Silvia and Greg

The coffee served at Stingray Villa Cozumel

The Coffee Lovers Guide to Cozumel

If you are coming to Cozumel and looking for your daily buzz and fix of caffeine, we have you covered. In this guide, we have all the best Cozumel coffee shops. Not only is there your Starbucks but also local coffee cafes. Mexico is a big coffee producer, and they serve this great Mexican coffee up in Cozumel.
El Coffee Cozumel
El Coffee Cozumel not only has some of the best coffee they also have fresh pastries to go along with it. Breakfast menu items are “taste bud” knockouts! Desserts are out of this world delicious! You will see more smiles on people’s faces (servers, staff, and customers) than anywhere on the island! The design of this café is also inspiring and a place you will want to sit around. The temptation will overtake you to order something off the menu. The prices will also be lower than the chain places, and we think the taste is better. Give a local coffee shop a shot.
Starbucks has multiple locations on Cozumel. Yes, it tastes the same as everywhere in the world. Most of the staff speak English here, so it makes it easy for a tourist.
COZ Coffee Roasting Company
We always come here for the peanut butter coffee because we can’t find anything like it anywhere else! They brew it with the coffee in it so it’s magical. The coffee arrives here from Oaxaca & Veracruz and is freshly roasted. This will be the freshest roast coffee you can get. Do not forget to get your coffee bean bags for those coworkers and for yourself so you can reminisce on your vacation over a cup of Tom’s top coffee beans. COZ Coffee Roasting Company location is by Wet Wendy’s and Dick’s Dive if you have any trouble finding it.
Buying bags of coffee in Cozumel
As mentioned above, there are two places that sell their own roast and blends. These are Oro Magico and COZ Coffee Roasting Company. Oro Magico is our favorite because the plantation owner brings his Chiapas beans to Cozumel right after he picks them. This is the only organic coffee Stingray Villa uses.
If you are shopping in a grocery store for coffee, we recommend La Finca brand in a white bag. Just make sure you don’t get the white and green bag because it is decaf coffee. Cafe Punta Del Cielo is another recommended brand. They have metal tins with a pin to pop the seal on the top. If they do the packing right, there will be a burst of air that comes out with intense coffee smell. The pricing of both brands is excellent, and the quality is too. For coffee in supermarkets, these are the best brands.
Sharks in the waters of Cozumel

Sharks in the waters of Cozumel

There are sharks in the Cozumel waters and being able to meet them in their common environment is a dream come true. Cozumel provides some of the clearest and warmest waters on the earth. Therefore, it is such a popular diving destination, drawing international visitors all year round. We can find here part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second-largest reef of its kind on our planet. It is a true diving utopia, with impressive corals, fascinating invertebrates and diversity of fish, which includes sharks. Let’s look at more common varieties of sharks found in Cozumel you may face while scuba diving or staying at Stingray Villa.

Nurse sharks:
This shark is the most prevalent in Cozumel’s waters. Nurse sharks are slow-moving bottom-dwellers and are harmless to humans. Many divers in Cozumel encounter the nurse shark because during the day they can often find them resting on the sandy bottoms of underneath ledges or in crevasses. However, they can be massive, up to 14 feet, and have powerful jaws loaded with thousands of tiny, serrated teeth, and will bite if stepped on or disturbed by divers who presume they’re gentle. They apply their powerful jaws to crush and eat shellfish but prefer to consume on fish, shrimp, and squid. They’re colored gray-brown and have extraordinary tail fins that can be up to one-fourth of their total length. Unlike most other sharks, nurses are smooth to the touch.
Caribbean Reef Sharks:
The Caribbean Reef Shark is known to be relatively passive and rarely poses much of a hazard to scuba divers, snorkelers, swimmers, or other humans it comes into contact with. They avoid human interaction entirely. Also known as the “Reef Shark”, it has a unique color and is white to light yellow on the ventral side and grey-brown to dark-grey on the dorsal side. It has larger eyes, and the snout is rounded and short compared to other sharks. The Caribbean Reef Shark also finds its food in the reefs, such as bony fishes, crustaceans, and cephalopods. We also know this shark will feed on yellow sting-rays and eagle rays frequently.
Hammerhead Sharks:
The Hammerhead is one of the most elusive sharks in Cozumel. In 20 years, I have only seen one on the reefs of Cozumel. These sharks enjoy the tastes of various animals such as other sharks, squids, crabs, jacks, herrings, tarpon, sardines, boxfish, toadfish, sea catfish, groupers, and their absolute favorite dish, rays. These sharks hunt for their creature of choice twice a day around dawn and dusk. The most well-known factor about them would undoubtedly have to deal with their namesake. These sharks have flat, T-shaped heads that make them stand out from other sharks.
Bull Sharks:
These sharks are magnificent creatures. They can grow to be bigger than any scuba diver, and they are graceful and powerful. Whenever you get to see them on the reef, other fish seem to be a little more careful. Divers have seen bull sharks on Playa del Carmen reefs for over 30 years. Los Arcos, one of the more popular deep dive sites north of Playa del Carmen, used to be known as Sharkies Place, named after the common shark sightings, rather than its deep swim-throughs. These sharks are even more elusive in Cozumel than the hammerhead.
Atlantis Submarine Cozumel Expedition view out a porthole

