Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Collaborator Post | The Insider's Guide to Cozumel

A new year calls for a refresh. We started our blog with the intention of collaborating with some badass females, and in the spirit of that collaboration... meet Yuri!

Founder of ACE :: Align. Create. Enjoy. High fives for one hell of a mantra. We're big fans of her as a human and her blog because not only did she follow her heart to completely switch career gears from corporate HR to yogi, but she followed a dream to unplug from the chaos and tune into herself by living a tropical destination lifestyle for awhile. She's one brave chic (slow clap), and we've enlisted her to bring us her 'Cozumel Hit List'. Girl has got the life right now, so read on for some serious vacation inspo...

I have never considered myself a great traveler, nor do I consider myself an above average hostess. (This is mostly due to a severe inferiority complex, in combination with the inability to perform well under social pressure, but that is an entirely different blog post). It is for these two reasons that I am shocked to feel absolutely confident in throwing together a little beach inspo for all you winter-ridden mainlanders out there.

I might not typically find the hidden gems, or stray too far off the beaten path on my usual vacays, but this time around it's different. Since I have actually lived in Cozumel, Mexico for the last 4 months, I finally feel qualified to share some tips, tricks, and suggestions for the next time you get the island itch.

Print this out while your boss isn't looking, make 10 copies for your gal pals, grab your bikinis and a good book, and start ticking things off this handy list. Your cold winter heart will thank me - I promise. 

Step away from the all inclusive package... come on, you can do it... okay, good. Now book an Airbnb. They are super cheap here, and a lot of the owners take great pride in providing you with everything you need for a great stay. The owners are very friendly and eager to please. Every host we have had the pleasure of meeting has gone above and beyond to ensure a relaxing and affordable stay.

With marble floors, updated appliances, and easy access to countless beaches, there isn't much you will be sacrificing by foregoing the all inclusive stay. Sure, your meals and drinks won't be included, but the best meals aren't even in the resorts, and the money you save by booking a room that is $30 a night will leave you plenty of room in the budget to buy all the beers and pina coladas your little de-thawing heart desires. Trust me.

Hit up the North stretch of town. You can stop by the vendors on the way, but after one or two tequila tours, the shops start looking remarkably similar, and one only needs so many $1 maracas. About half a mile north of the ferry pier you will find numerous unassuming beach shacks that serve affordable cervezas, not to mention the freshest ceviche this side of the Yucatan.

A couple I recommend:

Shaka Bar: Family owned never fails. Plus, Patricia is a sweetheart, and her brother runs another family beach bar on the East side of the island. Situated a story above the ocean, we like to get there early and sip coffee while watching the waves roll in below. Added perk: they rent paddle boards and all the beach toys you can imagine right from the shack, so you can actually make a day of it!

Casa del Mar: Blink and you might miss this one. Right before you get to Shaka Bar, you will see a run down shack with rotted spindles on the stairs, a tarp as a temporary roof, and a washed away sign. Clearly a business that has been closed for years... but if you follow the stairs down to the beach you will find that under the tarp is an entire water front establishment. In fact, we don't even call it Casa del Mar, we call it the Bunker Bar... and if I had to describe it, "bunker" would be the right word.

They always have the best playlist on in the background, and it is RIGHT on the water. Grab a bean bag, a bucket of beers, and lay next to the ocean while the water kisses your toes. After watching the cruise ships roll in, go ahead and try the ceviche - it is one of, if not the best, ceviches we have had on the island.

Hit up Mercado Municipal. Right smack dab in the middle of town, the island's largest daily market offers everything from shoes and backpacks, to produce and freshly caught fish. It is not unheard of to get an entire day's worth of food for 50 pesos. That's right around $3. See what I mean about room in your budget?

Rent a Jeep, or scooter, or buggy, or any motorized vehicle and cruise over to the East side of the Island. From iron shores to white sand beaches, you can cruise the entire island in one day, so there is no excuse to miss this one!in your budget?

Watch flamingos and crocodiles in the lagoon at Punta Sur. Normally I am not one to pay $10 for an entrance to the beach when there are 10 free beaches right next door. But this particular beach is also a lagoon with all types of island wildlife.

Drink top shelf liquor and dance to 80's rock while the sun sets at Money Bar. Once again, not usually one to pay more than 50 pesos for a beer, but the atmosphere at Money Bar makes it worth the over priced drinks. The luxury beach hut is right on the shore with an unbeatable view of the sun dropping below the sea. After the sun goes down the band comes up! If you're lucky, you'll catch Pam, a local legend. She lives across the street and is the first on the dance floor... walker and all.

Snorkel anywhere. Grab $5 water shoes and a snorkel from the gas station and walk into the sea from literally anywhere. There is sea life in even the most populated areas. Watch out for the Sea Urchins!

Don't miss the La Mission food truck just up the street from the Pemex station by Puerto Maya. Three tacos for less than 80 pesos my friends. Good tacos. From a clean food truck (even by American standards). Bonus points that this spot has a small eating area right on the edge of the jungle. We like to grab a couple beers from the gas station and bring them along as well.

Eat Al Pastor at Los Otates. There is no shortage of Al Pastor on the island, but this establishment is known for it. Order the "Gringas" and thank me later!

Grab organic peanut butter coffee at Coz Coffee. Coz is our favorite coffee shop, which is saying a lot because there are numerous cute spots to grab some joe on the island. Coz coffee stands out because most options are organic and fair trade approved.

Keep that ass in shape at Unidad Deportiva Independencia. I know, I know... workout on vacation? Okay, before you throw your phone or laptop at me, just hear me out. This complex is open to the public, and it has all the vibes of spring track meets back home. It's well maintained, smells like fresh cut grass, and is right next to a number of basketball courts allowing you to catch locals playing ball while you mosey around the rubber track.

Pet Lulu the pig and sip wine on the dock of Turquoise Bar. Turquoise Bar looks like a hipster island bar from the front, but if you venture down stairs you will find a sandy bar with plenty of tables to sit down and eat, a pool, a dock leading out to the sea so you can snorkel, lounge chairs to kick back in... and... Lulu the Pig. She loves being pet so make sure you say hello as she roams around from tourist to tourist!

There you have it. That outghta keep you relaxed and entertained for the week. Don't forget to stop at all the instagrammable buildings with pink and green backdrops, drink more tequila than water, and for god's sake, try to be modest as your friends turn green in envy over your well-deserved island tan.


  1. Eeeeeek! Thanks again for letting me be a part of this amazing platform! You girls are amazing!

    1. Thank YOU for showcasing us your amazing lifestyle these last 4 months! Now we just need to go to Cozumel to execute on all this <3

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place information with us, its one of the most special places to scuba dive in the world. The island's natural geography protects the coral reef from the open ocean. Same Day Taj Mahal Tour By Car

  4. Adventure. Exploration. Exercise. Balance. Escaping the digital world to enjoy your surroundings. Having fun. That's what stand up paddleboarding is all about. best inflatable stand up paddle board

  5. I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people. voyance audiotel

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.