Jump to content


Photo

Things I learned about Cozumel


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Shrout1

Shrout1

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:29 PM

Things I learned about Cozumel:

1) Most of the restaurants are OK. Stick to online reviews to be safe. Using reviews we never once had to ask if the water was purified etc. We didn't eat from street vendors. Asking for bottled water is also a good way to go.

2) Bring lots and lots and lots of $1 bills! I didn't. I thought a wad of bills like that would be annoying; I should have stashed it in my carry on. At least 100 one dollar bills is only $100. Not like you're busting the entire bank if it gets lost or stolen - still wouldn't be cool.

3) Be careful when buying jewelry! We bought a Mexican fire opal ring for $185 and we still aren't 100% certain that it's real. We had a jeweler in the forum shops look at it and he said it was, but we'll see. Moral here: Don't come to Cozumel looking for a $2,000 tanzanite ring. Chances are you'll get a $300 tanzanite ring but pay $2,000 for it.

4) Check for the 0 on that gas pump! Those gas attendants had to be told about 6 times before they hit the clear button on the pump. I'm glad my rental car had a fuel door with a release inside the vehicle.

5) The ONLY place to get genuine Cuban cigars is La Casa Del Habanos. 99% of the "cubans" on the island are not real but the shop owners are dying to sell them to you. You can't get 5 Cuban cigars for $10. Sorry. This is what I hear anyway... ;)

6) Driving was not as scary as I thought it would be. Be defensive and take it slow; this is not the place for road rage. So long as staying out of an accident is your number 1 priority, driving will be fine. Don't get agressive or you'll end up in a bad place.

7) Washing dishes with the local water is OK! Be sure the dishes are dry before you use them. The Montezuma bugs don't do well out of water. Keep the temp hot, use soap and give them time to dry off.

8) Wash your hands all the time! The local water won't make you sick so long as you don't drink it. Washing hands is OK.

9) Buying things in Pesos is always cheaper. You will save $5 on a $50 meal just by paying in pesos.

10) Be ready for solicitations! Walking along the waterfront stores, or anywhere in town you will be bombarded with invitations to come into their store. Cheapest silver! Beautiful things! Just come see it quick!

11) The ADO bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen (In front of terminal 1 - 110 pesos a piece - $8ish) gets off 2 blocks away from the ferry pier for the boat to Cozumel in Playa. There are maps in Playa that help you find the ferry - vastly easier than I thought. Senor Frog's is a great place to wait for the ferry as you can see it approaching. There are a million taxis at the ferry pier in Cozumel.
  • 0

#2 nauticab

nauticab

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,940 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel

Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:57 PM

a few comments:
some food street vendors are downright delish. if you see a long line for hotdogs, they are good. small off the wall hamburger and taco stands that have a line are good bets for incredible food. locals line up for a reason.
ALL restaurants use purified water when they serve water. ALL OF THEM. if you ask for a GLASS of water, you will pay nothing. if you ask for a bottle of water, you will get the same thing and pay $1-$3usd.
the local water is treated and is drinkable. there is enough chlorine to kill the bad stuff. the tap water in the states is NO BETTER. and don't let anyone fool you to think differently. the tap water here just doesn't taste very good. most USA water doesn't either. :)
the gas thing... i have never had an issue. maybe they know my car?

everything else i read was about right!
  • 0
Cabrilla's Sport Center
Calle 11 % Melgar y 10av
Edificio Portales, Local 1
Dressing Fishermen and Triathletes from Head to Toe

#3 Shrout1

Shrout1

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:43 PM

a few comments:
some food street vendors are downright delish. if you see a long line for hotdogs, they are good. small off the wall hamburger and taco stands that have a line are good bets for incredible food. locals line up for a reason.
ALL restaurants use purified water when they serve water. ALL OF THEM. if you ask for a GLASS of water, you will pay nothing. if you ask for a bottle of water, you will get the same thing and pay $1-$3usd.
the local water is treated and is drinkable. there is enough chlorine to kill the bad stuff. the tap water in the states is NO BETTER. and don't let anyone fool you to think differently. the tap water here just doesn't taste very good. most USA water doesn't either. :)
the gas thing... i have never had an issue. maybe they know my car?

everything else i read was about right!


