What the Haggle?

My advice to anyone planning on going to Cozumel: Learn to haggle. 

The shop owners expect it of everyone, and anyone who doesn't haggle is a fool.

I bought Fern some nice jewelry and bargained the vendor down by over 30% of the original price. 

NEVER use the phase "Will you take...?" Just offer them a price, and work it from there.  If you start to walk away, there's a good chance they will call out a lower price. 

Local Talent

Also, you can have a great deal of fun walking around the town square and seeing the local artists at work. Some do art work using spray paint, lighting a can to help dry the paint before selling a piece. Women and men with long hair can get their hair braided.


Cozumel Forever

In July 2003, I took Fern to Cozumel for our 20th wedding anniversary. I had given her a choice to go just about any place she wanted, but since she took so long to make up her mind — and I was now totally into diving — Cozumel it was.  I learned that Cozumel was not just for divers and many cruise ships stopped there, so I knew Fern could keep busy while I was diving. I made sure that the evenings were well planned for both of us to have a nice time together.

Anniversary couple

The flight down was uneventful. The plane was filled, and I would guess that better than 80% of the people onboard were divers. We arrived at our hotel in the mid afternoon on Saturday. After unpacking and looking around, we headed down to the Dive Paradise Shop located in the hotel so I could register and take care of the regular paperwork. I had my gear stowed, and off we walked to downtown San Miguel. The town has lots to offer. 

Land Cruising

If you want to have another great day, rent a Jeep or other vehicle (just not the scooters) and take a drive around the whole island. Once you leave the city of San Miguel you will see the island as it has been for hundreds of years: unspoiled and untouched. The lighthouse at the tip is worth stopping for and walking up to the top. On the ocean side, you can see the wild surf and see why very few will dive it.  There are some places where you can stop and buy gifts and get some great deals, even better than in town.

The beauty of going to Cozumel is that you can spend as little or as much as you want, on hotel, places to eat and above water entertainment.

Drift Diving

As for the Diving in Cozumel, it can be summed up in two words: "Drift Diving." You just flow with the current. If you didn’t need your fins to go up or down, you could leave them home. Our trip to Cozumel had everything you could want: fine food, great diving and we met some real nice folks from around the US & abroad.

drift diving

The low point of the trip was my final dive day. A hurricane was heading for the island. Divemaster Raul gave us a choice of either revisiting two dives sites or head out farther south with the chance of being called back in. We chose to revisit two sites. As we emerged from the second dive, all boats on the island were called back in. 

The hurricane was not all that bad. We rented a Jeep and drove the island, seeing little wind damage. The island got off lucky that time.

The flight home was a challenge. The planes had to fly around the hurricane, adding a delay for planes getting into Cozumel and then getting to Texas to change for our connection to New York.  We made it with less than five minutes to spare—luckily our luggage made it with us. We were wiped from our trip, but we had a great time.

We returned to Cozumel the following year with the whole family. Lianna was now a Junior Diver, and she was good as anyone on the boat.  On this trip, we met Kary and Dave, and Jeff and his wife Lori as well as their kids Nick and Carrie. We all just hit it off.  It's a friendship I hope will last for a long time to come.

On this trip the weather was 100% perfect. We saw more of the island than on our previous trip.  The kids had a blast: Dylan was in the hotel pool everyday, Fern got a great tan, and Lianna got a henna tattoo. Her underwater high point was being filmed underwater dancing.  As for me, I took some really cool photos; the best was the guy filming underwater with an Angelfish behind him looking like the fish was giving directions.

ready for my closeup

During our "down time" when not underwater, we had just as great a time.  Lori, Jeff, Kary and Dave are some of the most fun people to be around. To this day we keep in touch with them as often as possible. When I came up with the idea of starting this web site, it was Jeff's son who did the first version for me.

Cozumel was such a great trip, I returned there for a winter trip with my daughter Lianna.

Go to Lianna & I Winter Trip: Back to Cozumel.