Atlantis Submarine Cozumel Expedition

Want to experience Cozumel, but you don’t want to get your feet wet? The Atlantis Submarine Cozumel Expedition is for you. Cozumel offers an air-conditioned, submerged, Cozumel experience that will take you to the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean Sea.

The Atlantis Submarine will submerge itself in the crystal clear waters of Cozumel to provide you with breathtaking views of some of the most diverse marine life that you’ll find anywhere in the world.

They depart from their own pier on Melgar between the car ferry and the international cruise ship pier. From there, the captain will take you to an area where the submarine’s high visibility windows will give a picture-perfect view of Cozumel’s abundant marine life. From tropical fish and majestic sea turtles to the occasional eagle ray, you’ll see it all from the comfort of a 48-seater air-conditioned submarine without ever having to immerse yourself in the water. With over 26 side portholes and one large viewport across the bow of the submarine, everyone can marvel at intimate views of the extraordinary Chankanaab reef, the second largest in the world. Witness the eerie sunken ship, the Felipe Xicotencatl, over 50 feet below the surface as a member of our crew narrates the tale. The sea life varies during the seasons, so you may see species that are only passing through on their long journeys or Cozumel regulars. For the pièce de résistance, prepare yourself for The Wall. It will disappear from your site as the sheer drop-off plunges 1800 feet below. You are witnessing the roots of Cozumel!

After two hours of exploration, jaw-dropping views, and plenty of photo opportunities, you rise back to the surface of the water, the secrets of the deep will be forever imprinted in your recollections. After your time in the submarine, soak in the sun on the decks of their ship, Ana, as she takes you back to their private pier. Sip a complimentary drink and let your mind wander over the magic of the day where you and your group can rejoice in the marvels you saw under the sea. There’s no better way to see Cozumel beneath the surface. Why not choose the plunge today? We can help you book this adventure when you stay with us at Stingray Villa.

Low season is the perfect time to enjoy Cozumel.

Low Season – The perfect time to enjoy beautiful Cozumel

Low season is the perfect time to enjoy beautiful Cozumel. The water is calmer and warmer, the snorkeling and diving are better. The snowbirds have migrated too, so the rental rates are now lower. We offer some attractive deals this time of year that people would be crazy not to make use of. It’s not just accommodation that you can save on, however. Fewer tourists around town mean you can bargain more at the stores in town and get much better deals on your souvenirs and handicrafts. And don’t worry, bargaining is all part of the shopping culture here, so don’t be afraid to haggle hard for a good deal! Another gift of the off-season is quieter beaches both in town and on the eastern side where you’re almost guaranteed an empty patch of sand to relax on.

Scuba diving is a dream in the off-season, with far fewer tourists occupying the crystal clear waters to observe sea turtles feeding. You may even be the only ones out there, with prime viewing of the majestic creatures. Fall back into the water with that wonderful calm feeling. Punta Sur is one of my favorites, but please check out this comprehensive blog for all you need to know about Cozumel. 

Summer is also a great time to enjoy specials and perks. Airlines charge the most during higher demand times and can raise it daily to adjust. I you did not know Southwest Airlines now flys into Cozumel with considerable savings over the other guys. The best times to get a cheap flight are late April – October. Please see our summer rates, which should entice you to book your travel at Stingray Villa.

The summer months are the time to enjoy the laid back vibe our guests love about Cozumel. The locals are relaxed and unhurried. Guests love strolling the streets in offseason, around dusk. When the sun drops into the horizon, the sky comes alive in a blaze of orange and pink, it’s the perfect time to be out for an evening stroll.

There are so many rewards for visiting Cozumel in the off-season. I just wonder why the secret hasn’t gotten out yet. From making use of better deals and discounts to enjoy a slower pace of life, it’s a great time to travel. The busyness of the peak holiday season can be fun too, but, I like this time of the year and the relaxed atmosphere it brings. It’s truer to the Mexican way of life; the manana lifestyle that helps you slow down and appreciate the simple things in life like the ocean, good food, and beautiful sunsets.