Nauticab,

You might be right about the water, but I wouldn't want to be the one to test it! :D The owner of the condo we rented told us he got sick just from brushing his teeth with the local tap water. Now, he's owned the place 20 years, but I figured better safe than sorry.

It there are others who can vouch for that though, I'd consider experimenting in the future!
  • 0

#4 Carey

Carey

    Guru

  • Members
  • 14,204 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel Island
  • Interests:reading, singing, movies, family & friends, good food, travel

Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:13 PM

All great tips for newbies, Shrout.

Nauticab, I am going to have to disagree with you about drinking the tap water or using it to brush teeth. I don't think we're there just yet. I personally will not chance it. I wash my FACE with bottled water not to mention drinking and brushing my teeth with it. Things will improve and, indeed, they have over 10 years ago, I'm sure. But I ainta gonna chance it just yet and would not recommend same to others personally.
  • 0

#5 nauticab

nauticab

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,940 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel

Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:31 PM

oh i don't drink the water here either, nor rarely drink it in the states....just a comment by my uncle who is a chief engineer contracted by CAPA to build the treatment plant.... that the water is drinkable, just not very good.

there are a few expat old timers who have drank tap water from day one and never got sick. some folks have more sensitive tummies than others.
however, as you have said as well, most sickness problems are from dehydration plus alcohol and the water or the salad at lunch gets the blame.
after 12 years of living here, i only got sick from eating at highly recommended establishments (previously posted). i brush my teeth and rinse my mouth with tap water. when i was a tourist, i had a bottle of purified water by the sink and was religious about it. just didn't want to miss out on any diving!
  • 0
Cabrilla's Sport Center
Calle 11 % Melgar y 10av
Edificio Portales, Local 1
Dressing Fishermen and Triathletes from Head to Toe

#6 Kandy

Kandy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,409 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel
  • Interests:Enjoying retired life!

Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:17 AM

I have no problem asking for a glass of water at a restaurant. I've done it for several years now and have never had a problem.
  • 0

Kandy
Living the Dream in Cozumel

#7 Carey

Carey

    Guru

  • Members
  • 14,204 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel Island
  • Interests:reading, singing, movies, family & friends, good food, travel

Posted 18 October 2011 - 11:04 AM

I'm a sensitive tummy one. Have had e histolytica twice early on and giardia once. No problems for the last five years or more. I suspect it might have something to do with switching from the infamous El Cenote bottled water for Cristal.

That is hopeful info from your tio but having been ill 3 times, I remain super cautious. It sure gets old but I don't even put my face under the shower head when I bathe. I think I might be overly paranoid but I'm too risk averse to chance it.
  • 0

#8 Steve

Steve

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,167 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:59 PM

I have always been told that the water on Cozumel is ok to drink but it's the delivery system that brings that water to your home that contaminates it. I also think that the cisterns and tinacos can further pollute the water.

With this in mind, I still don't have any problem brushing my teeth with the water an maybe swallow a little when I am in the shower. I don't purposely go and drink a glass full but have accidentally made coffee with the water with no problem. I wash my dishes with it. I boil all my vegetables, shrimp, noodles, potatoes, etc. using the water with no ill effects. If anything I cook has to be rinsed, I will use bottled water. I have never been sick from the water and neither have any of the people I have served food to and there have been many.

All restaurants serve purified water and ice. The only time I would worry is using block ice. Many places in the Yucatan use block ice to keep fish, meat, and beverages cold. I'm not sure if that is made out of purified water.

Some people have weaker stomachs than others. Use your own judgment but don't get paranoid if you drink a little tap water.

Stay safe, drink and cook with beer.
  • 0

#9 mslf500

mslf500

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 875 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Richmond, VA & Cozumel, MX
  • Interests:Snow boarding, Diving, Spearfishing, Driving Formula Cars really fast, Mountain biking.

Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:56 AM

We've brushed our teeth, showered, made coffee and washed dishes with the tap water at our place for the last 5.5 years. Neither my wife or I or my any of our friends have ever gotten sick. Water into the building is filtered and softened, but we don't chlorinate it.

We do use a 5 gallon bottled water jug for hydration as it tastes better.

