We received an email this week from a customer who booked himself and his fiancee to play our escape room during their honeymoon vacation while scuba diving in Cozumel the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We hope that our reply might help answer some of your questions about your upcoming trip to Cozumel, Mexico…
My name is Rick and I booked the Maddie’s Missing Escape Room while for my fiancee and I while we’re in Cozumel for my honeymoon over the Christmas-New Year’s holidays and have a few additional questions since I will also be diving and I know you are or were a part of the diving business there too.
I have been to Cozumel to dive around 10 years ago but haven’t been back since.
Pretty much I am looking for any suggestions you can provide for us to maximize our trip. We will be arriving on Christmas Day 12/25 and leaving on New Year’s Day 1/1. We are staying at Secrets Aura resort. I am a little worried that it will be too cold (water or air) for comfortable diving given the time of year we’ll be there so most of my questions have to do with weather and staying comfortable as we’d like to dive as much as we can while we’re there.
- Some of these are kind of random and might be too specific, so sorry if I’m asking you about places you might not know about.
- How is the weather/diving that time of year? From reading online the water temp is comfortable that time of year but sometimes gets a little cold topside depending on air temperature/wind. Would you agree with this? Will the temperature (water or air) be too cold for comfortable diving?
- We have 3mm wetsuits…do you think these will be sufficient? Would you suggest getting thicker wetsuits, hoods, or anything else? Would parkas be helpful for topside in case it’s windy?
- Do you think we will have trouble getting taxis to/from the airport on Christmas and New Year’s days?
- How likely is it to rain?
- What is the reputation of Secrets Aura?
- It looks like there are two dive shops at Secrets Aura, Dive Palancar and Dive House. How are these places? Would you recommend anywhere else over these? (My wife will be completing her open water certification while there)
- What else (other than diving) should we be sure to do while we’re visiting?
- Are we okay without a car?
Thank you very much for your help, it is much appreciated. If you’d rather talk on the phone I’ll put my number below. I had a great time last time I went to Cozumel to scuba and am excited to get my wife addicted to scuba diving on our honeymoon!
We’re excited to have you both in Cozumel and the opportunity to lock you up! Hahaha!!!
Yes, I do freelance as a divemaster and scuba instructor when I’m not in the office keeping Junior Detectives out of trouble at Cozumel Detective Adventures! Diving was the primary reason I moved to the island.
The water will be somewhere between 79 and 81 degrees that time of year. Unless there’s a storm, the air temp will be in the low to mid-80’s (~28C). Definitely NOT too cold to dive here! The water is coldest in February; the lowest I’ve ever seen is 77 degrees. Most divers will opt to wear a 3mm shorty suit, unless they know they need more protection, and usually no one is uncomfortable. December is outside of the rainy season but, like anywhere, we get the odd winter storm or cold front. In these instances the air temp is usually not problem, rather a lack of sun in combination with wind and rain after the second dive that might cause some discomfort. If you have parkas, bring them just in case, this pretty much cures all of these issues. Additionally, Secrets is pretty close to the marine park where 90% of the dive operators take clients so it’s not that far of a ride to a warm shower, dry clothes and a warm beverage.
Likely to rain? December is 8th when it comes to rain. We usually get less than 1.5 inches that month (which is virtually nothing, really) and it usually comes in the very early morning hours (4am – 6am) that time of year.
No problems with Taxis to or from the airport and Secrets. There are designated taxis that can pick you up at the
Secrets is fine. We have a lot of clients that stay there and I rarely, if ever, hear any complaints. I’d be interested to hear your opinion after your stay.
Both Dive House and Dive Paradise are convenient options but I personally prefer the smaller bespoke diving service providers on the island that are able to offer more personal attention because you won’t be diving with 20 or more divers all at the same time. Smaller operators offer more flexible dive site options and all for the same or less money. I worked with 3 of the top Tripadvisor rated dive operations on the island, two of which will only take 6 divers and the other 8 divers. Each of them picks up at Secrets and has fantastic divemasters and scuba instructors. Christmas week is peak high season in Cozumel, keep that in mind if you are going to go with a dive center that offers smaller groups; many are already booked.
Things not to miss:
- “Escape Cozumel” – Of course! A brand new escape room here – is a boat load of fun for an hour and we have multiple rooms with different themes and levels of difficulty. (I highly suggest making reservations a month out.)
- Definitely eat at some of the restaurants in town – get a more local experience rather than hanging out at the hotel the entire time you’re here. I jokingly (and lovingly) refer to Cozumel as “Mexico Light” because speaking Spanish is NOT a prerequisite to having a really good time on the island and visitors won’t feel out of place anywhere they might end up.
- Rent a car for the day and go around the island – slowly. Eat, drink and enjoy the scenery. If you like to drink a bit, there are some fantastic places to hangout on the uninhabited, east side of the island. I have plenty of specific recommendations. 😉
- Walk around downtown. So much cool culture to see and take in. Do some shopping. Please “buy local;” you are supporting more people and families than you can possibly imagine!
- The Kaokao Chocolate Factory Tour is always a hit with our family, friends and guests.
- Spend the day at Chankanaab Park (a beautiful state park and beach club).
Of course, these are just some of the things off the top of my head.
You’ll be fine without a car (except for going for a trip around the island). There are PLENTY of taxis. At the end of the week you’ll have spent the same amount of money either way, but with taxis you won’t have to worry about finding parking (which can SUCK), getting into an accident or finding your way. IMPORTANT: Always agree on the rate BEFORE getting into the taxi. There is supposed to be set rates depending upon pickup location and destination but… a few Cozumel taxi drivers are scallywags (as they are in every corner of the world).
Enjoy your time here and we look forward to seeing you at Escape Room Cozumel soon.
– Chief Scott