Cozumel Diving but…. let’s talk Food

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A Small Sea Turtle shooting with I Phone 6 Housing and Itorch Lights
This year, 2016,is the year I decided to go back to Cozumel.

Would the Smallish Yucatan Island hold up to the test of time after such a long break ?
(I had not been to Island of the Swallows the since 2008)

Leading groups to Cozumel Mexico regularly since I entered the Scuba
Industry. I burned out. I have logged more dives there than any other
Destination. One year I took two groups only two months apart.
The reason for all these visits to the same reef was simple.

The Reef was Strong.

The Variety of Sea Life and Clarity of the Water was very
Consistent and usually, the weather was Co-operative.
The Travel time to get there is relatively short. Staying at places like The Barracuda, El Presidente, Plaza las Glorias. I always had fun and the Dive Trip ( as a product ) was a good way for me to dive more and get a free dive trip to Cozumel. Sometimes I even taught classes on the Cozumel trip and came home with a little extra money.
So if Coz was so amazing what put me off ? Going to the same spots time
after time ? The New and invasive Cruise Ship Overload that seemed to cram the streets there? I don’t have a clear answer. I guess I was just ready to venture out and see some of the rest of the world. So I did.
During my time away from Coz I decided to Dive in more remote areas, Galapagos, Cocos Island, Gaudalupe Island ( Great White Shark Diving ),
Okinawa Japan, Cuba and a few trips to Fiji.
Also, Hollywood Divers has been putting Scuba Diving Trips together with
partners from all over the world, Wakatobi, Truk, Philippines and our very popular North Carolina trip. IMG_7141
These trips compete well and draw a different sort of traveler. We live
and work in a part of Los Angeles where the customers regularly state “I want to go somewhere different”. We are lucky to have so many adventurous people in our client base. Californians know how to do things. We are looking forward to more off the beaten path diving. Anyway, all these factors
appear to have displaced Cozumel from our list of desires.
So, I put Cozumel on the Back Burner for a while. Forgot about her. Dreamed of the new far away lands and cultures.

But wait …..I missed Cozumel. Sure you have to stop in Dallas or Miami to get there now from Los Angeles but the layovers aren’t that bad. and even still, the travel time isn’t a trip wrecker.

I wanted to see how Coz is holding up. A quick investigative report. I just needed a good excuse. So I booked it. American Airlines has a steady
Schedule of flights there and not very expensive.

This time, for the moment, I wanted to do Cozumel for just me. No large group in tow and a loose plan. No Pre paid, Pre-Planned Dive days or Meals. No Schedule. Just go to Cozumel and see how things play out. Wing it. It
worked out well as January 1 Until about the 15th there is a small lull in tourism in Coz. High season is later. Be sure to book ahead of time during high season. Between Jan 15th and May 30th.

One great choice was to rent a house from Cozumel Rental Homes. Call them
987 869 4400. Talk to Laurie Anderson she speaks English and will rent you a place that fits your needs. See their website. Cozumel Rental Homes Tell them Hollywood Divers Sent you
I chose a private house that was affordable and I could walk into town very easily.
Don’t be afraid to stay in one of the local neighborhoods a few streets
away from the water in San Miquel.There are many to choose from.
Lots of local restaurants also dot the neighborhood here in San Miguel.

Not having everything planned to the moment was liberating for a change.
The only Scheduled dive days were with Hernan and Cozumel Scuba Planet. He is so nice and is personally involved in the day to day operations.
The dive guides were accomplished and understood how to accommodate all
levels. The guides lead the drift dives and if some one is low on gas, they are escorted to the surface. The folks with more polished technique get to stay under for up to 55 Minutes. These Dive Guides have a high regard for the reef and know the species that live there. They will educate you on the sealife and on how drift diving is done right.

Hernan is the owners name, He has a website: www.cozumelscubaplanet.com and email is: info@cozumelscubaplanet.com
His cell number is: (044) (987) 876-1001. Great guy and great operation. Small and local.IMG_7183
Now…….THE FOOD
Ok, I was impressed by the diving, The current still feeds the Reef, the water is still warm and clear and Cozumel is still a good choice for divers.
Biggest Surprise on the Island, the food.
The Restaurant business here is competitive and quality is getting better because of it. Chefs from all over the world seem to be choosing Cozumel to live the dream.
Here are my Recommendations. I ate a lot on this trip. and I have no regrets.
Breakfast
Go to the Cozumel Museum and head upstairs to their Restaurant. Lovely waterfront view and go to the Museum after that. Learn about the Coral Formations in the Museum and the history of Cozumel. A must. Address: Av. Rafael E. Melgar esquina con Calle 6 Norte S/N, Centro, 77600 Cozumel, Q.R., Mexico

Coffee and …I won’t say more. Coz Coffee Roasting  Just Go. Best and Freshest Coffee I found. Coz Coffee Roasting company Tell Em HD sent ya
Pastries for the Coffee. Wow. Zermatt. Zermatt. Zermatt .  Authentic Bakery .Near the Best coffee listed above. So make it a two stop. Corner of 4th and 5th street behind the Museum.

Cafeteria La Cozumelena opens at 8AM Honarable Mention for Breaky …go here. choose from American or Mexican Breakfast, solid Coffee also. Vegetarian Dishes here as well. Avenida 10 & Calle 3 Sur . Clean and Simple.
Lunch or Dinner
You need to hit this place a few times. the Bar looks fun too but we didn’t go in because we were too busy stuffing our gullets. Very reasonably priced and the food was fresh and delicious. Not a fancy dining experience but overall my favorite. I recommend eating here if it is raining. It has a tin roof. 15A Avenida Sur, Centro, 77600 Cozumel, Mexico     The Name, Los Otates. Go early in your trip. Burritos, Tacos and Traditional Mexican.
Dinner,
Nice Upscale Dinner

LA Cocay a mixture of foods that will be presented in the finest setting. Still a great Deal for the Service and Tastes experienced here. La Cocay

280 Calle 8 N  it’s name…La Cocay

Dinner again this Time it’s Italian.   One of the oldest and best on the Island  Guidos Italian. Located at Av General Rafael E. Melgar 648, Centro, 77600 Cozumel, Q.R., Mexico. Loved it. See Guidos Website.

And this …. Is neither good nor candy

It’s a Chocoholics Dream. A handmade Chocolate shop. An Addicts Den. Isla Bella Chocolates. They get you hooked. The stuff is made right there. I’m getting jittery thinking about this place. Isla Bella Chocolates on Trip Advisor

 

So all in all. The diving was amazing as always.  The Reef is very healthy on the southern part of the island and crystal clear. Water temp is 80.

The Con, and this is the case in many places that rely on tourism. The cruise ship industry is still there. I don’t cruise and I probably never will. However one of the main reasons all these fine people in Cozumel get to stay and earn a living is the Cruise Industry. These fabulous Chefs and Local Restaurateurs all get to live their dream because you go there and support them. Cozumel is said to have around 275 eateries. Some Estimate more. The food was the biggest improvement. When you go there make sure you eat at at least one of the places I mentioned here. You will be back, Just as I will be. I still love Cozumel !

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3 thoughts on “Cozumel Diving but…. let’s talk Food

  1. We live in Houston and go to Cozumel almost every year. Enjoyed this article and found it to be right on! We’ve been diving with Hernan for more than 10 years now and he’s the Best. You mentioned a restaurant or two we haven’t been to but will definitely try our next trip. When you go next you might want to try El Foto for the best Tacos. He makes them right where you can watch and if you have Hernan call them ahead they’ll do Lobster tacos. Very reasonably priced. Don’t remember their address but Hernan knows them well and can direct you.

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