Turtle Nesting Season Well Underway

Cozumel is fortunate to play host to thousands of sea turtles coming
ashore to nest each year.
During the nights of May through September, on the Eastern shore of
the island, two species of sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs on
the beaches of Cozumel.

The turtles, known as the loggerhead turtle (Careta careta or as they’re commonly known caguamas) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), generally lay
from 100-150 eggs and can nest up to 6 times in one season. Roughly 60
days later, the young hatchlings emerge at the surface of the nest,
typically at night when the temperatures are cooler, and immediately
head for the ocean following the light reflected off of the water’s

In addition, the bays and reefs of the Cozumel area are also
foraging areas where sea turtles such as hawksbill (Eretmochelys
imbricate) turtles and giant leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles
have been sighted swimming just offshore.

Since the nesting season began this year, already over 600
nests have been identified. Of these nests 75 of them are loggerhead
turtles and 56 are from green
sea turtles. Volunteer brigades are patrolling the eastern side of the
island from Mezcalito’s down to the ecological reserve “Faro
Celarain” in search of nests. 

During the Cozumel nesting season, the City works in co-ordination with
local police and Federal armed forces to limit activity on the east side
at nights during turtle nesting season. In the evenings of nesting
season, only the salvation program participants with specifically
designated biologists, interns, and volunteers are allowed to walk the
beaches in search of nesting female turtles, turtle nests, and recent
hatchlings. Among their duties include the protecting and tagging of
females, the collection scientific data, the relocation of eggs to more
favorable locations on the beach, and the release of hatchlings to the
sea. From the data collected, the salvation program is then able to
determine turtle hatching success, behavior, distribution, and

At this time there are essentially two turtle salvation efforts in progress:

  1. The Parks and Museum Foundation’s Punta Sur Park Salvation Program
    – This program began in 2000 and covers the beach area from the
    entrance of Punta Sur Park all the way to the south lighthouse. Since
    access to the park is closed to the public at night, this program enjoys
    significant protection from poachers. This is a FOR PROFIT endeavor
    that offers tours that are publicized through the Cozumel Museum.
    Tickets for these excursions run about $50 per person and are sold
    through the Cozumel Museum downtown.

  2. The City of San Miguel’s Volunteer Salvation Program
    – This program began back in the late 1980’s and covers the beaches
    from Mezcalitos south to the Punta Sur Park entrance. What began as a
    grassroots effort by a few citizens interested in turtle conservation,
    eventually evolved into a small City funded program whereby the City
    relied upon volunteers to do the nightly work, but were able to fund the
    salaries of 2 biologists to supervise the sanctuary and the work of the
    volunteers. For many years, no other funds were available to further
    develop the program or to provide supplies, gas or vehicles for the
    volunteer groups working the beaches each night.

How can you particpate?

Beginning with the 2006 season, in an attempt to generate more interest
and increase awareness of Cozumel’s turtle population, the Turtle
Salvation Program’s governing Committee of Brigades has made a provision
to allow “one time guests” to participate in the Program provided these
guests are supervised and work within the structure of a Brigade.

Those wanting to participate and work with a
Brigade for 1 or 2 nights during their vacation stay must request
permission in advance, be approved and be assigned to a Volunteer

There are 2 ways to participate ~

Tourists visiting Cozumel or those living here who would like to work for an entire night (or morning) side by side with a turtle brigade can do so during the sea turtle nesting season for a nominal donation per person June 1 through November 15th annually.

Tourists visiting Cozumel or those living here who would like to observe, learn and release baby turtles one night for a few hours with a turtle brigade can do so during the sea turtle nesting season for a nominal donation per person from June 1 through November 15th annually. 

To make a request to participate or observe please visit
Turtle Brigade Participation Application or Observation Request Form

NOTE: Requests are submitted to an approval process and are handled
on first-come, first-serve basis. Please allow 1 week for a response.

Also, please remember to never take dogs to the other side
of the island during the turtle nesting season (day or night).  Many dogs will dig holes and take out the eggs.  Also, the scent of
dogs may discourage a female turtle to nest where she smells ‘predators’.

DWTS Karina Smirnoff sets Hot Winter Weather Date…in Cozumel!

From E Online:

Karina Smirnoff‘s wedding planning is coming along just as she has hoped.

