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"no fee" beach clubs

Hi --

We're looking for casual yet fun beach clubs on west side that do not charge a fee. We're happy to buy food and drinks and hang. Don't want crazy music or tons of cruise passengers. We do want good snorkeling

We did Money Bar last year. We're eyeballing Palancar and Alberto's El Cedral this year. Good choices? What about Uvas or Corona? Many thanks.

Tulum, Mexico
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1. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

I moved off the island nearly four years ago, so things could have changed. Politically I won't go to Money Bar anymore and that reef used to be my favorite. Snorkeling close to shore isn't what it was before Wilma damaged so much, but even four years ago it was coming back. So I expect that the snorkeling is now at a decent level. For that reason, I would think that Playa Corona might have some decent snorkeling. I wouldn't bother with Uvas if snorkeling is your intention. Even before Wilma I didn't find it worth the time. However, it is a lovely little beach club and if snorkeling doesn't matter, it's a good choice. As for Playa Palancar, that would be my recommendation. I haven't taken that particular boat tour to Columbia Shallows, but I've heard that's where they go. As for deep snorkel spots, Columbia Shallows and Palancar Gardens are both wonderful. The coral heads are huge and you sometimes see some really large fish...compared to what you see close to shore. If you can find a snorkel tour that will take you to those spots and maybe Sky (and even Dzul Ha), it would be optimal. That was the tour I used to take all of the time years ago but the operation I went with has since sold their large boat. So they don't offer that tour. The boat that goes out of Palancar, I don't think would tailor a tour like that. But there are lots of dive ops and snorkel tours. Just ask around. Those small boats that look a bit larger than a canoe do not go to the reefs I mentioned. You'd need a larger boat...like a fishing boat. Don't know my boats and don't estimate sizes well, so that's the best advice I can give you.

I understand the desire to avoid fees but take into consideration that beach club owners pay a really high tax for their location. In addition they pay salaries for people whether there are guests at the beach or not. Any fee that an owner assesses is not likely to be greed, but need. I felt the same way you do for many years, but I've kinda mellowed now that I have seen how tough the lifestyle is when tourism is down...and it's been down for a few years now.

So enjoy your time on the island and I would love to hear what kind of snorkeling is available now. Our house is nearly built and then we will have money to return to Cozumel for a visit. I need an update. lol

Grand Rapids
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2. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

The beach clubs that I go to Playa San Francisco, and Paradise Beach Clubs did not charge a fee as long as you buy food and drink from them.

Which we did, and we went back and forth between the two. Not sure about Carlos Charleys.

This was two yrs. ago, but I think its still the same? The Money Bar I dont believe charges one, but I dont consider this a true Beach Club. I also dont get into the political aspect of the place. All I know is, its a nice place, has great snorkeling, and two for ones.


The Colony, Texas
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for Cozumel
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3. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

We love Corona - we go at least once if not twice on our yearly trip to the island. It's my favorite low key kick back snorkel place south of town.

Montrose Colorado
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300 posts
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4. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

I loved Playa Corona. Went for the first time in October last year. The shore snorkeling was awsome. It was very low-key. Not a fancy beach club, but we didn't go for that. Just snorkeling and a few cervezas. Wanted to try the Planacar Beach and do the boat tour because it is so highly recommended, but just didn't fit it in on our last visit; however, we did walk to it from the Iberostar and it looked pretty crowded. Maybe if you went on a Sunday it might not be too crowded with cruise-ship people. Playa Corona will definately stay on my list for shore snorkeling for future visits. As for Albertos, it is right next door to the Iberostar which is where we always stay. Have only heard about the little boat tours he has from other guests and have heard only good things. Have fun!

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5. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

We always go to Corona Beach a couple of times. It's simple, small and laid back. Very good service (the guys there always remember us) and we love the purple sea fans there. Saw some seahorses there.

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6. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

My first fav place is Club Cozumel Caribe, on Sundays (no cruisers)-I've never been there any other day so I can't say what it's like. Really good semi-pricey food but one menu item is enough to feed two. Nice pool, great beach and decent roped off snorkeling area.

Palancar is very nice and I've done the snorkeling trip and it was great. I also like Nachi Cocom and Mr. Sanchos. At Nachi, you can pay something like $20/person to be put toward your tab (if they are still doing that) AND, FYI, I did see people walk from Mr. Sanchos and plunk themselves down at Nachi without anyone saying they had to pay something. Pretty much Zippo for snorkeling at either of those tho.

I don't really think of Money Bar or Corona as beach clubs. I think Money Bar is expensive, for food anyway, but the two-fers are a good deal (5-7p I believe). I think for what you said you want and the names you listed...I'd say Palancar or Corona.

Cozumel, Mexico
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711 posts
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7. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

Paradise does charge for lounge chairs, and to use the water toys in the water: $12 and you have to wear a wrist band to access them. They just opened a huge swimming pool and it is heated! One thing I really like at Paradise are the stores there, they have some really beautiful very affordable sundresses, many of us that live here locally shop there (;

Carlos n Charlies does not have any charges

San Francisco I have heard charges for chairs, but sometimes people say they don't, not sure on that one.

Palancar very south I don't think has any charges. It is a nice little beach club, though the peacocks always make me think there is a cat in distress somewhere.....LOL. The boat snorkel trips leaving from Palencar are a really good way to go and you are snorkeling over a reef.

Money Bar has some nice snorkeling and as Wineott said the happy hour is good time to go: 5 to 7 pm and has a band on the weekends that is quite popular.

Playa Corona not my favorite, although the snorkeling is really nice a long that iron shore

Nachi Cocum, beautiful beach, but completely caters to cruise ships and has an overall fee to get in, but will take that fee off of what you order, this is what they told me about 2 years ago, so my info may not be accurate. Wish they had a free local day like on Sundays, but they don't to the best of my knowledge.

8. Re: "no fee" beach clubs

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