Bienvenidos everyone! I am officially on vacation, and I have stumbled into paradise. If you have read this month's Scuba Diving magazine you've seen incredible photos of Cozumel, and that's exactly where I am as I write this. Keep checking our blog over the next couple of weeks as I'll be posting all about my adventures in this incredible place.
I arrived yesterday, and I haven't done any diving yet. Therefore, the first round of photos will be on the surface. I bought a new digital camera for this vacation. I ordered it on Zappos.com, and it arrived in plenty of time. However, I ordered the housing on Amazon marketplace two weeks ago and the seller didn't bother to ship it until the day before I left. So a friend will be sending it to me as soon as it arrives. Fingers crossed!
Getting here was very easy. We booked the whole thing through Expedia.com. We flew Continental Airlines and connected in Houston. Apparently you can fly to Cancun and take a ferry over to Cozumel, but now that airlines are offering flights directly to the island, flying seems like the way to go. I have to say that flying economy in Continental was actually more pleasant than some experiences I've had flying first class on other airlines. The flight crew was really pleasant, the connection was easy, and the seats were comfortable. I was really surprised, and it got our trip off to a great start. Also, the Mexican customs agents were very nice and friendly. No problems there at all.
Tip: We booked a taxi from the airport to the hotel through Expedia and had vouchers. We were supposed to meet a guy in a yellow shirt when we arrived. He was waiting for us, but we were stuck in a hot passenger van with 9 other people who weren't going to our hotel. From the little Spanish I speak, I heard him basically auction off our vouchers to the lowest bidder. A small bunch of drivers with vans were calling out numbers, "Cuarenta!" "Treinta!" and the one who took us shouted, "Veintesiete!" We could barely fit into the van, and someone had to sit on the arm rest. When we tried to ask for a different van, the man in the yellow shirt acted like there was nothing he could do. But it was 7 minutes to the hotel, so no real problems. Next time - cab.
The hotel is the Presidente Intercontinental, and it's gorgeous. There's also a dive shop - Scuba Du - onsite right on the beach! Apparently the hotel had a renovation not long ago, and the furniture, the bathrooms, and the flat screen tv are fantastic. They tried to upgrade us to a beachfront room for free, but we wanted a great view from a higher floor, so we stayed with what we'd originally booked - an Ocean Suite. The hotel is practically empty!!! It's unbelievable. There are a couple of great restaurants, a gorgeous spa, and one mile of private beach in paradise. The temperature is in the low 90's with a beautiful breeze and the water is crystal clear. I have no idea why this place isn't crawling with people, but fortunately, it's not. However, it is crawling with Iguanas. They're amazing creatures, and this guy was sweet enough to let me take a photo.
I will be posting frequently, and I'll try to break it up by topic. I will do my first dive tomorrow - Palencar Gardens. Also, I'm taking a trip over to the Yucutan peninsula to visit some Mayan pyramids and to dive in some cenotes. Please feel free to weigh in and share any tips about Cozumel or ask any questions if you want me to investigate something.
Hugs and fishes,
Hugs and fishes,