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Opinion on time of year


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#1 toofunnie

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 11:56 AM

We are three couples looking to come to Cozumel this fall for a much needed vacation for a week. Due to the occupations of our husbands we are limited to only a certain time frame we would be able to come. I am needing advice on what everyone thinks. We are looking at mid September to mid November. Right now we are really leaning to the last week in October but need to know pros and cons from the experts ;) Also have been looking mainly at rentals in the San Francisco beach area because we have stayed in that area before, but would be willing to stay to the north if you think we would like that too. We are not divers, snorkel only and love the beach. Looking for a quiet area to just relax, snorkel, sightsee and enjoy the beautiful sunsets. Thanks in advance for your help!
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#2 Kandy

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 06:05 PM

You might want to check out El Cantil condos (www.elcantilcondos.com). When 3 couples are splitting the cost, a 3 or 4 bedroom unit is really affordable. It's centrally located and right on the water. Nice walk to town, with Chedraui across the street and Mega about a block away.

The only downside to your plans I can think of is that it's hurricane season. Unless one is coming, though, it's a nice time of year.


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#3 nauticab

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:49 PM

i have friends coming down to stay in villas mayaluum, located in front of palapita den medio. there are 3 or 4 places to eat, perfect unobstructed sunset view, snorkel and beach in front of you, about a 20 minute walk to town, etc. low season rates are $120 a night for 2br, but they also have 3br condos. pool and all furnished. i checked so many places and this seems like the best of all worlds. just look up mayaluum cozumel and you will find the website. cecilia has been great to work with for making the arrangements for my friends.

kandy is right. if there is a hurricane, well, it can suck. but if not, usually good weather and since it's low season, many places you will have to yourselves. it can be rainy in oct....keep that in mind.
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#4 Carey

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:54 AM

September and October are my least favorie months on the island. Tends to rain a lot. Hurricanes are always a threat. Mosquitos can be extremely bad if there's been a lot of rain. That's the down side.

Upside is no crowds, low season prices and lots of availability and service people are very glad to see you.
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#5 MusicMan

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 09:06 AM

My wife and I have been down to Coz in November for several years. We have thoroughly enjoyed it. (No hurricanes, of course). The weather is milder, the crowds smaller and merchants happy to see you.
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#6 mslf500

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 11:00 AM

I think I've been to Coz every month of the year now. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

In the winter there are Nortes and the ocean and pool waters are a lot cooler. The summer is hotter, but so is the ocean.

I've been many times September-November. I actually like it more. The water is toasty and the island is slow due to kids being back in school. You can spend hours in the water without getting chilled.

As far as rain, I can't say that I have ever had a vacation ruined because of rain. Rarely does it rain for more than an hour or two at a time anywhere on the island. Rarely does it rain over the entire island. From our balcony at Nah Ha, we can see all of downtown. We have toasted our good fortune when we were bathed in sunlight and we see it poring down rain in town (all of 1.5 miles). When we have gotten rain and downtown is bathed in sunlight, we have toasted our good fortune, poured ourselves another drink and sat on the balcony listening to the rain and some music in the background.

The snorkeling is better in the north end as sand beaches typically don't make for good snorkeling areas due to the lack of coral and sea life.
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#7 CZMDM

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 11:50 AM

September and October are my least favorie months on the island. Tends to rain a lot. Hurricanes are always a threat. Mosquitos can be extremely bad if there's been a lot of rain. That's the down side.

Upside is no crowds, low season prices and lots of availability and service people are very glad to see you.


I would concur with that completely. It is miserably humid, the highest probability of hurricane and the bugs are really bad. Most people that live here would love to leave for this time frame. It is nice that there are no crowds, but with the current economic conditions there have not been many people staying here for quite a while even during the peak season.

I have to disagree with Mark about the rain and it only being for brief periods. During both rainy seasons (early summer and Oct.-Dec.) it can rain for days on end. Although the fall rainy season is much longer and can have many more days of rain, June (statistically speaking) is the rainiest month of the year. I have to say that when I came on vacation, I must have came here 30-40 times, but never experienced Nortes nor extended periods of rain until I lived here full time.
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#8 Charles

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 07:42 PM

Given your time frame, the last week of October could be a good choice. You're mostly past the hurricane period, the seasons are close to changing, not quite the brutality of heat and usually before the nortes put a close to summer.

This past October was fairly dry, little rain. The year before it rained almost everyday all day. I think we arrived on October 2nd and you could count on one hand the number of days it didn't rain all day. June might tend to have short heavier cloudbursts that add up the monthly totals, but too can get hit with a stationary tropical depression. I feel for people that go on vacations that can be weather affected. Back when I had a life and traveled, most of my destinations had consistent weather and any change from the normal average was cause for celebration. The worst I have seen in back to back nortes was a string that kept the port closed or too rough to be fun, for 15 days straight. A group from Canada had come down for diving for 30 days and they went to Merida for something different to do as in half their planned vacation, they hadn't been in the water.

