A January 1999 trip
to Cozumel by lisamcgu
Quote: The Diving was great but there was other stuff to do as well.
We only rented a car for the day, a little jeep, still not too expensive, to go around the coast road that circles the island - you can't get lost!
Hotel | "Allegro Resort Cozumel - All Inclusive"
This place is great - it really didn't need a coupon. Its all-inclusive, the rooms are nicely spaced out in a thatched hut duplex kind of arrangement, all set around gorgeous swimming pools with the ocean out front. Inside the rooms, there was cable TV, a dressing area and a separate bathroom with a bathtub type shower.
(Admittedly, they were having a plumbing problem while we were there and had to shut off the water to the toilets. Hey, it’s Mexico. Anyway, unlike my boyfriend, I did not run down to the pool bathroom every time I had to go, but stopped and thought. I ended up filling the bathroom trashcan with water from the tub and pouring it into toilet's back tank and then was able to flush it like normal. So, if you want to know if there were problems with the hotel room, it would depend on whom you ask. I would say there were no problems, but ask someone else who isn't used to Mexico, and just dealing with it, and you may get a different answer.)
Of course, the food was wonderful. There is a romantic, served seating restaurant, which you can use, as usual at most inclusive resorts, only once or something. There is a huge bar and a main restaurant with buffet dining. And the buffet is like having Easter brunch at a hotel every day! It's huge. All these places are housed in a giant palapa, upstairs, enabling a view of the ocean past the resort complex.
All this isn't even the main draw of this hotel. The location of the hotel lends itself to diving since its right on the reef. When this resort was first built, when I was there the first time, it was the nicest and it was the farthest down the coast, away from downtown but closest to the reef. Now, of course, as building has continued, it is no longer considered either, but it still has that perfect location right on the reef (see my Allegro Resort Dive Center entry).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2001
Allegro Cozumel by Occidental All-Inclusive
KILOMETRO 16 5
52 987 8729770
Attraction | "Mayan Ruins"
It is inexpensive to view these types of ruins, just tossing the guy a few pesos on your way in, and then you're on your own. Sometimes there has been a little restoration of a temple or two, I guess so there is some kind of draw for the tourists, but you are free to explore and discover on your own, finding ancient wells, walls, etc. Its really fun for the do it yourself explorer types.
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
7 miles from Village of Chacchoben
Basically, in the morning, you sign up for your dives that day, you go back, have breakfast, enjoy your day, lay on the beach, whatever, and when it comes close to your dive time, you stroll a few steps, open your locker, pull on your wetsuit and go down the dock to your boat. Welcome to resort boat diving.
Being closest to the reef has kept this a popular dive resort even though its no longer the highest-end place around. While other dive boats will take forever to get to the best dive spots, let alone the reef, you are right there by going out of the Allegro Resort. The only problem is, you will be at the dive spot before you know it (like five minutes) and must scramble to get ready when they stop the boat!
The diving in Cozumel is a teeny tiny bit dived out. This resort only sends out about eight divers max per boat, but the whole island and all its resorts are diving these reefs. Thus, even though the reef is protected, its just a little bit more barren than it should be. I even noticed a difference when I came back a second time.
There are still schools of fish, and turtles and eels. They just aren't in such great quantities, even at night (although I was surprised by a reef shark at night, it swam right under me). And the usual reefs they take you to, themselves, are about medium good, but not great by any means.
Try to get in on a 120' dive, they are the best and done usually just once, at the end of the week, so the weekly tourist can get in at least one spectacular dive. They'll take you, the more experienced diver, to these, not only deeper, but better, less worn spots. You'll see dive-through caves, arches and bigger stuff.
Dive Center at Allegro Resort
Kilometro 16.5, Carretera Sur
Cozumel, Mexico 77666
011 52 (987) 2-3443
Along the little island coast road, we stopped at a jungle restaurant on a cliff, a couple of tourist palapa bars on the beach, for cervezas and nachos (the best!), and, every now and then, we stopped at some remote beach to shell shop.
It was great and I found one of those huge conch shells with spines, like 10 inches long. It was white on the outside and a beautiful, shiny pink on the inside. It made all my other finds, of which there were many, pale by comparison. It was just sitting there by the water's edge, like it had just been washed ashore. Lucky me, as I found I was competing with the island's locals who scan the beaches daily collecting shells to sell to, you guessed it, tourists! Why would anyone buy a shell in a store instead of enjoying such a fun day and being able to find the treasure themselves?
Maybe its because they think only divers can get these shells. Yes, we divers can get them, except they are such a pain when found underwater! They aren't rubbed clean and shiny by the surf, so that has to be done later, manually. And, there is usually some little guy living in it, leaving some remnants behind, even if you boil him and pull him out and (watch somebody else) eat him. I have shells I've found underwater that still stink, even with boiling them in vinegar and then setting them out in the sun for years!
Anyway, I love my giant shell which, to reiterate, I found myself, and would recommend shell shopping in Cozumel very much.
But, only if you specify where you want the guide to take you, like to the ruins or caves or whatever he's got, before you leave. If not, you'll get taken on a beautiful ride through the jungle, but you'll end up in a little village where your guide waits while you are expected to buy stuff, the reason you were brought there, while others, who were more specific, are passing you on their way back from an amazing waterfall or something, which you can't go to because your time is up.
However, this was a good place because the price was reasonable (you didn't have to go through a tour agent, we just walked up to the place) and you had a guide even if there were only two of you.
Also, when we were taken to the village to buy cerveza and shop (again, not our idea), they had a little Mayan ruin there and we paid a few pesos for a monkey to pose in a picture with us. Along with this, he tried to drink my cerveza and he crawled up and sat on my head. Too cute.
Across the road from the Allegro Resort
Cozumel, Mexico 77600
Orange County, California