Over 30 miles long and 9 miles wide, Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island. Since Jacques Cousteau first brought the world’s attention to its amazing coral reefs and extraordinarily clear waters (up to 300 feet visibility!), snorkelers and divers have come from all over the world to plunge to mighty Palancar and towering Santa Rosa - the most majestic portions of the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef.
Cozumel’s natural wonders don’t stop there. Over 90 percent of the island is covered by jungle and wetlands where local fauna and flora continue to thrive in unspoiled splendor. You can explore these wonders by taking an ecological tour of the jungle or visiting Cozumel’s own version of the Everglades in the Colombia lagoon at the southern tip of the island.
But there’s a lot more to Cozumel than just nature. During the era of the Mayan civilization, Cozumel was a major destination for Mayan pilgrims along the sac bajo or white way. Archaeological sites dot the island, including the recently unearthed and restored San Gervasio. Thanks to improvements to the road, this center is now easy to get to and explore.
And when you feel the need for modern civilization, you need go no further than San Miguel, Cozumel’s bustling (and only) town. Along the seafront you’ll find all manner of sophisticated boutiques offering tropical designer clothing and jewelry. There’s a huge range of restaurants available offering all the cuisines of Mexico and of most of the rest of the world with prices ranging from economical to deluxe. If you want to prepare your own meals or snacks, supermarkets make food shopping easy.
Once you get past the first few blocks fronting the sea, San Miguel turns into a charming and relaxed Mexican village. It’s worth exploring for the architecture alone. Old fashioned wooden houses and traditional stick huts with palm thatch roofs co-exist with modern Mexican homes. And the people of Cozumel are among the friendliest in the world. Most of them hail from Mayan villages on the mainland where a relaxed pace of life still allows its people to cultivate the old fashioned arts of hospitality.
If you’re looking for oceanfront accommodations, then it’s the west side with its calm waters you’ll be staying on. (While the east side offers a stunningly beautiful shoreline, the strong winds and dangerous rip tides make it too rugged for housing or swimming.) The west side, in turn, is divided into North and South sections by the town of San Miguel.
The South shore is the portion of the island most visitors are familiar with. Here you’ll find beautiful beaches dotted with graceful coconut palms, the Chankanaab underwater park, and the major dive reefs.
The north shore may be Cozumel’s best kept secret. There’s wonderful snorkeling here and far fewer tourists. Of course, there is also the beautiful Jack Nicklaus golf course which is not only a great way to exercise, but also to see some of the wildlife that ordinarily lies hidden in the jungle.
Whether you decide to stay on the North or South shore, At Home in Cozumel offers you accommodations that will make for an unforgettable vacation experience.
Getting to Cozumel is easy. It has its own international airport. You can also fly into Cancun and take the passenger ferry that runs between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.
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