Cozumel 2012 Recap

My recent trip to Cozumel was a huge success! Sarah and I spent a total of 10 days in Mexico in February: 3 in Playa del Carmen and 7 in Cozumel, and we had a blast.

U of A Scuba Club in Cozumel (photo by Tony Vilet)

Click the ‘continue reading’ link if you’d like to hear more about the trip:

Playa del Carmen

Cobà and Cenotes

We spent the first three days in Playa del Carmen, and luckily we had our friends waiting for us at the Cancun airport to carry us down to our hotel. We stayed at Quinto Sol, which was a very cool, open-air hotel with a tree growing in the middle of it. Sarah and I lucked out and stayed in a nice room on the top floor, well away from the din of Playa’s 5th Ave.

Tree in the middle of Quinto Sol (photo by Sarah M.)

On day two, we headed out with Nolan in tow, to the ruins of Cobá. Our little rental car was well-equipped with air conditioning, making the drive into and out of the jungle quite pleasant. When we arrived at the ruins in Cobá, we hired a tour guide to give us a one-hour orientation of the site, and then we headed off on our own. There were temples and ball courts in various states of reconstruction, and hundreds more ruins covered in dense jungle due to neglect over the ages.

Sarah, Ross and Nolan at the base of Nohoch Mul

The Nohoch Mul, the Yucatán’s tallest temple, rising to 42 meters, was Cobá’s showpiece. It’s also one of the few remaining Mayan buildings that you can climb, and climb we did. These pictures don’t do justice to the steepness of the stairs, but I estimate the angle the stairs form with the ground to be around 50 degrees. The climb up was exhausting, but the climb down was harrowing: nothing but a loose rope and jagged steps polished by the butts of a thousands visitors stops you from careening to your death. A fall from any higher than the first few steps would certainly end in broken bones!

After Cobá, we headed further into the jungle to examine three very famous cenotes nearby: Choo-ha, Tancach-ha and Multun-ha. Each cenote had its own character, but we had the most fun jumping from the 5 and 10 meter platforms that were built into the staircase in Tamcach-ha.

Getting ready to jump into the cool pool of Tamcach-ha.


Day three brought us to an adventure of a different type: a day at the adventure park Xplor. This was mainly a fun way to overcome fear of heights and darkness. The whole park is based on zip lines and underground rivers that you go through in massive courses, there was even a buggy course! The pictures here speak for themselves, so I’ll let them do just that:

We had a brief siesta before heading off the see the night show at XCaret later that evening, but I’ve already talked about that before.


We met up at Blue Angel Dive Resort on Cozumel island just as the participants from the University of Alberta Scuba Appreciation Club were showing up, and right away we got to work with diving! There were seven Open Water Referral divers that needed to complete their four required dives before they were fully certified, so Kari and I jumped right in and got to it! This time around the training that we did amounted to seven Open Water, two Peak Performance Buoyancy, three Deep Diver, three Night Diver, one Rescue Diver and one Emergency First Response Instructor courses!

Here are some of the great photos that we took while we were underwater this year:

Thomas leads the ground down to the reef below!
As a proud and newly certified Open Water diver, Sarah waves hello!
We named the dog Indiana, but we call this one Nolan.
Kari and her Deep Divers celebrate their emergence from the abyss... alive!
A splendid toadfish shows off his pecks - a rare sight indeed!
Cozumel's invasive lionfish shows off his spines!
A caribbean reef octopus on the hunt after darkness falls.
A group shot showing all the different level divers on the trip.

Beach Clean-up

But it wasn’t all fun and games while we were on Cozumel island. To give back to the community for their beautiful national parks, we all went out for an afternoon on the eastern side of the island to lend some elbow grease cleaning up the garbage that accumulates on the beaches there.

Matthew hauls one of the 34 bags of garbage back to the truck.
Juan from Chac-Choc tours helps bundle up some rope!
Nolan is ready for his Corona!
Fred loads the last bag into the back of the truck.

So with that being said, I’ll leave you with this beautiful sunset from our balcony. I miss you, Mexico…

A view from our balcony at sunset. (Photo by Sarah M.)