Cathy Tobin
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  Exploring Cozumel, Mexico  

One of Mexico’s Atlantic islands, Cozumel is located off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, surrounded by protected reefs teaming with undersea life and pristine blue waters.

San Miguel is the business and population center of the island, where visitors can shop, duty-free, for bargains on diamonds, but don’t overlook the Sea of Cortez pearls.

The major attractions on Cozumel are the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio. In this location, the ruins are dedicated to the Mayan goddess of fertility - Ix Chel. Excursions are available with guided tours directly from the ship’s pier.

The highlights of Cozumel are the beaches or ’playa,’ in Spanish. I suggest the beaches on the west side of the island. The east side beaches face the open Caribbean ocean. The waves and current may be rough. Look for the colored flags which indicate the safety conditions on the beach. Green - go and black - no swimming allowed.

Two busy beaches with lots of activities are: Playa Palancar and Playa Nachi Cocom, both have beautiful sandy shorelines with calmer waters and beach bars and cafes for that special local Montejo beer. Fresh seafood is best at the local Mom and pop cafes. Try the Tikin Xic, fresh fish wrapped in banana leaves and seasoned with Adobo de Anchiote or the chicken soup with fresh vegetables marinated with lime - Sopa de Lima. Remember in Mexico the ’green’ salsa on the table is milder than the ’red’ salsa!