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Photo Tips 3 - Walk Don't Ride (At Least Part of the Way)
C.J. Gustafson, Freelance Writer and Photographer


It has been my experience that very rarely do you get good Cozumel pictures riding in the back seat of a taxi cab. One of the best suggestions I can give you is, instead of taking a cab everywhere, grab your camera, a bottle of water, and some comfortable shoes and set off walking. Then keep your eyes open, take your time, and watch for things that catch your attention. Whether you're walking back to your hotel, to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or just enjoying the warm sun and beautiful scenery, you're bound to find some great subjects for photos. One of my favorite walks is the 2-mile trek from town to the northern hotel zone (farther if you're going to Playa Azul or one of the hotels furthest north). This route provides an amazing selection of photo opportunities, and a sidewalk runs almost the entire distance, providing easy walking.






The long villa wall
As you head north out of town you pass by the divers' statue and a few small public beach areas before coming to a tall, vine-covered wall that encloses a huge villa complex on the west side of the road. This is the home of Mexico's president. The vines have flowers blooming on them and every so often you come upon a beautiful wooden door in the wall. The structure spans a couple blocks and is absolutely beautiful. The military barracks and airstrip are on the east side of the road and provide the possibility of getting a striking shot of military personnel in full uniform or planes landing.

The nautical club
Shortly after the villa wall ends, the nautical club property begins. It starts with an opening off the street to the waterfront, which is marked by a sign. This opening is a wild park-like area that has obviously been let go. Structures are crumbling and plants have grown over much of the area. There is a large open square and walls that are thick with vines. It is a prime spot to get a view of the marina and the waterfront in that area. Plus, there are always big iguanas sunning themselves in the trees and on the walls. One of my favorite landmarks on the island is the unfinished castle/lighthouse. You can see it really well from here.

The nautical property continues north for about another 6 or 7 blocks. You walk along the marina before coming to a huge area of wild, jungle-type growth that is full of trees, plants, iguanas, birds, and butterflies. A waist-high wall runs along the sidewalk, and it's best not to jump over it for a shot since the property is not open to the public. A decent zoom or longer lens works best for this particular section of the walk.


Private villas, condos, and northern hotels
The last leg of the walk is mainly private villas, condos and northern hotels like the Coral Princess. You can get some great flower and architecture shots in this area, as well as some ocean views and beach scenes. Plus, it's a great opportunity to check out that hotel you've been wanting to stay at. Most hotels are happy to give you a tour and invite you to have a snack or drink at their restaurant. You just need to explain that you're interested in staying there.

If you're not staying at a northern hotel, you can be really ambitious and walk back to town when you have walked as far north as you wish to go, or you can easily catch a cab. It will cost you $3 or $4 to downtown.

This walk takes me about 1Ĺ hours one-way, but I'm chubby and I like to take my time looking at everything. Morning is really the best time to take this jaunt because it's cooler and the sun shines to the west, which is where you'll be shooting most of the time. There are also one or two mom & pop roadside snack stands along the way if you need to get another water. I hope you'll give this trek a try on your next trip to Cozumel.

Embrace the light!

C.J.
Other Interesting Perspectives and Tips by CJ you might Enjoy!
 Spicy Travels - Introduction
Romance, adventure, good food, hot dancing, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the island of Cozumel!
 Spicy Travels 1 - The Iguana Adventure
He's little, he's cute, he doesn't bite me, and he eats mosquitoes and other bugs. I'm on a Caribbean island with no worries. Let it go. It is all part of the adventure - but what an experience!
 Spicy Travels 2 - Moonlight Dance Adventure
These are the times in your life where you have to tell yourself that times like these seldom come along in life and you can't let them slip by because you're embarrassed or nervous or afraid.
 Spicy Travels 3 - Language Learning Adventure
My adventure reminded me that there is common ground when it comes to language on Cozumel, with both tourists and locals wanting to learn how to better communicate.
 Spicy Travels 4 - Barracuda Adventure
Suddenly I saw a large shadow move across the ocean floor and I looked over expecting to see another snorkeler swimming alongside.
 Travel Tip 1 - Cozumel is a State of Mind
There's something about a Caribbean island that is just fundamentally different from the rest of the world. This definitely true of Cozumel!
 Travel Tip 2 - Always Bring Music
I've learned through my travels that music can set the tone and enhance the enjoyment of almost any activity on the island.
 Travel Tip 3 - Learn Spanish
Although many people on the island speak English quite well, there have been numerous instances where I was glad to know some Spanish.
 Travel Tip 4 Ė Explore Cozumelís Underwater World
Donít let fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing Cozumel's beautiful underwater world. This truly is one of the most unforgettable aspects of the island and there is more than one way to experience this!
 Photo Tips - Introduction
The endless supply of subjects, the beautiful lighting, and constant activity make photograhing Cozumel basically effortless
 Photo Tips 1 - Cozumel Sunsets
Cozumel has some of the most beautiful sunsets to be found on earth. Here are some tips on capturing them!
 Photo Tips 2 - Hit the Tourist Spots
Don't avoid the tourist spots completely because they provide some good photo opportunities as well as fun activities - all in one location!
 Photo Tips 4 - San Miguel & the West Coast
Taking pictures in town can be a bit of a challenge because there is usually so much activity. But thatís what makes it so interesting!


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