About the only constant is brutal heat coupled with high humidity the months from May through September. A daily forecast of a chance of showers can almost be year round. Most of the rain will be short and isolated showers. You can get hit with extended rainfalls almost anytime. I think I have seen good years and bad years for every month of the year. The heat is my issue, after ten summers in a row, I said never again and I haven't.
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#9 toofunnie

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:49 PM

Thanks everone for all your help! I guess just need to start making decisions now. Another question for you experts is with regard to snorkeling. When we stayed at the Wyndham we snorkeled in front of the hotel and then took a tour to the south of there. I thought it was great, but in some of my reading it says that the northern part of the island has better snorkeling. Am I understanding that right? Would love to know your opinions as this may change the location of where we want to stay. Thanks again!
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#10 Carey

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 05:07 PM

There is a wall next to the Coral Princess that some people find to be pretty good snorkeling. I expect they feed the fish. Pretty strong currents up there can make getting back to where you started difficult if you're not a fairly strong swimmer. Although that can sometimes be the case in the south as well.

The mid south beaches from around Fiesta Americana down to Playa Corona are considered the best for shore snorkeling although they are shadows of their former selves as a result of Wilma. The coral is growing back but it's not as spectacular as it once was and won't be again for quite awhile.

To get the thrilling snorkeling you've got to do a boat trip to one of the shallow southern reefs with Columbia Shallows being at the top of the list.

I've read that there is a good snorkeling reef about 100 yards out from Punta Sur and that there are rangers there that will take you out and keep an eye on you but I cannot personally confirm this. Anyone?
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#11 dawnb

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 12:07 PM

Punta Sur goes from nothing but sand and an occasional starfish to OH MY GAWD huge sea fan gardens, massive schools of ocean sunfish and many of the other usual suspects. A very pretty snorkel if you are willing to work for it. As my husband and I are good swimmers, we didn't need them, but there are several big resting rafts, and staff will take you out in a kayak if you are not a strong swimmer. It's also pretty shallow. They tell you to stand up and wave your arms if you get into trouble and someone will come and get you. It is a long swim, once you get to the end of the reef close to shore you can get out and walk back on a beautiful soft sandy beach.

Not an "every time" must snorkel, but a good occasional one.

We recently added Coral Princess to our repertoire. There are ladders along the wall in front of each property if you have problems. We actually found the current stronger at Money Bar on several trips, but may have been lucky. The staff at CP joke that you will end up in Cuba if you keep going. We did not have a problem swimming back against the current, but you can get out at any time and walk back to where you started. Please do not feed the fish!
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#12 cozdude

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 07:36 AM

Have also done Punta Sur and enjoyed it very much (plus El Caracol and seeing the saltwater crocodiles is an added bonus). Save your energy for drinking beer, have one of the beach guys paddle you out - they will also know where the good stuff is (e.g., our guy pointed out a nice moray eel hiding spot). Just be sure to float them a nice tip.

Your best bet, as mentioned before, is a boat tour of Columbia/Palancar Gardens. You are snorkeling above the big daddy reefs where the divers dwell. If you can free-dive down to 25-30 feet, you will enjoy the experience even moreso, as you can get up close and personal with the coral and its inhabitants. Then again, why not take a resort scuba course and really get down there to see the underwater world?!

November is a fantastic time to go (we've done Thanksgiving week a couple times); still outside the high season, but at the very tail end of hurricane season.
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#13 Carey

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 07:47 AM

I agree that November is a good time to come. Actually the second week in November through around 15 December when the fares start sky rocketing is a good time to get cheaper rates and deals from everyone including the airlines. The weather is generally very very pleasant, hurricane season is over for the year and there are no crowds as most people are locked down with family plans during the Thanksgiving/Christmas period.

The one thing you may well run into during this period, however, is a string of nortes. High winds and rain can close the ports to small craft and take away the sun. We are getting record numbers of these for the past couple of years. I stopped counting at 29.

However, when the first real norte arrives, almost always sometime in November, that says adios for sure to the tormentos, the hurricanes. (I think I like the spanish word for storms, tormentos, better than the English.)
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#14 DaveSI

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 10:06 AM

I agree that November is a good time to come. Actually the second week in November through around 15 December when the fares start sky rocketing is a good time to get cheaper rates and deals from everyone including the airlines. The weather is generally very very pleasant, hurricane season is over for the year and there are no crowds as most people are locked down with family plans during the Thanksgiving/Christmas period.


This makes me feel vastly better. We've been to la isla 5 or 6 times now and indeed we have a close emotional attachment to it (thank you Ixchel!), but never in November. We see you all again in 14,495,000 seconds, give or take.

Dave
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