shallows and Gardens

Location:

Parque Marino de Cozumel
(Costera Sur Highway)
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 987 872 0972


6

San Francisco Reef

Location:

Parque Marino de Cozumel
(Playa San Francisco)
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 987 872 0972


7

Taqueria El Amigo Mario

Location:

Calle 5 between Calle General Francisco Mujica and Avenida 35.
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 987 872 0742
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8

Rancho Buenavista

Location:

Avenue Rafael Melgar & Calle 11 Sur
Acuario restaurant in San Miguel
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 987 2 1537
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9

Guacamayo (El)

Location:

Costera Norte Highway, Km. 4
Zona Hotelera Norte
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 987 6 8703


Day 3 - Cozumel


Rent a car for the day for a trip to the mainland to visit some of the area's most impressive ruins at Tulum, a short ride down the coast. Formerly a center of commerce, these Mayan ruins sit on small cliffs overlooking beautiful beaches, perfect for a quick dip or some sunbathing. There are tour guides waiting for hire once you enter the archaeological zone of Tulum, but they can be hit or miss. Some are very informed about the history of the area and each structure, and some, not so much. If you don't want to risk it and/or spend the money for a guide, just bring a good guide book and walk around the area yourself. There are some really good small restaurants along the main road in the town of Tulum, in particular Cetli, which is small-scale but features innovative, gourmet twists on local classics. Head back up toward the bridge to Cozumel after, and stop in to Xcaret, one of the area's original eco-parks. The highlight here is the underground river, which you can swim and snorkel in, which feels close to cave diving. There's some interesting Mayan history exhibits, too, but you saw the real thing in the morning so forgo those if you're pressed for time. Finish the drive back to San Miguel for dinner, and try La Parilla del Yaqui tonight. Although the steaks and other meat delicacies are the specialties here, there are also plenty of other good traditional dishes as well.


3

La Parilla del Yaqui

Location:

Avenida Lic Pedro Joaquin Coldwell & Calle 5 Sur
(San Miguel)
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 987 872 1629


Day 4 - Cozumel


Head out today for another day of diving along the western and southern shores of the island with one of the local dive companies. Barracuda and San Juan are among the most difficult dives, but are well worth it and manageable as dives are kept very controlled. If you're up for it, you can be well rewarded here with barracuda, ray, and shark populations. There's also a beautiful natural amphitheater here. Bring an underwater flashlight if you choose to explore the incredible overhang and tunnel system of the Santa Rosa Wall. There's also larger sealife off the drop-off at Punta Tunich, although currents here can be particularly strong. Columbia Wall is also a drop-off filled with beautiful coral towers, and in the nearby shallows you can find nearly every fish species known to the Cozumel reefs. After you finish up and dry off in the early afternoon, try Paradise cafe for a relaxing snack and a beer. On the southwestern side of the island in the middle of the reef zone, you can lay back here in a hammock after snacking on their casual beach fare for a break. After, take a trip into the Parque Punta Sur, the national ecological park on the southern end of the island. You can climb up to the top of the lighthouse on the island's south tip for a beautiful view, and can go on a hike, do a lagoon cruise, or rent some snorkels for more underwater time. To end your day, munch on some more fabulous seafood at Costa Bravo, one of Cozumel's best and most original restaurants.


1

Barracuda & San Juan Reef

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Location:

San Juan Beach
Costera Norte Highway Km 5.0
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


2

Santa Rosa Wall

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Location:

Parque Marino de Cozumel
South of Playa San Francisco
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +52 987 872 0972


3

Punta Tunich

Location:

Parque Marino de Cozumel
South of Punta Tormentos
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


4

Columbia Reef

Location:

Parque Marino de Cozumel
South of the Palancar Reef
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


5

Paradise Café

Location:

Costera Sur Highway, Km 33
Outside entrance to Parque Punta Sur
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

visit website


6

Parque Punta Sur

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Location:

Costera Sur Highway Km 27
(beginning of Costera Este Highway)
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: +1 987 872 2940


7

Costa Brava

Location:

Calle 7, half block from Avenida Melgar
San Miguel
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


Day 5 - Cozumel


For one more great dive, try the freshwater of the Cenote Aerolito de Paraiso, Cozumel's largest cenote, or sinkhole. Always done with a dive center, of course, these dives have some risk but are an incredible experience. There are some amazing sea star populations down the cenote, as well as elaborate, beautiful rock formations. Warm up after with a huge bowl of authentic soup at La Choza, then set off up north by taxi or rent a car again to climb the Punta Molas lighthouse. You'll definitely need a four-wheel drive to get out to this remote spot, but the drive is beautiful along the rough eastern coast, and there are some local villages barely touched by the tourist hustle and bustle of the western shore. Once you get out to the northern point, start with a climb to the top of the old lighthouse for a great view of the northern part of the island. Also, look around up there to try to find some of the smaller bits of Mayan ruins hidden around the area, then you can hike around to try to find some of them to investigate up close. The beaches are beautiful here, but are definitely rocky and not at all suited for swimming. It can take a while to get out here and back on the rough old road, so you'll most likely be ready for dinner when you get back to town. Have your last meal here at Pancho's Backyard, frequented by locals and tourists alike to enjoy the delicious margaritas and homey Mexican fare.


1

Cenote Aerolito de Paraiso

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Location:

North of Costera Sur Highway Km 9
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


2

La Choza

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Location:

Avenida 10 corner with Calle Salas.
San Miguel
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 987 872 0958
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3

Punta Molas Faro

Location:

Puna Molas Road
(where the Costera Este Highway ends)
77600 Cozumel, Mexico


4

Pancho's Backyard

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Location:

Avenida Rafael E. Melgar 27
(Between Calle 8 &10)
77600 Cozumel, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 52 987 872 2141
fax: 52 987 872 1950
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