The Dancing With Stars hoofer told us back in March that she and baseball player Brad Penny would be getting hitched in January…

We’re happy to report that she wasn’t fibbing to try and throw us off. The couple will become husband and wife on January 21, 2012. Smirnoff’s rep also tells E! News exclusively that the nuptials will take place in Cozumel, Mexico.

“I have a lot of family and friends that live in Europe and Israel, and Brad has a big family in Oklahoma,” Smirnoff, who recently stripped down for Playboy, told People magazine this weekend at Tao nightclub in Las Vegas. “It’s going to be a very diverse, colorful crowd.”

She also revealed that she’s deciding between six wedding dress. Yes, six.

All, however, have one thing in common. “I want the train to be as long as Hollywood Boulevard because it’s like, you only get to wear it once,” she told us in March. “I want it to be memorable. Like a princess.”

For the original article, go here:  http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/marc_malkin/b245878_dwts_karina_smirnoff_sets_hot_winter.html 

Passenger Ferries to/from Playa del Carmen and Cozumel

Currently, two ferry companies operate the route between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen on the mainland, Waterjets (blue and white) and Ultramar (yellow). The crossing takes about 30-40 minutes and departs from the Ferry Pier downtown. 

Between them, they run ferries back and forth, on the hour, almostevery hour, between 5am and 11pm. The price is around 155 pesos ($13.50) each way for adults or 93 pesos (approx. $8) for children. 

Buy a single ticket because you may need to use the other ferry company coming back and the tickets aren’t transferable. 

Mexico Water Jets Ultramar
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Note: timetables often change from month-to-month and even day-to-day. Please confirm times at the pier or by telephone prior to departure. Prices may change too and are meant here only as a guide.

Telephone Ultramar, Playa del Carmen (984) 803-5581. 

Telephone Waterjets, Cozumel 872-1508, 872-1588 or Playa del Carmen (984) 879-3112. 

Check this page for updates too:  


Airlines that fly into Cozumel

Air Canada 

Flights to/from Toronto/Montreal and the rest of the world. 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 1-888-247-2262
Mexico Toll Free: 01-800-719-2827

American Airlines – American Eagle 

Flights to/from Dallas/Fort Worth/Miami and the rest of the world. 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 1-800-433-7300
Mexico Toll Free: 01-800-904-6000
Cozumel: 872-0899

Continental Airlines 

Flights to/from Houston, New York (Newark/Liberty) and the rest of the world. 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 800-523-FARE (800.523.3273)
Mexico: 01-800-123-4710

Delta Airlines 

Flights to/from Denver. 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 800-241-4141

Frontier Airlines 

Flights to/from Denver and beyond. 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 800-4321-FLY (800-432-1359)
Denver Metro: (303) 371-7000


Flights to/from Mexico City. 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 1-866-285-9525
Mexico Toll Free: 01-800-01-12345
Mexico City: 11-02-55-55
Email: [email protected] 


Flights to/from Cancun and Merida.  As of 7/2011, it’s less than $60 USD to fly from Cancun to Cozumel.  And it’s a spectacular view!  Book online too!


United Airlines 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 1-800-538-2929
Mexico Toll Free: 01-800-003-0777


Flights to/from Toronto. 

USA/Canada Toll Free: 1-888-WESTJET (937-8538)
Mexico: 01 800 514 7288

Once you arrive at the airport, you will find a taxi desk in the arrivals area. They will call you a comfortable, mini-van taxi that you can share with other groups (colectivo) or take privately.

If you want to save money, walk about 500m (550 yds) across the parking lot to the road outside the airport and wait to hail a normal white with red-stripe taxi, although they can sometimes be slow coming.

Or, to avoid hassle at the airport and for the ultimate peace of mind you may book online the airport transfer van here.   If you’re staying at Casa Cascada, then you’ll purchase the Downtown fare.

Of course, you may also rent a car.  All major call rental companies are on the island and you may pre-book online.

Where to snorkel in Cozumel!

One of the places my husband and I always snorkel is the Barracuda Hotel.  If you’re staying at Casa Cascada, you can walk to the Barracuda for some awesome snorkeling right off the beach.  I’ve seen stingrays, all types of reef fish, a lionfish (and a stonefish) and of course, a few Barracuda. Enjoy their awesome pool with float up bar (and a great restaurant) while you’re there too!  http://www.hotelbarracuda.com 

Also, try the roped off area to the right of the Money Bar.  You can see rays, barracudas, octopus, turtles, crabs and lobsters. Snorkel all the way to the other end of the ropes and don’t forget to circle around the rocks and coral formations as that’s where most of the critters are hanging out. 

