Linda and I first visited Mexico over 15 years ago on a cruise ship that docked in Cozumel, a small Mexican island located in the Caribbean. Even though we were only on the island for about eight hours, we were already hooked on Mexico.
We returned to Mexico as often as we could over the following years and in 2015, we made it our permanent home. We now live in Akumal, approximately 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen.
Since those early days, Cozumel has grown to be one of the busiest cruise ship destinations in the world. In 2016 alone, the island was visited by 3.6 million cruise ship passengers.
For those readers unfamiliar with Cozumel, I’ve included a map:
A Steady Stream of Visitors
We never realized that so many of our friends took cruises until we moved to Mexico. We get one or two requests a month to meet in Cozumel.
We stay pretty busy for two retirees — this fact seems to surprise many people — so unfortunately, we just haven’t been able to see everyone. Nevertheless, when our schedule is free, we head north to Playa del Carmen and jump on the ferry to Cozumel.
The ferry ride from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel takes about 30 minutes and I usually spend the time napping in the air conditioned lower deck. I like to make sure that I arrive refreshed and ready to enjoy a few cold beverages under the hot sun. I believe in the importance of coming prepared, no matter the job.
Just in case you’re curious, two round-trip tickets on the ferry cost us $280 pesos ($14.90 USD) with the locals discount. The price would have been $600 pesos ($32.08 USD) without the discount.
We usually plan to spend the night on the island so we can enjoy it to the fullest — even after our friends have returned to the ship.
The location is perfect if you want to reduce the amount of money you spend on taxis.
Let’s Wrap This Up
One of the advantages of living in a popular tourist area like the Riviera Maya is that your friends and family members will want to come to you.
Apart from the friends we meet arriving on cruises, there are even more that fly in to stay with us at the condo. Since the flights from Orlando are less than two hours in duration, traveling here is a breeze. We have so many visitors each year that we have to maintain a schedule to make sure we don’t double-book.
The good news is that we get to share this paradise with the people who mean the most to us and it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) than flying back to Florida to see them.