Cozumel, Mexico. How to begin? Paradise. Nirvana. Heaven on earth. “Cozumel” comes from the Mayan name for it: Cuzamil, meaning “island of the swallows,” and that only hints at the beauty of the wildlife the island is a sanctuary for, both above and below land. I’m not quite sure how to describe the place that I’ve been visiting ever since I can remember, and that has become a 2nd home to me, one that’s actually about a million times more comfortable than my own. Really, even the softest, most exquisite bed in the world couldn’t come close to the soothing sensation of the Caribbean sun caressing your skin as you drift off to sleep, listening to those pristine turquoise waves crashing onto the shore, and to the sound of that delicious salty summer air rustling the leaves of a palm tree.
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It’s hard to explain, but when I’m there, all of my senses go into overdrive, simply because every sensation is stronger, the colors are more vibrant, each smell and flavor more pungent. Maybe it’s because of the closer proximity to the equator (and therefore to the sun itself), maybe it’s the ocean breeze that tastes like life and in turn makes all the food taste better, or maybe it’s the sheer magnificence of the water, ranging in shades of sea-foam green to dark midnight blue, with its glorious colors sparkling in such a way that the Emerald City would be put to shame. Underneath all this beauty is a thriving world of even more swirling colors, an underwater metropolis of coral reefs and fantastic creatures, a busy world of life that we’re occasionally blessed with the chance to witness… Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself; I should lay down some of the trip’s logistics before getting distracted by the place’s beauty.
I’ve been vacationing with my family in Cozumel since I was a little kid. This summer, we rented a car from [url=http://www.thrifty.com/?&s_kwcid=TC-13734-4040439799-bb-1106992366]Thrifty[/url] and stayed in the [url=http://www.peninsulagrandcondos.com/index.html]Peninsula Grand Condominiums[/url], a set of gorgeous condos located a bit north of the central square, that offer a pool, ocean access, and an incredible view. Speaking of ocean views, as most of the island activity is on the west side of the island, there will always be an incredible sunset, because there’s just about nothing as gorgeous as watching the blood-red sun slowly sink into the sea while the sky turns a million shades of pinks, purples and blues.
Okay, distracted again, sorry about that. Besides the awe-inspiring ocean views and the fascinating treasures within the ocean itself, on land there are many essential places to visit. One of these are the [url=http://www.mayasites.com/gervasio.html]San Gervasio Ruins[/url], a set of remarkably preserved Mayan ruins that give an incredible glimpse of the island’s ancient history, and of the island’s jungle landscape itself (however, it is extremely important to go very early in the morning and to pay the extra $1 to get sprayed with bug-spray, otherwise the heat and mosquitoes make it an unpleasant trip). Additionally, in order to get a taste of the local culture, we visit the main square on Sunday evenings, where there is a fabulous live band and dancing for hours, and even after the music there are normally fire-dancers that perform as well. Last but not least, my favorite place to grab food is The Coffee Cozumel, a small café on Calle Tres (3rd street). They have it all: delicious meals (their salsa verde is otherworldly), yummy (and giant) desserts, and the best chai latte in the whole world! It’s essentially a metaphor for the island itself.
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