Cozumel Scuba Diving

How do you plan a trip to do Cozumel scuba diving?

The key components of a successful Cozumel scuba diving trip are the scuba diving company, the airfare, and the hotel.

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Airfare

There are multiple options on airfare to Cozumel.  Cozumel does have an airport. They have daily flights from multiple U.S. cities including Miami and Dallas.  The cost of the airfare is a little higher but when you compare the “total” cost of flying into Cancun it is typically about the same price.  You are able to get more flight options into and out of Cancun, but it adds a taxi or shuttle fare and the time to drive to Playa Del Carmen.  Once you arrive at Playa Del Carmen you need to pay for a ferry to take you to Cozumel.  Make sure you take into account the cost of the drive from Cancun and the ferry to Cozumel in your cost comparison with just flying right into Cozumel.  Every time I have done the comparison it makes sense to fly right to Cozumel.

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Cozumel Scuba Diving Hotel

Cozumel is like any place you go to in Mexico.  You can go to an all-inclusive hotel and pay a lot of money and have a great experience.  Cozumel also has quite a few dive motels and hotels.  They vary widely in price and quality.  You can get a motel for as low as $25 a night all the way up to an all-inclusive that costs more than $400 a night.  Finally, pay attention to the location of the hotel.  If you want to be in the middle of where the majority of the stores and restaurants are you need to find a hotel close to the downtown.  I recommend using Trip Advisor and reading the reviews.

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Scuba Diving Company

The best way to choose the right Cozumel scuba diving company is to look on a site like Trip Advisor.  It is much easier than looking at each scuba diving companies website and then trying to compare them.  I have my personal favorites that I have highlighted in several of my other posts.  I’ll make one recommendation.  Use Scuba Tony’s because they are really good.  They only take a small number of people out at a time, they are very experienced, and they provide incredible service.  If you want to look at other options read the reviews on Trip Advisor.  

Good luck, and happy Cozumel scuba diving!

 

 

Beach Club Cozumel – Which ones are the Best?

Beach Club Cozumel is the topic of this post.  There are a lot of choices.  Each one has different options including food, drinks, and location.

 

Beach Club Cozumel
Beach Club Cozumel

 

Beach Club Cozumel  – What do they have to offer?

 

Most Cozumel beach clubs will have some type of food, drinks, lounge chairs on the beach, palm trees and a beach umbrella.  Perhaps what separates one beach club from another in Cozumel are the service and the environment.  Service is pretty self explanatory.  Some Cozumel beach clubs are very hard to get quick service while others are very attentive and fast.  Some have swim up bars and pools while others have nicer beaches.  They all have different costs and vary a lot.

 

Beach club Cozumel
Beach club Cozumel

 

Beach Club Cozumel – Mr Sancho’s

 

Mr Sancho’s beach club has a lot of options.  They some small stores right on site with lots of tourist type items.  The cost is pretty high but you get a lot for your money including free food, free drinks, a small cabana, a nice sand beach, access to snorkeling gear, lockers, and a few other beach activities.  For an additional charge they have horseback riding, parasailing, and wave runners.  The food was pretty good and they had nice pools and a decent bar.  The service was pretty good as well.

 

Beach club Cozumel
Beach club Cozumel

 

Beach Club Cozumel – Paradise Beach

 

This beach club is beautiful and is very modern and clean.  They have showers, restrooms, some large pools, a very big beach area with lots of lounges with umbrellas right under palm trees.  Compared to the other beach club this one probably has the best overall atmosphere.   Their food isn’t too bad in the restaurant and bar area.  You only have to pay a small cover charge but you have to buy a minimum of around $25 in food and drinks per person.  If you go there for at least one meal and get drinks this will be easy to achieve.

 

Beach Club Cozumel
Beach Club Cozumel

 

Beach Club Cozumel – Other good beach clubs

 

These are just 2 of the ones I really like but there are others.  There are quite few others that good reviews as well.  Here is a partial list of beach clubs including Playa Mia Grand Beach Park, Sky Reef and Playa Palancar.  Finally, each Cozumel beach club is a great option but you need to compare the options like anything else and you will have a great time!

 

 

 

 

 

Cozumel Diving – What is it like and what does it have to offer?

Cozumel diving can be a great experience.  Here are some of the highlights, facts, and dive sites.

