|February 1999--Latest news from south of the border
Christmas and Millennium Availability
We do have some availability for the Christmas 1999 and Millennium weeks. If you're looking at either of those weeks, we'd suggest you make a reservation as early as possible because of high demand. We recommend that you book early for best selection. Check millennium availability (we will update this regularly)
Summer Bookings and Winter 2000
Summer travelers should make arrangements as soon as possible for vacation plans. More and more people are traveling in the good old summer time. We enjoy that time of the year because of fewer cruise ships, warmer water temperatures and the visibility is often best during summer months.
We are beginning to get bookings for winter of next year, too. Please note that most properties will have a rate change as of January 1, 2000.
A few misc. notes:
We've added several villas in Cozumel to our website. They include:
- Casa Oasis: A new 2 B.R., 2 bath villa, located just a couple of blocks from the oceanfront. The Oasis is air conditioned and has expansive yard with good size swimming pool. There is a kind size bed in one bedroom and two doubles in the second bedroom. Rate is $1000 per week (plus tax). More info/photos
- Casa Bahia: Another 2 B.R., 2 bath villa, with private swimming pool. This villa is located a bit further back off the ocean (on 60th Avenue). This is a two story villa with a pleasant screened patio poolside. Rate is $750 per week (plus tax). More info/photos
- Casa Juan is a 4 B.R., 2 bath villa located on 45th Avenue (about 8 blocks from the oceanfront). Clean, but basic, the Casa Juan can sleep 8-10 people in this two story house. More info/photos
New supermarket has opened just across from Plaza Las Glorias Hotel in Cozumel. Chadraui has a full line of groceries, plus some appliances, household goods and clothing.
Having a special party during your stay? Full catering service is available for special events (small groups or large). Diamond Cafe & Bakery on 15th Avenue provides catering services and recently did a wedding celebration at one of the larger oceanfront properties.
The treasure of Cozumel
Crystal clear water, brilliantly colored coral formations and zillions of assorted fish in all shapes and sizes. This is what first brought travelers to the isle of Cozumel.
If you think Cozumel is a paradise above water, wait until you see the spectacular sites beneath the surface! Make sure that snorkeling or diving is on your agenda during your stay
Caballito del Caribe now has a new boat for snorkeling. The large 47 foot Bertram twin diesel has two bathrooms, a stateroom, full cover and a sun deck. Enjoy the comfort of Caballito's Samari boat and let their experienced captain take you on an exciting snorkeling excursion. Captain Carlos and his mate, Antonio, will take you to several of the best snorkeling spots around the island.
You can make arrangements for your snorkeling excursion before you go by e-mailing Caballito. Or stop at their shop on 10th Avenue just north of the plaza. Phone number in Cozumel is 2-14-49. Caballito also offers full scuba diving services as well.
Cozumel Sailing now offers a new adventure on the island. All boats are safe, secure, self-righting keel boats with electric start motor, cabin, galley, marine head (bathroom), marine radio, shallow depth alarm, life jackets and cooler with cold beverages of your choice. The sailboat rental service offers shore to boat transportation, boat and equipment, instructions if needed, constant radio communication with motor boat captain, assistance back to mooring and transportation back to shore.
Boats can be rented hourly or daily for your private sailing adventure. Up to six people per boat can experience this Caribbean activity. Introductory rates are currently available at $75 for two people for two hours up to $150 for six people for four hours. Additional hours are available at $20.00 per hour. Want a sailing guide for instructions or so that you can relax and enjoy the experience? No problemo, just $10.00 per hour.
Cozumel Sailing is located on 10th Avenue between A.R. Salas and Calle 1 (and just across the street from the dive shop, Caballito del Caribe). Give sailing a try and let us know how you like it! You can e-mail Cozumel Sailing for more information or to reserve your sail boat. Cell phone number on the island is 01-98-74-61-38.
Cozumel Top 10
Below are some of the must-see places to go, things to do on the island of Cozumel. These are all family rated and general in nature. In the future we may do more specific Top 10 lists (like top 10 restaurants, top 10 romantic activities/locations on the island, top 10 excursions, top 10 shops . . . you get the idea). Perhaps you'd like to contribute your comments; if so e-mail.
These are not in any particular order, but while you're on the island . . . you gotta do 'em:
- Begin your island orientation with a visit to the island museum. Located on the oceanfront road just north of the passenger ferry pier, the museum offers a good overview of the island and its history. The two story building features displays relating to the culture, history and art of the island. You'll find a nifty map that will show you key locations around the island, including reefs, landmarks, parks and other features to help you get a lay of the land. There is even a small Mayan dwelling that is a good representation of the types of buildings that the Mayans lived in (and still do in some places throughout the Yucatan). The museum is not very big, so don't expect a Smithsonian experience, and don't schedule more than an hour or two. If you get a chance, have breakfast or lunch at the second story restaurant . . . the view is terrific and the food is quite good.
