Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Recommended Posts

DH and I are going on the Holiday to Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen. We are not really into laying on the beach or snorkeling though and would like to get a feel of the "real Mexico." Any suggestions as to what to see or do would be greatly appreciated. Also trying to decide if renting a car or getting a taxi would be best. Not sure if we would be comfortable driving. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

Wannacrewz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Visit the Mayan ruins! Can't get any more authentic!

 

I second that, It was abit pricey per person when I did go many years ago, but if you want to see the REAL MEXICO check out the Ruins.

 

My comment when I went " Man I could of saved money by just going to Brooklyn as everything is Ruin there LOL :) "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been to both and IMHO Play del Carmen was way better than Cozumel. Cozumel can have such a touristy feel to it. There are so many jewlery places along the strip along the ocean that they become annoying.

Not sure what times you are at either place but Playa in the evening was just great. You can walk through the streets and watch the hotel couriers carry luggage on carts instead of dropping them off in a cab. Meet and mingle with the locals and not feel threatened at all. We were going from "store" to "store" looking for a thimble for DW and trying to ask for something that we could not translate was such a hoot. It was just such a neat little town. If we had a choice between either it would be Playa.

At either port you Must go to Senor Frogs. The Senor Frogs in Playa had such a party atmosphere. A trip to Mexico without it is just wrong.

As far as Ruins Playa is also your best bet. Cozumel is just an islnad and they really do not have any to speak of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cozumel Island has a very nice State/Federal Park called San Gervasio. It's in the center of the island and contains quite a few ruins. They aren't the huge pyramids you'll find at Tulum or Chichen Itza, but we really enjoyed our visit there. The site was a religious site for the Mayans and there are placards (in both English and Spanish) at each building explaining what it was used for. The park is also beautiful in and of itself. We spent as much time looking at the flora and fauna as at the ruins.

 

You can hire a taxi out there and back. If you can find a driver who speaks English well enough, he can be a wonderful source of information and a good way to get to know the locals.

 

If you just want to go downtown, but want to see more than the tourist area, just turn up a side street and walk back away from the ocean. The further back you go, the further away from the tourist shops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be very wary about renting a car in Mexico. You would need Mexican auto insurance because they don't recognize American insurance.

 

I have read some real scary stories about driving in Mexico on these boards. Seems there can be some big time corruption thereabouts.

 

So maybe you don't want to see the "real" Mexico as much as you think.

 

celtic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Be very wary about renting a car in Mexico. You would need Mexican auto insurance because they don't recognize American insurance.

 

I have read some real scary stories about driving in Mexico on these boards. Seems there can be some big time corruption thereabouts.

 

So maybe you don't want to see the "real" Mexico as much as you think.

 

celtic

Ah yes the real Mexico... rent a car have it broken into and try to get back to your ship in time.. Yes this is the real mexico.. I lived in San Diego and TJ was the same..lol..

We had a group of folks on our last cruise there to take a plane to the ruins!!! Great excursion they said!!!! Alot less time too than riding the bus.. They got there before it got to hot and all the people show up!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, just remember how bad a time Humphrey Bogart in "Treasure of the Sierra Madres" had in real Mexico.

 

You don't want to run into those "We don't need no stinkin badges people".:D

 

celtic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, just remember how bad a time Humphrey Bogart in "Treasure of the Sierra Madres" had in real Mexico.

 

You don't want to run into those "We don't need no stinkin badges!" people.:D

 

celtic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DH and I are going on the Holiday to Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen. We are not really into laying on the beach or snorkeling though and would like to get a feel of the "real Mexico." Any suggestions as to what to see or do would be greatly appreciated. Also trying to decide if renting a car or getting a taxi would be best. Not sure if we would be comfortable driving. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

Wannacrewz

 

GO TO CANCUN........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too sure how much of the "Real Mexico" you can or should try to see in the few hours you'll have. Unless you speak good spanish and have some experience down there I'd be real careful going off on your own. You could quickly find yourself in a bad situation. I'm pretty sure our State Dept has issued warnings for US tourists.

I understand the desire to get a feel for something other than the tourist experience. Just keep in mind that beyond the tourist areas you are in a 3rd world country with a different set of rules.

A Carnival sponsored tour to the ruins or something might give you more than "tequila shots and shopping" but still provide safety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grab a cab at the pier and tell him to take you to San Miguel (the town on Cozumel), and to drop you off by the huge MX flag. Otherwise, he'll drop you off smack in the middle of the jewelry and junk stores.

 

At the flag, go back a block or two, and there's the Plaza del Sol - the 'town square'. All during the day at various times, they have locals singing and dancing. You can get a margarita or whatever from one of the 2-3 little al fresco cafes and sit there and watch the performances. I don't think a lot of people know about that area, as I've not seen large crowds. Theres's also a stone wall you can sit on if you don't want to sit at one of the cafes.

