Turkey trots are OVER - athletes and spectators alike are pouring in to beautiful Cozumel for this weekend’s Ironman.
Let's talk about activities for family, spectators, or post-race. Previously we discussed the venue’s potential places to stay and some of the diving and scuba perks. But there is so much more to a visit to Cozumel, not the least of which is its proximity to Playa del Carmen. And the best time to visit Playa is at night.
Take the ferry boat across, it costs about $12-$15 each way and is well worth the trip. The main streets of Playa del Carmen are closed to foot-traffic only and there is so much going on, you can spend an entire evening there just walking around. Filled with numerous unique restaurants, chances are you’ll dine seated in a cabana or balcony overlooking the nightlife. In both of my own trips there, I have never heard of anyone getting sick. And don’t forget to stop at the world-famous Señor Frog’s. Ferry boat tickets can be purchased from mexicowaterjets.com or granpuerto.com. Be sure you check when the last ferry boat leaves back for Cozumel, usually about 10pm, so you don’t get stuck!
Don’t want to take a trip to the mainland but still crave stuff to do? Your best bet is to rent a scooter. Cozumel may be the biggest island in Mexico but it is still small enough for a scooter to get you everywhere you’d want to go. You see, there is only one main road on Cozumel and it runs around the coast perimeter before heading straight to the beaches on the east side of the island. Here you can go beach hopping, cove to cove, and often times you’ll find yourselves the only ones there. And hey, everyone looks cute on a Vespa!
At the end of the island is the lighthouse at Punta Celerain. You can enjoy a fascinating 360-degree view of the area and this is a prime spot to take spectacular photos to show off to your friends when you get home. There is also a place to snorkel and you can swim out to the reef. There are supposed to be alligators in the area and regular barracuda sightings though, so be careful.
For what is considered the best beach bar ever, stop in to a place called Coconuts Bar and Grill. It is considered the best spot on the east side. Even though the island is mostly flat, you have to climb to get to this one, which only means that the views are incredible!
For even more exploring, visit the little village of El Cedral. It has the oldest Mayan ruin on the island. Now, it isn’t as grand as the ones over on the mainland, but it is interesting and very pretty. There are some restaurants there including one with a fabulous steak and lobster combo!
Going back to San Miguel, you may be tired of Mexican fare and, if so, Primas is the perfect foil with Italian cuisine, fresh catch of the day and steaks. It also has great outdoor seating making you feel like you are in the middle of the town happenings.
Tired from the Ironman? Get some spa’hhh treatment at the Presidente Intercontinental. They have a 6,500 square-foot full service luxury spa called Mandara Spa. Using ancient Mayan traditional techniques, they relax, soothe and pamper you with signature treatments made from a variety of indigenous fruits, plants, herbs along with other natural elements.
So, here’s to wishing you a great time at Ironman Cozumel 2012! SOAS wishes you an amazing race!