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First Time to Cozumel

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by Wrock, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Wrock

    Wrock Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    21
    21
    3
    Hi Everyone, I have received a lot of great advice for my upcoming dive trip to Cozumel. I am hoping I can now bother you all for some between dive advice. I am renting a condo in town and will be diving with Tres Pelicanos and ScubaTony for the most part. I am there for 11 days. Planning to rent a car for at least a portion of the trip.

    • What other non dive related things should I do and experience while I am there?
    • Should I make a trip to the mainland?
    • Should I use Pesos or US dollars for my day to day purchasing? Keep in mind I am Canadian so one isn't more convenient than the other.
    • Any don't miss it food dishes I should try? I've never been to Mexico before.
    Feel free to point me towards anything and everything. I'll have lots of time to explore.
     
    kelemvor likes this.
  2. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    6,051
    3,254
    113
    I can't imagine trading in Canadian money for American doll-hairs to spend in Mexico. I'd get Mexican pesos.
     
    Windlaker, Ontwreckdiver and Wrock like this.
  3. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    3,172
    2,066
    113
    Use Peso when able...20 to the $

    Visit the tequila farm on the island then hit up the tequila store in town...this should consume a few days :wink:

    Get Nitrox certified if not already.
     
    Wrock and ReadyTo Dive like this.
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,146
    5,523
    113
    I'd go to TripAdvisor.com and check their 'Things to Do' for Cozumel and see if anything grabs your fancy. Seems like diving and eating are the 2 big draws, based on trip reports and discussion threads, but you might want to interact with a dolphin or something.
     
  5. Sh0rtBus

    Sh0rtBus BUBBLLLLLLES! My Bubbles ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denton, TX
    788
    536
    93
    If you get a chance to do so, make a trip to the mainland and spend a day diving the cenotes. You won't regret it! Lots of great dive ops that can take you there but if you do decide to do that, give Cenote Xperience a shout. They're shop is in Playa Del Carmen and they're just great people. Very knowledgeable about the cenotes and great divers/guides, too. I didn't get the pleasure of meeting Nico but Martin was pretty awesome. Give them a look and see what you think

    CenoteXperience - Cavern, Cave and Ocean Diving in Playa del Carmen Yucatan Mexico - Home

    Maybe consider spending one day at Xcaret, too. Lots to do there, too. And make sure while you're on the mainland that you try some street tacos. There was a vendor near a small college near where the Colectivo (public transportation) main drop-off point is in Playa Del Carmen that had some of the best I'd ever had. And they were like 3 for $1 USD. Personally, I'd always paid in US dollars because I didn't want to mess with currency exchange, but most people will recommend paying in pesos because it's less expensive and easier for the locals. So next time I go, I'll be sure to do that myself.

    One last thing that isn't terribly expensive to do on the mainland....if you like history and such, visit the Mayan ruins at Tulum. Or maybe spend a day taking a tour to Chichenitza. It was pretty awe inspiring when I went back in 2010.

    Hope you have a great trip and lots of stories to tell when you return!
     
    Wrock likes this.
  6. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,288
    333
    83
    we enjoyed the time we spent at the ruins on cozumel. with you having a car that is pretty easy to do.
    there are a lot of good eats around town from cheap local joints to more upscale places. depends on your tastes.
    los otates was a great little local place. cheap and excellent food. guidos and kondesa were a couple of more upscale places we tried. really enjoyed both. guidos was one of our favorites for sure.
    we love the time we spend on the mainland. diving the cenotes is pretty cool. but going over just for the day will be pricey. but many do it. especially if this may be their only chance to do so. contact matt at tank ha dive shop if you decide to go. tell him rick and melissa from canada sent ya !!
    depending on the time of year you are going you could do the turtle rescue. i know it is done by mid nov but not sure when it starts.
     
    Wrock likes this.
  7. Wrock

    Wrock Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    21
    21
    3
    Lots of great advice so far. Thanks and keep it coming.

    I'll be there 11 days starting February 9th.
    I'll make sure to use pesos, which was my preference.
    Sounds like I need to make sure to plan a day of Cenote diving and another day of Tequila debauchery.

    What else is there? I know y'all have some hidden gems!
     
  8. kmarks

    kmarks Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
    397
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    I'll second the recommendation for pesos over US dollars, especially if you have to exchange anyway. They will happily take your USD because they will happily convert them terribly in their favor. Just hit up an ATM inside of a bank (don't try the airport or one just on the street), decline the offer to have the ATM convert from Canadian dollars to pesos (you'll get a better exchange rate that way), and get about 6-8,000 pesos. Then go to a teller and ask for change (¿Puede darme cambio para estas? - they'll probably understand what you want if you just give them the large bills and don't say anything) for some of your 500s so that you have small bills for the times that somebody doesn't want to make change, like street vendors and some souvenir shops. Use only cash as much as you can, like at restaurants and in smaller shops.

    I enjoyed my norte day at the chocolate factory last year. Chankanaab is fun if you want to swim with dolphins or feed manatees. I've never been, but if I had time I would definitely take the trip to the mainland for the cenotes. Other than that, hit up a different restaurant for every meal; there are so many great options. I'm partial to some of the late night taco places kind of closer to the airport like Mr Taco and Taqueria el Pique, as well as some of the places located more "in town" that are open earlier like Los Tacotales (formerly Los Otates) and Chilangos. All of those places are super cheap ($5-6 and you'll leave very happy). I think it is MCohen who has a great write up of restaurants in Cozumel. Just check Google maps for their hours and realize that they run on Mexican time, where opening at 7 pm means they'll start opening sometime between 7 and 8.
     
    Wrock likes this.
  9. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,288
    333
    83
    ya using pesos is just easier. if you pay in u.s. (sometimes you can use canadian) you will always get screwed when they give you the change in pesos.
    some peoples banks allow them to make withdrawals at the atms without hammering them with fees. my bank is not one of them (cibc). haha so we just bring canadian cash and exchange it at one of the street side kiosks. you can also order it from your bank at home if you prefer.
    if you do the tequila factory tour pls be careful. we have never done it but i have been told that many people have gotten home and been very angry about their purchase. it seems that sometimes the seller will allow you to try the "good stuff" but they sell you a lower quality bottle without you knowing.
    you will be too early in the season for the turtle rescue but if you ever return in the summer / fall i think it is a "bucket list" kinda thing to do.
     
    Wrock likes this.
  10. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,288
    333
    83
    THERE IS A CHOCOLATE FACTORY ???!!! :(
     
    jonhall and uncfnp like this.

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