Cozumel has the kind of water almost every traveller seeks out when booking an island getaway. It sparkles a blue that we have come to believe only exists in glossy brochures and magazines, and is so clear you’ll be counting the fish for miles as they swim over to say hello – and they will. The beyond blue water teems with fish of every colour and size. It’s almost as if you’re swimming in a giant fish tank. After all, the former playground of nature-lover Jacques Cousteau is rated as one of the top diving destinations in the world for a reason. Needless to say, the underwater world is magnificent.
As with all things that are seemingly too good to be true, Cozumel has a downside: its popularity. You will have to share the island with the many, many other travellers who are seeking out their own piece of paradise. Thankfully, it is easy enough to get away from the hordes of tourists who crowd the front streets of San Miguel, the main town on the island. Venturing just a few streets back from the water and into the quieter, more genuine Cozumel will do the trick. Here you will find sleepy storefronts every colour of the rainbow, locals offering a friendly ‘Hola’ as they pass by, and a burrito shop that whips up what could easily be a contender for the best burrito of your life.
When wandering the streets of San Miguel loses its charm you can always forge your own tour of the island by taxi, hired jeep, or scooter. The island boasts endless stretches of beach, some busier than others, a small collection of Mayan Ruins, and a number of lighthouses. Admittedly, though, the majority of the 5 days I spent on the island were spent alternating between relaxing on a beach lounge and swimming in the stunning section of water I was lucky enough to have at my doorstep. Needless to say I had my fair share of peace and quiet.
Every morning and every evening a canoe full of locals would row past my apartment. Each night the rowers jumped over the side of the canoe into the water, one after the other, for a swim during sunset. What a way to begin and end each day!
I was lucky enough to see some pretty amazing sunsets over the Caribbean right from my balcony. There is something magical about watching the sun set over water. Watching it, or better yet photographing it, provides a kind of solace to the end of the day.
While Cozumel can get a little too busy to be my version of paradise, the apparent beauty of the island is draw enough for travellers to visit time and again. After all, once you’re out of the tourist hot-spots finding your own little slice of Cozumel is easy enough. And spending your days swimming in crystal clear water and relaxing on the beach is a far cry from stressful. In fact, it can be downright relaxing.