Today’s guest post comes from Cindy Mason, she and her husband Don are from Nashville AR. Cindy is in her 29th year of teaching, Don is in his 35th year with Tyson Foods. They are both are knocking on retirement’s door and ready for snowbird status 🙂 Although this post is about their first love Cozumel Mexico, the Mason’s just booked another round of flights to Belize with Tropic Air tickets and will be returning to Ambergris Caye Dec 2015.
My love for the Caribbean began when my husband and I took our first cruise to Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel in 2005. After that first visit, I started making plans to return for more than just a cruise stop. We have been on a total of five cruises visiting Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Key West, Bahamas, Belize, Roatan and Alaska. I am not that fond of cruises, but I do like to use them for transportation to visit places to see if I might like to return for a vacation. Since that first cruise in 2005, we have traveled to Cozumel nine different times for a week’s vacation.
Cozumel has become our favorite vacation and future part time retirement destination for many reasons. We love the culture, the food, the beautiful water, the friendliness of the people and we feel safe on Cozumel. The convenient flights from Texarkana AR – Dallas TX – Cozumel make it easy for us to travel to Cozumel without overnight connections. We like to snorkel and Cozumel is perfect for this activity. The shores are rocky (also called iron shore) which makes for great shore snorkeling. The island also has several reefs that are accessible by boat for snorkeling.
Our favorite place to stay on the island is Playa Azul, located in the North Hotel Zone. Playa Azul is a small family owned hotel with only 50 rooms. We choose the breakfast only plan (they also offer all inclusive) because we like to eat at different restaurants and beach clubs on the island. We love Playa Azul because it is small and quiet (I teach school and want to get away from kids, not be surrounded by them at a resort). Many of the staff members know us by name which makes us feel very special. All the staff at Playa Azul goes above and beyond to make our stay pleasant. We have stayed at other hotels, both downtown and beachfront, but none can compare, so we always come back to Playa Azul.
One of our favorite things to do while visiting Cozumel is to get in our old raggedy jeep rental from Bonefish Rental and take off beach hopping and snorkeling around the island. We usually do our island tour at least two days because it takes that long to visit all the places we like. We also like to visit the local restaurants that have live music, Playa Azul Beach Club, Wet Wendy’s, Woody’s Bar and Grill, just to name a few.
Our favorite beach clubs include Palencar Beach (great food and service; they also have a boat that will take you out to the reef to snorkel for $35/person), Playa Azul Beach Club (live music every Sunday afternoon), Sky Reef Beach Club (new place with good snorkeling), Chankanaab (this is a national park with an entrance fee; great snorkeling and food) and Punta Sur (entrance fee, lighthouse you can climb, great beach with a great snorkeling reef that you have to swim out to).
In just a week’s time, it is hard to make it to all the restaurants we like, plus try new ones. Some of our favorite restaurants include La Terraza, one block off the center (wonderful seafood and pasta), Mosaicoz, on the center (brick oven pizza is delicious plus, the only restaurant we have found that has Dr. Pepper!), El Moro (way back in the neighborhood with wonderful tasting food) and Costa Brava (very good food and they have cinnamon in their coffee). I can’t leave out Coconuts (on the ‘other’ side of the island, up on a bluff; great food and stunning views of the Caribbean).
I am blessed to be able to travel to Cozumel with my husband and am always planning our next visit to the island.