Before we left Isla Cozumel, we went out shopping for miniature animals and from one store to another, we can't find out.
On the side of the street from Puerto Maya (across the entrance of the terminal), I saw a store with Cuba's president Fidel Castro statue.
My children ran to the store and we found some tiny wooden turtles being sold there.
There is what they call here a "Medium Tropical Forest" where there are trees replanted for the ecopark at Faro Ceralain. The mangroves here are tall and they planted them between the roads.
There are also different kinds of palm trees which are very short. These are used by the residents to build their houses. In fact, the leaves of these palm trees were used as materials for the roofs of most hotels, restaurants and business establishments at the beach.
There are several trees that thrive in the sand and had been used as the nesting place for the birds.
There are also several varieties of coconuts here.
The white sand in Puta Sur, Isla Cozumel, Mexico is very soft. It is one of the softest beach sand I have ever been.
This maybe one of the reasons why the turtles come and lay their eggs here. The sand is very soft that it protects their eggs from breaking.
The admission to the Faro Celarain Ecopark is $5.00 and there is a discount for children.
Pay at the entrance of the park. The people who collects money are actually Mayans and they maintain this park.
The staff there speak English and they are pretty helpful. You can ask directions from them and what are the best things to do at the park. You may also ask for a park's map.
At the base of the lighthouse was a small museum. There were five exhibition rooms about information from Maya navigators, buccaneers, marine navigational signs and on the other side there was a reconstruction from the 1930’s on how light house keepers used to live. Some lighthouse aficionados commented that the living conditions in Mexico for a lighthouse keeper were a little more primitive than they were in the States.
Horseback riding, beach volleyball, kayaking, sunbathing, ice cold beer, and a barbeque lunch are all of the things you can enjoy when you go on Fury's Reef Snorkel and Beach Party!
For $55USD plus cost of $8USD for lunch, you can head out in the morning to enjoy snorkelling, then enjoy a cruise on the catamaran to the private island, where you can enjoy beer and watered down margaritas all day!
Sarah and I enjoyed the kayaking, snorkelling, and sitting on the beach relaxing!
The El Caracol landmark is sited between both the south and east coastal roads (Costera Sur Highway and Costera Este Highway), within the Parque Punta Sur nature reserve. Believed to have been a lighthouse from Mayan times, the El Caracol dates back to about 1200-1300 A.D. Our guide did some explanation about the Mayans and there was a plaque there in three languages - Spanish, Mayan and English.
The sign said (in part):
This building is so named because the cupola, which adorns the roof, has incrustations of pink conch. The structure consists of two construction stages. In the first stage a building with four entrances using lintels was constructed and in the second a passageway to three of its sides was annexed and the cupola added. The function could have been a shrine and a lookout station or lighthouse for defense and traffic control of traders, pilgrims and local people. A few meters from the Conch there is a construction which could have been the living quarters of the caretaker of the lighthouse shrine. Both structures were dated to the Late Postclassic (1200-1300 A.D.)
El Caracol - Parque Punta Sur, Cozumel, 77600, Mexico, MX
Open: daily - 07:00 to 16:00
We went here as a part of the day at the park on a cruise ship expedition. It is worth a visit.
The sign said: Zona de Cocodrilos (Sea Cuidadoso) [Crocodiles Zone/Be Careful]
The guide whistled and a big croc came swimming over and posed for us. There was also a big tower you could climb to see other crocs down in the water. I asked how high a crocodile could jump. The guide said, that in water that shallow, probably not very high. Crocodiles always look so mean (because of all the exposed teeth which is how you tell the difference between crocs and alligators) that I wasn't very reassured by that. In Louisiana, I was told that alligators could jump as high as their own length out of the water. If that was also true of these big crocs, the walkway wouldn't by out of their range.
