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Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

Fishers, Indiana
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350 posts
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Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

My son and his girlfriend are on summer break from college. They've saved their money and have booked a 5 day trip to Cozumel for early August. They are staying at the Occidental Grand. They are on a tight budget now that the air and hotel have been paid. I'm looking for any advice, suggestions for things to do, recommendations for any "must see and do" things on the island and also any warnings or cautions I can pass along to them?

(I've already warned them about the time share BS!)


Arlington WA
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1. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

I guess it depends on what their budget is. The Occidental is an AI a long way south of town so it'll require a taxi or a car to get pretty much anywhere. Are they planning on leaving the resort?

Fishers, Indiana
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350 posts
28 reviews
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2. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

2 things they've mentioned to me are maybe a sailing excursion and the pub crawl. I think they can snorkel at the AI.

Littleton, Colorado
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3. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

Hire a taxi for the day and tour the East side. It's a must for us everytime we go. You don't experience Cozumel unless you see it for yourself. At the same time, we have the taxi driver take us into San Miguel that day where we shop and have lunch. A taxi into town costs about 16-18 USD each way. We figure that into our vacation cost so it's not really a problem. Not sure if they are divers or snorkelers but they might want to go on a snorkel tour through the dive shop. You can book a 2 or 3 reef tour. A restaurant just south of them is called Albertos. They have some fun tours as well. It is walkable from the Grand.

Edited: 17 June 2014, 21:39
Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel
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4. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

The only warning is to don't buy jewelry on the island. It is not a bargain and some have reported fake silver and stones.

Your kids may be bored that far south. Renting a car at some of the less expensive places for the day is the same cost as a RT cab fair.

Do the east side for the day. Book a trip with Tiger for el Cielo. Eat in town and enjoy all the great places to eat.

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5. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

You mention a pub crawl. They might enjoy the bar hop bus. They could see the east side beaches and drink without driving.


Concord, North...
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6. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

Go to the east side for sure. DO NOT rent a scooter!!!!

Browns Mills, New...
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7. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

I second the Cozumel Bar Hop. It is a great time. Decent price. Plus, they'll be able to see the gorgeous East Side, experience some of the bars/restaurants and not have to worry about driving in unfamiliar territory.

Katy Texas
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8. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

Though expensive for college students, they may enjoy the Pirate Cruise.

Dallas, Texas
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9. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

Some of mine are "echoes" of things others have already said, (because they deserve repeating) but a few are new ones:

-Do NOT rent scooters. They look fun, but the traffic/drivers in Mexico are really different than back home. On each of my last several trips I have seen bad accidents involving them. One was a fatality.

-Do not buy any jewelry that is supposedly silver or contains precious or semi precious gems. In other words fashion/costume jewelry only.

-Do NOT rent scooters.

-If anyone offers a free jeep for the day, its just another timeshare shark trick, and will waste a lot of their precious vacation time. Say no.

-If they choose to rent a car, I strongly recommend they double and triple check to make sure they are fully insured. You really want to be fully insured in Mexico. Some of the less scrupulous car rental places will tell them they are fully insured when they are not, in order to offer a lower price. I can only recommend either using ISIS or Thrifty.

-Renting a jeep may seem more romantic, but a car with a trunk affords them the ability to lock up their valuables safely while they swim, eat or walk on the beach.

-Try to go over to the East side, it is unspoiled, with long stretches of deserted beach where a couple can be alone together and walk on the beach. Couples seem to like this sort of thing...

-If they go over to the East side, they should only swim in protected areas. Otherwise, the undertow can be quite strong. Both Chen Rio and Punta Morena have great protected swimming areas. There are lots of great places to stop and have lunch or a erin as well.

-Do NOT rent scooters.

-On Sunday evenings, many locals are on the square and its a great way to soak up the local flavor and experience more of the true Mexico. Its also free, if they are on a budget.

-If they want to snorkel but not dedicate three or four hours to doing it, there is a 90 minute snorkel excursion that leaves regularly from Playa Palancar. I have not done this one yet, but "Froglegs" (a regular poster here who knows all things Cozumel) highly recommends it and based one that, I will try it on my upcoming trip. She will likely chime in here with the price.

-If they want to save $ and snorkel from shore, there are a number of good areas, though they are usually not as good as going out to the reefs on a boat. Generally, a nice beach and good snorkeling do not go together. Its usually one of the other. One good area is between The Money Bar and The Presidente Hotel. Another is around Playa Azul.

-Besides the people at the hotel, make sure to meet lots of the locals. There are many wonderful people on the island.

Cleveland, Ohio
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10. Re: Need advice, suggestions and warnings......

Do not rent a scooter and don't drink the water that comes out of the bathroom faucet, anywhere.

Each time we have rented a car in Cozumel it has been a manual transmission so if they are going to rent a car and do not know how to drive a stick shift make sure they specify automatic trans. I recommend renting from ISIS as the rentals are very affordable and includes insurance but I don't know if she offers an automatic.

If they decided to souvenir shop, better prices are found away from the main square area and away from the cruise ship terminals.

Don't get any funny ideas about buying cheap prescription drugs at the pharmacias found on every corner and even at the airport, and then transporting back to the U.S.I don't know fure sure if anything would happen but I would hate to find out the hard way.