During a visit to the Riviera Maya we crossed the sea to Cozumel, a small island a half hour sail from mainland. Here we spent a lovely day, riding across the island and relaxing on almost beaches where we were all alone. This is a place where you can still find your private beach!
In the Netherlands my favourite hobby at the beach is searching for seashells, even if you would name as a reason that the North sea is too cold to swim in. The temperature of the sea that surrounds Cozumel was warm enough, so besides swimming I could enjoy my quest for seashells! I found the prettiest miracles of the sea in beautiful colours, as this little fellow who was already dead and ripped apart, so we ‘replaced’ its pieces in the best suitable way.
But be careful! Of course, you cannot take any of this back to mainland. When we headed back towards Playa del Carmen, all our bags were being checked for this kind of ‘free souvenirs’. If they find something in your luggage you have to pay a huge amount of money. Luckily we didn’t take anything with us and left the beautiful shells were they belong. Same thing for everything you will find at Mexico’s mainland. Don’t take anything with you! This might seem logic but there are still people who think it’s no big deal.
Our boat back to Playa del Carmen was the last one that would depart that day. We were accompanied by a mariachi band and criminals aboard, could it be more Mexican?! We were patiently for departure when the last people boarded. Two of them were carrying a huge kit bag and were guided to the roof of the boat by six heavy armed police officers. After that, the mariachi started playing and we all felt more comfortable.
This boat ride is definitely worth the effort and you can already assure your scooter/car rent in Playa, so you’re sure you are not paying too much money (at least, in our experience). Cozumel is a hotspot for divers so there a lot of day tours organised to the island. As said, you can also easily go there on your own.
Cozumel is a beautiful island but unfortunately it has a couple of downsides. Our rented scooted had an almost empty tank and there is only one gas station: in the ‘capital’ where you can also find the harbour. Halfway our tour we thought we might get some gasoline at a restaurant. They should have some gasoline kept in jerrycans for emergencies. And yes – they had! We were kindly requested to pay a 100 Dollar for 3 liters (!). While I (‘rich tourist’ – not) wasn’t even in sight and my Mexican boyfriend asked them the favour! The various levels of corruption, extortion and power are used to reach certain goals. Unfortunately, this is part of Mexican society. As you can see, they are not always picking on national or international tourists.
Nevertheless you shouldn’t be discouraged by this type of things – just go with the flow, be careful and enjoy all the beauty this island in the Caribbean Sea has to offer!
© 2015 by Debbie Vorachen – Ahorita YA. All rights reserved. Photos © 2015 by Debbie Vorachen – Ahorita YA. All rights reserved.