If you love crystal-clear water and love to snorkel, scuba dive, swim, and deep sea fishing, then Cozumel, Mexico is the place to go. This great water sports island in the Caribbean is located off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel is a tourist destination for those that love to scuba dive, snorkel, and all water sports. It is also known for its balnearios, which means a seaside resort with all the amenities such as lifeguards, water toy rental, and more. It is also one of the nine principalities of Quintana Roo. San Miguel de Cozumel is the main town on the island.
Cozumel is Mexico’s largest Atlantic island measuring 30 miles long and 9.9 miles wide. Cozumel lies some 12 miles off the mainland and 37 miles south of Cancun. Cozumel is a flat island based on limestone. This resulted in a karst topography, which is a landscape that is shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, such as limestone. Less than 49 feet above sea level, you will find the highest natural point on the island.
The mainland cenotes, deep water filled sinkholes, can be explored by swimming, diving, and snorkeling. Qualified cave divers with the proper registration only can explore the other cenotes found on the island. The 5th largest underwater cave in the world was discovered there in 1990. Scuba diving is one of Cozumel’s main attractions due to the healthy coral reef marine communities, which is home to several freshwater species. It is a regular stop now on Caribbean cruises.
You will find more than 90 restaurants on the island. Many of the hotels have amenities such as a swimming pool, a dive shop, and private docks. You can also enjoy other water sports such as parasailing and kite surfing. In addition, a tourist submarine will take you 100 feet below the surface and two dolphinariums to visit. You will find several blocks of stores selling Cuban cigars, t-shirts, tequila, and other inexpensive souvenirs where the cruise ships dock.
On the island, you will find a small permanent Jewish community and in 2009, a Chabad House was opened for them and the many Jewish tourists. There is also a kosher restaurant and synagogue nearby. All manufactured and food supplies are shipped from the main land, and water is provided by a seawater desalinization facility.
The restaurants offer a wide variety of food, such as Italian, seafood, international, Mexican, Asian, and regional. If you want to try something different, have a breakfast taco. On the island, you will find many spas to help your body relax and they even offer a couples hot stone massage in one of their world-class spas.
Cozumel has an international airport that you can fly into, or you can fly into Cancun and take a small plane to the island. Hotel prices vary and depend on the type of hotel you want to stay at. One hotel that is a resort and spa costs $413 a night. If that is too expensive, you can find hotels starting at $80 a night. One hotel costs under $50 a night. It is off the beaten path and the employees do not speak much English.