- What's an island without water? Don't miss out on what makes Cozumel so special: water, water everywhere. If you are certified to dive, do it often. Snorkel whenever you get a chance. Buy a book or fish identification card at the bookstore; in a week you'll be able to identify many of the tropical fish that you see. Try a variety of water sports: diving, snorkeling, sailing, parasailing, jet skiing, sailboarding, swimming with the dolphins. Keep notes on your experiences so you can share your stories with others.
- Tour the east side of the island. Rent a car for the day, or make arrangements with a local taxi driver to give you the island tour. Make sure you choose a driver who can speak good English . . . or get one that doesn't and you can practice your Spanish. Personally, we'd recommend renting a car and going it alone or with friends. Take your time. Stop at each of the little bars/restaurants (have a designated driver if you have beer or margaritas in mind). Crawl into one of the hammocks and watch the waves, feel the breeze. Go to the lighthouse at Punta Celarain; climb to the top for photographs. You'll find four to six little spots to stop along the east coast, try to visit as many as possible. Walk along the undeveloped beaches, poke around the rocky formations. We've always wanted to go and have a candlelight picnic on a deserted beach some evening. Tour the ruins at San Gervasio, pay to have a guide and you'll learn about the history of the island and the significance of the ruins.
- Giddyup, go horseback riding. This is a pleasant experience. You can go riding along the beach or in the jungle. There are several locations where you can get a horse by the hour. North of town, just before the pavement ends you'll spot caballos (horses) along the calle (street). In this area your ride will take you along the beach, through the jungle and a field area. You will be accompanied by a caballero (cowboy). South of town, near the Presidente hotel is a ranch where you will be guided on trails through the jungle. Another area to ride is on the east side of the island, just as the road turns and heads north. There are several horses across the road from the Paradise Cafe. You're on your own here so you can ride wherever you'd like. We'd suggest heading south towards the lighthouse. You can ride on the road or in some areas, along the beach. There is also horseback riding at Playa Sol, one of the more popular beach areas; here you ride along the beach.
- Spend a day at Chankanaab, a botanical park along the ocean south of town. Explore the grounds, enjoy the beach area and discover the excellent snorkeling in this area.There's a restaurant/bar and several shops in the area. Watch for the huge iguanas. One tip: avoid Chankanaab if a cruise ship is in; the park tends to get too crowded.
- Don't miss the fiesta in the plaza on Sunday evening. This gathering is a Cozumel tradition. The locals congregate for live music, dancing, food and fun. You'll enjoy watching this family event, with everyone dressed up in their Sunday best. Gringos are welcome and casual dress is fine; join in the dancing!
- Shop, shop, shop. You'll fine an endless assortment of goodies: silver, Mexican blankets, t-shirts, masks, rain sticks, kahlua, tequilla, paper mache, etc. Make a trip to the local market, too; it's best to go early in the morning. You'll find the freshest veggies, fruits and seafood. Be prepared because you might see a few things you wouldn't normally see in an American supermarket . . . like a pig's head on the counter.
- Party, party, party. Take at least one evening to hit some of the hot spots. Carlos and Charlie's is usually hopping. You might have to squeeze your way in to grab a seat. It's always fun to sit back and watch the activity here. Joe's, located on 10th Avenue south of the plaza, is another fun spot. Live music (usually reggae or Caribbean) starts around 10:30 or 11. This is a very small establishment that gets busy, busy, busy and the teensy dance floor fills fast. Another place that you might want to check out is Black and White on 30th Avenue. This is frequented more by locals and American residents and features live music (usually), starting at about 11 p.m. Last time we were there a singer from another part of Mexico performed traditional Mexican music. Of course, there are a number of other night spots.
- Dining is one of the highlights of a trip to Cozumel. Sample Yucatacan dishes, fresh seafood, pasta, Mexican favorites, ribs . . . you can find just about anything you might be craving.
- Go beach hopping on the west coast of the island. Try out each of the beach areas: Playa Corona, Playa Sol, Playa San Francisco, Playa Palancar. Loaf around on the beach, read a book, order one of those silly drinks in a pineapple, build a sand castle, watch the clouds drift by, relax and enjoy yourself.
Cozumel Internet Access
The Coffee Net, located on the oceanfront road and Calle 11, just across from Acuario and Lobster's Cove Restaurants (in same building as Neptuno Disco). When we were there they had eight machines online with a number of different browsers as well as printers (black and white and color) and even a scanner. You can check your e-mail (through Netscape, AOL, Hot Mail, among others). Rate is not bad at 35 pesos per half hour, 60 pesos an hour (exchange rate in early August was 8.75 pesos to a dollar). Only a peso or two for each document you print (black and white). Open seven days a week, Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. If you go to Coffee Net, e-mail us!