My husband and I will be in Cozumel on 12/14/07 for the day and would really like to rent a vehicle to explore Cozumel...any suggestions on who to rent from, what sites to see/avoid....and any other tips you can all offer.
Have to disagree with Luanne. We rent a vehicle nearly every time we're in Cozumel. It's a small island, and there's only 1 main road around the island, so it's tough to get lost. And the driving there is certainly no worse than any major city, just have to be patient if you run into a bit of traffic.
It's an inexpensive way to see much of the island, and you have the ability and time to stop along for views, visit a number of beaches, and head into the town of San Miguel for some shopping or lunch etc.
Lots of rental outlets available right at the pier.
Cozumel is one of our favorite ports to rent a vehicle in. It is perhaps the easiest to drive around, no fear of getting lost for even the most directionally challenged. As mentioned it is very small but you can drive around the island road and stop everywhere you want to. There are lots of little beaches and bars and a few shopping stalls. You can also pick up the car right when you get off the ship and return in the same area. All this for only $41, the total cost of our last Jeep rental. We never find parking or traffic to be major problems either.
There are a couple of small Mayan sites as well and you can see them at your leisure in a car. No need to pay for a tour or taxi to take you. It is also extremely fun to be in a convertible in Cozumel (you have to rent a jeep or dune buggy!). Even when it rains you can leave the sides off the jeep and the top goes up and down in seconds for those quick tropical showers.
Its true that the tourist part of the town can easily be walked but we like to literally criss-cross every street from the waterfront back. We actually prefer the more local areas farther back from the waterfront. Things also get cheaper and the food better and more authentic towards the back of town. We bought a whole chicken from a guy who was roasting them at a roadside stall in the back of the town area. Then we stopped at a grocery store for some drinks and chips, and headed out to a deserted beach area for a picnic. The whole meal was $7 and very private and romantic and some of the best chicken I have ever had. This was a great experience, our best in Cozumel, and would have been harder to do in a taxi.
We've rented a car several times in Cozumel. We have driven all around the island. We like to go to the beaches on the other side of the island. It is true that the rip tides are stronger on that side, but we usually just wade and sit around at the restaurant/bar area and enjoy the beauty and atmosphere of the beach. The beaches on the eastern part of the island are much less crowded and, I think, prettier than the ones on the western side.
There is Executive car rental ( I think it's called that ) It's on the second floor of the port mall area. No one ever likes to pay more than they should, so what I did was take a computer print out for what it would cost to rent a car from Avis, which is a bit further away and the Executive guys were standing outside to try and drum up some business, so when they quoted me a price I showed them the quote from Avis and they matched the price so I didn't have to haggle or go further down the road to get a better deal. I liked this rental car company because the cars were newer, clean and looked to be in pretty good shape. This is also one place I would pay extra for the loss damage waiver (0$ deductible) for a host of reasons I would have to agree with Kuki. Driving in Cozumel is a piece of cake. There is so much to do and my personal favorite is Punta Sur Ecological Park there are small ruins, a beautiful beach where you can rent snorkel gear and lighthouse, an alligator sanctuary and very knowledgeable tour guides.
On their cruise, friends of ours rented a jeep in Cozumel a few weeks before we last sailed there, so we did the same and had a BLAST!!!!!!!!! You can't get lost, traffic wasn't bad except right in town, you can stop at your leisure and see whatever sights you want to see and we put about $5.00 in the tank to top it off and were done. More reasonable than the ship's excursions and had more fun. Why hire a taxi when you can do the driving yourself at your speed and you will have more fun.
Happy sailing to one and all!
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