A few months ago, just before Christmas, we
had a few weeks without any major commitments
so we decided to go visit our Southern neighbors
down in Mexico. We were hanging out in Playa del
Carmen and everyone said we HAD to go visit
Cozumel, it was a must see.
We headed out early one morning to catch the ferry
to Cozumel. I love to be out and about early in the
day and see a place wake up, cafes setting up their
outdoor tables, streets being cleaned, shops setting
out their wares to attract customers, the locals going
off to start their work day...
Mr. Wonderful spent a lot of time researching where we
should go in Cozumel. In this area, you don't just put
your towel down on a beach and hang out for the day.
You go to a "Beach Club", the prices and amenities and
facilities vary but they all cost money. Personally, I like
a quiet place with a cafe that I can walk to for lunch or
snacks and access to a clean restroom. In the end, we
ended up in one of the most expensive beach clubs
since Wonderful was reading lots of reviews of places
and the information was sketchy and we figured we how
many times will we do this?
Do you see the beach chairs in the photo above? That
is where the beach club maitre d took us to first. I guess
it is considered a front row seat to the water view but you
were just about touching your neighbor in the next chair.
I opted for a cabana, the last one on the property
hoping it would be peaceful and quiet. This club is
all-inclusive meaning you get all the food and drinks
you want by paying one price for the day. Many of
the resorts in this area use this concept and I have
stayed at these hotels but I am not a fan. So the food
at this beach club was hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos,
nachos, cheesy fries, buffalo wings ~ think typical
American bar food ~ but we could have all that we
wanted! And then there are the drinks, I was in a
beach cabana looking out at a turquoise sea so I ordered
a pina colada. When I was about 3/4 done with the
drink, another arrived, I didn't ask for it, so I drank it.
Somewhere in the middle of this one I realized I was
on my second pina colada of the day and it wasn't
10 am yet. That was the point when I said, "Agua
por favor". They would have just kept them coming
At about this time, the people from the cruise ships
arrived. This was the crowd that didn't want the
pina coladas or more likely the tequila shots to ever
stop at any point during the day. All of these tables
were filled with people and nachos and cheesy fries
and empty drink cups. And they got loud, the 'I'm
drunk in paradise, look at me!' kind of loud. I was
trying to read a book and Wonderful was off finding
out about snorkeling adventures when a woman a
few tables away said,
about 20 times in the space of 5 minutes.
And that's when it happened ~ I ran away...
I ran away from my all you can eat, all you can drink
"exclusive" beach club with the cabanas and hammocks
and cheesy fries and found this, the wild side of Cozumel.
This is what the beaches in this part of Mexico looked
like before the resorts and cruise ships and craziness
took over and it was blissful. I sat right in the sand, I
soaked in the warmth from the sun, I tried to count how
many shades of blue I could see in the azure waters, I
listened to the birds and walked the coastline in peace
looking for shells. It was heaven.
Every once in a while, groups would go by on
horses, others finding their bliss.
Someone brought me a conch shell to look at,
when that creature came out of the shell it was
frightening but it only got worse when it went
back in and those claws clattered against the
shell. I suggested it needed to get back in the
Since we did pay for the food and drinks and there was
nothing on my deserted wild beach, we would go back
to our cabana a few times during the day. During lunch
we saw a woman actually go over the "Bullsh*t Jeremy"
table and ask them to be more respectful to other people
around them. Late in the day, we were back in the shade
of our cabana and watched as all the cruise ship tables
left to head back to ships. Table after table left without
tipping the waiters, These were not kids, the waiters
were grown men with families who ran around all day
bringing endless drinks and junk food to these people.
It was a hot day and they were working so hard, carrying
trays of food through the sand, and these drunken people
gave them nothing. It was terrible to see, just days before
Christmas and people had no thought of anyone but
themselves. So much for goodwill to your fellow man or
even just giving someone what they deserved for working
for you all day. We gave our waiter a very big tip because
we felt so bad, even though we were hardly there all day.
I don't regret this experience. It taught me a lesson. I
know what I like but I was swayed to go to a place that
wasn't at all me because that's what everyone does in
this area. If I were to ever go again, I would find a quiet
beach, bring a lovely picnic and enjoy the wild beauty
of a natural setting. Lessons learned...