 

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Cozumel Diving Facts

 

The island is about 10 miles wide and 30 miles long. The water is very warm in Cozumel.  Typically temperatures in the water range from 77-85 degrees fahrenheit.  Air temperature averages between 70-90 degrees fahrenheit. Visibility in the water is typically 80-100 feet. There are approximately 25 different types of coral and approximately 500  different types of fish.  The primary type of dive is drift diving, where you literally just float with the current. Cozumel has the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world.  Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the only reef that is bigger.

 

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Cozumel Diving – Fish you will most likely see!

 

I have done about 30 dives in Cozumel.  This is a list of the fish I have seen on almost every dive.  It is not a comprehensive list but gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.  I have seen numerous turtles, eagle rays, lionfish, moray eels, grouper, toadfish, passive nurse sharks, angelfish, parrot fish, snapper, lobsters, crabs, damselfish, trumpet fish, and spotted drum fish.  You will see a lot of others but these are the fish I have seen the most often.

 

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Dive Sites

 

There are a significant number of Cozumel dive sites and I won’t be able to cover them all here.  The dive sites that are the best are the Columbia Wall, the Santa Rosa Wall, and the Palancar Garden.  These 3 dive sites are very large and have options for every level of diver.  Each one has different types of things to see and different types of coral formations, walls, and fish.  Your Dive Master,  from the company you pick for diving, will have detailed knowledge of each option and can recommend a dive based on what you want to see.  Two other Cozumel diving sites that are for the more experienced diver are The Devil’s Throat and Punta Sur Reef.  Punta Sur Reef has large caverns for the more experienced diver.  

 

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Cozumel Beach Bars – Which one has the most to offer?

There are a lot of great Cozumel beach bars on the island.  I will share some tips on what Cozumel beach bars have and which ones you might want to consider.

 

Cozumel beach bars
Cozumel beach bars

 

Cozumel Beach Bars and the Options

 

No beach bar is the same as the others.  The thing that sets each bar apart are the proximity to the beach, the food, the quality of the drinks, the service, if they have a swim up bar, and of course the crowd.  Typically you won’t find air conditioning in most Cozumel beach bars, but some have  good air flow with fans, while others get nice ocean breezes, especially at night.  Of course some are more modern and cleaner than others.  Take a look at my top recommendations below.

 

Cozumel beach bars
Cozumel beach bars

 

Cozumel Beach Bars – The Money Bar

 

This bar is really modern and clean.  I have had lunch at this bar several times in between dives and the food was good, and the atmosphere was incredible.  It sits right on the beach.  It not only offers a great selection of drinks, it also has good food, a sandy beach, professional massages, and an incredible view.  During the day there is snorkeling available.  At night there is music and some dancing.  It is a family friendly restaurant and bar.  This beach bar gets high reviews online and it is one of my personal favorites.  The service is excellent.

 

Paradise Beach Club and Bar

 

This bar is part of a beach club.  There is a small entrance fee of around $3-$5.  It has a nice bar and restaurant area.  There is a huge pool right in front of the bar that is really nice.  The food is decent for Cozumel.  Once you walk past the bar and the pool the palm tree covered beach is just steps away.  They serve food and drinks right to your lounge.  There are lounges and umbrellas right on the beach.  It has everything you could want in a beach bar, except the service is a little slow.  Some of the waiters are a lot better than the others so with a little patience this one of the Cozumel beach bars I would recommend.

 

Cozumel beach bars
Cozumel beach bars

 

Other Cozumel Beach Bars

 

There are other good beach bars to choose from.  Other beach bars that get good reviews online are the No Name Bar, the Coconuts Bar and Grill, and the Freedom in Paradise Bar.  There are a lot more that get decent reviews and have varying levels of offerings and services.  The No Name Bar is a very popular bar for scuba divers.  It is actually part of a hotel and would be another possible recommendation.

 

Cozumel beach bars
Cozumel beach bars

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing in Cozumel – Is it worth it?

Is fishing in Cozumel worth it?  How do you choose a fishing charter?  What should I be prepared for when I get there?  Which fishing charters are the best?

fishing in Cozumel
fishing in Cozumel

 

How to Choose a Charter for fishing in Cozumel?