Punta Sur Park has a great long reef to explore. Costs money to get in, but well worth it! 

Cozumel Canine Park in the Works

Plans are in the works for “Cozumel Canine Park”. The intended project is to adapt a space large enough for pets to have their own recreation space. A proposal is being overseen by the Chairman of the Veterinary Association, Julio Gutierrez MVZ, from Centro Médico Veterinario Cozumel, and the Cozumel Humane Society. Since they’ll be soliciting government funds to help sponsor the park, they’re asking all interested parties to “like” their facebook group, so they can prove interest in the project. Please take a moment to show your support!

New Tulum Archeology Discovery

Aktun-hu, the ancient cenote located just outside Tulum, has already gained notoriety for hosting a skull that pre-dates the Mayan culture, however further archeological investigation is now revealing even more treasures from this site. 

In a press conference on Monday representatives from Proyecto Espeleológico Tulum (PET), announced the discovery of bones that could possibly belong to a Gonfoterio, which is an elefant-like species similar to a Mammoth. 

These remains are believed to be over 10,000 years old. Also found near the mastodonian remains were bones believed to be part of a human arm, and might even be connected to the original skull discovery. This discovery gives scientists interesting insight into the hypothesis that human life co-existed with these pre-historic creatures. 

Don’t forget…Cozumel is a great jumping off point for a day visit to Tulum!  Stay in Casa Cascada as you check out the mainland.  

Cozumel Red Cross (Cruz Roja) Looking for Volunteers for Ironman 2010

As it did last year, the Cozumel Red Cross (Cruz Roja) will be
running the emergency medical service and staffing the medical tent at Ironman.  
And, this year, it hopes to offer a station to reunite competitors with their
friends and family during and after the event.

This means that we need
English-speaking (including bilingual) medical and lay volunteers to assist
over the course of this very long day. Nurses, doctors, EMT’s
& paramedics will take charge of an “advance triage” area near
the finish line to determine which competitors require medical services vs
post-race observation, massage and/or nutritional recovery.

Some of these
trained volunteers will be stationed in the recovery tent to observe and others
will be needed in the medical tent to run IV’s, warm patients, etc. Non-medical
people are needed to run the “reunion” area, which must coordinate
with Ironman staff, the registrar at the med tent and the ambulance service to
track the competitors.

There are also some thankless tasks that must be
done that day, such as keeping the med tent clean and shopping for any
unexpected but necessary supplies. These services open at the
start of the race and close around 4 or 5am Monday morning.  Most volunteers
will be utilized between 12pm and 1am. Shift length will be determined by
volunteer response.

Please contact [email protected] or [email protected] if you would like to

Cozumel – One of the 20 Best Islands to Live On!

Islands Magazine has released their annual “Top 20 Islands to live on2010” and Cozumel has made the list!  The list is featured in their July/August 2010 issue now available on newsstands.

The Island of Swallows came in at number 16, beating out other great locations such as Bali and Malta.  The editors of Island’s Magazine base their list on criteria such as real estate values, ease of immigration, expat communities, and quality of island life. 

Be sure to check out Islands.com for their best islands web app, where you can find real estate links, immigration tips, expat stories, and maps. There is also an archive for the lists from years 2007 – 2009.

For those who have not yet picked up the current issue, here is the list of the islands that made the coveted list for 2010:

  1. Big Island, Hawaii
  2. Kauai, Hawaii
  3. New Zealand
  4. Vancouver Island, Canada
  5. U.S. Virgin Islands
  6. Great Exuma, Bahamas
  7. Barbados
  8. Ko Samui, Thailand
  9. Moorea, French Polynesia
  10. Fiji
  11. Cyclades, Greece
  12. Bermuda
  13. Ambergris Caye, Belize
  14. Tokyo, Japan
  15. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  16. Cozumel, Mexico
  17. Sugar Loaf Key, Florida
  18. Vanuatu
  19. Malta
  20. Bali, Indonesia
Check it out for yourself!  Stay in Casa Cascada as you discover the beautiful island of Cozumel.