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Geography, Flora & Fauna
Geography & Topography


The island of Cozumel lies 12 miles offshore the eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean as well as being the most populated island of Mexico.

With water the color of imperial jade and edged with white-sand beaches and craggy black castles of limestone and coral, Cozumel is the largest of 3 islands off the east coast of the state of Quintana Roo.

The island is approximately 29 miles (48 kilometers) long and 11 miles (17.5 kilometers) wide at its widest point, with the highest elevation point measuring a mountainous 45 feet above sea level.




Climate & Temperatures
Cozumel temperatures are warm year-round with daytime highs averaging 81 F (27C). In the Caribbean, hurricane season officially begins June 15 and runs through November 15th each year. Do not let this deter your planning because INSIDERS know that these are some of the best months to enjoy the Cozumel. Yes, there is always the chance of a tropical storm or hurricane coming in but typically there is a warning period and time for preparation or departure from the island if needed.

The heaviest rains begin in June and last through October. It's possible for rain to fall almost every day during that time but the usual afternoon shower is brief and causes minimal interruption of travel or activities. Occasionally, however, the skies can open up and let loose torrents. During wet months, expect high humidity. November - May is generally balmy, with daytime highs averaging 80 F lower humidity and an occasional cool evening. Always remember, tropical climes can change from mellow to miserable and back again very quickly.

July/August - High 80's to low 90'sF (32C)
December/January - Mid 70'sF (24C)
Water temperatures range from 77- 84F (25-29C) throughout the year.

Fauna & Flora

The tropical forests of the Mexican State of Quintana Roo are home to many exotic trees, flowers, plants, and animals. Along with the many mangroves, bamboo, and swamp cypresses, ferns, vines, and flowers slither throughout the various trees to create a dense jungle. On the highest of limbs, orchids and air ferns can be seen stretching towards the sun.

The Southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula hosts classical tropical rainforests that are the home of tall mahoganies, campeche, zapote, and kapok, all of which are covered by jungle vines.




Los Arboles (The Trees)

Perhaps the most recognizable of trees in the area are the many types of Palm trees. These trees, vital to the survival of the people and region, come in many varieties- tall, short, fruited, and oil-producing. Some specific types of palms include Royal (tall with smooth trunks), Queen (used for landscaping and bearing sweet fruit), and Thatch (used extensively for roof thatch).
At one time, the Coconut palm served the Yucatan very well as it is used for producing oil, food, drink, and shelter. The tree matures in 6 to 7 years and then bears coconuts for the following 5 to 7 years. Unfortunately the "Yellow Disease" , a condition that has struck the coconut palm from Florida to Central America, has taken away the coconut palm as a source of income.

Henequen, which is a cousin to the Palm tree, is used to form twine, rope, matting, and other products. The Calabash tree provides gourds that Mayan Indians have used for years as containers.

A tall tree known as the Ceiba is known as the Mayan tree of life, and tied very close to the Mayan religion.

The beautiful Framboyanes (royal poinciana) have wide-spreading branches covered in clusters of brilliant orange-red flowers when they are in bloom during the summer months.

Las Frutas (The Fruit)
In addition to the trees, there are many delicious fruits that grow in the this region of Mexico. Sweet and sour oranges, limes, and grapefruits can be found, as well as the presence of the papaya, and avocado. The mamey tree, which grows to 15-20 meters in height, provides a brown avocado-shaped fruit with a sweet salmon-pink flesh in the middle (a flavor similar to the sweet yam). A lanky evergreen known as the Guaya produces small, green, leathery pods that grow in clumps like grapes. These pods have a sweet, yellowish, jellylike flesh.

Las Flores (The Flowers)

In remote areas of the state, the orchid can be found on the highest limbs of tall trees. There have been 71 species reported on the Yucatan of which 20% are terrestrial, and 80% are epiphytic, meaning that they are attached to host trees and deriving moisture and nutrients from the air and rain. Both types grow in so many different sizes, shapes, and colors- some subtle and some brilliant.

In the spring, flowering trees are the gathering place for hundreds of singing birds that come together for the mating season in the treetops. Here in a natural environment you'll see a full spectrum of flowers that display wild colors and appealing scents. White and Red Ginger are among the most exotic of herbs, in addition to Plumeria which has a wonderful scent and can be found in many colors. Hibiscus and bougainvillea bloom in the forests and are of the most colorful sort that you will find. In addition to these exotic flowers, the more common Morning Glory is prevalent as it endlessly creeps and climbs over trees and bushes.