 

The approach is similar to choosing a fishing charter in the States.  First compare prices and find out what the price includes?  Charters can be for the whole day, half day, combination trips with snorkeling, etc…  Also, many of the charter choices for fishing in Cozumel may include food and drinks, so make sure you compare all of the details before really focusing on the prices.  Perhaps the best way to choose a charter would be to review online reviews.   People aren’t shy about sharing their experiences and opinions online.  Also, the timing of your trip will influence the price as well.  Typically prices are higher during the peak season from March to July.  

 

fishing in Cozumel
fishing in Cozumel

 

What should I be prepared for when I get there?

 

Cozumel fishing can be a great experience.  But, you need to be prepared for your fishing trip to ensure you have the best experience possible.  I would recommend packing a bag or backpack either before you trip, or at least the night before.   Your bag should include sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, seasickness medication, a camera, extra batteries for your camera, film for your camera, and a personal cooler or ice chest filled your favorite beverages including water.  

 

fishing in Cozumel
fishing in Cozumel

 

Which Charters are best for Fishing in Cozumel?

 

The fishing charter companies that are the best typically have really good reviews.  Here are the companies who get the most positive reviews.  They are Chichi Charters, Tiger’s Adventures, Chili Charters, and Cozumel Charters.  

Finally, make sure you book your Cozumel fishing trip at least 2 weeks in advance and pay by credit card.  Also, in case you were wondering you can catch Marlin, Tuna, Mackeral, Shark, Barracuda, Sailfish, etc…

 

Fishing in Cozumel
Fishing in Cozumel

Which Cozumel Restaurant Should I Go To?

How do you choose which Cozumel restaurant to go to?  What kind of food do the Cozumel restaurants have?  Which Cozumel restaurants are the best?

 

Cozumel restaurant
Cozumel restaurant

 

Cozumel Restaurant Food Choices

 

Cozumel has every kind of food option you can imagine.  They have authentic Mexican food, seafood, Italian, American, Asian and even Steakhouses.  Generally seafood and authentic Mexican food are the most common restaurant types in Cozumel.  I have not had very good luck with their steakhouses but maybe there is a good one out there that I missed.  When I say “authentic” Mexican food, it isn’t your standard Taco Bell, On the Border, or Cafe Rio that you are used to in the States.  Be willing to try new things, you might be surprised how good some of the food is.  Also, they do have some American chains like Pizza Hut, Subway, and Hooters.

 

Cozumel restaurant
Cozumel restaurant

 

How do you choose which Cozumel Restaurant to go to?

 

This is really a matter of personal preference.  But, you might want to get a little advice from the locals.  The taxi drivers are usually a good source of information on which Cozumel restaurant to go to.  Everyone has their favorites but generally the online reviews lean towards Crazy King Burrito, Burritos Gorditos, Cuatro Tacos, and Gordito’s.  All of the bigger restaurants typically use purified water for their ice, but you should ask because not all do use purified water.  Do not drink normal tap water in any form.  Perhaps, your best bet would be to just order bottled water.  This is what I do.

 

Cozumel Restaurant Quality 

This is probably the biggest question I get when I talk to my friends.  It is sometimes very hard to tell if the restaurant is using good practices in their food preparation and cooking.  Generally, the places with lots of people are going to be more safe than others.  Ask the locals for recommendations.  Finally, just take a look around the dining and kitchen areas.  If it looks bad then maybe you should make another choice.

 

Cozumel restaurant
Cozumel restaurant

 

 

 

 

Cozumel Real Estate – Should I Buy or Not?

Should I purchase Cozumel real estate? What should I know to make my decision?

cozumel real estate
cozumel real estate

 

Cozumel has all of the things you want to buy a home in a paradise with beautiful beaches, great food, diving, shopping, and other activities.  So, how do you buy a real estate in Cozumel?  While Cozumel has all of the advantages above you need to make sure you understand a few basics before you consider Cozumel Real Estate.  

Cozumel Real Estate

Perhaps your first thing to consider would be do I want to own a house, condo, or apartment.  Each of these options have their benefits and each has their own price levels.  It is similar to the decision making process in the States.  Do I mind being in a building with other owners of apartments?  Do I mind having other condos or apartments right next to me with no yard?  Or, do I want to have my own home, perhaps with a pool and a yard?

cozumel real estate
cozumel real estate

 

Cozumel Real Estate  – Where do I start?

