Not Just Cruise Ships/Cozumel Has A Little Something For Every Visitor from Local Knowledge Travel Guides: Best of Isla Mujeres and Best of Cozumel
Cozumel is known world wide as a premier cruise ship destination. Equally as world renowned, is the islands reputation for diving and snorkeling. Cozumel is surrounded by the Mesoamerican Reef, the worlds second largest barrier reef. These two activities alone, bring the great majority of visitors to the island. The divers, and snorkelers are met with spectacular displays of coral, color and fish. There is even an opportunity to see some of Cozumel's underwater brilliance by submarine, for those of you looking for a completely different perspective.
The evolution of the islands tourism industry though, began long before any thought of cruise ships or the ease of international travel we are all so used to today. In fact, Cozumel was welcoming visitors on a regular basis long before Cancun or anything on the mainland coast developed at all. That is an entirely different story though for a different day.
The purpose of this story is to welcome visitors to what is actually the great majority of this island, with remarkable opportunities above the water and far from the cruise ship ports. Only a tiny sliver of Cozumel is dedicated to the cruise ships, their piers, infrastructure, malls etc. It is a welcome site to those who prefer to travel this way, and their is nothing whatsoever wrong with those who do.
It is the balance of Cozumel that is so very welcoming as well. It is the great majority of this mostly undeveloped island that is home to gracious locals, nearly endless dining options, local art, miles upon miles of empty beach waiting to be explored, remote beach bars, lagoons, spectacular bird life and thick jungles filled with mystery and intrigue.
Cozumel is home to the Caribbean's only active pearl farm, set on a secluded NW beach where small groups can not only see and learn what this entails, but have the choice to spend the night in simple lodging, under the stars and far from anything else on the island. The islands only town of San Miguel has dining options from the simplest of local taquerias, to sushi, Mediterranean, Indian, regional Yucatecan cuisine, fresh seafood and with an array of atmospheres from the most casual or rustic, to romantic and elegant. Learn to surf on the islands picturesque and remote east side with the man who pioneered the sport in this part of Mexico. Golf the islands only golf course, designed and built by the Nicklaus Design Group, carefully carved and created in the tangled northern jungles of the island. Such thought was put into protecting the environment in the courses layout, that it was the first in Mexico to be recognized as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary. Birding tours are available here.
Visit Punta Sur Park on the islands southern tip and witness the stunning scenery, several miles of protected beach for the sea turtles and more beach, maybe the best on the island, for swimming and offshore snorkeling. Tour one of the three lagoons by boat and witness beautiful bird life (especially Nov. - March), indigenous crocodiles, and learn of the critical importance of these lagoons and the mangroves, to the rest of the island and to its southern reefs. Visit and climb the parks lighthouse and take the time to stroll through the small but fascinating museum at its base.
Probably the best margarita or mojito can be found at what is the funkiest and maybe the islands most rustic beach bar on the east side, The Liquor Box. Sip a handcrafted beer at Cerveceria Punta Sur in town, the islands first brewery, or smoke a true Havana cigar in town at La Casa Del Mojito just off the square. Visit the Mayan Bee Sanctuary on the transversal road and learn all you will ever need to know of indigenous bee keeping and while there, roam further in to the grounds and discover the world of Carlos Francisco Pacheco Polanco, one of Mexico's most revered stone sculptors. Visit a local glass blower at Galeria Azul, or the regional art of Galo Ramirez at his island studio, or the quirky and fascinating El Rincon De Addy, where you can enjoy one of the islands best breakfasts and see the artistic joys and work of local artist, Addy Bacelis.
If this isn't intriguing enough, tour the islands San Gervasio Ruins and see a glimpse of the Maya world centuries ago. Though much of the islands Mayan ruins remain hidden deep in the jungles here, San Gervasio is open to the public and well worth the visit. There are ample fishing opportunities, deep sea, bottom fishing and even flat fishing. Mountain biking is available with Hidden Mayan Trails on their beautiful family ranch where you will have the opportunity to see, if you so wish, a display of birdlife unlike nearly any on the island, along with a bicycle tour unique to Cozumel. Or for small groups and fascinating tours of the island, by sea or by land, hook yourself up with Adrian Cozumel and discover secrets here few know and corners of this beautiful island few see.
Whew, so much more is here for the traveler! Enjoy Cozumel any way you wish, but the adventure and relaxation here, truly never ends
Local Knowledge Travel Guides
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