I wonder how often the Rotoplast tanks get cleaned at a lot of places and that could be a source of contamination
  • 0

www.CozumelCondominium.com
Nah Ha 602

#10 Carey

Carey

    Guru

  • Members
  • 14,204 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cozumel Island
  • Interests:reading, singing, movies, family & friends, good food, travel

Posted 19 October 2011 - 09:36 AM

When the sewer system was designed -- and Cozumel actually has one unlike Playa, Cancun and even Merida (!), they did make one error which was to run the blackwater and the drinking water pipes in the same underground ditches. Side by side. So any breaks in the system leave the possibility of accidental contamination. That is what I was told my plumber friend who was here and watching when the system was installed some 20-25 years ago.
  • 0

#11 mstevens

mstevens

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 852 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Hampshire and Cozumel
  • Interests:Diving, Ducatis, Dorkdom

Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:29 PM

I know it's an old thread, but...

I think I'll take two sterile sample bottles with me and fill them with tap water just before we leave the island.

I'll send one to the state water testing lab and take the other to the hospital lab to test for pathogens including parasites.

This won't really establish water quality anywhere else on the island except for that specific tap, but it might be illustrative.

I think eventually our Cozumel house is going to get UV water treatment and possibly RO. We have a system in our NH house that results in very nice water. When the moose fell and died in the town water supply (a small lake), we never even knew it until we read about it in the weekly paper. Everyone else on town water could tell right away. Apparently, chunks of moose coming out of the tap are a bit of a giveaway, but people said they could taste it for months. I'm guessing some of that was imagination, knowing there'd been a large dead thing in the water.

When we lived in Galveston, TX there was Giardia lamblia in the water supply and so much sodium we had to prohibit cardiac patients from drinking tap water. Water quality in the States tends to be better than many other places, but it's not perfect.

My personal prediction for how this plays out is that the Cozumel water will be very high in sodium, possibly some metals such as iron, tons of calcium, and few if any pathogens.

There is much reason to believe that most illness suffered by tourists who've traveled to Mexico is related to factors other than food and water. It still doesn't mean I'm going to rinse my mouth out in the shower.
  • 0

#12 Coz2wonder

Coz2wonder

    Guru

  • Members
  • 5,619 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:37 PM

mstevens, you don't need to take the water anywhere to be tested...just take it to any lab on the island and they will test it for a few bucks.

We have our water tested every once in a while. We do not live in town and do have well water. BUT...it goes through a filtration system first. We also do not live where their is human, animal, or auto drips/oils/gas waste and run off.

We use our water to make coffee, bush our teeth, and take a sip at night if needed.

We use bottled water for everything else.
  • 0

The most important thing in life is not knowing everything, it's having the phone number of somebody who does!

Anonymous


#13 cvchief

cvchief

    Professional Amateur

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,421 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania mostly, though Coz as much as possible

Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

Paula, you ought to be pretty close to bottle water from your well out there? Isnt that water from inland wells?
  • 0

El Jefe

Wishing I was retiring to Cozumel.....

Casa De Jefe


#14 Coz2wonder

Coz2wonder

    Guru

  • Members
  • 5,619 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:52 PM

we have pretty good water, but I would not consume to much of it, just like I wouldn't drink out of a stream in NA.

Cozumel has Aquifer, and under ground streams. We hit water within 15 feet, all fresh water, and we have never run out.
  • 0

The most important thing in life is not knowing everything, it's having the phone number of somebody who does!

Anonymous


#15 cvchief

cvchief

    Professional Amateur

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,421 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania mostly, though Coz as much as possible

Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:43 PM

oh, yea, 15 feet isnt very deep. I guess I would be a little careful with that.
  • 0

El Jefe

Wishing I was retiring to Cozumel.....

Casa De Jefe


#16 GailDawn

GailDawn

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:05 AM

we always give the gas attendents a tip and we have never had a problem since 2005
  • 0

#17 mstevens

mstevens

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 852 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Hampshire and Cozumel
  • Interests:Diving, Ducatis, Dorkdom

Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:33 PM

mstevens, you don't need to take the water anywhere to be tested...just take it to any lab on the island and they will test it for a few bucks.


Oh. Duh.

I've seen all those labs and never considered doing that. A fresher sample should lead to more reliable results, too.
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users