First, I would recommend talking to other owners who recently purchased property in Cozumel.  They just went through the process and will be well versed in the details.  You can go onto numerous blog sites and question and answer sites to get information.  Second, I would reach out to a lawyer who has experience in Cozumel.  You just need to do a search on the internet for a lawyer.  You might also want to consider a Mexican lawyer in Cozumel especially since most of the documents will probably be in Spanish.  Mexican lawyers are very reasonably priced and could save you a lot of money.  Like any service, ask for multiple references of people in the States.  You might also want to talk to some U.S. real estate companies to see if they will refer you to a good Mexican lawyer.

 

cozumel real estate
cozumel real estate

 

Bank Trusts and Fees

Mexico has different laws regarding foreigners buying Cozumel real estate.  First, in most cases you will have to use a bank trust or Fideicomiscos.  This is a requirement of Mexico’s constitution.  The bank will hold the trust deed for you.  You still own the property but the bank is supposed to be there to protect your interests.  Like any property you own in the States you need to ask for actual costs with actual bills for utilities, condo fees, water, trash, etc..  Your electricity bill will probably be twice the cost of what you are used to in the States.  Because it is different country you need to really ask about all of the fees or you will probably get some unpleasant surprises when you see your costs after you buy the property.

 

Cozumel Real Estate Prices

Like anywhere Cozumel real estate prices will vary based on size, location, age of the property etc…  There are websites you can find on the internet to show you the different prices.  There are properties that are in the $150,000 range up to $1,000,000.  Have fun, do your research and hopefully I see you in Cozumel in your new house!

 

cozumel real estate
cozumel real estate

 

 

 

 

 

Cozumel Wedding – Wedding Packages, Hotels, and the Venue

Everyone dreams of having their wedding on a beach on a beautiful island versus the standard wedding at home. A Cozumel wedding provides the island, the beach, and great hotel packages to choose from.

Cozumel wedding
Cozumel wedding

Once you have decided you want to do a Cozumel wedding, then the real work begins. I would recommend starting by choosing your hotel versus trying to figure out all of the other details. There are lots of options for hotels to choose from. I would recommend looking at hotels such as the Secrets Aura Cozumel, the Presidente InterContinental, the Cozumel Palace, and the Occidental Cozumel. These are the 4 hotels that seem to get the highest reviews versus trying to call them all. All of them provide a great wedding option.

Cozumel wedding
Cozumel wedding

Wedding Packages

All of the hotels offer a wedding coordinator. I would take advantage of this option as it will make it a easier for you. There are lots of great options to choose from. The easiest way to plan out a wedding is by choosing a wedding package. All of the hotels provide wedding packages with varying levels of options and costs. I will refer you to one of the hotel websites that I mentioned above. Specifically, I would recommend looking at the Secrets Aura Cozumel website brochure here.

http://www.amresorts.com/wedding_guides/seacz-wedding-guide.pdf?_ga=2.174623969.2125979333.1498437612-439152375.1498437612

Cozumel wedding
Cozumel wedding

The Cozumel Venue

There are multiple options to choose from at each of the hotels. You can choose between restaurants, beaches, piers, decks, pools, and gardens. Each hotel’s venues vary by size, type, and quality.  Finally, ask your Cozumel wedding coordinator for specifics like pictures, seating capacity, noise levels near your wedding, etc. There are even some options to recognize Cozumel’s famous diving by having your wedding underwater with diving equipment. This may be an option that would require additional steps for your guests to attend like having to get dive certified.

Cozumel Wedding Requirements

Finally, in order to get married in Cozumel you do have to do a few things to get legally married. Your Cozumel wedding coordinator should be able to help guide you through this process. Some of the basics include having to arrive a minimum of 4 days before with the bride, groom, and 4 witnesses with valid passports. In addition you are required to get blood tests in Mexico which your Cozumel wedding coordinator will be able to help you with versus trying to figure it out yourself.

Cozumel wedding
Cozumel wedding

Cozumel Airport – What they offer, what it is like, and what Customs is like?

The Cozumel airport code is CZM. The airport is very small but it is easy to find things. It has some food options, the security process is simple, and there are airport shuttles that will take you to your hotel. I will cover each of these items in my post below.

Cozumel airport
Cozumel airport

Airport

The Cozumel airport is small but relatively modern. There are clearly marked signs, there are nice restrooms and has a pretty nice little restaurant. It also has some shops to spend the last of your pesos on before you leave.

