At the Cozumel airport - when you exit from the customs area you will be approached by official looking people asking where you are going, where you are staying, would you like a free dinner, snorkel, parasail, etc. These people are timeshare sales representatives. The best thing to do (unless you want to go to a timeshare presentation and get the free gift) is to firmly & politely say “no thank you” and just pass through them. Then turn to the right while still inside the building. Walk until you get to the last booth on the left that says Airport Transportation. This is the only official airport transportation and is by shared vans - no taxis are allowed to pick up at the airport (only drop off when you leave). You buy a ticket at the window (tell them El Cantil and it should be about $9 per person). Take those tickets and continue outside and you will see a bunch of white vans lined up and guys in white shirts (they work for the transport company). The guys in white shirts will ask what hotel, and they will guide you to a van going your direction and load your luggage. You then have to wait until the van is full with enough people going your way (usually no more than 10 minutes or so).
The van will drop you off in front of El Cantil (tip the driver $1 per bag). There are two buildings. You will be in the South (Sur in Spanish) building. DO NOT ENTER THE OFFICE WITH THE RED TARP. The first number of the condo unit numbers corresponds to the floor the condo is on, the second letter is the unit on that floor, and the letter (S or N) at the end corresponds to either the South or North tower. Our unit is 4CS (the third unit on the fourth floor of the South Tower). If you are not immediately greeted by the property manager, give your name to one of the doormen (in yellow shirts) and they will give you access to the elevator and assist with your bags (it is appropriate to tip them if you desire), and inform the property manager of your arrival. Once at our door, enter the code provided in the lock to enter the condo. Please do not share the code with anyone that is not a representative of our management company (Caribbean Beach Properties). If you have any problems getting the door open, please contact the management company (using the information below or from the instructions that we e-mailed to you after your booking), or ask anyone in a yellow shirt to help contact the property manager.
Property Management Contact Information
Our property manager is Caribbean Beach Properties. Here is their local contact information (this same information is on the instructions that we e-mailed to you after your booking). 9am to 5pm: 044-987-118-5917, Emergency after hours: 044-987-878-6811. From the USA 1-719-531-0002.
Check in and check out times - Check in is 2:00 PM. Check out is 11:00 AM. If you plan to arrive prior to 2:00 PM, or if you plan on departing after 11:00 AM, please contact us. If we do not have a guest checking out the same day you check in, or if we do not have a guest checking in the same day you check out, we can likely make an exception for you to accommodate your schedule, but we have to inform the management company so that they can schedule their procedures correctly. If the management company enforces the check in or checkout times, these instructions must be respected. If we have guests checking out the same day you check in, the housekeeping staff may still be cleaning the property when you arrive. If we have guests checking in the same day you check out, housekeeping may have to begin cleaning the property as early as 9 AM on your checkout day. When you leave the condo, simply leave your elevator key cards on the kitchen counter.
Questions, Problems or Maintenance Issues
If you have any questions, problems or maintenance issues (including light bulbs) with the unit, please contact the property manager using the local numbers above from the local phone in the unit.
Bath towels, beach towels and linens are provided and laundered at no cost to you. To help us conserve cost and to help the environment, do not throw clean towels on the floor. Do not use towels to clean. Please do not hang beach towels from the balcony! Before entering the condo building, shake as much sand from the beach towels as possible. Do not leave towels at the beach or at the pool. You will be charged for any missing or damaged towels. Towels are specific to each condo and are not shared by everyone in the complex. If you lose towels, please report this immediately to the property manager.
Maid Service and Tipping
Housekeeping is typically provided twice per week during your stay. Times and frequency of housekeeping may vary. Housekeeping will include throwing trash, changing towels and linens, sweeping and mopping, and cleaning dishes. Please note that this condos is privately owned. It is our second home, and we ask that you treat the condo as you would your own home. As much as possible, please keep the condo clean and tidy during your stay. A significant portion of the housekeeper's salary is based on tips, so if you feel that they did a good job, please leave a tip at the end of the week. An appropriate tip is about $3(US) per person per times cleaned (usually two times) for the week depending on how many people are in the unit, how many bedrooms you used, and your kitchen use (please add more if you used the kitchen a lot or had messy children). If the maid performed additional services that you requested (such as cleaning clothes) please tip an additional amount at that time.
The housekeeper can do small amounts of laundry for you for an extra tip. The closest laundry service is Margarita Laundry on Ave 11 between calles 5 and 10 (a very short walk from the condo) where you can do your own, or leave it and they will do it for you for later pick up.