There were some interesting articles in The Cozumel News in English, Vol 39 May 28-June 3, 2006
NOT MANY CROC'S LIVE IN COZUMEL'S LAGOONS BUT THERE IS EVIDENCE THEY ARE REPRODUCING
According to studies commissioned by the Cozumel Parks and Musuems Foundation, there are approximately 500 crocodiles on the island right now. The study goes on to explain that one of the foremost ecosystems represented on the island are the mangrove areas that border the lagoons at the north and south ends of the western facing side of the island. Colombia Lagoon is most notable but there are also these same ecosystems in lagoons in the north. The crocodile know precisely as the "Acutus" has become established particularly in the southern ecosystem habitat which offers great diversity of other wild life as well.
... the number of females is very low compared to the number of males however, this mangrove ecosystem is ideal for the Acutus crocodile's reproduction.
The crocs play an important role in the equilibrium of the ecosystem because they live on dead and living organisms.
... 9 nests have so far been detected this year with a total of 30 eggs. Work is ongoing to move endangered nests to safer areas of the preserve where the juveniles and baby crocs will be less likely to be at the mercy of predators.
As of the present time there is no problem with poaching these animals because the Cozumeleña people take care of the flora and fauna of their environment.
In addition some of the crocs that are only juveniles have already measured a little over three meters, 29 centimeters which should be enough to give anyone who wants to hurt them a good scare!.
There are several ways to get around the island, but jeep rental is easy and you won't get lost, as there is only one road. This side of the island is all yours as there aren't any commercialized hotels because the lack of electricity on this side of the island. Volcanic rock appears within the sandy beaches, and the waves are surfable. There are several local beer joints but other than that, it's pretty isolated. It offers a completely different feel from the west side.
At the south end of the island is Playa San Francisco. There is a nice beach, some hammocks, and a great little restaurant. Nothing says relaxing like swinging in a hammock with people bringing you frozen drinks and fajitas.
It's even better if you enjoy this place in good company. This is the Hotel Barracuda. Most of the time you can see people who work on the cruise ships here. This is the meeting spot for crew. The reason for this is simple. Great views of the water, good prices on meals and drinks, and you they have a pier where you can jump into the ocean. I never tried it, but didn't want to. It's the closest beach to the Punta Langosta pier. What's especially good about this place is the cheap food and drinks. Try the Happy Iguana, it's one awesome drink that is available here! The food is pretty damn good, too! They also give change back in American, which is something rare in Mexico (since they take American, but rarely give back American change, usually only in pesos). Another plus!
There is no electricity on the wayward side of the island, so there are only a sprinkling of restaurants and bars to go to there during the day (I believe everything is closed after dark). Go to Bob Marley Bar if you want to swing on a hammock in front of the ocean and listen to reggae music. And there are a few others (God, i wish i could remember the names). I ordered a dish of Fish Tacos - the whole fish came out fried and seasoned with tortillas and the fixin's. It was the freshest fish I ever had!! Definately drive around the island and stop where-ever sparks your fancy - - its a beautiful drive! Watch out for the Turtles crossing the road!
We first visited Mezcalito Restaurant, which was recommended by many guidebooks. It is a popular place to go to. They have a hammock just outside. We saw a sign right next to the hammocks that says, nudist beach beyond that point. There were autographed shirts and underwear on the ceiling of the restaurant. But some of the customers there were smoking, so we had to move on to look for another restaurant by the beach, where there is no one smoking.
We went to the east coast of Cozumel on a Sunday. The locals take their day off and go to beaches. We drove with some of them (separate vehicles, sharing the same road) going to the east coast of the island. Generally, the east coast is dangerous for swimming. But this area was recommended to us by one of the locals we met. The place is called "Chan Rio". Many of the locals brought their own food and drinks. Anyone, even children, can safely swim in this beach.
On the day we rented our car, we drove past this little place on the Eastern side of the Island. We just looked at each other, and immediately turned the car around. It was so cool to just sit and have a drink with nobody else but the bar-keep and the dog, with the gentle breeze blowing off the Caribbean.....
Unfortunately, we were driving, so could only stay for 1. As we were the only patrons, the keep decided to close for the afternoon - I guess it was siesta time. The interesting thing was that he brushed aside some sand, opened a locker buried there, and proceeded to lock up all the liquor in there! It made perfect sense, as the bar was completely open and not much more than a lean-to, but it was rather surprising to see.