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  • Writer's pictureJay Hicks

A Quick Day in Cozumel!

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Cozumel is one of those places you can easily find yourself when cruising. When arriving, you may be unaware of the many fantastic ways to spend your day!

View from the Eastern Side of Cozumel

Cozumel is both an island and a municipality in the Caribbean Sea. The terminal is 2 miles south of town and the road is not really suitable for walking. Situated just 12 miles off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, the island is separated by the Cozumel Channel. The economy of Cozumel is based on tourism, with visitors able to benefit from the island's small resorts, scuba diving, and snorkeling. There is plenty to see and do. The real question is what are you going to do in Cozumel? Should you take cruise ship excursions? Will you venture out on your own?

With all the press about problems in Mexico, you may be a bit nervous. However, most believe Cozumel is reasonably safe compared to the mainland. The drug-related crime in Mexico in the headlines is largely near the Mexican borders. Crime you hear around Cancun in the news, is on the mainland and rarely affects tourists. But, when in Cozumel it is important to keep your balance. It is definitely a fun place, but with inexpensive drinks and because of petty crime that follows tourism, you need to on your game.

Kellie in Habanero's Swinging Bar Stool!

There are so many wonderful places to eat and drink in Cozumel. Many are situated along Avenida Rafael Melgar or the downtown costal road. You will find a statue to General Rafael Melgar from the Mexican Revolution in a town square just off the road. One of our favorite places to visit is Habanero's Grill & Bar (Av. Rafael E. Melgar 221). Here you will find fantastic margarita’s, great Cuban cigars, and good Mexican food. But perhaps even more iconic are the swings suspended from the ceiling as barstools. It is such a great time sitting there and bouncing off the bar with your feet while you enjoy a margarita. Prices are reasonable, and Gr8 fun will be had by all. There are plenty of shops and lots of hawkers offering to take you on a tour of the island. Negotiation is expected.

If you have an hour or two, catch a cab, rent a jeep, or have somebody drive you and your friends to the sparsely populated eastside of the island for a beautiful view of the Caribbean. Many believe you cannot say you have been to Cozumel without seeing the island’s east. The waters and waves are awesome. On this side of the island, there are several restaurants, all with incredible views of multicolored azure water.

T-Shirts at Coconuts!

One of our favorite restaurants is Coconuts at Kilometer marker 43.3. The covered outdoor venue is on top of the highest point on Cozumel and is only accessible via a winding stair made of natural coral rock. Normally there is a wonderful breeze with fantastic scenery. The water is beautiful, the food is good, the drinks are cold, and the prices are good. Make sure you check out the photo albums put together by the owner.

A great place to swim on the east side of Cozumel is Playa Chen Rio. This location has a huge natural pool where lifeguards are typically on duty. This is a private beach and it is quiet and relaxing. Chen Rio is one of the best beaches on the “wild side” or “natural side” of Cozumel island, taking its name from a small river running to this location.

On your way back, if you have time are Mayan Ruins to enjoy and a so-called tequila factory on the northern road (Transversal de Cozumel). The ruins have a small entrance fee and may have an additional small guide fee. The tequila factory (more of an outlet) is typically free, with samples, generally desiring you to buy some of the product. You will also pass by a sign for a naked beach - if you are into that kind of thing. Supposedly, it is a short stroll from the parking lot.

Suitcase Says - Travel Smarter and enjoy your time in Cozumel!

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