Cozumel – is it the place for us?
We had an amazing week in Cozumel! We learned everything we needed to while fitting in plenty of diving and relaxation. The diving was tremendous! We just don’t have diving like that in the keys. I loved the topography, depths (the keys are very shallow) and the option for a fast drift.
We left for Cozumel with some pretty big questions to answer. So how did Cozumel measure up?
Let’s revisit our hit list:
- Grocery stores –Cozumel has 3 huge stores with everything you need. We could walk to Mega and Chedraui from our condo and there’s also a Sam’s Club on the island so groceries are no issue here. Both stores we visited were very well stocked.
- Prescriptions – I need one very common maintenance drug which I was easily able to find at even the smallest pharmacy. For the year it’ll cost me $19 at today’s exchange rate vs. around $600 here in the states which I’m currently paying for out of pocket since my insurance dropped coverage of it while simultaneously upping my premium.
- Veterinary Care – no problem here. Tons of people have dogs and there are at least 2 vets on the island.
- Cost of Housing – around $500/month + utilities will get you a decent place and that’s within our budget. It will be harder to rent with dogs (it always is) but possible. We’ll plan to go for a month to secure a place before bringing the dogs over.
- Cost of Living – not on my original list but what great info to get ahold of from a local! Someone who’s lived there for 18 years originally from the US told us that $1500 a month is enough to live well on. I’m planning to work up our post corporate life budget soon so I’ll share it with you when I have a solid draft. It will evolve over time especially after we leave but you have to start somewhere and we’ll optimize it from there. To give you an idea of the cost of things, we bought 3 beers for $45 pesos near our condo one night which is barely over $2.
- Potential to work there – exists with persistence! Lots of hotels need English speaking employees to help with their dive operation and will help with the necessary paperwork. Good news for sure. Since we’ll be living there dropping by every now and then is no problem.
- Evaluate Safety – we walked all over all the time and never felt unsafe. Our only time in a car was to and from the airport. I love car free living! Everyone was friendly. Does that mean that bad things don’t happen there? Absolutely not, but it does mean that I feel like I can live there without constantly worrying about it.
- Car free living – easy! If you live near town there’s no need to have a car which we’d plan to do. I’d be more than happy with only a bike. If you ever need to buy a lot of groceries or something large there are a million taxis outside waiting to give you a ride. Cost vs. benefit of having a car just isn’t there. Parking in town also seemed tight.
- Beach access – we didn’t get out of town the whole time we were there. We did four years ago but this trip we focused on places we could walk to. In town, there are a few empty waterfront lots where people were hanging out and swimming. Beyond that, there are restaurants with little beach areas you can use if you buy food/drinks from them (Jeanie’s had a nice one). Just north of town there’s a little strip of beach too with stairs to access it (free) or check out Cafe Del Mare for chairs right on the sand for their customers. My concern was that I wouldn’t be able to access the water without driving out of town – not so!
So is Cozumel for us? I definitely think we could be happy there. I miss having trails nearby here and it would be the same there. I’d have to figure out a way to paddle regularly too. Staying in the keys another year gives us the chance to take two more exploratory trips so I’m not ready to make a final decision yet!
Do you live in Cozumel? I’d love to hear about anything you want to share about island life!
Until next time…
Stay Warm Friends!