Wondering the future on a Cozumel beach

What will Cozumel be like in the future?

Everyone needs to know what the future will produce. With Cozumel, if you want to vacation in the area, you will no doubt like to know how it evolves and changes. If you are living in Cozumel or seeking to invest in the area, seeing the future is a vital topic for you. Knowing what areas will develop and what places might not be a desirable investment can be the difference between a good investment and a bad one.

Goodbye to more local restaurants and institutions

As rents rise and low seasons kill more business, it will be the larger restaurants and businesses that survive. The business environment has changed in the past few years, and the cost of running a business in Cozumel has become more trying. Smaller business owners are looking for options out of downtown.

The competition of restaurants has raised the quality and variety of food options in Cozumel, which has been nice. There is, however, a downside. Without the best locations, budgets to advertise, the cost of doing business here will have a strenuous battle over the next 5 years.

Cozumel will continue moving East.

Already Cozumel is springing up new developments along 11th and the Transversal. We predict this trend to continue. The business sector has already taken note and is moving in.

We also foresee that more residents will move from downtown to these new developments. This is because greedy property owners will now sell and cause a construction boom to take place. This will cause rents to increase as landlords move away from long-term rentals to the short-term Airbnb rental portfolio. 

Faster ferries

You might assume the ferries are fast now but imagine how it would be if they were faster? More people would visit Cozumel for the day if it were quicker and smoother to get there. It also means that the thousands of people who arrive at Cozumel via cruises would have more time to see things on the mainland. With faster ferries, the island of Cozumel can increase business opportunities.

Our ferries have been running for a decade at this speed. We predict it is only a matter of time that the business world figures out how to be profitable and run faster ferries.

Airbnb will boom as Cozumel builds more condos.

Airbnb has developed in Cozumel as an investor’s dream of buying a condo and paying it off.  The short-term rental market has affected Cozumel. Because the Airbnb market is so vast, many individuals use it. We predict that people over the next 5 years will want more services and convenience. These factors will mean that the low-quality Airbnbs will no longer get bookings in this market.

The real estate market will loosen.
There will be a lot more buildings in the next 5 years, which means more supply. More people will look and buy, and the rental market will become more competitive. We advise people to be vigilant buyers and educate themselves to make smart investments. Our prediction for the next 5 years is a looser market with more condos.
Southwest Airlines will be Godsend

The arrival of Southwest Airlines will be the biggest tourism boost the island has seen in the past 20 years. Many USA citizens have southwest credit cards and get points when they fly for business. Our market will explode and the other guys will scramble to lower their rates to compete with Southwest. The “Southwest effect” became a major reason that overall fares dropped in its new markets, and the phenomenon was studied in business schools and the halls of government. The Department of Transportation marveled in a 1993 report: “The principal driving force behind dramatic fundamental changes that have occurred and will occur in the U.S. airline industry over the next few years is the dramatic growth of low-cost Southwest Airlines.”

Competitors see Southwest as cold-blooded and ruthless.

“Their approach is to search out weak companies and contest them out of business,” says Bryan Bedford, the chairman and chief executive of Republic Airways, which bought Frontier out of bankruptcy 11 years ago. “It’s no different than Wal-Mart plunking a big-box store near a local family-owned grocery store; you either respond to the competition, or you get out.”

What should you pack for a trip to Stingray Villa on Cozumel?

What should you pack for a trip to Cozumel? 

Are you heading out for your ultimate vacation at Cozumel and do not know what it requires? Well, do not worry fellas! We are here at your rescue. Follow our guidelines and get ready for a wholesome trip to your much-awaited destination. Trust me, you will love a tour to Cozumel. Especially if you have all the right things packed with you.

Cozumel is hot yet breezy on most days of the year. So, you do not want to pack any super warm stuff. The warmest you may go is perhaps a denim jacket or a light cardigan for nighttime by the sea when the air gets cool. Oh, and not to forget, do not head out to Cozumel with a proper sunscreen. Cozumel is all about beaches and sun fun, but if you have not prepared yourself, you may suffer a sunburn. And so, packing the right of kind sunglasses that protect your eyes from the constant sun rays is also essential.

You also need to prevent mosquito bites and avoid disease on your Caribbean trip. Look for a repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535. Always follow the instructions on the label when you use the repellent. Repellents protect longer against mosquito bites when they have a higher concentration (percentage) of these active ingredients.

