Cozumel is Mexico’s largest Caribbean Island, located 20 km from Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya. Cozumel is surrounded by incredible reefs and beaches. The west side of Cozumel is protected by natural barriers (the island and channel) which means the water is usually calm. The East Side of the island is wilder and battered by the elements. The west side is where you will find most people scuba diving and snorkeling, the east side is where you go to watch the giant waves crash up against the shore.
The east side has some of the nicest beaches on the island, but unfortunately few are suited for swimming. Only a few times a year, when cold weather fronts push down from the north of the island, can you swim on the east side. This phenomena is known as a “Norte”. On these rare occasions the water is crystal clear and calm. We have been lucky enough to do this once. As a result, you will have a hard time finding a good place to swim, unless it is protected in a small bay or rocky features.
To start the New Year off on the right foot, we have decided it’s finally time to showcase some of our favourite pictures from the east side.
Driving around the island is one of the most popular attractions for visitors. There is no public transport on the far side of the island (or cell phone reception) so you have to find your own transport. This can be done by either hiring a taxi or van for the day (depending on the size of your group) or the DIY option; renting a car, scooter or bicycle. It’s a worthwhile day trip and there are many great places to stop for the day.
San Miguel de Cozumel is the main town center on the island, and where most of the population lives. The rest of the island is mostly uninhabited. There is only one road that loops around the island, Cozumel’s only highway. It does a circle around the island, heading out in two directions from town; north and east. A drive around the island will take you just under 2 hours if you don’t stop.
Cozumel boomed during the 1980’s, and during this time the east side of the island was developed. As a result, many of the beachside attractions feel outdated. This is part of their charm. There is only one small beachside hotel on the far side. The hurricane that hit in 2005 – Hurricane Wilma – wreaked havoc on the island, and some of the buildings were never rebuilt. The ones that remain serve ice cold drinks and snacks to help fuel your adventures.
We look forward to sharing more of our adventures in the upcoming weeks and months. We have many pictures from our recent trip to Central Mexico as well as more adventures on Cozumel to share. Happy New Year everyone!
Welcome to the East side of Cozumel.
East Side of Cozumel – vol. 1