We like to travel with little to no plans, so if you are like us, this post may be for you!
We took the car ferry from North of Playa Del Carmen to Cozumel. First...if you have a car on the mainland, THERE IS A DIFFERENT FERRY than the people ferry and it leaves at a different port. We made it with 15 minutes to spare and got on. It was a long ride, about 90 minutes. A gentelmen asked us if it was hard to find because many tourists do not travel on this ferry. Honestly it was fairly easy.
Once we arrived we needed to find a hotel to stay. It was 8pm so it was hard to see what was around. We drove North of City center to Hotel Be Cozumel. They were booked (luckily). We then had 2 hotels that met our budget we wanted to see. Sunscape and The Occidental. We drove back through city center and started out South. The signs are easy to follow and maps works great. We found Sunscape first and they had a special on Booking.com, so we booked it. Uh-oh! We arrived to their lobby with one of the LOUDEST bands every playing. It was so loud we could not hear the front desk person. Since this was the last part of our honeymoon and we were not looking to "party" we asked our options. They upgraded us to the sister resort, Secrets (for a small fee of course) and we are so happy we did! It was quiet and clean. The rooms are big and the staff is very nice. We didn't realize how much we needed a hotel with all inclusive until the morning when you realize there are very few options to eat at.
Our first day we stayed at the hotel in the morning. The drinks were strong and the beach is stunning. we booked an afternoon snorkel trip on a boat through the hotel - TRAVEL NO NO - and we remembered why we don't book through hotels. The boat was scheduled for 3.5 hours to leave at 2:30pm and arrive back at 6pm in time for dinner and drinks at the hotel. The boat was late! Plus the passengers seemed like they may not have every snorkeled or been on the ocean before..uh oh. After a very long boat ride we did reach Planacar Reef...this is a MUST on the island. You will see some of the most living and largest reefs in the world. we saw sea turtles, barracudas, rays, and tons of fish. This reef takes you to the Olympia reef as well.
Our boat then took us to El Cielo, which is wonderful to see starfish, rays, etc. BUT I suggest you go on your own to the beach. Overall the boat took 7 HOURS!!! Couldn't drop off people at their hotel and was very so-so.
The next day we spent driving to the "wild side" of the island. MUST DO- Punta Sur eco park. The beach at the end is right out of a postcard! We stopped along the way up the East side of the island and swam. It is not rough if you are used to oceans. (we live in San Diego). There are plenty of people in the water where it is safe. It is so beautiful. Stop at Chen Rio beach and then finally at Mezacalitos.