Today, it is time to take a dip into the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean and enjoy El Cielo, one of the most pristine places on the island of Cozumel. El Cielo, which translates to “the sky” or “the heavens” in English, has some of the most amazing shades of turquoise water that we have ever seen and includes colours in the spectrum we didn’t even know existed. So far, this is the most enjoyable thing we’ve done on the island (twice actually) and the sandbar is the perfect place to swim in shallow waters and enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean.
Cozumel is an island on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, and is only a 40 minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen, so consider this day trip for your next vacation. After living on Cozumel for over a year, this has become our favourite thing to do on the island. The only way to reach El Cielo is by boat tour, as there is no land access and it is inside the boundaries of the Arricefes (Reefs) of Cozumel National Park. Most of these tours include food, drinks and snorkel gear, and both trips we took first included a stop at Columbia reef, where you are likely to see Sea Turtles and many other colourful fish. El Cielo is simply hard to put into words and even harder to capture in pictures. Oh, and can even swim with the starfish*!
*Anytime we mention starfish, we also need to include the disclaimer that you should not touch starfish for any reason; taking them out of the water to pose for a picture will definitely kill the starfish and even touching them in the water can cause harm. Just enjoy them on the bottom of the seafloor as you snorkel from above, and if you really need a picture, pay the photographer on your boat to take your picture for you (like we did).
After swimming with the starfish, you travel the short distance to the shallow waters where the boat can park and everyone on board can get out and stand in the waist high waters. This is usually when your boat captain will be handing out margaritas and guacamole. It is definitely what most people would picture when they think of paradise. Sitting on the deck of the boat or floating in the shallow water is hard to beat, especially with a drink in hand.
The 45 minute trip back to the port seem to go a lot faster than the trip there, and the turquoise waters are something you won’t soon forget. With a few drinks and a lot of sunshine, you’re hopefully feeling pretty good about your life at this moment, and pretty happy you took our advice to visit. There are many great local tour operators on the island that are happy to take you on this trip of a lifetime (we can vouch for Tiger Tours and Playa Mia) with the former being our favourite because of a smaller boat.
El Cielo is the place where the ocean meets the heavens, and as you can tell from the following pictures, it’s a memory you will never forget.