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Cancun or Cozumel | Best of the Yucatan

Cancun or Cozumel | Best of the Yucatan Photo

Photo by pingvinica

Posted on May 7, 2012 in Trip Ideas

The Pacific Coast of Mexico, and more specifically the Yucatan Peninsula provides a wide variety of vacation ideas for travelers. Deciding where to go can be a big challenge; each locale offers dozens of reasons why they are the best. Two of the most popular destinations- Cancun and Cozumel- are often pitted out against each other when deciding what Mexican resort city you want to tour. Both are excellent choices in our opinion, and each comes with its own distinct flavor. We let them duke it out when it comes to five popular criteria in travelers' itineraries.


Food: Cozumel

Although Cancun has the draw of popular chefs and an abundance of any cuisine you want, Cozumel offers a quieter, more authentic Mexican setting. Check out Albinos for a quiet and inexpensive meal. The cruise-ship tourists will likely not be at this dining spot, and it isn’t heavily promoted by travel agencies, so it is the perfect place to eat like a local. The seafood is top-notch, but check ahead to see if it is open; Albino’s is usually available in the peak-season, but may be closed during the off-season.

Coco Bongo by Ken McKenzie

Nightlife: Cancun
A no-brainer. Unless you like nights alone in your hotel room or watching the sunset (both viable options) Cancun is the place for you. The two are practically synonymous and while there we recommend Coco Bongo Cancun. As djlinmypalmyfriend puts it, “This is a nonstop incredible display of how a club should be. This first night we were in shock with what all is going on around you with music, shows, skits, etc. I hope they recycle the confetti because about the equivalent of three huge oak trees fell on me throughout the night.” We’ll drink to that.

Lodging: Cancun
In Cancun you can have the vacation without even leaving your hotel. Pools, swim up bars, restaurants, spas, it is all here. Luxury is Cancun’s middle name and many of the hotels go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need at your fingertips. Our members recommend the Marriott Casamagna; an all-inclusive resort. Beach-lvr says, “There is a lovely beachside pool with a swim-up bar; many pool activities; a hot tub/Jacuzzi; an accomodating staff (hard to find in Cancun); a hotel spa for facials, massages, and more; a quaint jewelry shop full of interesting Mexican sterling silver; currency exchange at the front desk area; upscale comfortable lounge areas on the lobby level; five restaurants within the hotel; a cold air conditioning; bathrobes; an in-room safe; a hairdryer; a mini-bar; cable TV; voicemail; a dataport; an iron and ironing board; room service (with an incredible tropical-special cheesecake); and all the amenities you'd expect within a five-star resort.”

San Gervasio by Pirate43 Guide

Outdoors: Cozumel
While they both have beaches aplenty, Cozumel again is going to win for the serenity it provides. You can easily avoid the cruise ship ports and find some tranquility on any of the beaches that dot the entire coastline of the island. Diving in the main draw of Cozumel, which just adds to the grandiose of the great outdoors. Throw in a National Park with nearly a dozen endemic species and you’ll never want to go back to your hotel. Check out playa uvas for a beach, diving reef, and close proximity to Chankanaab National Park. You can easily spend the entire day “…wandering around the grounds, enjoyed relaxing in the hammocks by the beach, tanning by the pool (really a saltwater lagoon) and looking at the ruins scattered throughout the property,” says Stasi.

History: Cozumel
Although both vacation spots are near to a plethora of archeological sites such as Chichen Itza, Cozumel hosts a number of them on the island itself. The Mayan ruins of San Gervasio are near the center of the island and should not be missed. The Festival of El Cedral also adds to the history of the island; the celebration is said to be over 150 years old.


Posted by jhartmann13 (JJ Hartmann)

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