Some Activities of Interest
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 Cozumel Butterfly Sanctuary Tour & PalMar Beach Club
Visit Cozumel's only Butterfly Sanctuary! See multitudes of colors, learn about butterfly habits and the miracle of metamorphosis. Take photos and then stay to enjoy snorkeling and the other ammenities of the Beach Club. Great family fun & excellent value!
US $13 Adults /US$8 Kids Educational Family Fun!
 Cozumel's Most Complete Island Jeep & Snorkel Tour
You'll see more in one day than others see in a lifetime!
$ 85 Adults/$ 50 Kids
 PalMar's SMALL Snorkel Beach Club
Bring your group and spend the day at PalMar's small, private beach facility and enjoy a day of snorkeling at Cozumel's premier beach entry snorkel spot! No crowd here and gates close daily with a maximum of 50 people on site!
US $13 Adults /US$8 Kids Includes FREE Beverages!
 Cozumel Marine Turtle Observation & Baby Liberation Events with FP&M
Sign up for an observation and education session about Cozumel's nesting sea turtles and the volunteer brigades that help in their conservation. Learn about these amazing creatures in the Fundacion de Paques & Museos program and help release hatching baby turtles as they make their way to the sea.
From $ 40 - 70 / person donation
Personal Experiences
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Sherri, my boss wants you to take down your webcam! It seems it is preventing me from getting any work done! I just stare at it all day. haha I will be there in two weeks. It's been since March since we spent a week there and I'm going through withdrawals. I hope Mezcalitos has the 'ritas ready for me. Jennifer ~ Louisiana

What a great Experience!!! We booked our excursions through this website with a slight bit of apprehension. We figured it would be safer to book through our cruise ship since this was our first time going to Cozumel. Boy am I so thankful we didn't. Our cruise ship (which we thoroughly enjoyed) had many excursions organized with tons of people in each excursion. By booking through INSIDER we were definitely given smaller groups to be with. We did the Atlantis Submarine excursion and we saved almost 100 dollars right there!!! We also booked a Resort Scuba with Eagle Ray Divers. We had 1-on-1 attention with Antonio (the owner), our own boat to go out on, and got personalized attention with the lesson/dive. I know if we had booked on the cruise ship there probably would've been many other people ...
Also, we originally booked a car rental for that Saturday morning. Jacqueline @ Cozumel Insider, called us at home prior to our cruise to inform us of some minor scheduling changes. She then suggested that the rental car may not be neccessary due to our number of excursions and our limited time. Due to her advice we cancelled our car rental which was the wise thing to do. This shows that this company has a lot of integrity and is not out there just to make a buck on the unsuspecting tourist. Next year we will definitely book through Cozumel Insider, we will recommend this company to all our friends, and we plan on booking with Antonio for more scuba next time!!!! M Carson ~ Tullahoma, Tennesseee

We just returned from our 7th visit to Cozumel and we visited the butterfly sancturary with our six year old and we absolutely loved it! We know the island very well and this was our first vist to the beach club and now we have a new favorite to add to our island list. We don't do alot of touristy things when we are on the island, but this place is worth it. Beautiful, educational and relaxing! What more could you ask for! We will return to Cozumel in November and we will definitely head for the butterfly sanctuary and PalMar beach club! Michele Borzeka ~ Chicago, Illinois

I considered your advice to drop by & remembered reading that most public beaches get really crowded if there are a lot of cruise ships in port. There were 7 ships in Cozumel on Saturday & I was prepared, got off the ship first thing at 9 with husband and snorkel gear in tow & inquired about taxi rates. I was a little apprehensive when the taxi organizer didn't know where Palmar was but I had your directions & coupon printed out so I told them it was between the two hotels and mentioned the beach name & all was well. I then realized it was a blessing for them not to know where I was going - that had to mean it wouldn't be too popular/crowded!

I believe we met your husband Mauricio? He was very nice and made us feel very comfortable, showed us to a locker and we were off across the street. A bit hard to get in the water with all the rocks (this is what makes the water so clear!) but it was beautiful & shallow snorkeling with lots of neat corral - and 2 different 2 ft. barracudas guarded the shore.

When we came back we ordered guacamole and chips as well as a mango and pina colada daiquiri. It was obvious it was all just prepared and really fresh - best guacamole I've ever had, the chips were fresh, and the shakes were delicious. In summary, your location was beautiful, thank you for opening your home as a beach club so we could get away from the crowds, we felt so special! Mauricio was as good a host as he was a chef! We'll definitely be recommending Palmar! G. Nielsen ~ Cruise Passenger

We just got back from Cozumel and the best thing we did was the Sea Turtle Release with FP&M. They were very educational and not just about the turtles. We were so excited to be able to hold the babies and set them free. Watching them bob their heads out of the water to breathe was quite a sight! Digging for them was enchanting, like finding buried treasure! Thanks to COZUMELINSIDER for helping us make this happen! Karen E. ~ Arroyo Grande, CA USA


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