21 March 2007

"Oooooooooooh... Mexico..." --James Taylor


I am back from an extraordinary trip to Cozumel!

What a wonderful island Cozumel is! First, though, I can't say enough good about the Internet deal I got. I found it through Travelzoo's weekly Top 20. I booked it with BookIt.com and it couldn't have been easier or smoother. We stayed at the Park Royal Cozumel and were treated royally. That's our view from our 8th floor room. Ahhhhhhhhhhh, what a relaxing vacation. And all for $99/night for all-inclusive! 4 restaurants, five bars including 3 swim-up ones in the three pools, beach with fishies and crabs for the viewing, discounts on all kinds of tours including our trip to Chichen Itza where we came across one of the many iguanas we spotted happily sunning.

Plus, we went into a cenote (very cool!), explored the reef in an honest-to-goodness submarine, toured the island in a tin can of a car, went into town repeatedly for shopping, occasional meals, the Sunday evening concert in the square that the locals enjoy, I went parasailing for the first time, did some snorkeling (of course!) and we even looked at beach-front condos. This is definitely retirement viable. The people are very friendly and accommodating and quite used to/welcoming of outsiders (2 million by cruise ship every year and 1.2 million by ferry from Playa del Carmen to this island of 85,000 residents) and the water is amazingly blue and clear (no run off!). You have all the joys of casual, low-key island living, including a lower cost of living, with all the convenience of being 30 minutes from the mainland and major towns like PdC, which is very chic these days, not to mention being head-over-to-try-that-new-restaurant close to Cancun, which is supposedly getting an image upgrade in the rework after Wilma.

Yeah, there's hurricanes. Just like in the southern US. But in Mexico you can get insurance to deal with it. It's true! And they rebuild quickly! No Katrina shambles there. And get this, the lovely little island of Cozumel has Thai food and sushi and Chinese food and Italian food in addition to excellent Mexican cuisine. And if you miss the US, there's a Pizza Hut! *shakes head and chuckles* Amazing.

If you're considering a laid-back getaway, I heartily recommend Cozumel!

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