Trip Report - 6/18-26
Flew in on Delta with a connecting flight through Atlanta. Flight was on time and uneventful. Lines at Customs were short, and even after getting "red lighted" we were through quickly. We fought our way past the timeshare folks and over to the Collectivo ticket window... then waited for our last travelers flight to get in. When she arrived we bought our tickets ($57 MXN each) and caught the shuttle to Isis to pick up our cars for the week.
Arrived at Isis and was once again amazed at the awesome service. Margarita insisted on giving us two cars with AC even though we had reserved one with and one without. Loaded everyone into the cars and headed to our condominium.
We stayed at the Las Brisas Condos just north of town. The condo was cheerfully painted, very clean, and comfortable. The views of the ocean from the balcony were wonderful to wake up to, and you're only 30 seconds from the pool or ocean. Luckily for us - the condo was unoccupied when we arrived. It turns out there had been a snafu with our reservations, and they were expecting us JULY 18-26.
Los Molcajetes (Av. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, between Calle 12 Nte. & Calle 14 Nte.) twice:
We did a dinner and the sunday breakfast buffet at Los Molcajetes. Dinner was great as it has always been in the past - we split Molcajete Michoacan and a Molcajete "Sea and Earth"among the group. Service was wonderful.
The Sunday breakfast buffet was one of the food highlights of the trip - fresh juices and fruit, Chilaquiles, Huevos Motulenos, Pibil, and on and on... We even got a free water bottle from Elliot Reyes out campaigning for Presidente.
The view is spectacular, with a great setting on the beach under umbrellas. The seafood platter is very good, if a bit on the pricey side for Mexico.
Still seemed like a reasonable deal to me - ~$82 for 4 lobster tails, baked grouper, whole fried snapper, conch in garlic, and about 10 shrimp... plus rice, tortillas, and bread. We always pay in Pesos and not US dollars, so the prices may be much better that way.
One of my favorite places on the east side, with great seafood.
El Foco (Av. 5 Sur, between Calles Adolfo Rosado Salas & 3 Sur)
Stopped by El Foco to get a bite to eat while watching the Sunday festivities in the plaza. Picked up some delicious tacos to go. Food quality was great, service was very good, prices seemed a bit high - but portions were massive. If you're looking for a quick, high quality taco near the plaza - they're a good choice.
El Moro (Av. 75 Bis, between Calle 2 Nte. Calle 4 Nte.)
It's a tough one to find if you don't know your way around well, but worth whatever trouble it takes you to get there. The service and ambience at El Moro is spectacular - Ray may be the best server/waiter on the island. Drinks were wonderful, my Poc Chuc was delicious, and the Yucatan Chicken (basically Pibil) my wife had was divine.
Best of all? The Sopa de Lima. Best I've ever had.
Money Bar (Zona Hotelera Sur Km 6.5) twice:
Stopped here twice, once after Tiger Snorkel Tour and once to see the band FUGGA.
Beautiful restaurant, nice view, and some of the cleanest bathrooms on Cozumel.
Food was only so-so. Had a Club Sandwich post snorkeling that was very good. Had a Caesar salad when we went back to see the band - it wasn't. No Caesar dressing, they used a Vinagerette.
Band (Fugga) was really good and entertaining, and the service was excellent.
Besides eating, snorkeling, and general relaxation - we also tried to get out and do some activities.
Tiger Snorkel Tour
Without a doubt, the best snorkeling trip I've ever been on.
Tiger is a wonderful guide. Tiger and JJ took us to great sites - and unlike guides on many past snorkel trips - they go out of their way to point out to you a ton of marine life. We saw turtles, barracuda, purple sea fans and more fish than imaginable.
After your two snorkeling stops you head to Cielo (spanish: Heaven) an area of white sand and ultra clear waters. They anchor the Legend Boat in the waist deep water and everyone hangs out in to the water while Tiger and the crew fix drinks and serve you fresh fruits, guacamole, pico, and chips.
This was my third time at San Gervasio, and it was the hottest and most bug ridden of any of the trips. The ruins are very interesting and unique from an archaeological perspective - but they may seem boring if you're looking for grand architecture of the sort seen at Chichen Itza or Coba. I studied up on a lot of the Freidel & Sabloff excavations on the island from the early 1970's and was able to act as an even more informed guide for our party than in the past.
The biggest excitement for me was hearing the guides talking to their tour groups and actually giving them relatively factually/archaeologically correct information. It's a huge step up from what I've heard from "guides" in the past both at San Gervasio and other sites.
We always stop by El Cedral to take a look at the ruins (both the reconstructed temple and the un-reconstructed mound behind it) and to let the kids play on the "Playground of Death" - a playground just like where I played as a kid before the safety advocates made everything too safe to be any fun here in the USA.
I wanted to hit up a publicly accessible ruin that I hadn't seen... and the Throne Site fit the bill. A trip to the north end of the island to see the ruins up that way wasn't in the budget/timeline, a great majority of the cataloged sites no longer exist, etc...
Thanks to advice from Tripadvisor member islandgus - I was pointed in the direction of the Throne Site. The site is just south of El Mirador (where the road cuts inland) and just north of the pullout off the old east side road.
The ruin is small and relatively uninteresting to someone not into archaeology - but it's also relatively unstudied/unpublished which was rather exciting. Repeated searches through the relevant documentation provided nothing other than knowledge the site existed and some GPS coordinates. So I went into it blind.
The ruins turned out to be in suprisingly good condition for not being reconstructed. The ruin was a two room structure approximately 20 ft. x 12 ft (each room ~10x12) built of uncoursed masonry with mortar. The back wall in the center was still standing to a height of ~6 ft.
Sunday on Plaza
Went out to check out the Sunday evening festivites. Had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the people watching and the live band. If you're around for a Sunday evening - check it out.