East side beaches and bars on an island tour of Cozumel Mexico

Island Tour

It is fairly cheap to hire a driver for your own two or three hour island tour of Cozumel.  For USD 60-90 you should be able to get someone.  As with a lot of things in Cozumel, it is all negotiable.  We used a licensed white taxi and the driver couldn’t have been any better.  Didn’t talk all the time, took us where we wanted, stopped at a moment’s notice when we saw something and was just generally a great person.  The taxi was comfortable and honestly, the circle tour of the island is something they’ve probably done a thousand times.

We headed out of San Miguel de Cozumel and stopped at some local shopping areas (nothing tourists would venture out to) which was fascinating.  But we made three stops along the east coast of the island at various points of interest which of course always included a bar or a place for a beer.  The weather was not so good – very high winds – so we really just went sightseeing.

You wouldn’t come to this side of the island to do snorkeling anyway, so we figured next trip we’d go snorkeling.  Always nice to be flexible on vacation or, if on a cruise, in any port.  And honestly, this was so much better than a group activity – which is great for some people – just not us.

Dive bar El Diablo on the east cost of Cozumel Mexico
Dive bar El Diablo on the east cost of Cozumel Mexico

El Diablo

This was a little hole in the wall type place that was really in a nice location.  Well, honestly, all the bars we stopped at were in great locations – in fact, any of them along the road are great.  It stretches along the coast and will be loaded with taxis and rental cars.

The beach scene across from El Diablo bar in Cozumel Mexico.
The beach scene across from El Diablo bar in Cozumel Mexico.

There is a gorgeous beach and a lifeguard stand and some and the bar is upstairs across the street.  There are dirty restrooms and someone may try to charge you to use them – or might not – this time they did and we bargained them down from USD5 to a dollar.  The taxi driver thought it was outrageous since we bought beer and were customers.

The small beach bar at Playa Bonita.
The small beach bar at Playa Bonita.

Playa Bonita

This bar, really just a few minutes from El Diablo, was on the beachside itself and there were seats there – the usual tequila and beer type of place you’d expect and each one was just as great and trashy as the next.  Since it was such a windy day we didn’t do any water – but the beaches were all terrific.  Some of these places are so beach bar dive that there isn’t much more to say about them.  Great location, cold beer, friendly people and a place to plunk down.  How wonderful is that?

IMG_6885
Playa Bonita on the east coast of Cozumel Mexico.

Natural Bridges/El Mirador

This was easily the most incredible stop of the three along this coast.  The rock formations are terrific and it is fun to walk out to the sea.  The waves this day were quite heavy and fascinating.  Of course, we did all this with a beer in hand which was obtained at the little souvenir hut and bar.

The little souvenir hut at El Diablo on the east coast of Mexico.
The little souvenir hut at El Diablo on the east coast of Mexico.

Genuinely nice people and just a beautiful scene is the best way I can describe this stop.  This is admittedly not a stop for swimming – in fact I don’t think I’d suggest it anywhere near here.  It is to be enjoyed for its blow holes, rock formations, waves and deserted non-touristy feel.  And the photo opportunities are incredible here – get your taxi driver to take your photo, post to Facebook and make everyone jealous.

The Natural Bridge - El Mirador on the east coast of Cozumel Mexico.
The Natural Bridge – El Mirador on the east coast of Cozumel Mexico.

We were running out of time so we didn’t stop at the Paradise Cove bars a bit further down – Rasta’s and Bob Marley’s.  And you could extend your east coast tour a bit with a jaunt into the Punta Sur National Park.

Taxis wait for their passengers while at El Mirador.
Taxis wait for their passengers while at El Mirador.
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