 

From the same area at water front near the flag, there are carriage rides available. I plan on doing that on my next trip to Coz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been to Mexico alot, lived near Mexico in San Diego and El Paso. So been to different parts of Mexico. We rent cars all the time in Mexico. Playa Del Carmen, right their off the dock. Go to the ruins yourself. It cost 3.00 american dollars to view the ruins as long as you want. we also went shopping all up and down the highway. Oh yes they and jip you just like your next door neighbor can. Even in the U.S. be cautious even if you cross the street.

 

Cozumel--we always go scubadiving and shop right off the pier.

 

I took the same cruise you are going on in April. Had a blast. You will love the old girl.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Been to Mexico alot, lived near Mexico in San Diego and El Paso. So been to different parts of Mexico. We rent cars all the time in Mexico.

 

To whomever asked about car insurance (and a note to Diva), I went to Rosarito Beach, MX, got back last Thurs. .DD lives in L.A., and we've been there a few times; I'm sure you know the area since you lived in S.D. We always have to buy MX insurance.

 

If we had been in MY car, my insurance (State Farm) would cover. However, she doesn't have a 'major' insurance carrier, so had to pay the $32 for MX insurance for 3 days. You HAVE to buy insurance, or suffer whatever consequences may occur.:eek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My State Farm agent told me that State Farm, like most US companys only cover in the US and Canada. Not Mexico. I think he did tell me Amx provides coverage.

 

I've been to Mexico many times and never had any problems whatsoever. Will be going back to Merida, State of Yucatan, in Oct for two full weeks.

Now that is true Mexico. Not at all like the Americanized Cancun and Cozumel. Beautifu and very safe city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's strange. My BIL has been a State Farm Agency-owner for 26 years. When DD had insurance through him, it covered her while in MX. Odd, huh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you gone to the Cozumel board? Sally who watches that board and lives in Cozumel is always giving great recommendations. I've been to Cozumel many times and while it is loaded down with a lot of shops it still is "real" Mexico to me. You're going to see shops wherever you go when tourism is a major industry. But you don't see too many fast food joints and chain stores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't think I could drive in Mexico, at least in the port towns. There is so much to try and look at and alot of of the people ride bikes and I can just see myself looking at something really neat and then hitting something. If you kind of know where you want to go, rent a taxi, they will get you there very fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Driving in Mexico is not as bad as driving in any major US city during rush hour. We rented a compact air conditioned car at the dock in Calica with insurance for $50. The town of Playa is wonderful at night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I first moved to Mexico in 1952. Haved either lived or travelled there since then.

 

If you are only a tourist and not familiar with Mexican traffic laws DO NOT RENT A CAR............EVER. You can not imagine the nightmare you will be in if something goes wrong. Traffic laws are different. For example; on some streets there will not be a stop sign but you are suppossed to know that you should stop.

It is against Mexican law to have a wreck, even if it is not your fault. If someone is hurt or killed in an accident you will be put in jail no matter what. In that case MEXICAN CAR INSURANCE IS CRITICAL. I do not care if your American insurance is valid or not. As someone who has seen the inside of a Mexican jail I assure you a local agent is essential. You do not want to rot in a Mexican jail while waiting on your State Farm agent to figure out that this is not Kansas.

 

I doubt if you want to see the "real" Mexico. The poverty is beyond the comprehension of most Americans. On a land visit it is something you have to accept. On a cruise visit you are only there for a very short time so go for the ruins and other "tourist" spots.

 

The "Tulum" ruins tour out of Playa will give you a little taste of everything. The bus will take you through town, and then a ride in the country and finally the ruins.

 

Have a good time.

 

MexicoBob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mexicobob. Of course there's poverty and some pretty extreme. Like any country. Been to the hills of Appalachia? Haven't you also posted on Merida Insider? I'll be returning to Merida in Oct for two weeks. You fail to mention the "real Mexico" of such cities as Merida. A sophisiticated, clean, beautiful and safe "real Mexican city".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do recommend the countrys insurance if you rent a car. We also go to the Caymans alot and we always get their insurance and drivers license. Be legal and safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dh is from Beckley WVA he knows poverty. Born in Beckley raised in Arrnett.

 

Also, have anyone of you been to Caracus Venzesula and seen the slums one on top of each other.

Mexicobob. Of course there's poverty and some pretty extreme. Like any country. Been to the hills of Appalachia? Haven't you also posted on Merida Insider? I'll be returning to Merida in Oct for two weeks. You fail to mention the "real Mexico" of such cities as Merida. A sophisiticated, clean, beautiful and safe "real Mexican city".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diva. I haven't been to Caracus but was recently in Colon, Panama. Not a pretty sight. My family home is about 50 miles from Beckley outside of Charleston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...