Living Near Cozumel Allows Us to See Old Friends

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.

Our favorite place to stay is Casa Mexicana, which is located only a short walk from the ferry, restaurants and our favorite bar, Dick’s Dive.

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.

Some Pics

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

31 Comments on "Living Near Cozumel Allows Us to See Old Friends"

  1. Roberta Strand | October 19, 2017 at 9:12 am |

    After just returning from the US, my friends best come to me because I am not going up there to see them. Wow. That was hard.

  2. I teally enjoy reading your posts, is there any chance to post more photos? Have a gr8 day

  3. Stuart D. Phillips, CPA | October 19, 2017 at 10:07 am |

    We moved my wife to Cozumel May of this year. I have a business in Texas so I get to Cozumel as often as I can and plan on semi-retiring next June when I can make my stays longer. I’m a Scuba instructor and love diving in Cozumel. You have been a great resource of information. The next time you plan on going to Cozumel, please let me know and I will see if I can be there. We would love to meet you and take you guys to dinner (your choice of restaurant).

    Stuart D. Phillips, CPA

  4. Hi I emailed you 2 weeks ago about dentists in Playa Del Carmen or areas around and have not received an answer. Any info?

  5. Peter Parkinson | October 19, 2017 at 11:49 am |

    Great humor Paul.
    “I believe in the importance of coming prepared, no matter the job.”

  6. I have seen about 20 children already and dealt with countless parents. I am drained, exhausted and have a paper due by Friday so can keep my job as a certified School Nurse. I am really beginning to question being here when I know my snow shovel is on the horizon. ugh!!

  7. I’ve been going to Coz at least once a year for about 10 years. Magnificent diving!

    And if you have an INAPAM card it drops to $100 pesos each ($556 USD) each! I’ll be making that trip regularly in the future.

  8. Let me know if I am right…the pic with the people swimming looks a lot like the lagoon at the Barracuda. ? I’ve been going to Coz since the late 80’s. I really miss the days past when there weren’t as many cruise ships and it was a more rustic, laid back island.

  9. So beautiful! Can’t wait to take the trip to Cozumel myself! Thanks for all the info! See you guys in two weeks!

  10. love it you both are always awesome

  11. Lynnmarie Clark | October 19, 2017 at 6:24 pm |

    One of my favorite posts. I never connected the cruise ship with having visitors from home. That’s a great way to make a connection and great fun!

  12. Michelle Bennett | October 19, 2017 at 11:16 pm |

    Rented a condo on the beach by Akumal. Arriving Oct. 21. Am searching for a place to retire. Am a single lady and am wondering how much a small house (doesn’t need to be fancy) rents for in the area.

    • There are not many options for houses around Akumal, mostly condos. Long term rentals will vary depending on size of the condo and whether it is already furnished. You would have more options if you expanded the area to include Tulum.

  13. Look forward to your posts….only been following for last couple of months and have gleaned so much information. Love the photos too! Thank you.

  14. Carnival cruise lines is how I would up living in Cozumel. Fell in love with it 12 years ago on my first cruise. I love your blog. It has been most helpful for us. My 9 year old grandson is on lesson 10 of your Spanish. He loves it as well. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. You are appreciated.

    • Thanks for following the blog!

      It’s great to hear that your grandson enjoys learning Spanish. It’s much easier for children to learn a second language than adults, so it’s great that he is already interested in it.

  15. Paul it was really cool getting to meet you guys and talk about your life in Mexico. I will check out your blog from time to time to see what fun you guys are getting into, Take care.

  16. Since living on Cozumel since May, I can relate to a lot that you write about. Dick’s Dive is one of my favorite places. The kids (waiters/bartender) know me by sight and name and am always getting a hug or kiss from them when I arrive or just passing by. Erick, one of the owners, is a sweetheart. Their food is delicious and again a favorite place to order, especially the Fish, Shrimp or Chicken and Chips baskets.

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