Cozumel is a safe area but petty theft is common in Mexico (just like all tourist areas). Use good judgment at all times. Do not leave valuables unattended while at the pool, the beach or while in town. The management company does their best to hire reliable and honest staff, but please do not leave any valuables visible in the condo. Safes are provided in the condo and instructions on using the safe are provided in the unit. Use the safe to store all valuables and your passports! The management company, and the owners of the condos are not responsible for any items that go missing during your stay.
There are two elevators. One directly in front of our door. You can use this to go up and down to the street (Lobby) level. From the street you need to scan the key card for the elevator to open (this is good security). If you want to go to the beach/pier/pool area you need to use the elevator at the other end of the corridor, and push "S". The S level is one level below the street/lobby level and only that elevator goes that far. When the elevator opens at the S level you might think you made a mistake because it opens into the garage and dive locker area, but that is correct. The garage is under ground. Walk through the garage and you will get to the beach area. Again, that is for security and privacy. No one can get to the beach/pool area without having a key card. It insures that only owners and guests can use the pool and beach, and that you won’t be bothered by people selling trinkets. Don’t be alarmed about the security measures. Cozumel is very safe. We have never observed a crime, just use your common sense. Most of the security measures are for privacy really.
Electricity is very expensive on the island, and we have to pay based on what is used by our unit. So please help us out by not leaving the sliding glass doors open* while the air conditioners are running, and please turn it down when you go out for an extended period. The property manager should show you how to use the controls. *During the summer months we have automatic door closers on the sliders.
The unit has a free Wi-Fi internet connection. The password for the Wi-Fi is written on a piece of paper taped to the end table that the router sits on. It is also written on a piece of paper taped to the inside of the desk drawer.
Free Phone to US
There is a VOIP phone system in the unit. It is the one sitting next to the Wi-Fi internet router (left side of the couch). You can make free phone calls to the US using that system. Also friends and family can call you directly in the condo unit. In case you want to leave a number with people back home … the number is 860-613-5423. So when people call you it is as if they are calling a Middletown CT number. If they have any long distance charges it will be a charge based on CT not Mexico. If they have nationwide (US) toll free calling, it will not cost them anything to call you at that number.
The other phone (the one not connected to the internet router - on the right side of the couch) is for local Cozumel calls only, which are also free using this phone ... the number is 878-4754. For an emergency (police, fire, & ambulance) dial 911. If you are calling a local Cozumel land line you only need to dial the ten digit number. If you are calling a local Cozumel cell phone you have to dial 044 + the ten digit number. How do you know if the number you want to call is a cell phone? Good question. If you got the number from a card or advertisement and it starts with 044 than it's a cell phone and you should dial the whole number. If you don't know try dialing the 10 digit number first. If you get a message (it will be in Spanish) saying your call can not be completed, then try again dialing the 044 + the ten digit number. Any long distance charges attributed to the use of the local phone will be charged to the renter, so please use the VOIP phone for calls back to the US.
Electrical outlets are the same size and voltage as the U.S. There is no need to bring any adapters.
Bluetooth Connection to the Stereo
You can play music from your Bluetooth enabled wireless devices through the stereo system in the entertainment center. After turning the power on, hit the button directly to the right of the power button that has the Bluetooth symbol on it, then pair your Bluetooth device to "SC-AKX-100" in the search list.
We have flat screen TV's in each bedroom and the living room. The TV in the living room is a "Smart TV" connected to the Wi-Fi so that you can watch Netflix (if you have an account - you need to sign in using your credentials - be sure to sign out before you leave). The TV is also connected to the AUX input of the stereo so you can have the audio of your movie or TV show play through the stereo system. The building has Dish Network satellite TV service from the US, including HBO, Showtime and the normal line up of cable channels.
We have two DVD players connected to the television. The Sony (the larger one on the bottom) has regular DVD and VHS tape players in it. The Toshiba (smaller one on the top) is a Blu-Ray DVD player. You need to select the proper input on the TV. The regular DVD/VHS player is connected to Video. The Blu-Ray player is connected to HDMI-1. We have a very small supply of DVD's on hand, so bring your own.
Kitchen Garbage Can
Is under the kitchen sink on a roll out platform. Housekeeping will empty it during their visits. If it fills up in between bring the bag downstairs and hand it to one of the doormen (in yellow shirts). Additional bags are under the sink.
Hair Dryers & Toiletries
Yes! There is a hair dryer in each of the three bedroom bathrooms. Soap is included at each sink and shower. Other toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, etc) are not included, so plan accordingly. There is a grocery store across the street that has most name brands.
The freezer has an ice machine which is feed from filtered water.
We have several board games in the unit. They are in the cabinet under the television in the living room.