Your trip to Cozumel will be incomplete if you do not experience snorkeling firsthand. And for that, it is vital for you to bring along snorkeling gear and extra t-shirts and swimsuits. So, are you ready to get into the beautiful waters of Cozumel, snorkel through them and witness the marine life and splendor of Cozumel’s waters? Yes! It is as surreal as it sounds here. And you do not want to miss out on it.

And if you are heading to Cozumel with your friends, we must prepare you for the nightlife. Perhaps carrying along a fancy dress or an adequate dress shirt would make your nighttime party complete. You do not want to feel left out, right?

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Walking a dog on the beaches of Cozumel

A Great Walk With A Dog on Cozumel

Do you have a dog you love more than anything in this world and want to keep it next to you through thick and thin, through all walks of life? Well, if that is the case, you need not worry. Cozumel has lots of pet-friendly spaces where you can enjoy a great walk with your dog. Excited to know more about such places in Cozumel? Stay tuned!

Many pet lovers are hesitant to take frequent vacation trips because it means leaving their four-legged friends behind with a dog sitter or at a kennel. But these days, more American households have pets than ever before, which is driving local communities to offer pet-friendly things to entice travelers with dogs. One of the most dog-friendly destinations in Mexico to check out is Cozumel, a popular getaway in Quintana Roo known as a “dog-utopia” for pups of all sizes, ages, and breeds. Here are some pet-friendly things you can do with your dog when you visit Cozumel.

To get some exercise for you and your pup, start your day off with a run along the Caribbean on Av Rafael E. Melgar. Melgar is a popular place for walking, running, biking, swimming, and taking guided boat tours. It has a great boardwalk to stroll along together. Leashed pets are welcome here. As you’re walking along, be on the lookout for native wildlife, such as pelicans, flying fish, stingrays, and even crocodiles.

After some epic outdoor adventures together, it doesn’t get much better than a craft brewery that welcomes dogs. There are two great dog-friendly brew spots in town to wind down and relax, including La Internacional Cervecería and Cerveceria Punta Sur. These well-established breweries are favorites among both locals and visitors and cater to a wide variety of tastes. At La Internacional Cervecería, try the Tierra Prime an American pale ale.

The restaurants in some cities are more pet-friendly than others, and Cozumel is one of the easiest places to eat well with a pup by your side. There are great spots with pet-friendly patios in and around the downtown area of Cozumel that are well worth the visit to relax and experience the diverse flavors of the city. For example, head to Rock ‘n Java with your pup for their famous famous Wedge salad and house made waffles with strawberries & whipped cream. Or you can enjoy the patio at the Thirsty Cougar with your pup and savor the most gigantic margaritas on the island.

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A beach club near Stingray Villa Cozumel

Is Cozumel Safe?

Are you thinking about going to Cozumel for your ultimate family vacation? Have you been planning it for too long and want everything to be perfect? Are you are asking yourself whether Cozumel is safe enough for you and your family? Be prepared because there is a predator on the island that is attacking tourists and locals alike. The Federales and the Marines have turned out to be no match to this predator’s attack.

These predators are evasive and well-prepared. They watch you sleep, calculating the precise moment at which you began to enter the dream stage. Their attacks occur in a short, unexpected burst. This often leaves you dazed and confused. By the time you turned on the lights, they will vanish. Who uses these guerrilla warfare tactics? The MOSQUITOES!!!

Mosquitoes spread viruses like dengue and chikungunya. Dengue fever symptoms are a sudden onset of fever, headache, and severe joint and muscle pain. Later, joint swelling, backaches, and a rash may appear. Symptoms may improve after two to three days or persist for about 10 days. The World Health Organization estimates that there may be 50-100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, introducing vaccines against dengue could be soon. A different virus causes Chikungunya. This illness has many similarities to dengue fever but is rarely lethal or as severe. Symptoms appear between four and seven days after the infective bite and include high fever, joint pain, joint swelling, rash, headache, muscle pain, nausea, and fatigue. In some people, joint pain may cause persisting trouble. Recovery brings immunity to further infection. Chikungunya is also spreading fast–half a million cases have occurred since 2013, in the Caribbean and Latin America. No vaccine is available at present.

My beautiful wife Silvia contracted Dengue this year and I spent many disquieted moments waiting for her 103 degree fever to break. We hope this post will prevent you from contracting any infections in our tropical paradise. You will be hard-pressed to find any tropical destination free from the risk of infection with mosquito-borne viruses, however, bite protection measures reduce the risk! When you are outdoors (at dawn and dusk), use an insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin and on your clothing. Two of the best are Repel 100 insect repellent, which contains 98 percent DEET or Ben’s 30 DEET tick and insect repellent. Products like Avon’s Skin so soft just do not work. You can go to Cozumel and have a great time, but you must take careful precautions to avoid being bitten.

