CARIBBEAN CHARM IN COZUMEL, MEXICO

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - TRAVEL - SS

Cozumel has es­tab­lished it­self as a pop­u­lar and af­ford­able des­ti­na­tion for North Amer­i­can triath­letes look­ing for a break from the north­ern win­ter cli­mate while work­ing in some qual­ity train­ing. Trav­el­ling di­rectly to Cozumel is rel­a­tively easy as the is­land is ser­viced by a num­ber of ma­jor North Amer­i­can air­lines. Once you are in Cozumel, lo­cal travel is un­com­pli­cated. The is­land is small and the road­way sys­tem is easily nav­i­gated, so rent­ing a ve­hi­cle is stress free. Taxi travel is strictly reg­u­lated, abun­dant and of­fers an in­ex­pen­sive al­ter­na­tive to lo­cal trans­porta­tion or rent­ing a car.

The is­land of Cozumel, is lo­cated 20 kilo­me­tres off the east coast of Mexico’s Yu­catan Penin­sula. The is­land is 16 km wide and 46 km long. Set in the Caribbean Sea, it boasts wa­ters that have earned in­ter­na­tional ac­claim as one of the premier div­ing des­ti­na­tions in the Western Hemi­sphere.

Of late, this par­adise of an is­land has be­come a haven for triath­letes pri­mar­ily be­cause of the com­mu­nity’s un­wa­ver­ing sup­port for the ITU, Iron­man and Iron­man 70.3 races and other multi-sport events that are held an­nu­ally in Cozumel. The lo­cal and state gov­ern­ments have in­vested in and sup­ported tourism that tar­gets visi­tors look­ing for an ac­tive lifestyle va­ca­tion. A road­way en­cir­cles the en­tire is­land which of­fers cy­clists a 70 km loop and fea­tures many newly paved bike path sec­tions. Riders are treated to views of iso­lated beaches and the coast­line along the Caribbean Sea on one side and lush fer­tile green veg­e­ta­tion on the other. The winds on the coast more than make up for the lack of el­e­va­tion. There are com­pe­ti­tion pools avail­able, as well as lots of ac­cess to the beau­ti­ful wa­ters of the Caribbean for swim work­outs or non-wet­suit open wa­ter swim ses­sions. There are end­less op­tions for road run­ning, and there is a lo­cal track avail­able for those wish­ing to get some speedy in­ter­vals done.

Ho­tel and re­sort choices are plen­ti­ful and cater to ev­ery­thing from cozy and quaint, to lav­ish and lux­u­ri­ous. Most of the lodg­ing fea­tures sweep­ing ocean views with easy or di­rect ac­cess to the many beaches. You may choose from all-in­clu­sive ho­tels, find a bed and break­fast, or a room with kitchen fa­cil­i­ties. There are many gro­cery store op­tions that stock fresh foods for ev­ery diet imag­in­able.

Thereis­plen­tytodoaftery­our­work­out:youshould­make­time­for­some non-train­ing ex­pe­ri­ences while in Cozumel, too. The “must-do” ex­pe­ri­ences on the is­land are the un­lim­ited div­ing and snorkelling op­tions. Check out the spec­tac­u­lar un­der­wa­ter life by rent­ing a mask and fins and head­ing off from the beach, or ac­cess­ing some of the world fa­mous dive sites with many of the dive char­ter com­pa­nies on the is­land. Other, more ad­ven­tur­ous pur­suits in­clude all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle, dune buggy and Jeep car­a­van jun­gle tours, deep-sea fish­ing, surf­ing and kite board­ing, swimming with the dol­phins, or mo­tor­cy­cle and horse­back tour­ing and hik­ing.

There are nu­mer­ous his­toric sites through­out the is­land that will ex­pose you to the Mayan cul­ture, struc­tures and ar­ti­facts. Read­ing a good book in the sun and sand, while oc­ca­sion­ally cool­ing off with a quick dip in the ocean pro­vides a re­ju­ve­nat­ing re­cov­ery af­ter a long work­out.–

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