We have a dive locker assigned to us in the garage. It is the second one on the left as you step out of the elevator on floor "S". Our unit number (4C) is painted in white on the front, and labled above. The locker should have a combination lock on it. The combination is on a table top sign on the kitchen counter top and the foyer buffet (on the back of the sign). If you use the locker please be sure to leave our lock on the locker in the locked position when you leave (if you bring your own lock please put ours back at the end of your stay)
As mentioned above we suggest that you tip the maid about $3 per person per times cleaned (usually twice) for a week (or more based on the factors listed above in the housekeeping section). In restaurants you should tip at the rates as you would in the U.S. Restaurant staff are paid very little (and some not at all) and rely on tips. For dive, fishing, excursion trips, etc, you should tip about 15% of the cost +/- based on the quality of the service, or extra tasks performed. At the grocery stores tip the baggers a few peso's.
There is a gym just a very short walk from the condo. Ego Gym is on Avenida 11 at Calle 5a. They have exercise machines, showers, and air conditioning. The drop in price is 100 pesos per visit.
At the bottom is a good street map of the town of San Miguel. El Cantil is located on the water side of the main avenue right across from where it says “City Hall” (See the red arrow between the green park space and the supermarket). The numbered Avenida's (Avenues) run North to South and are numbered in 5’s. So 10th Avenue is only one block up from 5th Avenue. The Calle’s (Streets) run East to West. The odd numbered streets are South of the square (where El Cantil is). The even numbered streets are North of the square. The square is the main hub (shown as the Plaza on the map). The main waterfront road (on which El Cantil is located) is named Avenida Raphael E. Melgar, also know as "the malecon" (sea-wall street in Spanish).
This is one of our favorite topics and high up on the list of things that made us fall in love with the island. It is very hard to find a bad restaurant. Here are links to lists that we use (we are still on a quest to try every one of them) and have found the descriptions and reviews to be very honest and accurate.
But be warned. Things change fast, and restaurants come and go. We have occasionally sought out one on the list to find it closed or under a new name. For example; French Quarter and Prima no longer exist. The following is a list of some of our favorites (in no particular order). Unless a taxi is mentioned they are all in very short walking distance of the condo:
Lots of things. Just do a google search, or go to trip advisor. Depends on your interest. All the normal island things like horseback riding, para sailing, paddle boarding, etc. are available. Or take the ferry to Playa de Carman to explore that town, visit Mayan ruins, cenotes and more. Claudia has brochures in the office. Here are a few things that we have enjoyed doing on Cozumel:
A good source of information about the island is Cozumel 4 You www.czm4you.com. They also host a forum and Facebook page where you can get in touch with others already on the island or headed there to exchange useful information. The Cozumel Sun www.thecozumelsun.com is a weekly local newspaper in English
This is the reason we came to Cozumel! See all the dive sites on the map at the bottom. There are many good dive operations and most will pick up at the El Cantil dock on our property. We have used Dive Paradise for many years www.diveparadise.com . The main office (to book and pay for dives) is a very short walk from our condo. We recently discovered a smaller boutique operation called Blue XT~Sea run by Christi Courtney www.bluextseadiving.com. Christi gives very personalized service, and requires reservations in advance.
Rinse tanks & dive lockers; there are nice clean rinse tanks just 100 feet from the dive dock, and just steps away from the dive lockers. We have a dive locker assigned to us in the garage. It is the second one on the left as you step out of the elevator on floor "S". Our unit number (4C) is painted in white on the front. The locker should have a combination lock on it. The combination is on a table top sign on the kitchen counter top and the foyer buffet (on the back of the sign). If you use the locker please be sure to leave our lock on the locker in the locked position when you leave (if you bring your own lock please put ours back at the end of your stay). They are very large with room to hang all of your gear and have it be dry by the next day. The garage is well ventilated being open to the air, but secure (gated) and only resort key holders can get to it via the elevator or stairs.
There are two large grocery stores with in walking distance of the Condo. Chedraui is almost directly across the street, they carry a full stock of food, beer, wine, liquor, household and personal items. Mega is about two blocks away to the north on the same avenue, it is larger than Chedraui and closer to a US Walmart type shopping experience (good or bad depending on how you look at it).
Please be cautioned that the plastic bags that are used are very thin and rip very easy. Hold them from the bottom. Even better, use the cloth bags that we have stored in the lower cabinet to the left of the stove. Also tip the bagger a few peso's (they work only for tips).
There is a 7 screen movie theater (Cinepolis) right next to Chedraui (so you look out of our kitchen window and see what's playing!). It shows many first run US movies with the audio in English (and Spanish subtitles). Very comfortable seating with prices much lower than the US for both the movies and popcorn.