Hotel at a Glance: Allegro Cozumel
Allegro Cozumel, a village-style resort on Cozumel’s south shore, spreads out along the island’s stunning white-sand beaches. As part of the all-inclusive package, you can sail and surf in the warm turquoise waters here or take a snorkeling-and-diving class in the nearby Palancar Reef, the second largest reef in the world. Back at the hotel, a kids’ club and a pirate-themed water playground complete with slides and mushroom fountains keep little ones entertained.
- Foursquare: The resort has four outdoor swimming pools, and guests dine for free at four onsite restaurants.
- Seafood selections: Salmon and sushi rolls at El Oriental restaurant and grouper veracruz at La Troje
- Room with a view: All guest rooms have terraces or balconies overlooking the tropical surroundings.
- Adults only: It’s an 18 or older party at the hotel disco bar from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
- Take a ferry ride to Playa del Carmen; it takes 45 minutes.<p>
Cozumel, Mexico: Relaxed Tropical Island with World-Class Diving
Cozumel, Mexico’s largest Caribbean island, lies just off the eastern coast of the Yucatán peninsula. Compared to Cancún—Mexico’s spring-break capital, located 50 miles north—Cozumel is decidedly laid-back. Formerly a fishing settlement, the island remains blissfully free of high-rise resorts and other signs of overdevelopment. Visitors here tend to focus more on exploring the wilderness than on late-night beach parties. Adventure-tour companies arrange expeditions by land or by sea, including trips to ancient Mayan ruins and the island’s jungles, marshes, and dive sites known for deep canyons and tunnels.
More than 500 species of fish swim among turtles, rays, and countless other aquatic animals inside the coral formations at Palancar Reef, one of the dozens of diving and snorkeling sites encircling Cozumel. Another site, just off the northwestern coast, houses a 40-passenger Convair airliner. Sunk in 1977 for the filming of a Mexican disaster movie, the plane has become overgrown with coral and sea fans and is frequented by schools of colorful parrotfish. Above the surface, you’ll find white-sand beaches frequented by sunbathers.
There’s only one city on the island—San Miguel de Cozumel, where street vendors on a waterfront promenade sell everything from jewelry to Cuban cigars. It’s also where you’ll find an assortment of clubs and bars showcasing live reggae-salsa fusion and jazz bands.