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A tourist relaxing at a Cozumel Beach Club.

Which Beach Club is Best on Cozumel?

If you are planning a trip to Cozumel, you must gear up because this will be everything more than you have ever imagined. You and your friends will have the time of your life. From some amazing beaches to a nightlife that will have you hooked, Cozumel is a land for everyone and anyone. Excited to have an amazing time in Cozumel? Get your bags packing and head out soon because this is love at first experience!

And guess what? Cozumel has some of the finest beach clubs. For example, Mr. Sancho’s beach club in Cozumel is as exciting as the name sounds. It is one of the finest beach clubs on Cozumel with tourists and natives loving it. This beach club also offers you an unbeatable value all-inclusive beach day; the “Mr. Sanchos All Inclusive Beach Day Pass”. Enjoy a full open bar and all you can eat from the menu! Guaranteed, nobody leaves Mr. Sancho’s beach thirsty or hungry! In addition, take advantage of first-class facilities and activities included in the all-inclusive beach break such as ocean kayaks, snorkel equipment (available for rent at $15usd plus a refundable deposit of $20usd), freshwater showers, lockers, hammocks, a water park (optional), plenty of water sports, beach palapas, multiple freshwater pools,  umbrellas, beach lounge beds, sun lounge chairs, and umbrellas. If you do not want to do the all-inclusive package, the entrance to this beach club is free. So, whether your budget is as tight as your skinny jeans or as big as your heart, it has a way in for everyone.

Worried about connecting your trip to the social media world at Mr. Sancho’s club? Do not worry anymore because it offers a free Wi-Fi service too. Mr. Sanchos has one of the largest private beaches with white sand and an aquatic park that makes you relish your time there; You will never forget your trip to Cozumel. Mr. Sancho’s staff assures a fine experience for everyone. It is just perfect for both friends and families to visit.

So, lie down on some beach-lounge chairs and soak in the gorgeous Cozumel sun. Trust us you will detox while forgetting all the blues in your life. We kid you not, this is the perfect getaway for everyone amidst a chaotic life.

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A view of Cozumel's harbor

When was Cozumel Established?

Cozumel is a Caribbean island with so much to offer that anyone who visits it will fall in love. A lot of tourists who visit always ask, “When was Cozumel Established”? If you have visited this beautiful island previously, you may have wondered this too. And for all those of you who have not yet been here, do not worry. We are about to give you a short history lesson where we tackle some of the most die-hard myths and legends repeated for years as being the truth regarding Cozumel’s past. 

The original settlers on the island of Cozumel were the Mayans, some 2000 years ago. That sounds too old, right? Spaniards gave the island the name Cozumel. This name derives from the word ‘Cuzam’ which means “swallow” and ‘Lumil’ which means “Land of”. Hence, in the Mayan Language, this refers to “Land of the Swallows”. In 1519 Hernán Cortéz landed, and his men destroyed many of the Mayan temples on Cozumel. Cortéz departed the island to further explore the peninsula, but he left something behind, Smallpox. This epidemic broke out and Cozumel’s population fell to less than 300 people by 1570. By the year 1600, Cozumel was abandoned. In the 1600s, British logwood cutters began settling Cozumel and shipping logwood (dyewood) back to Europe. The Spanish government considered these settlers to be piratas (the Spanish word for contrabandists because they paid no tax) and did not sanction their settlements. This is probably where the pirate myth started. The island became re-inhabited around 1848 when settlers from the mainland sought refuge there from the Caste War. This fierce war broke out when the Mayans avenged the wrongs inflicted on them and their lands by the Spanish. 

In the 1940s, Cozumel’s economy remained strong, owing to the construction of a US airbase here during WWII. When the US military departed, the island fell into an economic slump, and many of its people moved away. Those who stayed took up fishing for a living. Years later, Cozumel was still largely a fishing community until the 1960s. However, from then onward, the tourism industry pushed Cozumel to become a diver’s paradise. Then, in the 1970s, it was discovered as a tourist hub. Tourism really started to take off in the early 1980s following the construction of a commercial airport and the island’s first cruise-ship dock. Ever since, Cozumel has seen an acceleration in its fame and the number of tourists who love to visit the island. With its amazing parks, beaches, and water-related sports, we mark it as one of the most wanted travel destinations for travelers.

Today people absolutely adore Cozumel for its beauty and Instagram worthy scenery. If you have been planning a trip here, gear up because it will be amazing.

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