Cozumel airport
Cozumel airport

Airport Security

It is similar to other security at other overseas airports. You will get some Custom’s forms on the plane that are easy to fill out. You will exit the plane onto the tarmac and then be directed to the Custom’s area. Depending on the timing of your flight you may have to wait in line up to about 15-20 minutes. The Customs agent will ask for your passport, the 2 forms, and may ask you a few simple questions. They speak fluent English. Once you are done with the Cozumel airport’s Customs agent you will find your baggage right behind the Customs agent if you checked it in, and then you will go through a small x-ray machine that checks for food, seeds, plants etc…

Cozumel airport
Cozumel airport

Airport Shuttles

There are multiple approaches to getting a shuttle. First, you can go online to a number of different companies who sell shuttle rides to your airport. The prices will vary from $20-$35. Second, you could walk towards the exit and right before you go outside there will be a window where someone is selling tickets for shuttles to your hotel. You tell them your hotel and pay. I would recommend this second option as it is the least expensive option. There will be numerous individuals who will tell you to buy a shuttle ticket from them. None of them are bad, but they may be a little more expensive.

Cozumel airport
Cozumel airport

Food Options

The Cozumel airport has several food options. First they have a small restaurant area with seating. It has some sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and multiple drink options. There is a small bar that has some snack type food. Finally there are some stores where you can buy candy, peanuts, chocolate etc. As a side note, there are multiple shop where you can buy some trinkets, t-shirts, even watches and jewelry. It does cost more than buying them in town, however the quality of the products seemed better. Enjoy the Cozumel airport! ( http://cozumel-airport.com/ )

Cozumel All-Inclusive Resorts – Should I Choose the all-inclusive option?

Do I stay in a hotel or one of the Cozumel all-inclusive resorts? I have stayed in both options. Both of these options make sense, but you will have to weigh the good with the bad.

Cozumel all-inclusive resorts
Cozumel all-inclusive resorts

The Food

The Cozumel all-inclusive resorts provide a lot of advantages versus a traditional hotel or motel. The most obvious advantage is that they typically have restaurants on site while most hotels do not have a restaurant. One all-inclusive I stayed in had 3 restaurant choices and a snack bar. One of the restaurants was Italian, one was a buffet, and one was Mexican. We preferred the buffet as it has lots of different choices and you didn’t have to make reservations in advance like the restaurants. Of course they have all you can drink beverages which is a big reason many people prefer the all-inclusive option. I was not overly impressed by the restaurant and buffet food. It provided food, but if you are going to Cozumel for the food you might want to consider a normal hotel and find good restaurants through reviews.

Cozumel all-inclusive resorts
Cozumel all-inclusive resorts

The Hotels

If I had to choose between a all-inclusive versus a hotel based on the quality of the hotel I would definitely choose the Cozumel all-inclusive resorts option. They are much cleaner, more modern, and many of them have a beach on site. Make sure you check to see if they have a beach so that you don’t have to drive somewhere for a public beach or pay for a beach club experience at a nicer beach. I have been to 4 of Cozumel’s all-inclusive resorts and their beaches are awesome versus other countries. If you are a beach person then going with an all-inclusive option is the way to go in Cozumel.

Cozumel all-inclusive resorts
Cozumel all-inclusive resorts

The Service

The majority of the Cozumel all-inclusive resorts have excellent service. Many of the Cozumel all-inclusive resorts have waiters that provide you drinks at the beach. The service at the restaurants, buffets, and in general are really good. One thing to be aware of is that there are a lot of people at the all-inclusive resorts so you have to wait a little sometimes but once someone is helping you the staff are friendly and very accommodating. The best value you will get from the staff are often their recommendations for tours, restaurants, and beaches. Be aware that some of the staff may get compensated for their recommendations so you may feel a little pressure but you are in charge. Be positive, but direct if you aren’t interested.

Cozumel all-inclusive resorts
Cozumel all-inclusive resorts

The Cost

The cost is probably the biggest negative about Cozumel all-inclusive resorts because the cost typically is between $200-$350 per night. Remember, that you get all of your drinks, all of your food, a very nice modern room, and direct access to excellent beaches. In comparison the cost for a no-frills Cozumel motel could be as low as $24 a night. Finally, if you afford it enjoy a Cozumel all-inclusive resort. A personal recommendation would be Cozumel’s Park Royal Hotel.( http://www.parkroyalcozumel.com/</a )